2021 Autumn Classic: Pairs Short Program | Page 10 | Golden Skate

2021 Autumn Classic: Pairs Short Program

skylark

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Wow. That did not look like a September program to me. Looks end-of-season ready!
It's because Miuki/Kihara used that same "Hallelujah" program all last year. :) So, it was end-of-season ready. Still, they really aced it with the elements and performed beautifully. I love this team.

If the data on p. 1 of this thread is right, they're also using the same FS as last year. However, it may not be correct. I noticed Ashley and Timothy's information listed last year's programs. And they're not repeating either one.
 

skylark

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I played around with the link and was able to get the whole thing on replay. One thing I remember from Dailymotion, though, if you aren’t watching live, it takes a while after the live broadcast for the archive stream to appear (at least in the US)

The commentary seemed oddly scripted, except for Meagan’s remarks at the end of each skate (which were well done IMHO, nice and informative.) The other thing that struck me as I watched just now, the White Crow is beautiful music, but it doesn’t seem to match all that well with the pacing of a pairs program. A judicious cut (or use of other sections) might have been more successful.

Dreadful cover of Shiny Happy People. im just not used to thinking of it in funereal tempo. Took me a while to work out what it was!

I watched the whole thing on replay as it was shown after the Women's SP video ended. I was afraid to play around with it! But I saw the whole thing, so I am happy.

Meagan's comments were very good, I agree. As for the White Crow, I was so entranced watching Ashley and Tim that I wasn't noticing whether or not the music could be more effective with pairs elements. I just really enjoy watching them. Their unison, commitment and passion for the music are just mesmerizing. I admit I was hoping one of their programs this year would be something fun and entertaining like their Great Gatsby program. But I love them and I'm sure they have their reasons. I hope they do well tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to see what they've done with W.E., whether the program's changed much from 2019. ETA: I liked the encouragement Meagan gave Ashley about her jumps.

I do think Vanessa and Eric were overscored, and I agree that it's SKCan probably showing who they've decided to go with. Vanessa's fall was pretty disruptive. But they're beautiful together nonetheless, and I really look forward to seeing them skate more.

Good luck to all the skaters tomorrow! Let it be a new day, a fresh outlook, and good skating!

ETA: And :clap::points:to Riku and Ryuichi! I continue to be amazed by them. They are astronomically better together than either one was with their former partner(s).
 

rain

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Dreadful cover of Shiny Happy People. im just not used to thinking of it in funereal tempo. Took me a while to work out what it was!
That music was hideous. What were they thinking? Awful. This was my first look at James/Radford, and I thought they looked surprisingly good for so early in the pairing process. Vanessa's jump mistake was glaring, of course, but the twist looked OK (and a triple, already), the throw was good, their lines really are beautiful.

Meghan was a consummate pro in giving her commentary on the team, too. Class act.
 

coldblueeyes

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I watched the top 2, and I'm miffed at how close they were. Miura/Kihara skated lights out, all elements very clean, a lot of speed in and out of them, covering the rink on all sides. Most of their pair elements were much better than James/Radford - and the judges were very meh on GOE. I know, I know, when at home...

Not sure why they should have been even that far apart in PCS. I mean, J/R won in PE. :bang:
 

BlissfulSynergy

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OMG, this sport. The politics is rampant. I enjoy watching Miura/Kihara. They are an exciting team who are improving at warp speed, and they skated beautifully here. But 72+! Where did the judges pull that out? Okay I get it. Japan wants to be a contender in the team event at the Olympics. But M/K already help Japan to be a contender, so stop the score padding, please, in the lead-up to the Olympics.

M/K skated clean, and it's a really nice program for them. They have a good coach and choreographer and they work hard. But they've also got the political clout of Japan behind them, which is what makes a huge difference, clearly. M/K's sp score at the 2021 Olympics was 64.37. They may have improved their consistency here, and their confidence, plus it's nice program that was well-executed. Still, that's an enormous leap in stature that the judges just delivered. I don't see their overall quality on elements being that different from March. They've just improved in confidence and execution, which is great for them. But they aren't truly better on PCS than Ash/Timothy (who BTW scored 64.94 in the sp at 2021 Worlds, and overall placed 9th, while Miura/Kihara placed 10th behind them). So, how in the friggin' world are M/K rated this high all of a sudden? Give M/K credit for sure, for skating cleanly. But the absolute low-ball scores given to Stellato/Deschamps and Ash/Timothy scream of politics -- it was a jump landing miscue by Deanna, and a fall on a sbs triple by Ash. What about these teams' top-notch quality on their other elements??! I can't stand this sport.

