Julia: Rarely falls. Skating a program to remember Holocaust victims (movies with this theme do well at the Academy Awards--why wouldn't it work at the Olympics, too?) Spins like a top. In Russia, so has the hometown advantage.
Yuna: To her disadvantage, nobody has seen her much this year. Her short program is not as good as it was 4 years ago. "Send in the Clowns" muzak might not do it for some people. I mean why not "You Light Up My Life?" or "Feelings" if she wants to do ballads of the 70's? Doesn't write anything on the ice. No hometown advantage. Spins like a regular skater--very well, but still more like everyone else.
On the other hand, she is Yuna, so she's still got a chance.
Gracie--seems to be on the move up. If she's clean, she's my frontrunner for bronze.
Carolina--if she doesn't do the hardest jumps, she shouldn't win. And if she skates so fast, tell me why she chooses the slowest possible music. Her speed doesn't come across on tv.
Mao--if she hasn't been hitting the axel lately, as Johnny or Tara said, she's in trouble. Could still podium if she gets it back, but nobody's beating Julia or Yuna.
Adelina--her coach wouldn't even let her skate one leg of the team event. That's not good.
Ashley--she really can't hit that triple/triple, can she? Out of it.
Polina--I could actually see her doing well, oddly enough, but not medal-winning well.
That is acceptable and downright fair. Some judges could rightfully go a bit higher and some a bit lower depending on the day.
Gracie: Has skated four clean programs all season long, I wouldn't cork out the champagne. It could go either way.
Carolina: She does 3Lz, 3F and 3L, harder jumps. And she is very fast, the slow music is because it suits her, just because the music is whizzing around doesn't mean the skater is. She also builds up this speed with three crossovers and edgework, very impressive.
Mao: Watch practice videos...she's been hitting them, just not in the SP. She's a competitor, I wouldn't worry about her ability to do her best on the day. Mao has more fire than people credit her with.
Adelina: Her federation did have a say too you know. And Julia was the obvious choice, the only thing you should worry about is how unfair it is Sotnikova didn't win a gold medal because she wasn't subbed in. In the short program she's beaten Julia in every competition together, and in the free she's not been bad other than Cup of China and GPF. She's hitting her stride, right when she needs to.
Ashley: Her jumps are getting better with Arutunian so maybe wait and see, you're jumping the gun a little here.
Polina: of all the "Others" you're being harshest on the one who has the least chance and crumbled under the least pressure already.
Also as a GOE evaluator, I tend to be pretty picky. So I can see reasoning behind the +2s on everything other than 3S and 3Lz.
Is Julia unbeatable?
The question is a bit misleading; it should have asked whether the ISU will be successful in their quest to crack down the old line-ups represented by Kim, Asada, or Kostner by advocating Julia as a figurehead. This is a war set between the ISU and the those oldies; Julia is a puppet. It is actually the ISU's coup, a soap opera, Haha. How exciting. As apparent in the 2013 Worlds there is no way of the young skaters to catch up with the old line-ups unless the ISU arbitrarily applies the different yardstick. In this context, the question converges on a point whether the ISU eventually is able to knock off Kim by using Julia card; this is not about Julia. But as apparent in the recent Team event, they overstretched; it seems practically undoable unless they turn the judging system upside down. But the ISU's best bet will be Julia's consistency in staying on foot, and Kim's or other skaters' fall, then it will be less embarrassing. The epic battle between the ISU and Kim is now about to unfold. Enjoy the show!
I think if the judges wanted to send the message that Yulia was UNbeatable they would have scored her closer to what Yuna got last year at Worlds. 141 is extremely high but certainly not UNbeatable. However, it does leave Yuna almost no room for error.
If Russia has already bought the gold for Yulia, I won't be devastated. Yuna already has an OGM. I'd be more sad for Kostner and Asada, who are much more "worthy" of that OGM than Yulia.
Interesting take. I think it's more of the ISU signaling higher scores to come next quad. Not so much against just Yuna but more about raising the scores to compete with and eventually surpass Yuna's records. Yuna could skate clean score 142 and Julia gets inflated to 141 again and they make their point and Yuna goes out on top. My prediction is we're going to see scores in the 130's and slowly into the 140's next couple seasons. Bad analogy but not unlike gas prices in regards to slowly trending upward. What's scary is Julia was not clean on her FS which may force judges to uphold the "integrity" of the ISU. What if she goes lights out amazing. how could they score her under 140 Or 145 for that matter. the precedent is there. Julia can skate better than anything shes done yet...its almost surprising if she doesnt given her trends. Julia is on prime position to take advantage and I agree its not even about her or let alone her fault.
Sure, but why can we apply the same reasoning to every other skater? We should be seeing the same increase in GOEs for everyone.So I can see reasoning behind the +2s on everything other than 3S and 3Lz.
Objectively speaking, she is a great skater. I don't think there should be any dispute over that, and I appreciate all the efforts by those who enjoy her skating explaining why she deserves the high score. You know what? If they decide to give out more generous GOEs all of a sudden for the Olympics, that's totally fine with me. Just apply the same yardstick to everyone else and not just to her, okay? Then everyone will be happy.
All these explanations that why Julia deserves all the great GOEs and PCS she's got, even if they are accepted at the face value, what about the other skaters? The ones who used to receive the same or higher PCS and GOEs as her while conducting the exactly same programs during this very season? Gracie? Ashley? Osmond? Even Caro? Do we remember them at all? And see what they got during the team event? I mean, come on.
Maybe ISU decided to go overboard just a tiny bit because they were so enthralled by her performance this time, and maybe they'll never let it happen again and be all equally generous with GOEs? Who's going to bet that's what's going to happen? Combining with generous scores that only seem to apply to the selective few, and this whole drug-testing Canadian athletes selectively thing (which apparently really happened) and sudden drops on PCS on other skaters... Look, if you were skating for Canada or Japan or Korea or whoever, wouldn't you feel slighted and possibly freaked out by the turn of the events? Would you feel that your skating will be judged as equally as possible? Perhaps skating can't be necessarily just based on one performance alone, and reputation and experience do take a great part in it (so I've given up on getting googly eyed at Plushy's scores -- at least he's worked it for this long), but which country you're skating for should not have such a direct and obvious effect on your scores, for god's sake.
Read my post above yours. Maybe it will come
Sure, the ISU signaling that they'll be upping the scores for the next quad? That makes a perfect sense. Then once again, we should've seen an increase in scores for almost everyone who skated well. I'm guessing at least Gracie should've seen some increase in her GOEs. She's also in a prime position to take advantage of this, and nothing would be hurt by ISU to gloom another potential, and Gracie is good. She's got the jump, and she's still more consistent than the rest, and she's young and pretty, and looking to improve. But nope, just Julia.
Whatever. Yuna's got one, so maybe it's not such a big loss for her, but Caro. She's been around for more than a decade, and even with ups and downs, she's always been great, and her actual skating skills at least a league better than all these new phenoms. And Mao? And Akiko? Wow. Just wow.