Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani | Page 2 | Golden Skate

Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani

ImaginaryPogue

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
1. I'd argue that all of the Canton teams peaked at the GPF. None of the teams scored that well again. Indeed, if you believe that the tensions in Canton existed long before the actual shake-up, it almost makes sense.

2. I would love to see the Shibs tackle "Rhapsody in Blue" even if it's within the same choreographic box as what they've done before.

3. I'd argue that the Shibs declined when a number of teams RAISED their game: W/P, C/L, P/B.... even I/K. And that's what makes it tough for them to regain their medal, I think.
 

Redstone

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
As others pointed out, there have been a number of other factors that have contributed to their 4CC and WC failures, namely Alex being sick causing a disruption to their training time. The Shibs were not at full-force at either event. Quite frankly, what we have is that they peaked at GPF, while comparable teams all peaked at Worlds.

But even accounting for those failures, their senior career has decent stats:
4/5 medal rate at GP events (Average placement: 2.8)
1/2 medal rate at Worlds (Average placement: 5.5)
1/2 medal rate at 4CC (Average placement: 3)

Compare that to I/K, who has been on the senior scene for the exact same time:
2/4 medal rate at GP events (Average 3.5)
0/2 medal rate at Worlds (Average 6)
1/2 medal rate At Euros (Average 3.5)

Also in face-to-face matchup at the senior level the Shibs have beat I/K 3-1.

Yes, the team faces challenges and I will say that if they don't show range, it will be a hard road for them, but I don't see any reason why people are so sure they are headed towards failure.

I acknowledge that their bronze, was a fluke of sorts given the errors made by P/B at that Worlds. I also think that in the short-term the Shibs will likely be 5th or 6th at best with D/W, V/M, P/B and W/P still competing. But I see most of these teams gone after Sochi. So unless you consider 2-3 years forever, I think the Shibs, in the long-term, should not be counted out for a podium finish.

1. What do I/K have to with the current topic? Comparing Shibutani to them is not valid,IMO,since they too had (I hope, had) lot's of problems. I think it'd be more fair to compare them to more stable, top 5 teams like W/P or P/B.
And I'd like to notice: if I/K deliver (like this did this year Euro's and Worlds) the judges are happy to reward them and the same judges don't forgive any mistakes of Shibutani. The interesting question is why? I believe, it's just that the "concept" of I/K is more appealing that the "concept" of Alex and Maia.
2. I'm not saying that they head to a failure. Being 5-6 place in the the elite ice-dance field is not a failure. But they had a lot they need to change to be at the Worlds podium again. And it'd be harder for them because of them being siblings.
3. While lots of teams will retire after Sochi, a lot of new fresh teams will appear. So the moving up in ranks for Shibs won't be given. Besides such teams as C/L, I/K or even B/S (lol, we don't know what Zhulin will do with them) have a room to improve tii.
 

noskates

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Ohhhhh - I like the idea of Rhapsody in Blue.

I'm fairly new to this board but certainly not to figure skating and am sort of surprised that there is such dissension over the Shibs. It wasn't that long ago that the US was THRILLED to have a dance team in the top 10 at Worlds or any other international competition. Now their teams are expected to win or medal every time out. So the standard has been raised with Belbin and Agosto and now White and Davis. And that's certainly not a bad thing!!!! But I would like to see people give the Shibs a chance and a bit more time before they put that last nail in their career coffin.
 

Mrs. P

Uno, Dos, twizzle!
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
1. What do I/K have to with the current topic? Comparing Shibutani to them is not valid,IMO,since they too had (I hope, had) lot's of problems. I think it'd be more fair to compare them to more stable, top 5 teams like W/P or P/B.
And I'd like to notice: if I/K deliver (like this did this year Euro's and Worlds) the judges are happy to reward them and the same judges don't forgive any mistakes of Shibutani. The interesting question is why? I believe, it's just that the "concept" of I/K is more appealing that the "concept" of Alex and Maia.
2. I'm not saying that they head to a failure. Being 5-6 place in the the elite ice-dance field is not a failure. But they had a lot they need to change to be at the Worlds podium again. And it'd be harder for them because of them being siblings.
3. While lots of teams will retire after Sochi, a lot of new fresh teams will appear. So the moving up in ranks for Shibs won't be given. Besides such teams as C/L, I/K or even B/S (lol, we don't know what Zhulin will do with them) have a room to improve tii.

