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Thread: Grand Prix Final Preview: Seniors

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    Prechat Grand Prix Final Preview: Seniors

    Tatjana Flade has created a brief preview for the upcoming Grand Prix Final!

    What are your thoughts? What would you add? What do you agree or disagree with?

    Last edited by gsk8; 12-01-2019 at 03:29 PM.

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    Tripping on the Podium IndiaP12's Avatar
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    Grand Prix Final Preview: Seniors

    Ok but since when did Anna Shcherbakova have SUBTLE expression? She even skates to classical musical and is more expressive than Kostornaya. I stg people don’t even bother to watch her properly apart from her quads. Kostornaya is only expressive in the end of her FS because it’s like rock music or sth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IndiaP12 View Post
    Ok but since when did Anna Shcherbakova have SUBTLE expression? She even skates to classical musical and is more expressive than Kostornaya. I stg people don’t even bother to watch her properly apart from her quads. Kostornaya is only expressive in the end of her FS because it’s like rock music or sth.
    I think they meant subtle expression as a compliment...the wording is open to interpretation but I take “subtle” to mean less “theatrical” and more “natural” (ie she isn’t making gestures or facial expressions to indicate a character in the music and more letting her body flow with the tempo of the song). Like in her Firebird when she “transforms” and the music picks up, she has the costume changes but also ups her performance energy to show she has strength and power to the audience, which is more natural than a gesture like flexing muscles to show “I’m strong!”. In contrast, I’d consider Hubbell and Donahue to be an example of “theatrical” interpretation with the winking and pointing they do to sell the flirty vibe they are going for. I don’t think “subtle” was a dig at her, more like a way to say natural movement with the music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leelee425 View Post
    I think they meant subtle expression as a compliment... I don’t think “subtle” was a dig at her, more like a way to say natural movement with the music.
    Exactly. Thank you!

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    Tripping on the Podium IndiaP12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leelee425 View Post
    I think they meant subtle expression as a compliment...the wording is open to interpretation but I take “subtle” to mean less “theatrical” and more “natural” (ie she isn’t making gestures or facial expressions to indicate a character in the music and more letting her body flow with the tempo of the song). Like in her Firebird when she “transforms” and the music picks up, she has the costume changes but also ups her performance energy to show she has strength and power to the audience, which is more natural than a gesture like flexing muscles to show “I’m strong!”. In contrast, I’d consider Hubbell and Donahue to be an example of “theatrical” interpretation with the winking and pointing they do to sell the flirty vibe they are going for. I don’t think “subtle” was a dig at her, more like a way to say natural movement with the music.
    Ok, good. It could mean either way.

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    The Men's capsule commentaries are pretty spot on and very helpful for the more casual fan. I might mention Aymoz is known for his musicality and emotional expressiveness. Same with Pairs--it's lucid and on point. Ice Dance, well... So much of it comes down to taste. What your reviewer called S/K's SD "delightful" strikes me as overly manic and lacking in charm. Or that their FD has been called "boring" by a number of participants here. I found this section tended to rely more on such cliched hoary phrases as "the Canadian silver medalists have gone through many ups and downs and have faced tough challenges." So has my Mom. I would be more likely to note that Piper and Paul have successfully mediated their previous penchant for quirkiness with a more accessible approach. Just a thought. Oh, and the scoring summaries for Chock and Bates' GP performances is missing. I don't follow the women closely enough to comment on the summaries.

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    I liked the preview on all disciplines. It was obvious that there was more to mention about some athletes/couples than others, but I thought especially the Pairs was spot on. I am hoping for Sui/Han to finally get a GPF title, but of course they still have to skate and ice is slippery. And Alexandra and Dmitrii are very close (and also very good). I'm very much looking forward to the pairs event especially....

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    Overall I think this is a great preview, the author really broke down most of the strengths and weaknesses and how the season has progressed for most skaters, especially for the singles, even listing the quads they are capable of. If I were to add anything I might say for ice dance, 1st seems like a lock but I do think 2-6 will basically be decided by which teams get their levels especially in the pattern of the rhythm dance. The judges seem split on which team they like best (outside the French) and as someone pointed out what divides the rest seems to be mostly personal taste. For example Chock and Bates beat reigning silver medalists Sinitsina and Katsalapov in their free dance in China, which was a bit of a surprise, but the judges love a snake dance! However, despite the enormous score in the free it wasn’t enough for Chock and Bates to win because they missed levels on their pattern dance.

    I would say something that stuck out for me about Boikova and Kovlovskii is that they’ve been the only pair to be clean all season! No wonder they have really risen up the ranks as quickly as they have, clean dependable skating and those interesting Moskvina transitions and lifts. It’s proving to be a winning combination so far. All the other teams struggled with cleanliness, especially on the sbs jumps, including veteran favorites Sui and Han.