Deanna/Maxime scored 66+ for the same program at the Quebec competition. What's the difference? Was the judging panel more domestic at the Quebec competition, and Autumn Classic has international judges? In addition, Deanna/Maxime had beat Vanessa/Eric on the tech score at Quebec in the sp. Was that ultimately too close for comfort for SC, who clearly want Vanessa/Eric to do well internationally?

Pfund/Santillan skated well and fairly clean too! Kudos to them. I'm happy for them. I thought the score (53+) was decent, since P/S are trying to rebuild their elements and their competitive confidence after a year having to wait for their release to skate for Switzerland. But meanwhile, P/S could have been scored a couple of points higher for their clean performance. I don't quibble too much with the score they got though because they were in the high 40s at Cranberry Cup in the sp, so this is an improvement. They look a bit sharper. The problem arises when a team like Matte/Ferland don't skate up to their ability. M/F generally score in mid to high 50s, so the drop to 51+ had something to do with P/S skating cleanly and with good overall quality. M/F have a fun program, but their elements weren't up to par, so they had to be placed behind P/S. Again, politics and skate order factor in.

Somehow skate order did not factor in for Miura/Kihara. The judges were gung ho ready to give them the high score and not hold back, as generally happens when a good performance happens early. I mean giving M/K 68 or 69 would have made more sense. Remember how Knierim/Frazier skated early at 2021 Worlds, with some slight miscues, and were low-balled with 64.67. Their score should have been slightly higher due to the quality of their elements. Because K/F were kept down on purpose with their early skate, it meant that other teams skating after them in the early going, who did not exhibit their level of quality, had to end up being bunched behind them in the standings at Worlds (including Miura/Kihara, who now suddenly are rated as top-level stars). As I said, the scoring in figure skating is overly political and it sucks most of the time.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Vanessa/Eric changed their program. I guess it sounds less melancholy, but it's in a similar vein. The original music didn't come off as well in terms of reactions after Quebec, so they changed it. Seeing Vanessa at Autumn Classic, I have to say that I've gone back-and-forth on the color of her sp dress. Now I'm definitely in the camp that she needs a brighter color. The styling is okay, but the color is too dark and dull against her skin. She doesn't stand out in this costume. Her hair looked good at the Quebec competition, but here, I don't like this hairstyle on Vanessa. She can rock an edgy short style, but this pulled back, straight loose style with strands hanging does nothing for her. Maybe she's decided to grow out her hair. If so, why not pin it up? Vanessa is so stylish, and I want to see her continue to rock her style full-on, and not try to mute who she is.

Unfortunately, Vanessa seemed nervous here in the sp, and Eric seemed calmer, whereas at the Quebec competition, Vanessa seemed calmer than Eric who messed up on the sbs jump. Here at Autumn Classic, Vanessa fell on a 3-salchow, which is very rare. I don't think I've ever seen Vanessa fall on a 3-salchow over the last several years of her career. Cipres and Vanessa were so consistent on their jumps, and when Vanessa had nerves, she might sometimes, but rarely, double a jump, or be stiff-legged on the landing, but fall, hardly ever. It looks to me that the entry into that 3-salchow was way too shallow and narrow. Eric & Vanessa need to pick it up, and get in sync on being calm together.

Already, I believe that KMT/MM and Walsh/Michaud are fired up to be very competitive with E&V, so in that respect, Skate Canada's strategy in backing E&V has already been beneficial. We'll see what happens next, but with this type of judging internationally, I'm seeing politics continuing to rule the day. E&V are favored right now because SC wants KMT/MM and E&V to bring Canada a third spot for next season. Walsh/Michaud have a lot of grit and gutsy competitiveness, but no matter their improvements, they don't have top-notch quality elements. And anyway, what happened to Walsh/Michaud? Weren't they slated to compete at Autumn Classic?

