I don't even like Tosca, but saying it deserved a 5.0 for being empty is funny when presentation is not just about choreography or transitions, it's also about interpretation, skating skills, line, overall impression, etc. Then again, that was the same competition where Cohen received a 6.0 with a fall..
There is nothing wrong with Mao!! She won 3 world titles, Olympic silver and countless GP medals enough to build a building. Its sport, and sometime you win and sometime you lost. All have good day and bad day, and unfortunately her worst day come during her olympic short program. Its life and clearly Mao had redeemed herself and moved on. She left a legacy in Japan and figure skating history.
Since figure skating is a subjective sport, there will always be taking sides and biasing judging.
Using the same argumention as you, technical merit is not only about jumps but also spins, spirals, steps and skating skills. Slutskaya had much better spins than Kwan in terms of speed and difficulty of the positions, better footwork (particularly in the short program) and was much faster. Even if they both had landed the same number of triples in the long, Slutskaya's jumps were still of better quality - higher and fully rotated. But in fact, Michelle fell on one triple so your assertion that they landed the same number of triples is invalid. Moreover, Michelle's triple flip in the SP was half a turn short which should have placed her behind the top three after the short. This event was as unjust as 2014 Olympics were. The only difference is that in 2002 Russian skater was robbed of the gold and the American unjustly won. On the other hand, in 2014 the Russian skater had it much easier to win.
I love Mao Asada. The inconsistency she had was caused by the bad technique she had been taught and the fact that she had to go back to the drawing board and relearn it. Then her mother died, too. But she managed to regain her jumps and win the third World title and many other titles as well.
The irony of Scheherazade's choreography often being bashed is that Cohen changed the end of her lp at the Olympics to look like Kwan's (adding the 2 split jumps) while Kwan actually ended up taking that out to perform the extra triple toe. You can also see multiple instances in Yuna's Scheherazade program that are clearly choreographically influenced by Kwan's version as well..
Except that I never argued that Kwan should have won over Slutskaya. You're confusing another poster's comments with mine. And actually Kwan did land 6 triples like Slutskaya. She added a triple toe at the end after two-footing a triple toe and falling on the flip. Irina had a step out on a combination, a two-foot landing on another jump, then landed extremely forward (close to falling) on a third jump. Again, I was never the one arguing that Kwan should've beat Slutskaya. I just don't agree with your assertion that Slutskaya and Cohen were miles ahead technically. Btw, Slutskaya was noticeably slower than usual in the lp, so much so that even Bezic mentioned it. And at this pre-COP competition, Slutskaya's only really harder spin was the double Biellman at the end.Using the same argumention as you, technical merit is not only about jumps but also spins, spirals, steps and skating skills. Slutskaya had much better spins than Kwan in terms of speed and difficulty of the positions, better footwork (particularly in the short program) and was much faster. Even if they both had landed the same number of triples in the long, Slutskaya's jumps were still of better quality - higher and fully rotated. But in fact, Michelle fell on one triple so your assertion that they landed the same number of triples is invalid. Moreover, Michelle's triple flip in the SP was half a turn short which should have placed her behind the top three after the short. This event was as unjust as 2014 Olympics were. The only difference is that in 2002 Russian skater was robbed of the gold and the American unjustly won. On the other hand, in 2014 the Russian skater had it much easier to win.
As for the sp, Kwan under-rotated her flip while Cohen didn't complete the pattern in her footwork sequence. In the lp, Kwan landed 2 combination jumps while Cohen fell on one of her combos so she ended up with only 1.
I would not call that an example of purposeful underscoring. Judging in 2007-08 was probably the stingiest it has ever been under CoP, not just for Mao. Mao got barely 60 PCS at Worlds that season (and Yuna scored 58.56), and Yuna's two best LPs couldn't crack 61. Carolina, today's so-called PCS queen, was actually getting lower PCS than them. Basically everyone was judged like Lipnitskaya at Skate Canada.
Again, it seems to me that the same pattern of underscoring happened in Sochi and at World's 2010, where it fortunately made no difference. The comments below the video of her 2010 World's LP are really heated with most agreeing that she was underscored. The announcers, including Tara Lipinski, were obviously a lot more impressed than the judges. I disagree with people who say she skated too slowly because the music is heavy, brooding and ominous and the stealthy slowness builds the suspense and tension wonderfully. Here is the video with Lipinski's commentary
Here is a better copy with no commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCwCo3GID2E
This is an HD copy of her Bells performance at Japanese Nationals where she skated really welll:
One thing that really impresses me that I haven't heard mentioned is how Mao gracefully cups her black-gloved against her chest during the one handed Biellmann at the end.
Another one of my favorite programs is Mao's 2011 Liebestraum LP at 4CC's. The PCS is between 62 and 63. Again, it seems low to me, especially with her beautiful balletic twirling motions .
Here is that performance in HD:
I grew up with artistic merit under the 6.0 system under which I believe Mao's elegance and sophistication would be rewarded more generously and her jumps wouldn't have been analyzed so microscopically. To me, slow mo analysis seems a bit excessive, especially when the tech crew can target based on perceived reputation. I think the skaters should at least have access to appeal the decision to the judges. As it is, the slow mo is mainly punitive.
Mao's incredible flexibility on her spins and spirals with simultaneous serpentine motions and arcs gliding across the ice, her magnificent step sequences, her extensions, her beautiful wave-like flowing motion and innate musicality seem to me to be shortchanged. To me generally, PCS seems to be based mainly on speed and reputation and used as place holders with an emphasis on heavily dramatized gestures and smiles instead of more subtle, natural expression like Mao's. Not that dramatic gestures are bad; I just prefer Mao's style. For most of her career, I just don't see that her artistry was rewarded like it should be under COP. However, I do think she received a reasonable PCS score in her 2014 World's LP.
Since you brought up Lipnitskaya, she is quite good but whatever she didn't get at Skate Canada was given back with interest in the Olympics, and her score at World's 2014 was in my opinion overly generous: 207 with a fall: Mao's best all-time score without a fall going into Worlds at the NHK in 2013. This just doesn't seem just. Again in my opinion, relative to Lipnitsakaya, Mao was underscored at both the Olympics and Worlds, and Mao's jumps are definitely higher. Mao had no points off in the World's SP with most jumps getting +1 or higher, then -11 points in the LP, even though both were magnificent performances- with the exception of one missed triple after a step out on the double axel in the LP, which she covered up wonderfully. A Tale of Two different Tech Crews I guess.
The SP scoring, which was an am bar assent to the sport, is how she got denied the OGM.
It's history, now.
Hope Mao is doing well. And getting some much needed rest. Much respect for her actually dedicating herself to the sport full time the way she did.
Her physique changed and she has been practicing bad technique which seems to have stuck. The latter being a shame really, because I really like Mao.
Her LP was slow and mechanical, without even skating clean. I have her 4th there. Kwan's program had far better choreography and interpretation (the people who rag on her Scheherazade are really missing something) and Cohen's program displayed superior interpretation as well.
The ranking system of 6.0 is pretty dumb anyway, though. Everyone who was top 7 in the SP skated well and should have possibly had a chance at the Gold. In this respect CoP has it right. Hughes blew the competition away in the LP and deserved the Gold. Her SP was good enough.