Pairs FS Worldwide: The Divine Discipline | Page 25 | Golden Skate

Pairs FS Worldwide: The Divine Discipline

BlissfulSynergy

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^^ @lariko, it's really not a good idea to overly judge how skaters perform in debut outings in the summer months. It takes time for skaters to get comfortable with new programs, and flesh them out fully. I thought D&M were fine in the sp. They skated cautiously, but that's normal for an early outing in the summer.

I didn't get to see their fp yet. I heard that the music selection is rather conservative. I like the edginess of their last season's fp. I wish they would stay in the vein of picking unusual music and choreo, and not try to go overly safe. I wonder if there are any archived links available to see Deanna/Maxime's fp?
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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Not archived, taken from someone's screen capture:



I am biased, as I have been on the Deanna pairs train since 2017, and loved Deanna and Maxime in their first (limited to domestic) outings, but I am very happy with both their skates at the Championnats.
 

lariko

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^^ @lariko, it's really not a good idea to overly judge how skaters perform in debut outings in the summer months. It takes time for skaters to get comfortable with new programs, and flesh them out fully. I thought D&M were fine in the sp. They skated cautiously, but that's normal for an early outing in the summer.

I didn't get to see their fp yet. I heard that the music selection is rather conservative. I like the edginess of their last season's fp. I wish they would stay in the vein of picking unusual music and choreo, and not try to go overly safe. I wonder if there are any archived links available to see Deanna/Maxime's fp?
To my eyes literally every other pair in the same competition, despite their flaws, skated with far more energy and commitment. I found their SP dragging snooze fest.
 

Skater Boy

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Sadly I do not pairs is the divine discipline right now. You can try to sell it this is a wonderful time ofopportuity for new teams to shine. But the qualityisnt there with China and Russia all but non existent. Canada was weak already and now the top three teams are gone. The current world hamps are great and Americans but they are good step or two below the elite Chinese and russians. Looks like it will be USA and Japan and some lucky team getting bronze. the door is open.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I feel confident that Walsh/Michaud would have been Canada #1 this season, if they had chosen to continue. Whatever their difficulties in the past, I think they would have had Skate Canada’s full support this season. The timing of their breakup seems odd.
The timing does seem odd. I would have thought they would have discussed everything right after Montpelier Worlds. Why get new programs and then reassess and pull out? But I guess it happens that way for some teams. And we never really know what, if any, involvement feds may sometimes have in certain outcome decisions. Whether it be welcome advice, unwelcome suggestions, or thoughtful intervention and support when called upon. Seemingly, Evelyn had a change of heart, or something else happened.

I disagree that Walsh/Michaud were a given to be #1 in Canada. Politically perhaps, and by virtue of having been a team longer than Stellato/ Deschamps, thus considered next in line, but S/D have more weapons and potential than Walsh/Michaud (a moot point now since Walsh has retired). Should Trennt hopefully find a skilled partner who is a good match physically, he can battle for the top over the next quad. But much has to happen first. There are a number of young Canadian teams coming up, but they all have a lot of work to do, and mileage to achieve.

Despite Deanna's age, I have no doubt she's going for another 4 years. That was her reason for partnering with Maxime in the first place. She's also in great shape. She hasn't been pounding her body as a skater since age 17. She retired due to an injury, healed, had a successful career in skincare, and then unexpectedly came back to skating, fulfilling desires she didn't know she still has. Deanna is amazing in her determination and courage.

Deanna/ Max are a great match physically, and they appear to be focused and on the same page in terms of goals too. They have a strong skill-set and they are constantly improving.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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Walsh/Michaud were pretty much guaranteed silver in their two events, unless they fell apart. There was literally one seed in each with Gold Guarantee and then… them. I mean, maybe that wasn’t good enough for them, after the fuss they made last year over James/Radford
No one in skating is 'guaranteed' anything. Athletes have to work very hard, harder than fans realize. And when competitions come, anything can happen. We can predict results on paper based on past performances and other stats and political factors, but a number of things can happen on and off the ice that affect outcomes.