As I said, I compared them to I/K because they have been at the senior level for the same length of time — 2 seasons. While it certainly makes sense from a results standpoint to consider W/P or P/B because the Shibs have beat those teams in the past, from a programming/artistry/maturity standpoint they need more time to develop just as W/P or P/B did in other areas. In their first two seasons W/P finished 20th and 17th at Worlds and P/B finished 20th and 19th. Both teams had needed time to develop certain skills, namely technical. I think it's reasonable to give the Shibs the same time to come into their own from an artistry standpoint.

Also it wasn't long ago that I/K was consider the next coming of Ice Dancing. In fact, when I/K won Junior Worlds their first time out (and the Shibs finished in 4th) everyone was sure that I/K would dominate seniors. The Shibs got a lot less hype about their senior prospects compared to I/K so I don't think it's such a stretch to compare how the two have done.

I don't think the judges are any forgiving of I/K if they don't deliver. I think they peaked at the right time and got the scores they deserved. The Shibs, on the other hand, failed at what they consistently do well, the TES, because of all those uncharacteristic errors. (Though some of the elements they have struggled on all season long). In fact, if you look at PCS — the Shibs were only two points behind a peaking I/K. And me thinks if they did the program as they are capable of doing it, the PCS would have been higher.

I don't see how it's more difficult for the Shibs to podium cause they're siblings. I think perhaps there's more the perception of more difficulty because very few sibling teams that have been in the medal podium position. More of them, like the Kerrs or the Zarasekys from Isreal, have ended up in the top 6. I think the main thing they will have to change is their packaging and programs, but they do have a solid technical foundation to stand on.

1. I'd argue that all of the Canton teams peaked at the GPF. None of the teams scored that well again. Indeed, if you believe that the tensions in Canton existed long before the actual shake-up, it almost makes sense.

2. I would love to see the Shibs tackle "Rhapsody in Blue" even if it's within the same choreographic box as what they've done before.

3. I'd argue that the Shibs declined when a number of teams RAISED their game: W/P, C/L, P/B.... even I/K. And that's what makes it tough for them to regain their medal, I think.

IP, I agree with your points — i would like a Rhapsody in Blue number would be interesting despite it being in the same American genre (though the prospect of saying Gershwin, Glenn Miller and Nat King Cole are the "same" is sort of :laugh:).

The Shibs were clearly not in full strength at 4CC and Worlds while other teams peaked at Worlds. I think it would be more interesting to see how the Shibs do when they their absolute best compare to those other teams at their best (of course that doesn't always happen). We'll see next season, I suppose.
 
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100yen

You can't explain witchcraft
Medalist
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
As I said, I compared them to I/K because they have been at the senior level for the same length of time — 2 seasons. While it certainly makes sense from a results standpoint to consider W/P or P/B because the Shibs have beat those teams in the past, from a programming/artistry/maturity standpoint they need more time to develop just as W/P or P/B did. In their first two seasons W/P finished 20th and 17th at Worlds and P/B finished 20th and 19th. Both teams had needed time to develop certain skills, namely technical. I don't think it's unreasonable to give the Shibs the same time to come into their own from an artistry standpoint.

This is a good point. Right now Maia and Alex are being held to such extremely high standards for a number of reasons but namely the success of their training mates and their incredibly fast rise from the junior ranks. It normally takes seasons for teams to crack the top 10, and Maia and Alex are currently sitting in the top 5 in the world despite having a "disappointing" season. Since skating fans know what they are capable of, a top 10 finish of most other teams would be greatly congratulated, but the Shibutanis are met with skepticism any time they do not make the podium.
Not that this raising the bar of expectations for them is bad though, it shows how quickly they have broken into the cream-of-the-crop and probably offers a great deal of inspiration for them. Despite the pitfalls, they have already had a career that most couples would dream of. It's only been their 2nd year on the senior circuit and yet their main competition is those who have been on it for 5, 6, 7 + years. Now that is saying something.
 

Mrs. P

Uno, Dos, twizzle!
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
This is a good point. Right now Maia and Alex are being held to such extremely high standards for a number of reasons but namely the success of their training mates and their incredibly fast rise from the junior ranks. It normally takes seasons for teams to crack the top 10, and Maia and Alex are currently sitting in the top 5 in the world despite having a "disappointing" season. Since skating fans know what they are capable of, a top 10 finish of most other teams would be greatly congratulated, but the Shibutanis are met with skepticism any time they do not make the podium.
Not that this raising the bar of expectations for them is bad though, it shows how quickly they have broken into the cream-of-the-crop and probably offers a great deal of inspiration for them. Despite the pitfalls, they have already had a career that most couples would dream of. It's only been their 2nd year on the senior circuit and yet their main competition is those who have been on it for 5, 6, 7 + years. Now that is saying something.

