2020-21 U.S. Men's Figure Skating

lariko

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Loved Chen (sorry, the rest of the thread), but it’s Hiwatashi who’s my fav from what videos I found... only 3 top skaters so far. I love his style and those splits, and I hope States will have some sort of streaming to see the SkAm. I assume most of the skaters will be in it.
 

el henry

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When I win the lottery I will endow the Toller Cranston Trophy for best men‘s Russian splits. And I will enter only Jason and Tomoki and I will watch and be a happy camper:D

on a more realistic note, I do hope Andrew T. enters the second ISP challenge:pray:
 

skylark

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Loved Chen (sorry, the rest of the thread), but it’s Hiwatashi who’s my fav from what videos I found... only 3 top skaters so far. I love his style and those splits, and I hope States will have some sort of streaming to see the SkAm. I assume most of the skaters will be in it.
Nathan's SP is really spectacular. If he's done a Spanish-music program before, I haven't seen it or maybe it was when he was a junior or maybe I just clean forgot. But the joy, passion, dedication to his music, it's all palpably visible. The thought occurred to me as I watched it that he's reinventing himself every year style and music wise. I haven't seen his FS yet.

I watched Jason's SP, but the camera was so distant, didn't zoom in, and I think I'll want to re-watch it to begin to feel the impact. His skating does look wonderful, no surprise.

I really haven't watched many of the programs yet, even though I've watched some of them multiple times already. But I noticed right away that certain videos zoomed in and followed the skaters the way a TV camera does, which made quite a different impact on me. If one is mostly counting jumps and elements, perhaps it doesn't matter so much. Nathan's, Mariah's, Knierim/Frazier's, and Calalang/Johnson's were the ones that looked so good, and they all skate at adjacent rinks, so perhaps there was a coordinated effort there.
 

Mamamiia

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I generally don't read NBC media or watch their broadcasts (geoblock plus Weir/Lipinski are annoying), but I remember CBC coverage of the 2017 Rostelecom Cup where Carol Lane got confused with the facts and thought Nathan only started taking ballet classes/working on artistry after his senior debut ('stealing from Patrick Chan' being an infamous but tongue-in-cheek remark). Kurt Browning just had an air of pleasant surprise, as though he was expecting the non-jump elements to be much worse than they turned out.

Based on the Canadian media, who didn't really have anyone to push (Chan was already too far behind technically by then), this supports Karne's point that Nathan's presentation wasn't so evident (to the CBC folks at least) in the first year. However, they're also subject to preconceived biases - Kurt seemed to have already assumed beforehand that someone with that sort of planned content would be a mere jumping bean. But to his credit, he was frank about what he saw.

Nathan's Polovtsian Dances was really front-loaded so obviously not much dancing going on there, but there was definitely more than a hint of ballet training in the step sequence (just the Scheheradaze-in-your-face type of ballet). The period between doing 1 quad and 6 quads per LP (2015?-2018) is when he neglected transitions and skating skills a bit (and yeah, Olympic year was political), but both before and afterwards was/is fine.

I think both Nathan and Jason are 90+ skaters now :) I can't distinguish the upper end of the scale so can't say who's better unless someone obviously muffs up on the day.

It's not Carol Lane but the other commentator had facts confused and said Nathan just started dance training in 2017 rostelecom cup.

This video shows their impression on Nathan in 2015 junior worlds. Browning acknowledged Nathan's dance training right away at the very beginning of the program.

Actually when Kurt Browning was asked who he would like to skate with, the answer was Nathan.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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It's not Carol Lane but the other commentator had facts confused and said Nathan just started dance training in 2017 rostelecom cup.

This video shows their impression on Nathan in 2015 junior worlds. Browning acknowledged Nathan's dance training right away at the very beginning of the program.

Actually when Kurt Browning was asked who he would like to skate with, the answer was Nathan.
Andi Petrillo, IIRC. Hockey commentator usually.
 

1111bm

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...but I remember CBC coverage of the 2017 Rostelecom Cup where Carol Lane got confused with the facts and thought Nathan only started taking ballet classes/working on artistry after his senior debut...