Looking at the GP entries, prior to Walsh's retirement, I do not see a silver medal shoo-in for W/M at Skate Canada. Granted they have now split, but had they competed, IMO they would have been in a three-way battle for silver with McIntosh/ Mimar of Canada, and Chan/Howe of the U.S., despite home country and politics being in their favor.

M/M are a young team, so they probably wouldn't get high PCS marks, but technically, they are very strong and consistent. And while it may be forgotten or never recognized due to the Olympics taking up all the attention, Chan/Howe beat Walsh/Michaud to take silver at 2022 4CCs. W/M settled for bronze. Lu/Mitrofanov (now split) won gold.

At MK John Wilson Trophy, Knierim/Frazier look solid for gold. They are the reigning World champions and neither of their GP events are deep. They will need to bring hunger and intensity, as well as the confidence of being World champions. Judges should show them due respect.

Prior to their split, I wouldn't have had Walsh/Michaud as a lock for silver at the UK GP. Metelkina/Parkman of GEO, while young and new to the GP, still have more strengths than W/M had. M/P are still developing and learning, so second place would not be a lock for them either. But that's still my prediction.

In the UK, W/M would also have had to battle with fellow Canadians, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland, who are certainly capable and comparable (formerly with W/M) competitively. So if W/M were strong and M/P faltered, silver may have been possible, or if M/P prevailed for silver, then possibly bronze or even 4th for W/M! But now, we'll never know.
 
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lariko

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Jan 31, 2019
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Canada
Sadly I do not pairs is the divine discipline right now. You can try to sell it this is a wonderful time ofopportuity for new teams to shine. But the qualityisnt there with China and Russia all but non existent. Canada was weak already and now the top three teams are gone. The current world hamps are great and Americans but they are good step or two below the elite Chinese and russians. Looks like it will be USA and Japan and some lucky team getting bronze. the door is open.
I think the Chinese and the Japanese would be fighting for silver, though chances are Japan would influence heavily in favor of silver. So, it will be 3-way podium, USA, Japan, China. Unless, and it’s a huge unless, Safina/Berulava make another incremental step. Another team that I hope maybe have a surprise in store in the German one, but other than that… I mean, I am wanting to be patriotic, but I can’t really see anything coming out of Canadian line-up tbh.
 

lariko

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No one in skating is 'guaranteed' anything. Athletes have to work very hard, harder than fans realize. And when competitions come, anything can happen. We can predict results on paper based on past performances and other stats and political factors, but a number of things can happen on and off the ice that affect outcomes.

Looking at the GP entries, prior to Walsh's retirement, I do not see a silver medal shoo-in for W/M at Skate Canada. Granted they have now split, but had they competed, IMO they would have been in a three-way battle for silver with McIntosh/ Mimar of Canada, and Chan/Howe of the U.S., despite home country and politics being in their favor.

M/M are a young team, so they probably wouldn't get high PCS marks, but technically, they are very strong and consistent. And while it may be forgotten or never recognized due to the Olympics taking up all the attention, Chan/Howe beat Walsh/Michaud to take silver at 2022 4CCs. W/M settled for bronze. Lu/Mitrofanov (now split) won gold.

At MK John Wilson Trophy, Knierim/Frazier look solid for gold. They are the reigning World champions and neither of their GP events are deep. They will need to bring hunger and intensity, as well as the confidence of being World champions. Judges should show them due respect.

Prior to their split, I wouldn't have had Walsh/Michaud as a lock for silver at the UK GP. Metelkina/Parkman of GEO, while young and new to the GP, still have more strengths than W/M had. M/P are still developing and learning, so second place would not be a lock for them either. But that's still my prediction.