You're referring to World Ranking right (They're currently in 4th)?

But heck, the Shibs are having career that many U.S. skaters period would dream of right now. :)
 

100yen

You can't explain witchcraft
Medalist
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
You're referring to World Ranking right (They're currently in 4th)?

But heck, the Shibs are having career that many U.S. skaters period would dream of right now. :)

Ohh you're right! I was looking at the IceNetwork rankings which actually has them behind B/S too :eek:hwell:

I trust the ISU rankings more... :biggrin:
 

ImaginaryPogue

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
As I said, I compared them to I/K because they have been at the senior level for the same length of time — 2 seasons. While it certainly makes sense from a results standpoint to consider W/P or P/B because the Shibs have beat those teams in the past, from a programming/artistry/maturity standpoint they need more time to develop just as W/P or P/B did in other areas. In their first two seasons W/P finished 20th and 17th at Worlds and P/B finished 20th and 19th. Both teams had needed time to develop certain skills, namely technical. I think it's reasonable to give the Shibs the same time to come into their own from an artistry standpoint.

Also it wasn't long ago that I/K was consider the next coming of Ice Dancing. In fact, when I/K won Junior Worlds their first time out (and the Shibs finished in 4th) everyone was sure that I/K would dominate seniors. The Shibs got a lot less hype about their senior prospects compared to I/K so I don't think it's such a stretch to compare how the two have done.

I don't think the judges are any forgiving of I/K if they don't deliver. I think they peaked at the right time and got the scores they deserved. The Shibs, on the other hand, failed at what they consistently do well, the TES, because of all those uncharacteristic errors. (Though some of the elements they have struggled on all season long). In fact, if you look at PCS — the Shibs were only two points behind a peaking I/K. And me thinks if they did the program as they are capable of doing it, the PCS would have been higher.

I don't see how it's more difficult for the Shibs to podium cause they're siblings. I think perhaps there's more the perception of more difficulty because very few sibling teams that have been in the medal podium position. More of them, like the Kerrs or the Zarasekys from Isreal, have ended up in the top 6. I think the main thing they will have to change is their packaging and programs, but they do have a solid technical foundation to stand on.

Yeah, I'd argue that the Shibs are the most technically talented sibling team of the past 20+ years or so - ahead of the Duchesnays, Kerrs, Zaretskis, etc. The advantage they have over I/K I'd argue is work ethic. We've heard from Zhulin, Tarasova and Staviski that I/K simply don't have the work ethic compared to the other top teams. HOWEVER, their PCS did slip behind I/K's this year, even when the latter were less than inspired (see NHK).


IP, I agree with your points — i would like a Rhapsody in Blue number would be interesting despite it being in the same American genre (though the prospect of saying Gershwin, Glenn Miller and Nat King Cole are the "same" is sort of :laugh:).

The Shibs were clearly not in full strength at 4CC and Worlds while other teams peaked at Worlds. I think it would be more interesting to see how the Shibs do when they their absolute best compare to those other teams at their best (of course that doesn't always happen). We'll see next season, I suppose.

Right now? They'd be marked behind P/B and W/P. Ahead of B/S. I/K and C/L are their main competition now for the top five.
 

Mrs. P

Uno, Dos, twizzle!
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Yeah, I'd argue that the Shibs are the most technically talented sibling team of the past 20+ years or so - ahead of the Duchesnays, Kerrs, Zaretskis, etc. The advantage they have over I/K I'd argue is work ethic. We've heard from Zhulin, Tarasova and Staviski that I/K simply don't have the work ethic compared to the other top teams. HOWEVER, their PCS did slip behind I/K's this year, even when the latter were less than inspired (see NHK).

Right now? They'd be marked behind P/B and W/P. Ahead of B/S. I/K and C/L are their main competition now for the top five.


IP, see post #18 on this thread -- I have already said that at best they will be 5th or 6th up until Sochi. I agree that P/B has regained their third position (really when you think about it, the Shibs only beat them once — at Worlds, which is a flue) and that W/P has also surpassed them, which I expected to happen once they got their technical skills together. (Again, this is where experience comes to play).

