You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"
Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, The Carpenters, Captain and Tenille, Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Association, Phil Collins, Chris Cross, Terry Jacks
I'm not sure Carmen, e.g., is "in the public domain." Wouldn't there be a copyright on each recording of it?
That said, I'm a judge and I do find it somewhat distracting to hear words while judging. I assume that, as it becomes more common (allowed in U.S. through Intermediate or maybe Novice), I'll get used to it.
Cole Porter. Franz Schubert. Bob Dylan. Paul McCartney. Joni Mitchell. Stephen Foster. Paul Simon. Irving Berlin. George and Ira Gershwin. Edith Piaf. Mozart. Rossini. Puccini. Kurt Weill. Oscar Hammerstein Jr.
I'm sure I can dig up another million or two possibilities if you need them.
(Case in point - Sarah Meier winning the gold at 2011 Euros. She was in 3rd after the SP so if this reverse order rule was in place then, she'd have just seen that she was in her "alloted spot" with two skaters to go. Nice to know she'd got a medal, but that's it so far. Whereas the way it was, she happened to draw last and we got one of the most endearing reactions to a score/placement that there's been in a long time. You know, the kind of stuff that people remember and that audiences love. Don't take that away, ISU!)
My recollection is Shen and Zhao. in second after the short program, skated last in the 2003 Worlds freeskate, and that's the most memorable skating performance I've ever witnessed. It wouldn't have been nearly as powerful a moment if they'd skated second to last.
I'm not crazy about random order in short programs though. I think season's rankings should figure in that.
Vocal music (with lyrics) has been allowed in U.S. competitions at the Intermediate level and below for a couple of years now and I still haven't seen that many skaters using it. (I'll be at a very large competition with mostly low level skating this weekend and will try to keep track of how many skaters I see and how many use music with lyrics). So it's not that clear how many elite skaters would use them if at first if they were allowed. Pants/pantsuits have been allowed in the ladies division for quite a number of years now (I forget exactly how many) and still aren't particularly common. I wonder if. It would be interesting to hear how elite skaters would answer if asked what they would do if it were allowed (whether they definitely would use vocals immediately, definitely wouldn't, or might consider it at some point).
Personally, I wouldn't be in favor of allowing them, partly for emotionally driven reasons and resistance to change. Looking at it rationally I really doubt that a large number of skaters would suddenly start using Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. (As far as Justin Bieber goes, I'd think he'd be most popular among the tween set who would likely to be skating at Intermediate level and below, where vocals are already allowed, and I've yet to see a single free skate program with his vocals ). I also don't think vocals have in any way ruined ice dance or made it less enjoyable, nor have they ruined lower level skating since they've been allowed. But I have found it distracting sometimes on lower-level events where vocals are used to keep in mind that it is a free skate event and not a showcase, so I really do need to pay attention to all the technical details (so I agree with gkelly on that).
Last edited by RFOS; 02-09-2012 at 09:51 PM.
It seems to me I've heard that women's programs in particular tend to the bland musical choice for just that reason. And no doubt that's a factor in why the same musical choices are made over and over and over again (I could throw in a few more overs, but you get the drift).
Still, ice dance judges have learned to cope, and some skaters have used music that's distracting without vocals, and the judges have managed to judge.
And it's not just about judging. I find vocals distracting from focusing on and enjoying the performances.
I'm sure the proposal is to eliminate the anticlimax situations. But were those really ever as memorably boring as the upsets were exciting?
On another note, one thing I think the ISU really needs to encourage in long programs is announcing "That puts Skater Q 1st in the freeskate and 2nd overall" instead of just "Skater Q is now in 2nd place." They have done this at some times in the past, and it really would prevent a lot of confusion and outrage.
And it's not just about judging. I find vocals distracting from focusing on and enjoying the performances.[/QUOTE]
I don't have that problem, so I doubt it's universal.
I think being distracted by the words is pretty common but only if you listen to the lyrics. I know plenty of people who sing along to songs and yet can't tell you what the lyrics are or mean because they don't process them on a conscious level. But once you notice (or it's pointed out to you) the lyrics, it's almost impossible to ignore from that point on whenever you hear the song.
Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.