In the UK, W/M would also have had to battle with fellow Canadians, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland, who are certainly capable and comparable (formerly with W/M) competitively. So if W/M were strong and M/P faltered, silver may have been possible, or if M/P prevailed for silver, then possibly bronze or even 4th for W/M! But now, we'll never know.
Honestly, I just don’t agree with your analysis because PCSs are PCSs… I think this year the teams with experience will be rewarded, while all the newcomers will establish the pecking order among themselves kind of like in ice dance. Unless a new team has a federation pull or is obviously exceptional, I can’t see it elevated. But I haven’t seen anything new and non-Russian that looked exceptional last year.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Well @lariko, I'm not sure why you 'liked' my post if you "just don't agree..." Maybe there is something I said that you do agree with. 🙂 But honestly, there's nothing wrong with having differing views and sharing them. Yet it's also a good idea to understand that we will never all agree with each other. Having a conversation and sharing, and agreeing to differ when we see things differently, is what matters.

But frankly, it's a fact, not an analysis, that nothing is 'guaranteed' for skaters in this sport. And that was my main point in response to your comment that Walsh/ Michaud "were pretty much guaranteed silver in their two GP events..." It's understandable if you feel W/M had a good chance for silver. But if you look at the respective GP lineups, it's quite clear there was going to be competition for the silver among W/M and at least two other teams at both events.

At SC, for sure W/M would have the advantage of competing at home, but they would have needed to deliver clean, confident performances. From where I stand, the bottom-line is that despite W/M being together longer, they simply did not have strong enough elements to consistently beat journeyman teams in the second tier, much less newer young teams with better elements and greater potential. A case in point is the fact that Chan/Howe, an up-and-coming U.S. team, while new to the senior GP, already beat W/M at 2022 4CCs. So, it would have been interesting to see C/H battle W/M again. But, with Evelyn's retirement, that won't be happening.

Even the top teams favored for gold are not 'guaranteed' anything. That's why they have to show up to compete. And once the on-ice competition gets underway, anything can happen, as we've seen. Although, of course, it's unlikely that those top teams favored for gold won't prevail over fields which don't present strong challenges. Still, there's no guarantees in figure skating. So I will be interested to watch what happens. 🍿

I'm not sure what you mean by 'PCS are PCS.' My only reference to PCS was acknowledging that McIntosh/ Mimar, being younger and new to seniors would likely not receive high PCS scores, despite their technical consistency.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I can’t really see anything coming out of Canadian line-up tbh
Too bad James/Radford didn't come back. As it turns out, SC could have used them again for another season! Possibly, J/R considered it, but in the long run may have felt it was time to move on to professional opportunities. I hope I can get to see their show performances.

In the meantime, I think the doom and gloom is unwarranted. I'm going to do my best to embrace this transitional phase, because I enjoy pairs, and because it's always possible for unexpected and entertaining things to happen. Those bemoaning the current international pairs field and feeling dismissive about Canada's pairs prospects, are jumping the gun on assessing the season before it has truly gotten started.

We haven't had a chance to see Proft/ Nadeau yet. This can be a building season for McIntosh/ Mimar. Trennt may be able to find a good partner. I wonder if Zach Daleman will keep trying. And best of all, whether or not you can recognize and enjoy their strengths, Stellato/ Deschamps are the real deal. They have an excellent chance to make some noise on the GP. I hope they show up and show out! Naysayers can continue looking on the opposite of the bright side. 🌞
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I am biased, as I have been on the Deanna pairs train since 2017, and loved Deanna and Maxime in their first (limited to domestic) outings, but I am very happy with both their skates at the Championnats.
Thanks for providing the link. I'm happy to see S/D's fp. Contrary to some of the comments I've seen in the event thread, I like the potential of this program. Their fp music this season is not edgy nor in the popular genre with lyrics. But, I still find it interesting classical music, and not run-of-the-mill, nor safe. So, I think they are continuing to challenge themselves, and they are showing steady improvements.