...Based on the Canadian media, who didn't really have anyone to push (Chan was already too far behind technically by then), this supports Karne's point that Nathan's presentation wasn't so evident (to the CBC folks at least) in the first year.

It's not Carol Lane but the other commentator had facts confused and said Nathan just started dance training in 2017 rostelecom cup.

Andi Petrillo, IIRC. Hockey commentator usually.

Figures...
Obviously just reading out poorly researched facts (I mean, they even got the choreographers for the programs wrong...)
so she can add something to the commentary. And likely not following figure skating, at least not closely or being overly familiar with the sport, she wouldn't even have an idea of or remember Nathan's past season's programs and how they compare to the current performance. Because if she did then, again, I would love to hear an explanation on how she missed the ballet influence in his Le Corsaire SP.

(Note, she says: "...so he started to take ballet classes, which we heard of before for a lot of the dancers, cause he wants to..." yeah she just misspoke here and meant to say 'skaters', it happens. But it reinforces the impression that she's just reading out or rattling off memorised facts instead of offering her own observations and opinion)
 
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1111bm

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Count me in among those who wonder why Andrew, Camden and Vincent didn't take part in the ISP Points Challenge, especially Andrew. Vincent and Camden even skated at a recent Challenger event, maybe that suffices for USFS as a first look at their programs? (although Camden withdrew after the short, but that was a month ago, so he had some extra time to work on his programs)
And then there's also the prize money at ISP, and all of them have a shot at potentially placing in the top 3, at least Vincent does. Wondering if there's maybe an injury keeping at least one of them from competing.
(I realise they still have a second chance to participate, but why not increase your chances by getting two tries?)

But I noticed right away that certain videos zoomed in and followed the skaters the way a TV camera does, which made quite a different impact on me. If one is mostly counting jumps and elements, perhaps it doesn't matter so much. Nathan's, Mariah's, Knierim/Frazier's, and Calalang/Johnson's were the ones that looked so good, and they all skate at adjacent rinks, so perhaps there was a coordinated effort there.

I get what you mean, but I also felt that those videos, that showed more of a wide angle view, even though they didn't allow us to look at certain elements up close, made it easier to get a feel for speed, ice coverage and how the program feels in a rink. More like watching it live. It's the reason I love to check out fancams of skating events, it's a different perspective and sometimes a certain skate will even look nicer this way, depending on what the official broadcast looks like and where the person taking the video is seated:
Pretty much what kolyadafan2002 pointed out here:

I don't think the camera angles do his style of skating justice.

For instance, Javier performed Man a la mancha at the Olympics and later at the Japan open. Choreographically, they were the same but the Olympics had much better camera angles for him - I found myself bored watching him at the japan open.
 

ice coverage

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Count me in among those who wonder why Andrew, Camden and Vincent didn't take part in the ISP Points Challenge, especially Andrew. Vincent and Camden even skated at a recent Challenger event, maybe that suffices for USFS as a first look at their programs? (although Camden withdrew after the short, but that was a month ago, so he had some extra time to work on his programs)
And then there's also the prize money at ISP, and all of them have a shot at potentially placing in the top 3, at least Vincent does. Wondering if there's maybe an injury keeping at least one of them from competing.
(I realise they still have a second chance to participate, but why not increase your chances by getting two tries?) ...

Obviously none of us knows why these three did not compete in the first round of the ISP Points Challenge.
I myself will avoid speculation as to why -- except to make a very general comment that different skaters could feel differently about what competition schedules will work best for them as individuals.

