Paul and Islam: "No Matter What"

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by kwanfan1818, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    It's no secret that I never liked either of these programs .. And I think it was a major tactical error to return to what must have been seen as old strengths (Casablanca and for that matter the SD music)

    I don't know who's at fault, but it's always seemed a no-brainer to me, that with the world state of Ice dancing in flux, this was the time to make some sort of bold statement with your programs. The teams Rafter mentions have done that.

    But not knowing what caused these decisions, I think it may be premature to think of a coaching change.

    ETA: Just on a purely Canadian side note , I don't like either of G/P's programs any better, and can't feel that when they get to World's their material will be that well received , though they'll continue to be overrated at home .. so for me, it's like a doubly costly mistake for P/I.

    ETA again: (sorry) W/P only got the full credit they deserved at home when they simply could no longer be denied and there still was resistance to the very end.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  2. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    To me P/I come off a bit like V/M lite but with lesser skills. They also are rather vanilla on the ice and don't show much personality. Whatever one may think of Scott Moir he has personality on the ice and has a commanding presence on the ice as all the good male Ice Dancers do.
     
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  3. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Active Member

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    Yeah I agree. It is pretty hard to be a poorer version of Virtue & Moir as even their style wouldn't have gotten them much success had their skills not just been so incredible they were impossible to deny. Mitchell especialy seems to be packaged as if he is the new Scott Moir and that is a good mistake. The last thing he wants is to be compared to Scott Moir in anyway, as he can never live up to that.
     
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  4. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Active Member

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    I agree on the W/P part especialy. I bet even today the CSA is itching to push G/P above them if given half a chance, but as long as W/P keep scoring much higher internationally the chance isn't there.

    G/P are quite overrated as Paul Poirier and his various partners have been since day 1, and I feel sorry for the others who have to deal with that kind of favoritism. If you slip for a moment Paul Poirier & whoever will be leapfrogged over you, probably for good, as poor Paul & Islam already are now learning after what has happened since the Autumn Classic.
     
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  5. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    G/P have been overrated from the time they got together. She's just not in the same league as the top Ice Dancing Ladies and probably will never be. They probably shouldn't even have beaten H/D at TEB.
     
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  6. Emdee

    Emdee Well-Known Member

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    Well many teams have been overrated. This year Piper is much improved.
    Weaver played catch up for a few years as well.
     
  7. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    So , should people say , "Oh well , that's alright, then" ?????? .. I don't think so.

    This is P/I's thread, so the following may seem to go somewhat OT. However , I wouldn't want to intrude on G/P's cheer thread to make the following points , so I hope you'll all indulge me. When W/P first got together Kaitlyn did have to play catch up with Andrew , but the disparity between the two of them at the time, was not as great as the disparity between Paul and Piper when they got together. Piper has improved , but she hasn't caught up yet ... and the teams they're in competition with have improved in many ways as well.

    At their very first Canadian Nationals G/P were given embarrassingly high marks ,and though that could not continue , they do continue to be given the maximum for what they do nationally, a situation their near competitors do not enjoy ( and I don't just mean P/I ).This has to at least seep into the awareness of international judges.. even if we don't think they're being touted (which I wouldn't bet against.)

    For me a credible argument for G/P being rated as highly as they are cannot be made while their very comparable national team mates are being underrated. Yes , couples can have on and off days at different times, they can make good or bad choices in their programs ... but we're seeing an unwarranted gap in the credit they're being given for what they do on the ice, which tells me that politics must also be playing a part.

    G/P and P/I have different improvements to make, but I think P/I are at least as good individually, weighing their different pluses and minuses and superior in their ability to move as a couple. They're not really much slower, that I can see, and they're much neater.

    While I wish P/I had time to make needed changes before Canadians, I don't know if it's possible. If not, I hope the search is beginning now for breakout material for next year.
     
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  8. Emdee

    Emdee Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree that when Paul and Piper teamed up she was well below par.

    Unlike them Paul and Islams joining together appeared seamless. They were both in tune with each other and it showed. Last year I was very impressed to see them live three times, at Thornhill, at Skate Canada And then at Nats. They seemed to have blossomed under KC. The question one has to ask is what is holding the progress back this year. To me they appear to lack confidence. They come across very tentative. Added to that I don't think they are making their levels. Maybe it's the FD as well.

    Yes, I am a big Paul Poirier fan ( not necessarily Piper). One reason is that he is from my small Community of Unionville. However, there are some things about PI that I absolutely adore.
     
  9. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    To my eyes, P/I appeared tentative at the AC , but not really after that. They've looked understandably apprehensive in the KnC , but not while performing. E.g., I detected no noticeable hesitancy or struggle in any of their elements. At CoC, I thought they definitely should have made it into the second group, and worry that the fact that they didn't may have established a precedent in the minds of judges. Obviously, they aren't making all their levels , but I think it's questionable whether they should have made more of them.

    Then the general problem with the way PCS are being awarded ( across all disciplines) allows for questionable or borderline technical assessments to be exaggerated , either to the positive or the negative for any given couple. ( I don't know if this can be fully resolved because a degree of subjectivity is inevitable , but it definitely needs to be improved upon.) For P/I this year, it's definitely worked to negative effect.... as have their programs .

    As I've said, I think there are problems with both dances , less so with the SD. Early on, I worried about the SD not being a clear paso , because of timing issues .. but, as it turns out, I don't think timing has been a problem in their marks. Still, I feel the music choice was a miscue and that a true paso , with a more "martial" feel would have helped them to bring more dominance and tension to their performance... and I think the FD music does nothing to really move or excite people.