Meagan's commentary didn't note the rarity of Vanessa falling. In fact, I detected a slight hint of Meagan not fully giving Vanessa her due. The most Meagan gave was saying Vanessa's position on the lift was good, and that Eric and Vanessa matched with their long lines. Those observations are obvious and true. But Meagan seemed to give Eric a bit more credit for the lift, when Vanessa is known for creative, well-executed lifts with Cipres. Since Vanessa had been criticized for her position on the death spiral at Quebec, she made sure to get the sufficiently low position with her head at Autumn Classic. In terms of Vanessa/Eric's score of 68+, that's probably overall fair. Yet, with the fall by Vanessa, it doesn't add up that Ash/Timothy and Deanna/Maxime were given such low-ball scores. Both the latter teams should have at the very least been scored in the 62 to 65 range, even with their miscues, because they have a lot of quality on the majority of their elements. Their aesthetic qualities rival Miura/Kihara. Stop already with the politics. Good grief! It looks like someone has decided that Ash/Timothy aren't to be rated highly, which doesn't bode well, since they are scheduled to compete at Skate Canada International on the GP.

When this type of low-rating status scoring happens, it's as if you've got to prove it, prove it, prove it, and skate clean every time out. It's like sparring at windmills, when you are a good team who work hard, but aren't fully backed politically, and thus aren't gonna receive anything from the judges. In general, I think that international judging panels do not want to give U.S. pairs skaters their due, which places added pressure on all of the U.S. teams. Even though Knierim/Frazier are now U.S. fed's fave team, they gonna have to produce to be given much by international panels. K/F scored 76+ at recent John Nicks Challenge, so I imagine they skated clean, but we didn't get to see it. If that was an international panel, I suppose U.S. fed has let it be known that K/F are the team to be rewarded. But they still have to produce and prove it until their rep precedes them, which is something that takes consistent excellence to achieve.

Meanwhile, it was nice to see Meagan commentating, as she really understands and is passionate about pairs skating. I noticed how they gave her a platform to in effect clean up and apologize re her initial reaction to Eric pairing with Vanessa. I don't think Meagan necessarily has gotten over it, as much as she realizes she needed to say something that sounds more politically correct. Because, let's be honest, Skate Canada is fully backing Eric & Vanessa. IMO, SC may even have encouraged Eric to return to competition, when he possibly talked about wanting to explore it himself. Or, SC was the precipitator altogether, since Eric may not have considered returning, but was thinking more about exploring the professional scene with a new partner. Whoever was the initiator, Skate Canada approved Eric contacting Vanessa about pairing up and skating for Canada. Their pairing can only benefit SC at this time, since SC is trying to rebuild their senior pairs division. If SC already had several top-rated pairs teams, they likely would not have been as keen on backing Eric/Vanessa to represent Canada.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Really? The “political clout of Japan” in PAIRS? Skating on Canadian turf against Canadian pair teams, who obviously would have scored higher had they been clean? It may be your misfortune to not see the shining qualities of Riku and Ryuichi, @BlissfulSynergy but that does not make their scores (or them) undeserving.
I think the 72+ is overly high, especially this early, and especially with their early position in the skate order at this event. That was a great showing by Miura/Kihara, but they aren't Tarasova/Morosov. Okay.

Now, I'm excited about Miura/Kihara, but believe me, that high a jump in scoring is not only a reflection of their hard work and improvement, it's also politics. You can't ever discount politics. They are enjoyable to watch. They have a good coach and choreographer, and I take nothing from them. But, their PCS shouldn't be points higher in most categories than Stellato/Deschamps and Ash/Timothy, PERIOD!!! That's totally a reflection of politics, and scoring manipulation. That's how it works in figure skating.