Meanwhile, inaccuracies in your first paragraph are begging for clarification, especially with respect to Camden:

There were two in-person competitions in Colorado this summer:​
Cup of Colorado, Aug 14-16​
Colorado Springs Invitational, Sep 11-13​

Neither of them had combined events. In other words, it was possible to enter SP only; FS only; or both SP and FS.​
(And neither was a Challenger event.)​
Camden competed in both SP and FS of Colorado Springs Invitational, which was only two weeks ago (and was within only a few days of the mandatory dates for recording programs for the first round of ISP Points Challenge).​
Camden competed also in SP of Cup of Colorado. IIRC, he never was an entry in the FS (in other words, I do not think he was a FS withdrawal, because he was not an FS entry in the first place).​
(And FWIW, he competed in the virtual Peggy Fleming Trophy as well.)​



Mini-update re Ryan Dunk (who also is eligible for ISP Points Challenge, but did not take part in first round):
FWIW, his SP score at Boston Open would have ranked sixth in ISP P.C. (With Naumov's ISP score almost equal to Dunk's.)​
Naumov and Altieri withdrew from the Boston SP (won by Bychenko).
FS is tonight. As of now, the original start order remains: Dunk, Naumov, Jun Hong Chen, Altieri.
 
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1111bm

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Yes in fact I was not aware that there were two Colorado events that took place, so whenever I read Colorado-something in my mind that was one competiton. :)
I also didn't realise there are events that don't combine SP and FS, so that explains Camden's 'withdrawal' which had me confused (his SP at Cup of Colorado went badly, so I thought that he might've been injured or got hurt or something like that).
 

BlissfulSynergy

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the lack of quality in how he [Nathan] moves is constantly apparent

That is your negative and subjective opinion though, based on whatever criteria you personally subscribe to. In my opinion, you are all over the spectrum mixing in your thoughts about PCS with your personal preferences, perceptions and viewpoints. Everyone is not going to agree with you, because other fans taking part in this discussion perceive things differently. The best insights and conversation come when we don't get hidebound caught up in one way of looking at things, and when we watch out for becoming overly defensive regarding having differing opinions.

In my view IJS/CoP is a problematic scoring system that is constantly being tweaked. It's difficult for judges to adequately or accurately score PCS. Too often the scoring is based on rep factors, politics, and PCS scoring manipulations because PCS have a subjective component that is very arbitrary and more easy to manipulate, consciously or unconsciously.

BTW, I'm from the U.S., but I'm currently giving a shout-out to Brazil and its colorful flag. I think figure skating could benefit by many more countries being represented within the sport. My gosh, there's a United Nations flag available, an Olympics flag, and even a Mars flag! :love:
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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Those lacking qualities continue throughout most of the performance. He [Nathan] is constantly in "athletic stance". This is something that's happening with most skaters these days. They are not carrying themselves with enough purposeful form, because the judging and state of skating has lost the sense of how people should be performing, becoming complacent with rewarding people for simply throwing themselves into random positions. The way they are moving across the ice is dictated by a technical sense of simply getting through an element, rather than skating in a manner of "I am going to hold my body in an attractive way, and go into and out of my elements like this."

Look at the specifics of how he goes into and out of that opening jump. He is staring down at the ice, rather than presenting out to the audience, and the arms are held downward with no purpose in the hands, just preparing to clench into rotating position. At the end there is no presentation or sense of majesty to the jump. He is slouched, and the free leg lazily held low and swinging down, and the arms just hanging there. Compare this to Ilia Kulik in 1998 for example and there is a CLEAR difference in how they carry themselves and who has more "balletic influence"

My word! You are truly over-analyzing Nathan's skating in a nit-picky and a very prejudicial, judgmental way. I have certain critiques about Hanyu's skating, but I wouldn't be so OTT critical about Hanyu looking down (which he does do), or the fact that Hanyu gets a great deal of credit for artistry when its mostly based on his amazing fluidity rather than on any superb expressive interpretive skills. Hanyu's skating is very technically based as well. In fact, all skaters are athletes first and foremost. There are a few precocious skaters who combine artistry and athleticism at an early age. But for the most part, skaters generally grow in interpretive skills and maturity over the course of their careers. Plus, some skaters are more musically inclined than others. Many skate over the music rather than hearing and interpreting the music.

Nathan is a skater who hears his music and he interprets musical nuances whether or not you are able to pick up on that aspect of his skating. He chose to focus on perfecting his jumping talent because that's what the judging rewards per the ISU's emphasis and decisionmaking. Still, Nathan has not neglected his artistic side. If you can't appreciate his artistic qualities and his on-ice personality and carriage, so be it.