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    It's a positive and balanced analysis - I read through pairs and ladies. There are just 2 things that I don't fully agree with.

    In pairs I would not say that M/G style is much more juniorish than that of B/K. The latter have a long way to go to rise to the level of smoothness and overall excellence of V/T and even T/M. But B/K not only skate without mistakes, they jump, and spin in sync. This is something I have not seen since V/T. T/M could not get to this level of consistency no matter with whom they worked and work. This amazing execution is the most striking thing about B/K. If they develop the "it" factor and keep their consistency they can become the GOAT.

    In ladies speaking about Alina's URs I would not pass Bradie's URs. That there was one particular competition SA when she somehow managed to escape her usual calls does not reflect the reality. And overall, in the review like that I would stay clear of UR and edge topic especially this season when there has been so much controversy.

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    I enjoyed the summary analysis, but this here being figure skating I am not discounting an impossible outcome that might propel one of my favourites to the podium or to a gold medal. I think it is a great final by comp alone & the programs that will be performed, but the surprises might make it even more enjoyable.

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    Nice summary by Tatjana Flade. I appreciated how she strived for objectivity, and highlighted each skater’s strengths and weaknesses. I also appreciated the fact that she compiled the performance statistics for each skater from challenger series and Grand Prix events. I wasn’t planning to do any statistical analyses for the final due to time constraints, but her helpful minitables made data entry easy and straightforward, and since I was among those who received a private invitation to comment in this thread, I thought I would spend a couple of hours trying to be a good Goldenskate citizen, and add some number crunching and data visualization to the discussion. My analysis is intended to supplement Tatjana’s analysis, which contains a lot of qualitative aspects that the statistical analyses can’t adequately capture.

    Data visualizations are constructed as follows. Each graph contains 6 columns corresponding to the 6 qualified skaters (x-axis). The y-axis displays the competition scores. For each skater, the light-colored dots indicate the scores for each segment (SP, FS), and total, in chronological order for each event. The light lines represent time-series trends. The darker-colored squares and bars are averages for each segment and total, with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (assuming scores are drawn form a normal distribution with observed mean, that a skater’s SP and FS performances are independent of one another, and therefore the variance for total score equals the sum of the segment variances). The red arrows give the observed potential range, that is, the range of possible scores from the total score the skater would receive if they were to deliver their worst SP and worst FS of the season, all the way to the score they would receive if they delivered the combination of the best SP and best FS they have shown in the season so far (tip of the arrow).

    Caveats: (1) The lack of score intercomparability across events (technical panels more lenient/stricter, some skaters benefitted from homescoring while others did not); (2) For the 95% confidence intervals, if the distributional assumptions above do not hold, they lack reliability (hence the addition of the observed potential range as an alternative measure of dispersion); (3) Too few datapoints, so averages, time trends, variability etc. should be treated with due caution.

    The results:

    MEN (graph at indicated link)

    https://github.com/IcyMathStats/GPF2.../GPF19_Men.pdf

    Hanyu has the best prospects to win based on his season so far. He started with a challenger performance well below his abilities early in the season, was stellar at Skate Canada, but didn’t match that performance at NHK. Still, even factoring in his weakest (uncharacteristic) performance, his average across 3 events is still higher than Chen’s combination of best SP and best FS scores so far. Chen only had two events with remarkably close scores (very low variance, 95% CI barely visible on the graph), but if he doesn’t improve his technical scores, his best so far can only help him win gold if Hanyu performs at approx. one standard deviation below his mean. Chen definitely has the technical arsenal to beat Hanyu (and has done that more than once), but given the way things have unfolded so far, Hanyu has the edge to win GPF. That said, Chen has a guaranteed silver with the combination of worst SP and worst FS so far, even if all of the remaining 4 skaters deliver their best SPs and FSs of the season. These 4 skaters can then be in any order on the podium; their 95% CIs and observed potential ranges overlap substantially. If everyone skates at their best so far in the season, the bronze goes to Jin, with Samarin, Aliev, and Aymoz placing 4th, 5th, and 6th, respectively. Samarin has shown improvement over time in the FS, but not in the SP, while Jin had a good challenger event, a dip a Skate America (could have been a fluke like a jet lag?), and an amazing recovery at Cup of China. These are the two strongest contenders for the bronze, but they are also the skaters that have exhibited highest score variability during the season.