I personally, at this point, see C/L as a much bigger threat to the Shibs than either of the Russian teams. I/K's work ethic, not to mention the fact they are not well matched (she is clearly the better dancer of the two), will not work in their favor. That said, I do agree with Redstone — which I see will not happen much in this thread — that I/K does have a nice look when they get it together. I am also interested to see what Zhulin will do with B/S. I think B/S, though I did not care for them much this season, also have tried to make great strides this season. Even at Worlds I could see improvement.

The X factor are the junior teams in Russia. Really, when you think about it, S/Z and M/K could potentially mix things up.

What a time to be in ice dance. I have to argue that Ice Dance worldwide has such a deep field....esp. when you compare it to Pairs which sees quite the dropoff in skills once you get past the top five.
 

draqq

FigureSkatingPhenom
Record Breaker
Joined
May 10, 2010
I've always wanted the Shibutanis to skate to Yo-Yo Ma's "Sakura Sakura", a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese folk song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SETNAh50DCI

The dynamics in the piece can show off their range, the song is quite different from what they skated in the past three seasons, and the song is 4:22 long so it's easy to edit. Most of all, it's different from what every other team does or would do.

I think the Shibutanis should go down the route of spiritual elegance, with programs that show off non-romantic beauty, the pure bond between sister and brother. Pieces like Meditation from Thais, which S/Z famously skated to, Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, or Clair de Lune are along those lines.
 

100yen

You can't explain witchcraft
Medalist
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
I've always wanted the Shibutanis to skate to Yo-Yo Ma's "Sakura Sakura", a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese folk song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SETNAh50DCI

The dynamics in the piece can show off their range, the song is quite different from what they skated in the past three seasons, and the song is 4:22 long so it's easy to edit. Most of all, it's different from what every other team does or would do.

I think the Shibutanis should go down the route of spiritual elegance, with programs that show off non-romantic beauty, the pure bond between sister and brother. Pieces like Meditation from Thais, which S/Z famously skated to, Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, or Clair de Lune are along those lines.

I think these spiritual pieces (I love how you used that!) harken back to their Cinema Paradiso days: beautiful, sweeping, emotional, orchestral music with lots of nuances. Despite not being able to use full-out romance, the bond between family is something very fresh to ice dancing and the bond between brother and sister can bring a very poignant warmth and nostalgia to the audience, such as their "Smile" and most recent "Lost" programs do.
 

Binthere

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Maia and Alex launched their YouTube channel. Showing once again how much personality they have, this video is hysterical.
Adam Rippon fits right in with the "ShibSib" family. Looking forward to being entertained by them for MANY years to come.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQL1LNqMM_s

:laugh:

"Smile" is their signature. Once again, they make me smile.
 
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Skater Boy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
I really like these guys. They seem like such nice folks and Rippon was great too sans his locks - let's hope this isn't a Samson thing. I guess we will soon find out if not hair extensions.
 

100yen

You can't explain witchcraft
Medalist
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Happy birthday to Maia!!! :hb: She turns 18 today! :yes:
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Shibutanis will speak at Canton Public Library, Thursday, August 9, 7:00-8:00 pm

"Road to the Olympics with Alex and Maia Shibutani," Thursday, August 9, 7:00-8:00 pm, at Canton Public Library.

Program Description (excerpt):
"... Hear what dedication and drive are needed to aspire to the Olympics and to perform at championship levels from this brother and sister team, Maia (18) and Alex (21) ..."

For more information: http://catalog.cantonpl.org/record=g1002887&searchscope=0&SORT2=R
 

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Country
United-States
According to an IN interview, Alex has gained 10 lbs on purpose to have more strength.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
"Road to the Olympics with Alex and Maia Shibutani," Thursday, August 9, 7:00-8:00 pm, at Canton Public Library.

Program Description (excerpt):
"... Hear what dedication and drive are needed to aspire to the Olympics and to perform at championship levels from this brother and sister team, Maia (18) and Alex (21) ..."

For more information: http://catalog.cantonpl.org/record=g1002887&searchscope=0&SORT2=R

- Photos of Alex and Maia Shibutani at their Canton Public Library appearance: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.407595619307934.99316.218220851578746&type=1

- And ... the following is sheer speculation, but does anyone think it is plausible for the Shibutanis to compete at Nebelhorn this year (Sep 27-29)? They placed fifth there in 2010.
Although they have skated for at least the past two years for Harvard's An Evening with Champions, they are not listed in today's announcement of the cast for this year's show (Sep 29-30). http://www.aneveningwithchampions.o...f-skating-show-to-benefit-the-jimmy-fund.html
Just sayin' ...
 
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