The fact that men's skating is more athletically and technically rewarded is not something new, but it has intensified over the past 10 years with the extra emphasis the sport's leadership randomly placed on quads without any real strategic thinking or long-term planning.

Ilia Kulik had a unique style of skating that was both raw and elegant. I personally would not cite Ilia as the go-to model of balletic excellence in figure skating. I don't think it's necessary to cite any one male skater as the definitive model of balletic excellence. But if it was a question on an exam, I would have to pick John Curry. And Toller Cranston totally influenced men's figure skating with his unforgettable passion and unique movement style. It never gets old looking back at Curry and Cranston. I also still enjoy watching Ilia's performances. I think he retired too soon, but that was his choice. I respect Ilia's skating and his life choices.

It's important to remember too that Ilia Kulik, John Curry, Toller Cranston, and other famous skating greats like Brian Boitano, Robin Cousins, Kurt Browning, Jan Hoffmann, Christopher Bowman, Scott Hamilton, and Brian Orser all skated in different eras when the politics and the judging were very different.
 
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mrrice

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I just saw Nathan's Spanish themed SP on Youtube and I like it quite a bit. Clearly he still has his jumps but, I also really like the choreography. I am hoping a nicely styled costume will be coming as the season continues. Hoping we get to see it at Worlds in some capacity.
 

Laure

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Yes, I totally agree that his costumes are most definitely full of layers. Not sure if I’d call them passionate though.

I know this comment is trying to come off as funny by deliberately misinterpreting the original comment, but - my god - the boldness to go after Yuzuru Hanyu's costume choices of all things, when he is like one of three men in the whole of figure skating, who actually cares to put thought (and colour for that matter) into costuming and how it should reflect the program - couldn't be me.
When 90% of the men are either monochrome or wear bowling shirts/plain t-shirts because they feel the need to appear "manly" or "definitely not gay" (you name it), a skater who doesn't care about all of that, shouldn't be ridiculed.
 

el henry

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I know this comment is trying to come off as funny by deliberately misinterpreting the original comment, but - my god - the boldness to go after Yuzuru Hanyu's costume choices of all things, when he is like one of three men in the whole of figure skating, who actually cares to put thought (and colour for that matter) into costuming and how it should reflect the program - couldn't be me.
When 90% of the men are either monochrome or wear bowling shirts/plain t-shirts because they feel the need to appear "manly" or "definitely not gay" (you name it), a skater who doesn't care about all of that, shouldn't be ridiculed.
Although this is the US men's thread, I would say I completely agree about Yuzu's costumes.

I looooove the Japanese men's costumes, the feathers, the frills, the costumes that actually look like costumes instead of some misguided deference to manliness or athleticism.:cheer:

Nothing bores me more than the "Ross Dress for Less" look of any men's skater, 🥱 and I am not thinking of any in particular right now. I want a skater who looks like they put some thought into the costume, and not like they stopped off at Target on the way to the rink.

New example, not American man either, : Deniss Vasiljevs. The costume is extra, and I love it.:clap:
 

shine

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I know this comment is trying to come off as funny by deliberately misinterpreting the original comment, but - my god - the boldness to go after Yuzuru Hanyu's costume choices of all things, when he is like one of three men in the whole of figure skating, who actually cares to put thought (and colour for that matter) into costuming and how it should reflect the program - couldn't be me.
When 90% of the men are either monochrome or wear bowling shirts/plain t-shirts because they feel the need to appear "manly" or "definitely not gay" (you name it), a skater who doesn't care about all of that, shouldn't be ridiculed.
I'm sorry that you missed the fact that this was a satirical response to the poster's laughable attempt to label Nathan's skating as shallow compared to Hanyu's "layered" interpretation. Or are you just being purposely selective here? At least I didn't demean Hanyu's skating the way the said poster did to Nathan's. And saying some of Hanyu's costumes are full of layers is a fact.
 
