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View Full Version : U.S. Ladies [#5]: All That Glitters Is Not Gold



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kwanatic
10-20-2012, 10:43 PM
I like Ashley's version of the Red Violin and despite the small problem on her 3L, she was very strong in the SP today. I loved her 2A with the falling leaf! To control the landing edge and jump right up into the split...gorgeous!

Christina looks like a new skater! She had the performance of the night for me and she was the only one who skated without an error. All of her jumps were clean, her spins are better positioned (especially the layback) and faster, and that program was just lovely! I see a lot of growth in her artistically. The program itself is just gorgeous and she really did a great job of hitting the accents and really feeling the music. I hope she delivers strongly tomorrow...I've always liked her and I'd really like to see her have a breakthrough year.

Rachael looked lovely in her dress, hair and makeup. The program was very slow at the beginning. I like the attitude she was giving but it was sans energy until the end. The ending was really nice with the spread eagles and the ending position. Unfortunately her score is a very clear indication of where the judges want her to go...

circuscandy
10-21-2012, 12:52 AM
Rachael's dress was just beautiful.

I agree that Christina had the performance of the night. Everyone around me in the crowd was gushing.

krenseby
10-21-2012, 01:17 AM
Unfortunately her score is a very clear indication of where the judges want her to go...

Do you feel that the judges were not merely objectively evaluating her performance as skated, but also using the scores to indicate how they personally feel about her as a skater? I know this might sound like a silly question, but I am trying to understand the psychology of judging.

pinky166
10-21-2012, 02:18 AM
I think the judges were just scoring Rachael for what she put out on the ice. She's never been a skater who could afford to make mistakes in the SP, and even when she was at her best, she needed her 3f-3t and 3lz just to stay afloat with the other top ladies. Now, she's not at her best, she has not accomplished much as of late so her PCS are not as strong as they once were and further hurt by skating early, she lightened up her content, and she made a mistake. The spins have never done her any favors or gotten her any GOEs, but she used to be able to get level 4s on most of them anyways but she didn't get the levels here, so honestly her score makes sense. PCS shouldn't be based on reputation but we all know they are, at least to a certain extent. So when Rachael was finishing 1st or 2nd at Nationals, winning JW, medaling at GPs, finishing 5th at Worlds - yeah her PCS were higher, but they've never been huge, low 7s maybe at best. So now for a good skate she'd maybe get mid-6s, this was a skate with errors and she skated first, so the high-5s aren't that surprising. She's never been a SP skater, her BV used to keep her afloat and make up for the lack of GOEs she got on her jumps and spins, and considering the reduced spots on the GP, with 3f-2t and 3lo as her planned content (which she didn't even manage here), it's to be expected she'd be at the bottom of the field. That's the standard of the GP.

demetriosj
10-21-2012, 02:21 AM
[QUOTE=kwanatic;3716884]
Christina looks like a new skater! She had the performance of the night for me and she was the only one who skated without an error. All of her jumps were clean, her spins are better positioned (especially the layback) and faster, and that program was just lovely! I see a lot of growth in her artistically. The program itself is just gorgeous and she really did a great job of hitting the accents and really feeling the music. I hope she delivers strongly tomorrow...I've always liked her and I'd really like to see her have a breakthrough year.

Maybe, if Nationals were ever really judged fairly.....even with a superior program, do you think the USFSA judges would place Gao ahead of Ashley or Gracie?

Sylvia
10-21-2012, 02:22 AM
The Lifeskate blog posted e-mail interviews with Rachael Flatt and Christina Gao conducted before they competed at Skate America and I'm cross-posting them here as well as in the Skate America forum in Kiss an Cry:

Rachael Flatt fights back at her critics by being happy (http://www.lifeskate.com/skate/2012/10/rachael-flatt-fights-back-at-her-critics-by-being-happy.html) (Oct. 12, 2012)

Christina Gao, Harvard student, sets eyes on Sochi Olympics (http://www.lifeskate.com/skate/2012/10/christina-gao-harvard-student-sets-eyes-on-sochi-olympics-.html) (Oct. 19, 2012)

smarts1
10-21-2012, 03:10 AM
I was shocked at how much Christina improved during the off-season. I was not expecting that at all considering she's juggling classes with skating. Her spins are much better than before and her artistry is not as dry as it once was.

As for Rachael, I thought, considering her score that she skated extremely poorly, but she did okay. And when is she going to stop having problems with her tendons?

