Ashley and Gracie went to last year's Worlds with an almost insurmountable task, which was to get 3 spots for the US Ladies for Sochi. They both had to be at the top of their game and couldn't afford any big mistake.
And they delivered.
I don't consider myself a particular fan of Gold as I'm more touched by others' programs (for the upcoming US Nationals: Wagner, Gao). I just have huge respect for what she achieved when it really mattered. (I still think her and Ashley's LP are boring and uninspired and hope Ashley takes Black Swan back for the OG!)
I don't get the huge hype that Gold got, neither the huge backlash she got this season. To me, she's just a talented junior with big jumps and a long way to go artistically. At this age, inconsistencies are normal despite how frustrating they must be to her, and certainly not her deliberate personal attack on viewers.
I think Gracie, and Frank's goal here is to make the team. Winning should not be the priority right now. Top two go to Sochi and that's all that matters.
If you ever search "Gracie Gold" on other social media, you'll see what I mean about people disliking her personally. It's ridiculous, IMO, to blame the hype on HER. She doesn't manufacture it, and she doesn't control it. Sooner or later, I think she'll gain the consistency she needs.
Well, I haven't seen her skate since November so I don't know how much progress she made or how it's going, but I think her main priority is getting on the team and I'm sure Gracie and Frank are going to do just that but winning nationals? I'm not too sure but we'll see.
Hopefully she'll be ready with her new short program in time for nationals. Everyone knows Gracie has a lot of inherent talent as a skater...her skating skills are good and seem to come rather naturally to her. The problem with Gracie is that everything about her presentation comes off as somewhat fake and uninspired. Her arm movements are just that...arm movements. They don't come from within or seem to express anything other than "gee, this will make my back crossovers look more elegant." She needs to work on developing as an artist. Her jumps are good when she's on, but another problem with Gracie is she just doesn't seem to have the mental toughness to make her jumps happen consistently. She's like Sasha Cohen without the artistry.
I have to agree with Wootie. To me, Gracie's skating doesn't seem genuine. There's something very pageant-like about her skating that does come off as insincere and kinda fake to me. I'm sure there are many who disagree but, to me, her skating has a manufactured feel to it. None of it seems to come from within her. I think that's b/c she has had so many people pulling her this way and that and, I'm guessing, she has close to zero say when it comes to who she is on the ice, especially this year. Her team has turned her over to Frank & Co. and he is controlling her now. Yes, this is good b/c Frank knows how to groom a champion...but I get the image of Gracie standing there as people buzz around her constantly putting stuff on her (clothing, makeup, hair, etc.) and then yanking it off, rushing to find the perfect combination before shoving her out onto the stage with only seconds to spare. In the end Gracie looks nice and improved, but she's plastic...she's been manufactured to look a certain way and skate certain way in a short amount of time, and it shows.
Her new SP is a perfect example. Yes, she looks nice and the choreography is nice and she even pulls it off okay...but to me, it's a plastic program, manufactured by Frank & Co. b/c that's what they know the judges want to see despite the fact it's not who Gracie is.
For example, it'd be different if Gracie were like Michelle Kwan. Michelle's Salome transformation was forced (by Frank & Co. no less) b/c she needed to be noticed by the judges. But the difference in the situation was Michelle was inherently graceful and lyrical. Even with her puffy sleeves and bouncy pontail in 1995, you could see it in her movements. It was already there; it just needed to be polished and presented in a mature way.
Gracie OTOH is not inherently graceful or lyrical. She's too stiff and she lacks the effortlessness and fluidity needed to float with the music...and I can see that in her delivery. I expected Frank to embrace Gracie's power and speed and build a program around that rather than slow her down and force her into that lyrical box. That's not to say she can't develop into a lyrical skater, but she's not being given the time to develop. They gave her a "Lyrical Skating 101" crash course and then tossed her out there. She's doing the movements and everything but it's b/c that's what was rehearsed; not b/c she actually understands or feels what she's doing. At least that's how it looks to me.
That's why I can't seem to connect with Gracie. I'm not buying the image they're trying to sell me b/c I can see through it.
I'll be interested to see what Frank has done for Gracie. I get the impression that she didn't have a great working relationship with her former coach and maybe that was part of her seeming less than genuine at times.Hopefully she is much happier with her current training situation. I'm wondering if maybe her lack of artistry was due, in part, to not feeling comfortable with her training situation and all of the changes she underwent this season. While she isn't the most artistic skater, she chose Marina Zoueva (spelling????) to choreograph at least 1 routine this year. I think that shows that she is aware of her weakness and is confronting it rather than simply trying to hide it. Great move in an Olympic year, maybe not, but I applaud her for taking on all these changes if she felt that was what was needed. I hope Frank is able to keep her as calm as possible at nationals despite the pressure and she is able to enjoy the experience.
The new SP Lori choreographed of course looked "plastic" at the Disson show because it was new! She hadn't had time to really *get into* it yet. I suspect in the time between her last Gp and Nationals, she's worked on connecting with the program and consistency. FWIW, Gold LOVES the athletic side of the sport (jumping, spinning, and going as fast as possible) and has slowly tried to embrace the artistic side. She'll get there.
Foreverfish: Haven't seen your posts in many months. Welcome back.
I was hoping they'd take a "work with what you have now" approach this season as opposed to the "3-month rushed makeover into something completely different" approach they have taken.
I hope that Lori has made some tweaks to Gracie's FS as well. It became evident on the GP that the current layout wasn't working for her, and it wasn't garnering the points that it should have been. At least Frank C knows how to package and present a skater who's previously been all over the place ... and I agree that it isn't Gracie's fault, but rather the fault of her team up to this point. She knows that she doesn't have the musical versatility of Mao or Yuna, so it would be best to find her a niche (at least for now) where she's comfortable skating and can turn out relatively clean performances on a consistent basis.
Thank you. It's good to be back.Foreverfish: Haven't seen your posts in many months. Welcome back.