To give you a better idea: Miura/Kihara are Japan's team! That's it. Stellato/Deschamps are looking like SC is probably planning to keep them behind Walsh/Michaud, whom we haven't even seen skate yet. Or, maybe if S/D are perfect and W/M make mistakes at Canadian Nats, S/D may have a slight chance. Again, S/D got 66 at Quebec, so it must be local judges there who appreciate them, but when it comes to Canadian Nationals, and International comps, it's looking like a different story. Those scores for S/D and Ash/Timothy are lowball, and not indicative of either team's overall qualities, which are not actually behind Miura/Kihara. If M/K keep their consistency, good for them. It certainly bodes well when you get a score like that, to keep you pumped up that if you skate well, you'll get the scores. What Deanna/Maxime, and Ash/Timothy have to contend with, is that they likely aren't gonna be highly favored either domestically or internationally (at least for the time being). That's the bottom line. To paraphrase 4everchan's comment in the below post: Deanna/Maxime and Ash/Timothy (right now) are not at the top of 'the food chain' in their respective countries, which in general determines how they are viewed and rated internationally.


Miura/Kihara are Japan's only top-rated pairs team. A country which doesn't have any track record in pairs, so yes, this is exciting. But it's also the Olympic season, and we know that Japan is pushing hard to medal in the Olympic Team Event. With Miura/Kihara scoring high in pairs, and with the top-notch singles, and a fairly decent ice dance team (one of two will be on the Olympic and World team) -- Japan has more than a fighting chance for at least a bronze in the team event, likely at Canada's expense.

Japan's only other pairs team who ever did anything at close to this high a level, was Takahashi/Tran, who are 2012 World bronze medalists (with some mistakes in their fp at that Worlds too). But they had a lovely, innovative style, backed by five years of experience, good coaches, and a creative choreographer in Julie Marcotte. Tran, not being Japanese, led to the end of T/T's partnership. And then, it wasn't quite so easy to simply match Takahashi up with another Japanese skater.

Kihara (as we know) was recruited to skate with Takahashi, but it didn't work out. Kihara went on to partner with someone else, which didn't bear fruit, until this wonderful match-up with Miura, which simply works. Takahashi continued to try and soldier on with another partner, and that didn't work either. She was never the same skater after the split with Mervin Tran.
 
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4everchan

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I watched this in English just because I wanted to hear Meagan's raspy voice :) Hope she's okay :)

I couldn't watch live but here are a few impressions.

Japanese team : I wasn't expecting them to skate that well. They seem to want to confirm that their good performance at worlds was no fluke. Good for them. Well deserved first place based on their elements. However, they will have to project more to the (non-existing) audience if they want to fight with the top teams.

Thierry and Lori-Ann : I have been following them since juniors. I love them but not their day. Thierry is my kind of pair skater : strong with a big smile. Her reminds me a bit of Cong Han.

Maxime and Deanna : So happy to see them compete finally for Canada. I agree with Meagan : i really don't like their SBS entry. I hope they can fix this because I was really drawn to them. If it's true that Deanna wants to go to the 2026 Olympics and does that with Max, well, those are the best news of the day. I expect them to be at the top of the food chain (assuming that perhaps some other teams retire after the upcoming Olympics).

Cain and Leduc : well done. Not sure I agree that much with Meagan about the whole packaging.. I found it a bit vanilla.

James and Radford : nice comments from both Kevin (hey!!! He is good !!!!!! His voice sounds good too. ) and Meagan. That salchow was a hot mess by vanessa. Eric looked very smooth. I didn't like their lift but their twist and throw were good. Overall, a good performance and i liked the programme. Good potential. I agree with Meagan : they look good with their long line. I will be interested to see what they have cooked up for the FP.

Sorry I don't have much to say about the other teams. At least, I watched ! I have looked at the protocols for the women's SP and I am skipping it altogether...
 

BlissfulSynergy

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That is your opinion and your opinion is not gospel. You’re not without significant biases yourself. I’ll leave it at that.
I added to my previous post to further explain what I'm talking about. Your opinions are biased too. All fans have biases because figure skating is a subjective sport. And, figure skating is also about politics. Politics in the scoring is what I'm talking about. Not a lot separates many of these teams. We can breakdown the elements and other factors, etc., and take a closer look in comparing teams who are fairly within range competitively. When mistakes happen, coupled with a team not being highly favored politically, they aren't gonna get the scores. I'm not saying that Deanna/Maxime and Ash/Timothy skated well enough here to be close in the overall scoring to M/K, who skated beautifully and cleanly. But D&M and A&T were definitely low-balled, and deserve higher points in some PCS categories. Kudos to M/K for skating with confidence and being rewarded. I still say that was a very high score for them, which shows how highly they are suddenly being rated. Now they know for sure if they deliver, they will be highly rewarded. That must be a good feeling.

