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Clytie
12-02-2011, 11:42 PM
Ugh I hit the wrong button and my post disappeared. And I had such a beautiful rant against Judy Bloomberg written! Can I just say I hate her and her biased commentary. I don't care if she is a tech. specialist. She's a b*tch - especially towards the Canadian dance teams for some reason. Tanith does talk too much. Susie I liked but she did have her biases too. I guess I just prefer Tracy Wilson. I wish they could get Kwan to comment. I think she would be great. I also think she would'nt be dwelling on her golden years either - which leads me to.....

Tara I liked initially until she kept bringing up her own glory days. Guess what honey- now people especially ladies, get dinged for horrible flutzes and barely rotated jumps. Stop trying to convince me yours was the epic age of ladies skating.

I feel bad saying this as a woman but the men are the best commentators on US. Carruthers is'nt fantastic but he tries and is generally not overly biased. Weiss is surprisingly articulate and his voice sounds nice. Too bad I hated his skating. Wylie is my favourite. I love that he explains what garners points and what hurts. I do still laugh at his shock re. Buttle's win "That was.... not what I was expecting"

Overall I think they do a decent job way better than CBS and NBC did in the 80's and 90's. Kurt is still my favourite - but I can understand why some don't like his snark.

Anybody have a dream team of Universal Sports commentators. I say keep Terry Gannon. Love him as the straight man or what ever they call the non-skating commentators. At least you can tell he has respect for the sport and skaters. I do miss him teasing Dick Button though.

SpeedySucks
12-02-2011, 11:53 PM
I think it was John Mischa Petkevich that finally deep sixed John Tesh's career as an ice skating commentator. Tesh & Petkevich were paired to do World's in Ottawa in 1984. Tesh was supposed to announce the start of each event, saying something, "This is John Tesh with John Mischa Petkevich, coming to you from the Ottawa Civic Centre with the World Figure Skating Championships." Tesh could.not.pronounce "Mischa." He also could.not.pronounce "Petkevich." He also struggled a bit with "Ottawa."

Consequently he spent all of the warmups while he sat in the press box, practicing, aloud, the above sentence, messing it up in a startling number of ways.

Those were the days when the audience could sit near the KnC, so by the end of the event, people sitting near Tesh were repeating the sentence with him, urging him on, and occasionally, but very occasionally (since the Canadian skating audience is a rather civilized audience, even back in 1984), making sotto voce comments about his incompetence.

It was very funny :)

John Tesh also did the 1985 and 1986 Worlds for CBS with Scott Hamilton. CBS took him off of figure skating after 86 Worlds because he and Scott didn't mesh well together.

acraven
12-03-2011, 12:47 AM
I've actually enjoyed all the ice dance commentators over the last few years--Judy Blumberg, Susie Wynne, Tracey Wilson, and now Tanith. What I object to is having a non-dancer trying to comment on ice dance.

I don't find Judy particularly biased; anyone commenting for US TV is going to try to find something positive to say about the US skaters, just as the Canadian/Russian/etc. commentators do for their own skaters (per reports here on FSU). It's true that Judy seems to look at things from a technical specialist's (critical) perspective, but that affects all of her commentary, not just what she says about the non-US teams. This year she pointed out Maia's edge problem in a footwork sequence, and I remember something similar early last season regarding Meryl Davis.

I'd say Tanith's approach is generally a bit more positive, but--perhaps as a result--she's more talkative. That doesn't bother me (I need all the help I can get when I'm watching ice dance), but I can understand why others would want her to talk less. Still, I think she's doing extremely well for the limited experience she's had.

I think it's valuable to be exposed to all the dance experts (I miss Susie and want her back) over the course of a season. It's not that they necessarily disagree with each other so much, but they each mention different things, and I learn from all of them.

alchemy void
12-03-2011, 01:04 AM
Tara rocks. She needs to take Bezic's place on the NBC crew. I could live with her, Scott, and Terry.