I was expecting more from Ashley's program, but ehh, it's a nice start. I was never a fan of the Red Violin music anyways. Her spins, though are much improved from Japan Open. I wonder though if her team is going to tweak them so she can get the highest levels later.

RD
10-21-2012, 03:36 AM
Gao is much improved, that was a bit of a surprise...but remember, that was just the short program. The freeskate will tell the story.

Flatt was OK jumpwise, but the rest of her skating has just deteriorated so. It would have made a nice gala program, as she got into the performance near the end, but for a competition I'd have expected more from a former Olympian, even one who is currently going to school.

A LOT of "oomph" in Wagner's program I feel was lost through watching it on the computer screen. It felt so much more alive in person when I saw her perform it at the Weiss show. Watching it on Youtube I was like yeah, eh, ok, good start, but nothing spectacular. Foundation has been set though.

orbitz
10-21-2012, 03:54 AM
Flatt was OK jumpwise, but the rest of her skating has just deteriorated so. It would have made a nice gala program, as she got into the performance near the end, but for a competition I'd have expected more from a former Olympian, even one who is currently going to school.


She looks out of competitive shape. Her layback is essentially now an upright spin with an open free leg. The one good thing I'd say about her SP is that at least she didn't pick some classical music that has been heard a gazillion time before.



A LOT of "oomph" in Wagner's program I feel was lost through watching it on the computer screen. It felt so much more alive in person when I saw her perform it at the Weiss show. Watching it on Youtube I was like yeah, eh, ok, good start, but nothing spectacular. Foundation has been set though.

The footwork didn't match the intensity of the music. The first 2/3 was ok, and she had some nice spins in there.

judgejudy27
10-21-2012, 05:33 AM
Do you feel that the judges were not merely objectively evaluating her performance as skated, but also using the scores to indicate how they personally feel about her as a skater? I know this might sound like a silly question, but I am trying to understand the psychology of judging.

I imagine the judges, like many others, think she should just retire already. That definitely plays a part in their scores. Her quality of skating and performances are pretty mediocre at best these days anyway, so that makes it all the easier to score her as such.

Marco
10-21-2012, 05:42 AM
Wagner's short program felt, well, short. Perhaps it was the conscious decision to backload the solo triple and the axel that made the first half relatively short of required elements. For the first minute, it was just the jump combo and choreography (which I like). The second half looked rush in comparison. Perhaps it was because she had to wait for the music, I felt the steps were rushed through and the final spin incomplete. She really could have a bigger lead if her spins were of higher level. Love the holding out of the jump combo landing and the split leap after the axel.

Strategy wise - perhaps she should go for an easier 3/3 instead of waiting for the flip/toe to happen. Sotnikova was totally going to overtake her if not for the pop. As the leading US lady, she really should not have to rely on others' mistakes for the lead. I am not sure if she can get this kind of GOEs on the 3/2 outside of the US.

pinky166
10-21-2012, 05:00 PM
I have wondered if Ashley would be better off going for 3t-3t and 3f in the SP. Her 3lo is good but that's probably the jump she's most likely to 2ft, and 3f-3t might not happen consistently enough for it to be worth it, and the layout I mentioned above would have a higher BV than her current one when she does the 3-2 and we know she can rack up big GOEs on her flip! I don't doubt she could do a 3t-3t either.

jlai
10-21-2012, 05:58 PM
I know it's just the short, but I think other college girls who are skating would love to know whatever secret that helps Gao keep skating at this level while going to college full time.

aftershocks
10-21-2012, 06:05 PM
Well, Gao explained why she thinks it is working for her, in the link that Sylvia posted above (Lifeskate interview). Others have done it before successfully, including Dick Button, Debi Thomas, Paul Wylie, Matt Savoie (although Paul and Matt deferred full time studies to pursue the Olympics).

Gao loves Boston, loves having the chance to forget about studies while in the rink, and to forget about skating while in school. Her new coaches are obviously working well for her too, and she's matured into such a lovely young lady. Her layback leg position is to die for. :)

orbitz
10-21-2012, 06:53 PM
I know it's just the short, but I think other college girls who are skating would love to know whatever secret that helps Gao keep skating at this level while going to college full time.

Gao has only been in college for about 2-3 months prior to SA and is a freshman. Depending on what her major will be and what classes she will take in the future, I'm sure it could have an impact on her training as she continue to maintain this dual schedule. Flatt, for example, has Physic labs and probably also group projects for engineering classes, which eat up quite a chunk out of her days.