Seemingly, we can expect that high 60s to low 70s is M/K's new normal, if they continue to deliver. But once again, that's a huge jump in the marks. I would have expected 68, 69 more-so for their lovely showing in the sp. It will definitely be interesting to see how things are going to pan out this season with some head-to-head showings on the GP, if the GP events all go ahead as planned, fingers-crossed.

As a newly paired team coming back and carrying cred as former champions internationally and domestically with former partners, Eric & Vanessa have cache and political backing. But any team who are a new pairing generally have to get used to each other, so I'm not surprised by the miscues. It's probably nerves mostly. I'm also not surprised by the overall quality Eric/Vanessa are showing. They definitely have political backing too. So, hopefully they will get it together and skate cleanly, and they'll get the marks. It looks like Miura/Kihara are gonna clean up as well, if they remain on point.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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I watched the top 2, and I'm miffed at how close they were. Miura/Kihara skated lights out, all elements very clean, a lot of speed in and out of them, covering the rink on all sides. Most of their pair elements were much better than James/Radford - and the judges were very meh on GOE. I know, I know, when at home...

Not sure why they should have been even that far apart in PCS. I mean, J/R won in PE. :bang:
LOL! Miura/Kihara are in a great position, and they were very well rewarded for their lovely sp. What you complaining about exactly? Had Vanessa not fallen, she and Eric would have been scored ahead of M/K, unsurprisingly. Skate Canada is fully backing Vanessa & Eric, and clearly are wanting them to do well. 68+ is probably a fair score under the circumstances for V&E skating in their home country. M/K are coached by a Canadian coach and train in Canada, so that probably helps them too at this competition. You can't dismiss these type of factors in figure skating. If you do, you aren't looking at it clearly. I'm just telling it like it is, regardless of which skater I'm talking about. I really enjoy watching Miura/Kihara, and I'm happy for them, and hopefully they'll continue to compete well. It's just the politics in the scoring I can't and won't ignore. I call it like I see it.

The surprise here truthfully, is how low-ball the marks are for Deanna/Maxime and Ash/Timothy, which has to do with their position in the scheme of things domestically. They aren't being rated as highly as they should be. Both teams have to skate clean over and over, and even then, with the politics, it's gonna be hard until and unless they manage to gain rep status. M/K are Japan's top team, and they are good too on top of that, so if they deliver, quite clearly they are now considered a level higher than second tier, unless they happen to falter at an important event, and their scores come down a bit.

As far as the difference in PCS, PE is about more than overall performance, regardless of a fall on one jumping pass. Eric & Vanessa have a bit higher quality overall aesthetically than M/K (even if subjectively you disagree). Also, keep in mind that with their former partners, E&V have championship level track records, which also counts with the judges. You may not think so, or you may not think that type of rating is fair. But it is what it is. This is figure skating, and it definitely is not a fair sport.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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I'm not sure I understand the complaints about Eric/Vanessa being at 68+ and higher PCS than Miura/Kihara. Vanessa/Eric have championship track records in pairs with other partners. They haven't lost their overall quality and veteran status. They are just new as a pairing, so there are things for them to work out in that respect. Meanwhile, they have full backing from Skate Canada, who are trying to rebuild their pairs discipline and need all the help they can get. If E&V and KMT/MM do well at Worlds and Olympics if both teams make it to those events, it might help Canada get three spots for pairs next season. A season btw in which neither E&V nor KMT/MM are expected to compete, since Kirsten said she and Michael are retiring after the Olympics. And Eric & Vanessa have said, this is their one-shot competitively. One and done. Then they plan to tour professionally.