Tom Hammond is the worst.

cc2
12-03-2011, 05:47 AM
I totally disagree about the comment Clytie made about Judy Bloomberg. I hope NBC keeps Judy as a commentator as she seems to be an expert. With regards to Canadian ice dancers, she has never said anything bad about them. In fact she often compliments Virtue and Moir (how they have good chemistry, the strength of thier programs and so on). So I don't get where the idea that she is biased comes from.
With regards to Scott, I don't know why some people don't like him. I think he is too kind to the skaters. Even when skaters fall several times, he finds something positive to say about them or their programs.

manleywoman
12-03-2011, 06:09 AM
I think people give Peter Carruthers a hard time because before he did a lot of play-by-play commentary, he was the guy who interviewed the skaters just as they got off the ice, and/or did fluff pieces. And those were pretty lame since the questions were so predictable, or in many cases cringe-worthy (ie: when Rohene Ward was surprised by his mother and Carruthers just awkwardly stood there with the microphone shoved in their sobbing faces). I have to wonder how much control he had over things like that (did the producer keep telling him to shove the mic there?)

As an actual PBP commentator, I think he's terrific. And supposedly he's hilarious in real life. Hoping to interview him someday.

julieann
12-03-2011, 07:47 AM
My favorites are Peter Carruthers and Terry Gannon. I don't like any of the American women commentators.

DORISPULASKI
12-03-2011, 11:25 AM
Judy was extremely complimentary to V&M at the event she was the commentator for this year (Skate Canada). However, some V&M fans have complained about her commentary in the Worlds SD. I've transcribed most of it here, since I don't see the video with commentary on youtube any more:


I love how they immediately get into the tango zone. I love how they've added the tango to the short dance.

Nice strong edges on the midline step. Doesn't have a lot of speed, but you can tell they're really carving the space on these turns.

Female Terry Gannon announcer: Are they any different(since 4CC's)

Judy: I can't tell. They're moving well, but they aren't moving real fast. I can't tell yet. They've only done one element so far.

Now here's the Golden Waltz turns. Notice the snow that's flying along here. That's what you want to avoid. That's a judge's call. You want to stay on your edges and not your toe picks because it impedes your flow. It's a little choppy here.

They're still staying with the interpretation, which is lovely, but you want to have a lot of flow through this dance.

Coming to the layback section of the GW: This is a very difficult section of the dance, you want to stay on an inside edge right here...(dismayed) which she didn't, coming out.

Now got to press your feet into the ice and keep very close footwork.

Just a little slow. I don't think it has the flow that we've seen them have before.

But very nice speed on the twizzles, great unison, all of that is great form.

This program has a very vintage feel with the music and the costumes. You can hear the crackle of the old phonograph in the background..

This is a nice lift, not particularly difficult.

They are not quite as seamless and amazing as last year (2010)

That's an amazing score, the best this season.

The commentary free video is here:

http://www.universalsports.com/video/assetid=f3a86d6c-16ee-44aa-a766-140be5dcf07b.html

And yes, V&M did not get credit for the key point in the GW where Tessa was on the wrong edge.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2011/wc2011_IceDance_SD_Scores.pdf

Lavergne100
12-03-2011, 04:12 PM
I just joined this site and am sooo grateful to have folks to discuss skating with! Finally! (My hubby watches hockey, not figure skating...) So, as a newbie I apologize in advance if I'm not following proper protocol by "jumping in" here, but I had some comments about the commentators myself.

I've always favored Scott Hamilton as a commentator. Even the weakest skater at an event has worked hard, training for years to get to that level. Scott is knowledgable, humorous and very constructive with his critiques. And he's respectful of the skaters, no doubt because he understand the sacrifices that they've made for their sport. He's also enthusiastic and positive. I also liked having Peggy Fleming comment alongside someone. Even if the other commentator was critical, Peggy could always be relied upon to find SOMETHING positive to say: even if it was saying that the skater's "costume was pretty" or something. Peggy balanced things out.

Lavergne100
12-03-2011, 04:14 PM
I like Peter, as well.

