I would question your assertion that we will "never" know which scenario is the factual one, as a difference between 19 vs 31 would be such a ridiculous spread that it would raise a lot of eyebrows even within the inner circle of the ISU who are privy to the pattern of scoring.
I would think that it is more likely that more judges awarded Adelina higher GOEs than a minority giving unbelievable scoring discrepancies overturning the decision of the majority, especially when there are 9 judges and the highest and lowest scores are thrown out.
Either there was cheating and the 3 judges cheated so blatantly, ridiculously and obviously they didn't mind standing out and getting caught, or there was a more even distribution of scores, with a majority giving Adelina a slightly higher score.
One scenario is much more likely and probable than the other.
In case you weren't watching, one skater who had never been a world medalist or won any major senior ISU competition toppled over herself and giggled at her stumble, and managed to handily beat one of the greatest of all time, who delivered a flawless routine. The outcome was so unlikely and unacceptable, that millions of people signed petitions, countless articles were written in various languages calling the competition a scandal, and there has been a large outcry against the ISU and to get rid of Cinquanta. It was pointed out that one of the judges was convicted of cheating in the past, but reinstated because that's only considered a minor violation in figure skating. Another of the judges hugged Sotnikova in plain view of cameras upon her win, and so did one of the technical callers too. Many fans and media mocked and wondered aloud, what kind of conflict of interest is that?
But the ISU refused to even acknowledge a controversy, so when you say...
...I can't help but laugh when you preface that statement as if it's something from the theater of the absurd.Either there was cheating and the 3 judges cheated so blatantly, ridiculously and obviously they didn't mind standing out and getting caught
I have to agree with Yesway, this topic is so tiring! No one will acknowlegede the other side's opinion anyways. So why waste time?
Uh well, Ven just said articles were written, which is true---and you said only a handful of outspoken shills opposed Adelina's win, which is certainly a mischaracterisation.
One judge really did give Adelina a total of 31 in GOE points (before factoring, etc.) One judge gave the same skater, for the same performance, a total of 15.
For Kim, one judge awarded 27 points and another 16.
Here are two different explanations for these wide discrepancies.
Explanation number one. One judge gave Adelina 31 and Yuna 16. This judge thought that Adelina was great and Yuna not nearly so good. Another judge was of the opposite persuasion. He gave Adelina 15 and Kim 27.
Explanation number two. Both judges thought that the contest was close. The first judge was generous across the board, giving Adelina 31 and Yuna 27. The other judge was uniformly stingier, giving Adelina 15 and Yuna 16.
Which explanation (if either) is correct? We cannot tell from the protocols. As for the hope that the ISU would undertake an internal investigation and pass out sanctions, no. The procedure for deciding when "discrepancies are so large as to raise eyebrows" is quite carefully defined in ISU Communication 1631. None of these scores is sufficiently outside the "corridor" as to constitute an "anomaly" under the judges' review procedures.
There are lots of ways of matching the judges -- 362,880 if no two judges gave the same marks. In the case of Mao versus Caro, all matchings produce the same result in terms of majority of ordinals. In the case of Kim versus Sotnikova, some matchings go one way, some the other.
However, you are *assuming* the most extreme scenario in your hypothesis, a difference of 12 points in (1), and then claim that the probability of that happening is *THE SAME* as a more plausible scenario, that judges awarding them a difference of 3-5 points in (2), in explaining Adelina's win.
That to me is a rather forced strawman to argue that the judges could have cheated technically.
By definition, cheating is a stealth act, your worst assumption would have put those 3 judges waaaay out there in terms of judging anomaly in comparison to the others, an anomaly that would immediately place these (1) judges in an unwanted spotlight, i.e. equivalent to the cheats shining a spotlight on themselves, a risk that would be too great to take for any rational cheat attempting to get away with an act of cheating.
In (1), the majority judged that Yuna skated better, but it comes at the price of extremely questionable allocation of points by 3 cheating judges, to the tune of awarding a difference of 10-12 points advantage to Adelina, and hoping that they would get away with it, in a sort of twisted pretzel logic.
In (2), the majority judged that Adelina skated better, with 2 dissenting judges giving an advantage of 1 point to Yuna, which indicates they thought Adelina skated almost as well as Yuna.
The two are not at all equivalent in probability. Occam's Razor favors (2).