Are the Shibs underrated?
And thus underscored? I know little re iced ance and love the top three NA teams most. I am in awe of the judges...hard job...can someone say what Shibs lack to become WC ice dancers? I think they're wonderful.
They aren't underrated, in my opinion. They are good, but aren't better like I/K or the older pairs.
They were on their way to be wc! Then their technical abilities just really went south in a major way! You can't be the tech team getting all level 4's in 2011 worlds and then show up in nice and not do a twizzle in the fs and expect to repeat as bronze!! Across the board their technical levels have suffered! They are really in the same exact place they were in 2011 but have fallen because they have weakened technically! Like when rachael flatt stopped doing triple lutzes and she fell down the standings! Well of course she did!
Many of you know I'm a huge fan of the Shibs, so perhaps some of you may see less value in my opinion.
But here are just a few points to consider:
1.) For the last two years, Maia has grown considerably. When they won the world bronze medal, Maia was 16 years old and tiny. Look at this photo from Worlds in 2011. As you can see, Maia falls just below Alex's head.
Now here's Maia a few months later, at NHK. As you can see, she's grown a few inches and is no below his head.
Finally Maia at this year's Worlds. She isn't that much taller than 2011, but you can see she's filled out slightly.
2.) Related to that, Alex has dealt with a number of injuries in the last two years. I think it's pretty easy to conclude that trying to lift your sister when she's a few inches taller and 15 pounds heavier will create some issues. Some of you may have noticed that Alex has tried to bulk up in an attempt to adjust to the extra weight, but that has had an effect on their speed and lightness they displayed in 2011.
So with that in mind, we dealt with a team that that has gone through the double whammy of injuries and a growth spurt. If you guys remember, the Shibs had a so-so season in 2009-2010 when Alex went through HIS growth spurt. I remember that many people were worried that Maia wouldn't grow fast enough. Now it seemed there was a different problem at play.
(Per gmeyers' point: Rachael Flatt stopped doing Lutz (and toe pick jumps in general) jumps because of injury. Shibs are dealing with an equivalent thing here, I think.)
3.) One key issue, which was one of their key strengths, is level issues. They went down in a lot of competitions in the last two years because they lost a ton of levels. I'm not sure if the issues above have prevented them from getting the key points to hit level 4, but clearly this is a problem.
4.) Packaging is another issue obviously. They haven't quite found their mature style yet. They made a concerted effort this season, but I think it fell short a bit.
But here are a few things going for the Shibs that I think people underestimate:
1.) Blade work -- the Shibs have a great reputation of having the quietest blades in Ice Dance. If you compare their feet to other dances, they are quite smooth in their blade movements. And that matters in Ice Dance
2.) Work ethic -- Do you guys remember when they basically reworked 2/3 of their entire Latin SD between GPF and Nationals? That was ballsy and it seemed to work. They did much of the same for the SD this year. They are not afraid to go back to the drawing board and workout whatever issues they have.
They seem to show flashes of light at Worlds and 4CC, so perhaps there are better things to come. We'll see.
I really them, too, so I'm as biased as Mrs. P, but I do think that they're underrated!
Just look at their 2013 Worlds FD (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNBd4E9PpUE): the twizzles (from 1:52 to 2:04) are perfectly executed, with good speed, good unison, good position, good blade control, smooth transitions between the first and the second part of the element, good flow on the ice, they deserved at least a +2 GOE for me; these are the rules for the +2 GOE in the twizzles:
-Entry/completion: with ease
-Connecting steps/footwork: very good and stylish
-Spacing between partners: consistent and close
Well, I can admit that the space between them was not really "consistent and close" but the entry/completion and connceting steps/footwork features were even at the +3 level, so an overall +2 would have been just fair!
Look at what they received: +0.79, with one judge giving a 0, three judges giving +1 and only one (intelligent ) judge giving +3! Now, look at their twizzles at 4CC (from 1.48 to 1:59 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHYaeHNMBA8): they're almost identical, and the GOE there was +1.07, with two judges giving +3, only one judge giving +1 and no 0!
The same for the spin at the beginning of they Worlds FD: it's technically PERFECT! What's the GOE? +0.79!
Then there are the StSq, that have really affected their scores, and I can understand that, but the overall GOEs should have been A LOT higher for me! Artistically, I do think that they have to work on the interpretation and the speed, and they have to find their own style, but I don't really understand their technical scores! Can someone explain them to me please?
They are overrated. They did not deserve their 2011 World bronze IMO, and did not deserve their grand prix event win in fall 2011 either. I hope Hubbel & Donahue beat them out for the Olympic team spot.
The Shibs have had growth issues as explained above, as well as choreographic issues. It is essential these days to have a strong SD, so hopefully this season with the Finnstep, the Shibs can show more of their personalities and the wonderful, quiet quality of their blades.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
The Shibs need better choreography throughout the program. The transitions are well-executed but basic and not very memorable. There just needs to be a better range of content and more difficult, more interesting holds.
The same goes for the emotional range of the program, which tends to stay at one flat level without many rises and falls. I would like to see them perform conceptual/spiritually-themed work to get away from the awkwardness sexiness (of say a tango) and from the bubbliness that tends not to look mature and is their comfort zone.