Clytie
12-03-2011, 04:47 PM
However, some V&M fans have complained about her commentary in the Worlds SD

Your right, but I am not a huge Virtue/Moir fan - it just really rankled because when Meryl and Charlie were off in unison for their twizzles she just mentioned his problem with grabbing the blade and said maybe it would effect them. Same thing with the FD. Again I am no expert and she is- its just the tone and the way she words her 'compliments'. I also remember her being dismissive of Bourne/Kraatz, which I am sure some would agree with. But hearing commentary that is contrary to hers, be it Eurosport or even ABC at the time really makes it stand out. That and I hated her interviewing style. I admit I am biased -she just bugs me. I would rather hear Paul Wylie comment on dance than her.


I think people give Peter Carruthers a hard time because before he did a lot of play-by-play commentary, he was the guy who interviewed the skaters just as they got off the ice, and/or did fluff pieces.

I think that is were it comes from too. Some of his interviews were just cringe worthy. It really is crappy job. I am not sure anyone does it well.

Scott seems like a nice guy but he does'nt add anything to commentary that any average skating fan could'nt. I like flutzes being pointed out or wrong edges or not being on the music. I can see when someone falls. And the yelling is too much. Sandra should not be allowed near a mike ever. I'd take Judy over her every time.

DORISPULASKI
12-03-2011, 04:59 PM
Did Judy ever do commentary about Bourne & Kraatz?

Back in that day, it was usually Sandra Bezic, Tracy Wilson, or Susie Wynne. Or Dick Button himself. Dick did the dance at the 1998 Olympics.

2002 Olympics for NBC isn't Judy; I think it is Tracy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p3vJUOoX8M

I don't remember her as a commentator at all from pre US sport days?.

Do you have a link of Judy doing B&K commentary?

The D&W version of her commentary from 2011 Worlds is not on fsvids (it's expired) and what's on the US Sports website is the no commentary version, but what I remember about it was when he missed grabbing his skate, she said they'd lose a level.

--and they did.

snoopysnake
12-03-2011, 05:07 PM
I think people give Peter Carruthers a hard time because before he did a lot of play-by-play commentary, he was the guy who interviewed the skaters just as they got off the ice, and/or did fluff pieces. And those were pretty lame since the questions were so predictable, or in many cases cringe-worthy (ie: when Rohene Ward was surprised by his mother and Carruthers just awkwardly stood there with the microphone shoved in their sobbing faces). I have to wonder how much control he had over things like that (did the producer keep telling him to shove the mic there?)

As an actual PBP commentator, I think he's terrific. And supposedly he's hilarious in real life. Hoping to interview him someday.

You are correct. Peter is a very good commentator for pairs and not bad at it for singles, either. He seems to have been dropped from the fluff pieces and skater interviewing where he was indeed cringe-worthy. He is now getting to do what he does best.

I really like hearing Michael Weiss and Tara Lipinski doing PBP. IMHO Paul Wylie should be the anchor announcer. I do enjoy Terry Gannon but would rather have an all-skater lineup. Of course, I would like enough skating on TV to require quite a few announcer slots to be filled. Bring back "Push Dick's Button!"

I also love Scott Hamilton's announcing, contrary to most FSU-ers.

Clytie
12-03-2011, 05:13 PM
Hey DORISPULASKI . Sorry I don't have a link to her commentary for Bourne and Kraatz, I happen to have it on a DVD from clips I either got off youtube or FSV. Its the ESPN version from 1998 worlds. Dick's commentary was pretty different from hers regarding Riverdance.
I actually watch vids while on the elliptical at home. Helps keep me motivated. So I have heard a lot of commentary the last four years. Nothing was as bad as Peggy and Dick during the 84 Olympics. I enjoy some snark but often it was just nasty.

As for Davis/White I do have that clip too - She says Charlie grabs his foot late and it could be a deduction. She then goes on to say how everything is clean and pure. And just to be nitpicky Charlie kicks up snow in the same spot as Scott did and she never mentions it or brings up toepicks. It was just that her and Chris Howarth's opinions were so different that I really picked up on it. And I feel like maybe I spend too much time thinking about this lol.

rhumba
12-03-2011, 07:30 PM
I think Judy could do better job if leave out the bias, she's definitely D/W's fan. However, I still prefer Judy than Tanith. At least I learned something from Judy. Please no more Tanith, she is so annoying.....her voice, her talkativeness.....urghhhh...