Why aren't fans happy that If M/K deliver in the fp, they might pull out a win here? We'll see what happens. If Eric & Vanessa skate clean in the fp, they could win. Surely, that's what SC would prefer, but we'll see. Still, I don't think supporters of Miura/Kihara should get beside themselves about M/K's PCS marks, which are higher in most categories than Deanna/Maxime and Ash/Timothy, whom M/K are not better than aesthetically. All three teams have different styles, and not much separates them ability-wise. But Ash/Timothy have good presentation skills, and great lines. A&T also interpret the music well, as do Deanna/Maxime, who have some well-choreographed programs. If anything, fans of D&M and A&T have more to commiserate about.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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i did, but i trusted again CL/LD i can't help but loving them and hoping they can finally skate to their potential
Ash is coming back from COVID, so in that respect, a good outing here, as a tune-up for the season. Still, the way judges appear to be rating them is rather disappointing.

Seemingly, it was a bit of nerves for Ash leading to the sbs jump error. However, I would think that Ash is not quite as sharp as she was showing prior to contracting COVID, and having to take time off to recover, and then get back into training. I was surprised it wasn't mentioned by the commentators that Ash came down with COVID just before Cranberry Cup and couldn't compete there.

I prefer Ash/Timothy's black bodysuits (seen in their OIP sp video) for their sp. The black bodysuits they wore in the video show off their long matching lines much better than these flowy outfits.

Ah, Jessica and Josh must have finally got their release!!!
Jess/Josh got their release sometime earlier this year. They competed at Cranberry Cup in Norwood, MA, in August, representing Switzerland.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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I thought the whole reason Deanna and Nathan split was that his injury made continuing impossible, but now they're debuting new partnerships at the same event together.
Nate's injury did make their continuing impossible at the time his injury occurred. Nathan likely was facing an indeterminate period of time in rehab. Thus, he probably didn't know when he'd be able to come back, or even if he could make it back to competition. Deanna is fiercely competitive. She obviously wasn't interested in waiting around while Nate underwent surgery and rehab. Plus, there was a bottleneck of pairs talent facing them in the U.S., so they mutually split, and Deanna headed far north of Florida to find a new partner, while continuing to train.

Maxime Deschamps agreed to train with Deanna briefly before departing Canada to meet with a new overseas partner. But after skating with Deanna in training practices, Maxime & Deanna both apparently realized they were a good match for each other, and they were right.
 

Skatesocs

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Really? The “political clout of Japan” in PAIRS? Skating on Canadian turf against Canadian pair teams, who obviously would have scored higher had they been clean? It may be your misfortune to not see the shining qualities of Riku and Ryuichi, @BlissfulSynergy but that does not make their scores (or them) undeserving.
Oh, I'm sure they wouldn't have any qualities at all, had they not been with Canadian coaches. Like only Lori Nichol was able to bring out qualities of the untalented Sui/Han, who had no idea about artistry without her. I wonder what the connection there is.
 
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coldblueeyes

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If anything, fans of D&M and A&T have more to commiserate about.
They would have more to commiserate if those two teams actually managed to skate a clean program, though. And look, I love Ash and Tim, but I don't think they do enough to warrant much more in the second mark. Especially when they have such a hard time hitting a program.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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They would have more to commiserate if those two teams actually managed to skate a clean program, though. And look, I love Ash and Tim, but I don't think they do enough to warrant much more in the second mark. Especially when they have such a hard time hitting a program.
That's fine. It's your subjective opinion. This is figure skating, and fans never think completely alike, and that's an understatement. Your view doesn't change how fans of Ash & Timothy see them. Nor does your way of thinking diminish Ash/Timothy's considerable strengths and accomplishments. Of course, they aren't perfect, nor are they to everyone's liking. No skater is loved unreservedly by everyone. Nope, not even Hanyu. ;)

Both Deanna/Maxime and Ash/Timothy have skated clean programs before, which btw, ain't easy to do in figure skating. More power to those who can manage to do so on a fairly consistent basis, which even Hanyu hasn't been able to achieve. And which doesn't lessen his greatness. :)

Fans coming down hard on skaters they don't like and belittling their failures is not very constructive. I'm not a fan of every skater, but I try to be fair in my comments. I admire the courage of all skaters, and I respect their hard work and their talent. What I get most frustrated by is how the sport is run, and the overly political way it is judged. When I make comments about competition scores, my frustrations with the judging (particularly on PCS) are not personal attacks on the skaters. They all deserve a better scoring system, and more opportunities to compete, across-the-board.
 
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