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FayD

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Um, no offense, but I really don't get why Yuzuru is being discussed in the US men thread. It's just begging for fanwars and nobody needs any more of those.
 

bonita

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I know this comment is trying to come off as funny by deliberately misinterpreting the original comment, but - my god - the boldness to go after Yuzuru Hanyu's costume choices of all things, when he is like one of three men in the whole of figure skating, who actually cares to put thought (and colour for that matter) into costuming and how it should reflect the program - couldn't be me.
When 90% of the men are either monochrome or wear bowling shirts/plain t-shirts because they feel the need to appear "manly" or "definitely not gay" (you name it), a skater who doesn't care about all of that, shouldn't be ridiculed.
What is wrong with liking monochrome or wear so called “t-shirts”? There are people like me who prefer simple/minimalistic style. People have different tastes. I don’t like many costume choices of some skaters, sometimes including my own favorite, but I respect their choice. Who on earth knows exactly what their thoughts are behind the choices?

Besides the word “passionate“, what else did she ”go after” Yuzuru’s costume choice?
 
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skylark

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Nathan is a skater who hears his music and he interprets musical nuances whether or not you are able to pick up on that aspect of his skating. He chose to focus on perfecting his jumping talent because that's what the judging rewards per the ISU's emphasis and decisionmaking. Still, Nathan has not neglected his artistic side. If you can't appreciate his artistic qualities and his on-ice personality and carriage, so be it.

The fact that men's skating is more athletically and technically rewarded is not something new, but it has intensified over the past 10 years with the extra emphasis the sport's leadership randomly placed on quads without any real strategic thinking or long-term planning.

Ilia Kulik had a unique style of skating that was both raw and elegant. .... I also still enjoy watching Ilia's performances. I think he retired too soon, but that was his choice. I respect Ilia's skating and his life choices.

It's important to remember too that Ilia Kulik, John Curry, Toller Cranston, and other famous skating greats like Brian Boitano, Robin Cousins, Kurt Browning, Jan Hoffmann, Christopher Bowman, Scott Hamilton, and Brian Orser all skated in different eras when the politics and the judging were very different.

I concur that Kulik retired too early (for me!) ... but I read or heard an interview a year or two later, when he said that in the year before the 1998 Olympics, he hated what he was doing. Yes, he used the word "hated"! I felt for him then, because that must have been miserable. He stuck with it, though. Like my friend who said that as a mother of 4, her 2 years getting her library science degree were hell, but her 25-year career as a librarian was heaven. She paid her mother to live with her, take care of the kids, cook, etc. during her education time. Still, "hell."

Ilia also said that he loved Stars on Ice because he could use and enjoy his creativity in skating. I'll never forget his routine devised by him and Sandra Bezic, where he had microphones on his skates and "tap-danced" with no music. It was incredible in person.

ETA: Sorry for going off-topic in US Men's thread. I find diversions and tangents interesting in other people's posts as well, not just in mine. :) This is one thing that endeared Gracie to me in her interview with Scott Hamilton.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I think many of Hanyu's costumes have been quite creative and lovely. I have no problem with Hanyu's costumes. Some of them were designed by Johnny Weir, who brought a delightful, influential and fresh costuming perspective to men's skating during his competitive days. Nathan's costumes have been interesting, but not always successful. I do like that he's tried for something different with his designers. His last season look for the FS was not very successful, but it was kind of radical, boho chic. LOL! We have Vera Wang to thank mostly. ;) The Olympics jumpsuit designs were interesting.Though each one was not equally successful, they were influential to a degree in what we began seeing in the men's division by other fs costume designers.
 

bonita

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Um, no offense, but I really don't get why Yuzuru is being discussed in the US men thread. It's just begging for fanwars and nobody needs any more of those.
Well, what’s more puzzling to me is the recurring criticism of Nathan in this thread every time there is a competition starting from SkAM last year.

What did Nathan do wrong? He just gave us two awesome programs, I get it some people might consider those two awful programs, and I am fine with whatever your disdain about the programs. Let’s talk here about how bad the programs are or how bad he did injustice to the otherwise two wonderful programs if delivered by someone more capable/artistic, why do I keep coming across names unrelated to US Men?

There are judging anomaly thread in this forum, and I am sure there it will make a popular thread if someone starts a thread about all the ”crimes” US Figure Skating committed
 
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