    LADIES (graph at indicated link)

    https://github.com/IcyMathStats/GPF2...F19_Ladies.pdf

    The fight for the gold is between Kostornaia and Trusova. Their averages are very close, and there’s a lot of overlap in their 95% CIs and observed potential ranges; Kostornaia’s combination of best SP and best FS is better than Trusova’s combination of best SP and best FS of the season, while Kostoraia’s combination of worst SP and worst FS of the season is worse than the corresponding combination for Trusova. Trusova’s potential best is only roughly 5 points behind Kostornaia’s potential best, which means that Trusova can win over a clean Kostornaia with either a landed 4S or a landed 3A (and no fall on the 3Lz3Lo combo, or substituting that with the more stable 3Lz3T); if she does both she should win by a good margin. However, her success rate with the 4S hasn’t been very high (either in competition or practice), and the 3A would be a new element that she never attempted in competition over the past 2-3 years, so I gave Kostornaia the edge in the predictions. With no lutzes or quads in the program, Kihira can only get silver if she skates at her best while Kostornaia skates at her worst. She is approx. 10 points behind Kostornaia’s and Trusova’s best potential performances, so in order to challenge for gold or silver she would need to incorporate both two 3Lz and a 4S in her program. On the other hand, a new layout could be risky, and it may cost her the bronze. Sherbakova at her best observed potential combination is below Trusova’s worst and roughly at Kostornaia’s worst, and she has yet to deliver both a clean SP and a clean FS in the same competition. Her two best actual performances are below Kihira’s two best. So Kihira has the edge over Scherbakova to win the bronze. Zagitova has shown the highest variability of all ladies; at her best she could get bronze if both Kihira and Scherbakova deliver performances below their season averages so far, but she is relying on others to make mistakes in order to podium. Bradie Tennell has delivered solid performances in her two GP events, but she will need to upgrade the technical content in order to be a podium contender; still, being the only US lady to qualify for GPF in a long time is an impressive achievement.


    I will try to do similar analyses for the other two events, time permitting.

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    I didn't realize Bradie and Alina had scored so closely this season on the Grand Prix. The American is definitely within striking distance, but it will come down to edge and rotation calls.

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    Bradie is more fun to watch. Better programs. Mentioned last Tatiana seemed to have not much to say about a very complete skater. Well she may surprise you Tatiana.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Bradie is more fun to watch. Better programs. Mentioned last Tatiana seemed to have not much to say about a very complete skater. Well she may surprise you Tatiana.
    I believe she just went in descending order of average score this season.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Thanks for the articles! And a reminder that the JGPF is not on Sports Gold, so all the junior events will be viewable on the ISU livestream!!!


    I am so looking forward to seeing what happens in places 2-6 in senior dance and all of the dance juniors!!

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    Thank you for the analysis, and pairs analysis would be so lovely!

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    Thanks for the previews and for the quick summaries in the OP. I found the table of scores for each of the participants to be very helpful as a reminder of the GP season.

    Between this and Golden Spin we will have quite the skating weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I didn't realize Bradie and Alina had scored so closely this season on the Grand Prix. The American is definitely within striking distance, but it will come down to edge and rotation calls.
    if mistakes are made by both skaters, i don’t think the judges will throw Bradie a lifeline in the form of high goe and overly generous pcs like they will Alina. However if Bradie is mostly clean and sharp, and Alina messy and struggling with jumps, then Bradie should be able to overtake her. I can’t believe I’m out here rooting for Bradie Tennell, but her improvement can not be denied

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    Stats analysis for pairs now added to my GitHub repository at lariko’s request.

    Link to graph: https://github.com/IcyMathStats/GPF2...PF19_Pairs.pdf

    For methodology and how to interpret the graph, please refer to post #11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evasorange View Post
    if mistakes are made by both skaters, i don’t think the judges will throw Bradie a lifeline in the form of high goe and overly generous pcs like they will Alina. However if Bradie is mostly clean and sharp, and Alina messy and struggling with jumps, then Bradie should be able to overtake her. I can’t believe I’m out here rooting for Bradie Tennell, but her improvement can not be denied
    Free Skate:
    GP France - Alina's messy FS she got a TES of 68.85 and PCS of 72.97
    GP USA - Bradie with a clean FS at home got a TES of 71.88 and PCS of 69.16

    So at home with a clean FS Bradie was still almost 4 points behind Zagitova's PCS on a messy skate.

    Short Programs:
    GP USA - Bradie with a clean SP at home got a TES of 41.33 and PCS of 33.77
    GP Japan - Alina had a bad skate got a TES of 31.15 and PCS of 35.69

    Yet again at home with a clean SP Bradie's PCS was several points lower than a messy Zagitova. Zagitova has messy skates but rarely does she have both a SP and FS that are disasters at the same competition and frankly that's what Bradie needs because the judges aren't knocking Zagitova's PCS down for bad skates.

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