For Javier, I think the campy playful acting style is very much inline with his fun and at times musical theater flirty fun personality. It will entertain for sure. Importantly, I think the structure and pacing is very very clever as the placement of his money-jumps allows him the kind of rest that a more over-the-top dramatic or full-body requiring choreography would demand. It is fractions of a second and moments to sip more oxygen that will fuel the success or hit rate on the elements that equal points. That is where the leverage is in the men's side of the sport right now. This program is designed smart. Being able to pull it off so successfully so early in the season only bodes well in my book. Kudos for the choreographers actually for engineering a program that he can succeed with. To be clear, I do not see it as any masterpiece for the ages. I just smile as I see how 'smart' it is.
ISU has been itching for a skater like Fernandez to renew interest in the sport. A skater from an atypical skating country with excellent tech content, i.e. who can land 3 quads a la Goebel but still have good artistry. Sounds familiar, eh Yu Na?
And yes it is somewhat true with the current standard of judging, but not completely. Either way, Fernandez has not yet reached the same level as the very top elite, and his PCS will not be as held up. He needs the Chaplin program to do it. PCS are trending higher and higher. Patrick Chan could be getting 95 in PCS if he skates really well and others can be nearly that high too. Fernandez getting 85-87 range won't cut it. With a great performance of the Chaplin program he should be capable of 90-92. That could be enough to beat Patrick, since Fernandez's extra Quad gives him the technical advantage.
In the Olympics especially the judges are very sensitive about rewarding someone they feel would be a "proper" champion. They will not look upon Fernandez as someone who should win Olympic Gold if he keeps this program.
Fernandez has reached a similar level of the very top elite.. his PCS at Euros 2013 was 89.42, which is higher than Plushenko got in Euros 2012 for a perfect skate. Neither has the skating skills and intricate choreography of a Chan or the artistry of a Takahashi, but they're certainly in the same ball park. As you said, the 3 quads FS essentially closes the gap between Fernandez and Chan, and particularly if Fernandez were to do 2 quads in his SP he would have an even better chance to win.
I think if Fernandez were to hit all 3 quads and a perfect skate, and Chan or the others were to have errors, it wouldn't matter how "proper" Fernandez's program was, he'd still win gold (or at least the FS) based on TES scores and his PCS at least being 89-90 points. I mean, look at Totmianina/Marinin... one of the worst (IMO) pairs programs to ever win, but they were the cleanest and other favourites made errors, so even though their program wasn't the greatest, it still deserved gold.
The bottom line is that you want to get as many points as you can and Fernandez with the Chaplin program can get about 5 more points in PCS. It's not a super high chance that Fernandez will deliver any LP perfectly to begin with. He is attempting so much content and doubling out on a jump or having a step-out is simply bound to happen. You want to give yourself every opportunity possible. What's the point in going with a clearly inferior program during an Olympic year?
His PCS dropped at worlds 2013 already too, although his mistakes were popped jumps and nothing that really disturbed his performances. So agreed to Fernandez not getting PCS based on name alone.Originally Posted by Blades of Passion
And his PCS really were relativly low for what he put out at JO (and I was actually under the impression that his skating skills, speed and smoothness had improved since last season, which should have his PCS rise rather than decline). So yes, his PCS here should be a little bit of a warning sign to his team, that his program is definitly not as good as it shoud/could be. Maybe they are still planing to add and change some things, at least that's what I'm hoping for, since I can't really see Fernandez going back to his old program. I definitly wouldn't mind, but he just doesn't looke like someone who would recycle an old program to me...
For the reputation-PCS discussion, I guess some really outstanding consistency could still get Fernandez up into the top PCS group. If he'd skate really good at his GPs, win the GPF and Euros with great performances, then I'm pretty sure clean skates would get him huge PCS in Sochi, no matter what program he skates. Maybe even enough to rival Chan. But that's a huge if.