S/D's sp is traditional Latin. I think they are going for something with a rhumba flavor. It's not that exciting. But I think it can build over the course of the season, as they become more comfortable and confident with it. Plus, they skated both programs well for a first outing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Knierim/ Frazier, Miura/Kihara, Peng/Jin, and the Georgian teams will be bringing to the ice. 😃
 

lariko

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We haven't had a chance to see Proft/ Nadeau yet.
Which is a bad sign for me. I saw pairs that had one partner coming from singles after a year a couple of times, and it can be tentative. The pairs who click fast usually had previous partners….

In that respect, Zabiiako choosing to leave was a bigger disappointment to me than J/R. I felt his age was detrimental to his health to continue. But, like, if James pairs up with someone of the female partners… I would be so happy. James, Ilyushechkina and Zabiiako all were such wonderful athletes and I really wish they could be matched with a male partner for Canada.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Which is a bad sign for me. I saw pairs that had one partner coming from singles after a year a couple of times, and it can be tentative. The pairs who click fast usually had previous partners….

In that respect, Zabiiako choosing to leave was a bigger disappointment to me than J/R. I felt his age was detrimental to his health to continue. But, like, if James pairs up with someone of the female partners… I would be so happy. James, Ilyushechkina and Zabiiako all were such wonderful athletes and I really wish they could be matched with a male partner for Canada.
Hi @lariko. I truly enjoyed watching Lubov and Vanessa over the years. Zabiiako is a very elegant skater, but I was never drawn to her skating with Enbert. Another case of a very elegant Russian team but with no tangible connection to each other or to the audience.

Thanks for posting @Katsalapov. I'm sorry to hear that Emma is injured. I hope it's not too bad, and that she can recover soon and well.

So @lariko, having to pullout is not a bad sign for them as a team. It's just unfortunate about Emma being injured, which has set back their start to the season.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Knierim/ Frazier have announced their new programs:

Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier USA
SP: “Separate Ways” by Journey, choreo. by Shae-Lynn Bourne
FS: “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles, choreo. by John Kerr & Sinead Kerr

(Why not Don't Stop Believin', if they were going to reach back to the 80s for Journey?)

John Kerr did great things for James/Cipres, with input by other members of their coaching team. And I enjoyed the fp that Sinead and John did together for Liu/O'Shea last season. So, I'm eager to see what they do for K/F. Will K/ F have grown and evolved over these past months and be challenged to grow in new ways this season?

I'm also happy to see K/F working with Shae Lynn, which was previously announced. Now we know the music. Shae Lynn had been working on a SP for James Cipres two years ago that obviously came to nought when they had to retire. So bring it on now for K/F Shae!!! :love: 🍿

ETA:
Of course, Shae Lynn also created choreo for K/F's House of the Rising Sun sp last season! 👏
 
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Skater Boy

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Feb 24, 2012
Thanks for providing the link. I'm happy to see S/D's fp. Contrary to some of the comments I've seen in the event thread, I like the potential of this program. Their fp music this season is not edgy nor in the popular genre with lyrics. But, I still find it interesting classical music, and not run-of-the-mill, nor safe. So, I think they are continuing to challenge themselves, and they are showing steady improvements.

S/D's sp is traditional Latin. I think they are going for something with a rhumba flavor. It's not that exciting. But I think it can build over the course of the season, as they become more comfortable and confident with it. Plus, they skated both programs well for a first outing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Knierim/ Frazier, Miura/Kihara, Peng/Jin, and the Georgian teams will be bringing to the ice. 😃
For some reason Peng/Jin seemed to have been around for a while but that's probably not true. KF have the confidence now to beat Japan again. Japan will be hungry.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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^^ I'm not sure what your criteria is for "being around for awhile" @Skater Boy. Peng/Jin have been partnered since April 2016, approx 6 1/2 years. They were paired with other partners prior to being put together by their federation. I think that constitutes 'being around for awhile.'

OTOH, I don't think P/J have fully lived up to their potential. So, it will be interesting to see how P/J will fare this season, especially with Sui/Han said to be taking a break.
 
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