As for his 3A, in season 2006-2007 Johnny had a lot of trouble with it. After he changed to Galina his axel became different, but Johnny's body changed too. He became a bit bigger than he was 19-20 years old. So maybe it required some change in technique to get the consistency back.
They showed Johnny practicing quads on BGJW and Galina even said she was going to make him practice until he got it right but I don't recall him doing any in competition since Skate America.
Returning to Priscilla is not an option, Johnny just bought the condo in New York City and somehow I don't see him moving back home to his parents' house in Delaware.
Also in Galina's defense, I got the sense that she didn't remove elements from his programs so much as take some of the personality out of David Wilson's choreography. (She's always after Johnny to be more masculine.) I think it was Johnny who removed elements, on the spot. He's been known to start improvising-- removing second jumps from would-be combinations, doing doubles instead of triples, etc--when he's not feeling confident. That costs him.
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.
Why was such an antagonistic title selected for his book? Welcome--really? No one is obligated to deal with or spend their energy dealing with HIS world. Presumptuous and
At sometime during the last season the coverage I was watching had David Wilson guest commentating. When it came time to Weirs FS the criticism came up that it was lacking in the choreography department. I don't even know where to find it so I'm clearly going from memory here so people can take that for what it's worth but the bottom line was Wilson indicated that was NOT the program he choreographed. That typically skaters meet with their choreographer throughout the season to tweak things here and there or whatever. The program was made with Johnny and then there was pretty much no contact or collaboration going into the season. That it was a physically demanding program for Johnny. But I would also make clear that Wilson didn't gossip about him unkindly (don't want to give that impression). My impression was he really enjoyed working with Johnny and was really excited about this program (felt it really showed his personality and journey) but was just putting it on the table that the program being criticized was not his work. My impression at the time is that Johnny has the same problem as Joubert, they aren't conditioned well enough to get through a CoP friendly choreographed program. I think they need to take some responsibility for that.
But I can also see Galina removing things she didn't like or stripping things down because she knows her skater isn't fit enough to get through it and land those elements. I saw a few outtakes on youtube once of his reality show. One of those outtakes had Johnny with his costume maker at the rink showing Galina his costume for this FS and she didn't like it. Johnny turned to the costume maker and said they'd have to start again. I find that interesting NOW because of the admission he faked illness to get out of a GP once because USFSA officials didn't like his costume. He certainly listened when Galina spoke though. How much of that was discipline I don't know because it was also mentioned it an outtake that popped up after that he was contracted to be with Galina until 2010. So from that I gather when he moved to Galina he had to sign a contract that they would work together til the 2010 Olympics so perhaps there was also a "her way or the highway" clause in there
Tessa and Scott: Thank you
I just assumed he was being sarcastic towards people posting about this book that aren't fans. If not
Tessa and Scott: Thank you
To be honest, my favorite programs and skating in general happened during his time with Priscilla. That also happened to be the period of the most wins and placements in his career.
I shared Johnny's incredulity at Galina's statement that his jump technique was incorrect and needed reworking. Johnny's jumps were always gorgeous, easy, airy with lovely smooth runouts. I've been saying this for years. He knew it because that's what went through his mind when he heard this from Galina. But being infatuated with the Russian style of coaching (which is superb), he let her have free reign.
The best quality about Johnny's skating IMO is his natural easy, flowing quality, untainted by the wishes of others (more masculine, less ballerina) or by his own Lady Gaga fancies.
Having said that, I do think he wuzrobbed on many occasions late his career and it was political. In the book he does address his disappointment and even bitterness (and who wouldn't be bitter?) but ultimately comes to an acceptance and a more mature outlook.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
I am one of the group who doesn't think Johnny was robbed of anything. I think he underperformed for a lot of reasons. However, I would like to see him work with a coach who both embraced his natural qualities and had the technical expertise to fix only what needed fixing. I think he may have farther to go but not with Galina. I truly don't need to see Lady Gaga on ice but I do think those wonderful lyrical qualities should be leveraged as strengths not weaknesses and combined with the solid jumps he had. He could still do something very special that he hasn't done yet but not with her. Butching Johnny up isn't a necessary approach or a wise expenditure of time. Taking his naturally terrific qualities and building interesting programs (with transitions even!) around them might tap his inner energy and drive to compete more effectively if competition is what he wants. Asking him to work against himself isn't honoring who he is and that is just an energy/soul drain. I am finding it confusing that he would choose to go back to a coach who didn't respect him as he is - why would anyone want that? He can do better than that.
Last edited by Willowway; 03-04-2011 at 04:05 PM.
I think the reason she tried to butch him up was because they did think he ws getting marked down unfairly, however, I agree totally with the rest of your post. For one thing Johnny's biggest problem has always been his head and trying to make him something he's not messes with his head and makes it hard for him to be the free flying skater he was in Dr. Z.. He skates for the emotional jag and changing his techniques so that he has to concentrate on that too much is counterproductive.
I really would have liked to see him do a full David Wilson program. At the time, it seemed like a match made in heaven. I was really surprised to hear that the program had been watered down so much; why did they hire him in the first place? They had to know what his choreography was like, and been willing to pay what is likely a very high price for it.
He was having trouble landing his 3A when Zmievskaya changed it, and from his book, he sounded like his confidence was rattled. Of course it was even more so once she changed it, and he confined to fall consistently trying the new technique.
She didn't take something he was landing consistently and mash it up for change's sake.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
This was played out in an episode of BGJW. I just saw the replay of the episode last week. It showed Johnny and David putting together his programs. David and Johnny were very pleased. David said they had "put the Johnny back in Johnny". Then, Johnny showed the programs to Galina and she bashed them. Johnny specifically said that he could not win against Galina. He was thrilled he got the costumes he wanted. He declared that a small victory. Its really too bad that David couldn't come to New Jersey and help. It seemed like everyone is ascared of Galina.At sometime during the last season the coverage I was watching had David Wilson guest commentating. When it came time to Weirs FS the criticism came up that it was lacking in the choreography department. I don't even know where to find it so I'm clearly going from memory here so people can take that for what it's worth but the bottom line was Wilson indicated that was NOT the program he choreographed. That typically skaters meet with their choreographer throughout the season to tweak things here and there or whatever. The program was made with Johnny and then there was pretty much no contact or collaboration going into the season. That it was a physically demanding program for Johnny. But I would also make clear that Wilson didn't gossip about him unkindly (don't want to give that impression). My impression was he really enjoyed working with Johnny and was really excited about this program (felt it really showed his personality and journey) but was just putting it on the table that the program being criticized was not his work.