    Emdee, I think it's perfectly fine for any of us to be a fan of any skater , or couple .. and I do take you at your word when you say that there are things about P/I that you adore. Coming from the west coast, I follow the career of O/W with much interest, fully recognising that there was a disparity in their abilities when they got together, and taking satisfaction in the progress they've made (very noticeable this year). But I also recognise that they are in close contention with a number of other couples.

    My problem is that Skate Canada should not be such obvious Paul Poirier fans... which I think they have been to the point of ignoring the oft-repeated truth that it takes two skaters to make a dance couple, but a good dance couple should equal more than the sum of its parts... ignoring that the more proficient partner is necessarily limited by their "lesser half". Skate Canada should be, and be seen to be impartial in how they treat those couples who are at a comparable level, and they have been anything but.

    This goes back to the days of C/P and continues to the present, with perhaps the most egregious example being in G/P's Canadians debut - with the constant drumbeat for C/P in their last year together coming close. ( That year, judging by quotes from SC, you would hardly have known W/P existed until their big breakout at Worlds) .

    This means that like W/P before them, P/I (or any other Canadian couple, for that matter) will have to be better in order to be considered equal and considerably better in order to rise above. Unfair though this may be, I think P/I are capable of doing it, but they'll need to be very astute in their choice of programs.

    From P/I's end of things this year, there may be contributing factors behind the scenes that we have no way of knowing. The possibility of Mitch having a concussion close to the AC has been mentioned (?)... I have to say that I was privately worried for them when Massimo Scali moved over to Zueva, because I think he had been working closely with them. (?) If a bit of a re-shuffle consequently occurred at DSC, they may have slipped through the cracks a bit.. we may never know. We can only wait to see what develops.
     
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  10. Emdee

    Emdee Well-Known Member

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    Pratfall, you make several very valuable points. I just looked at several Pasos a few minutes ago and I agree that the music doesn't allow them to project more. Alexandra is always exquisite both in looks and her dancing but Mitch has underwhelmed me in the past. However, looking at the video from TEB I see Mitch really bringing out that Paso feel and I found my eyes drawn to him more than ever.

    Regarding those WP vs CP days....I think those were early days for Weaver while CP were well matched. I remember seeing CP live at a Margaret Garrison event with on ice seats at close quarters their deep edges and use of the blade were incredible. I had liked them but never fully understood what the judges saw in them before that day.

    We in Canada have some wonderful ice dancers and a number of them clustered in quality. I like PO as well especially their free.
     
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  11. iggie

    iggie Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, misunderstood something
     
  12. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    I think there are so many wonderful dance teams now that it is a challenge to stand out and get noticed. They are not the only former World Junior medalists that are having their struggles. I feel G/P have gotten attention on the world stage by their material - especially last year. I wish P/I and their team could find some way to set them apart. Sometimes great skating doesn't seem to be enough and then not getting the marks erodes confidence and makes it hard to really sell it.
     
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  13. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Some great discussion here :)

    I'm a bit out of the loop, but I'll try to weight in on a couple of things. I'm glad some of you mentioned how Mitch seems to really stand out in the Paso. I noticed it right off the bat, and I think it's perfect. Mitch is the matador, Alex is the cape. He should be standing out as sharp and fierce, and she should be elegant and flowy and rhythmical. I think they've nailed this right on the head. I actually love the music and the choreo of that SD as well. The Paso is about passion, and the over the top gestures and face pulling that a lot of teams are doing feel like an attempt to ram 'ferocity' down the audience's throats rather than a legitimate attempt to interpret the style correctly. P/I have a softer sell, and they really use their hands and feet to hilight the rhythmical inflections. They actually appear to be feeling the rhythm as opposed to throwing their arms around sharply trying to look fierce. Plus, they're selling it with their faces without going over board. They look passionate as opposed to comical, which I really, really love. Plus, this style seems to fit Mitch really, really well.

    It's no secret that I'm less than thrilled by the FD. It's beneath them. That being said, I really haven't found them to appear tentative this season (not in the SD or the FD), with the obvious exception of the ACI FD. They don't have that look of tension that they used to have years ago. It looks more like they're not totally comfortable with the FD, which makes sense since it's not their usual style of skating (I'm referring to the way the steps and movements have been arranged, not the actual genre of the music). They've sold it well (very well at CoC, less so at TEB), but you can just see that it doesn't really fit. I hope they have enough time between now and Canadians to make the program their own. I don't think it's even going to be a masterpiece, but if they rearrange some of the footwork and transitions it may end up looking more like the type of program they usually skate.

    As for their levels, I'm sure they're not making all of them. How many teams are at this point in the season? Plus, I think that the way the footwork sequences in the FD have been designed has eliminated some of the steps that were probably helping them get those levels in the past. That being said, the tech panels have been exceedingly harsh with them. There have been a lot of levels awarded to other teams that have appeared questionable, but P/I don't ever seem to be the beneficiaries of that type of thing. There appears to be something of a double standard in the way that P/I and several other teams are being assessed when compared to the judges favourites. I have a bigger issue with the PCS and GOE's, which have made next to no sense, and have accounted for a much bigger portion of their score deficiencies.

    All that aside, the Holiday Festival on Ice is this weekend! :) I'll try and post any photos/videos I find.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
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  14. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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  15. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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  16. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    Great photos.. Alex is exquisite.