Obviously they have to skate clean in the actual competition, but other than that, what else do they need to beat the other pairs?
For a pair in their first year together, they looked very good in 2011. IMO there are areas where they can improve. They seemed very technical this past year, and it was understandable. They had to get the moves down- different throwing technique, getting the unison down, etc. For a first year pair, their unison was quite good, but it could be better. I would like to see a better line (though under COP it's not that important), and a better connection between them. Tatiana has always been strong technically and I hope she will maintain that. We don't know yet how they will react to pressure. S&S and Pang & Tong cannot be ignored, as they have been on top for years. What do V&T need to do to surpass them? Also other pairs that are going to develop- Sui-Han, and young Russian pairs could challenge them. What will give them the edge? Will skating consistently clean give them the edge by becoming the judges' favorites? Do they need more difficult throws, jumps, etc.? Certainly not the quad throw since it's high risk and not enough reward under the COP.