Theoretically there's nothing wrong with repeat your greatest hits since the main objectives is to maximize the chance of winning. In doing so, you excuse yourself from learning new interpretations as part of the routine in order to focus entirely on the COP content based on tried and tested formulas. However personally I watch skating for the thrills, the excitement and unpredictability and always looking to be surprised. I enjoy watching talented skaters progress and evolve, to see how they mature and advance and push beyond themselves year after year... and on super rare occasions- manage to reach transcendence (which imo is more important than a gold medal). Many seems to have disregarded Ashley's R&J program this year for the unfamiliar music cut, but I am actually excited by the potential of it. It is a program that gives enough room for her to breathe and develop her own unique expressions and improve her artistry. A ponderous piece is hardly a bad thing for someone like Ashley ... it is when you have a program that is challenging, you get to push and develop as a performer, and assuming you are up to the task, the audience will be rewarded with something deeper and even more satisfying if you are successful. I fully expect the program to grow as the season progresses. It is about filling the gaps, as oppose to spoon feed audience with familiar master pieces of expected highs and lows with ready built instructions and expected emotions. To some, pile on the butter, salt and cheese may makes a tasty dish, for me, personally i prefer some thought and processing behind the dish, consider the occasional alternatives of seasonal organic vegetables, maybe char-grilled, brushed lightly with best olive oil from Tuscany. May be served with a bit of chef made sauce and FRESH herb to complement the secret seasoning. No FROZEN ready made meals for me thanks, it is not even worth my 5 mins in the microwave. (I may make an exception for Abbott though, due to the previous under cooked factor.) Oh yeah... all the food puns are created just for you CarneAsada.
Most audiences may be more satisfied with the crowd pleasing/spoon feeding/instant gratification type familiar delivery (I am thinking Kostner's signature hip/eyebrow wiggling; I fully expect her poseography/winking/flirting to return with a vengeance, likely at her SP, I will even put a tenner on it!) likely to thunderous woohoos from the largely European crowd...how predictable, how artistic, how Lori Nichols
Although in theory COP is suppose to reward things like interpretation, choreography and such. In reality, I'd argue these are rarely marked accurately when the the depth of difficulty and the level of improvement between difficult/simple music edits /rhythm changes, choreography, depth of realization, improvement from previous / comfort zones are never accounted for, that is why skaters repeat old programs or stick to the same formulas. Just like elements are graded according to levels, I'd argue choice of music/musical interpretation and choreography should be given levels too or at least the judges should be aware of the differences. Under this system, it is entirely upon judge's own discretion (Yes I am still gutted for V&M's Carmen.) to reward qualities that is most important in art 'authenticity, originality, creativity, transcendence' and their aptitude of reading musicality and choreography movements to make good assessment of how to reward more complex, sophisticated and challenging piece of music/interpretations properly as oppose to a tick list system. Since music affects overall performance, timing, choreography, interpretation as well as the ability to demonstrate skating skills to the music.
For me, the original R&J will go down as one of the greatest men's program ever because precious qualities Hanyu were able to display at his age that can not be taught. It was unpredictable, unexpected and simply inspired. Even if he is to replicated the same choreography today, he might have scored higher due to reputation, and expect the expected, but I am not sure how will I feel about it, since it won't be fresh like the first time. If he repeat the old R&J, he'd be repeating 2 programs back to back exactly!! As such I won't recommend it, but I can see why some would love to see it return. I'd be curious how much his old coach has influenced over the delivery of that program, and whether it was his or her choreographic intentions, but there are certainly qualities that is missing from his programs since. A sense of freedom, abandonment and even recklessness that makes him such an exiting skater to root for.
In any case I have learnt enough to know the my favourite programs don't always win unfortunately, many factors goes into the judging on the day and over a season. There's no right or wrong way to do it, just depends entirely on the competition, environment, judges and the politics. (... and dare I say a lil bit/lot of luck.) The Olympics is a funny thing, as such I am not counting out on Plushy's tribute to himself just yet... after all, it is in the Grrreat Russia rePublic.
It's funny about the recycling. Even the somewhat regular fans aren't all that aware. For sure the general once every four years fan has NO idea, so the concept of bringing forth a program which one can wear like a comfortable glove and has proven to be well received seems a very legitimate strategy. Especially when the real mental energy that matters is being put to nailing some quads. The more the better (kind of sadly).