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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by maharbabackward View Post
    Is it just me or are people irked by the addition of music to Meditation that Moskvina added.. the extra "flourishes"? I loved the subtleness of the GPF as flawed as it was .
    I too liked the GPF version of the music better- it was pure. However, from what I read, Tamara felt after the GPF that under the judging criteria B&S needed more variation in the music, so she added those 'highlights'. Tamara was not going to take any chances, knowing that her pair would have some obstacles in North America (but I don't think even she imagined what actually happened). I also liked the last lift in GPF (romantic, versus the head throw back position in the Olympics) better; it seemed smoother and prettier.

    Regardless, Meditation was a complex, beautiful program, which I was lucky enough to watch at the Delta Center in SLC that night. Love Story was a pleasant program but it was very simple, lacking in transitions, which made it easier to skate it clean (also the fact that they were skating it since 2000. Even Shen & Zhao said that B&S deserved to win. B&S skated well enough, though not perfect, and deserved to get a narrow win. One small error- a step out on the 2A by Anton- was so insignificant when you consider the complexity of the choreography, the superiority of their basic skating, the speed going from one difficult element to another, that the result should never have been questioned in the first place.

    IMO Love Story was not a competitive program, and I had mentioned it as soon as I found out they were going to use that in the Olympics. The Orchid would have been competitive, but we saw how uncomfortable Jamie was with that program, and it was unlikely that they would have skated it clean and with confidence. Had the Olympics not taken place in North America, it is quite possible that the results would have been accepted as a close win for B&S.

    Had B&S skated their Citylights (Chaplin) program at the Olympics, they would have skated it with more confidence (again,an old program with minor changes), but in 2001 they got a mixed reception from the judges. IMO they deserved to win the 2001 worlds, even with a couple of minor flaws (crash landing on the split 3tw and a shaky landing on the throw 3R), because of the originality and the complex moves, speed, their interpretation of the character of the music. B&S loved that program, and wanted to skate it in the Olympics. However, losing GPF 01 and worlds 01 was a red flag. During the 2001-2002 season the judges told Tamara that they wanted B&S to skate to classical music, so she chose a familiar piece of music- Meditation- and made the choreography so difficult that no other pair could come close to it. B&S were well rewarded for the complexity of the choreography, their speed, lack of rest periods, in the presentation marks. Choreographically it was a more interesting program, and it was skated well, based on what I saw. It was not the third rate performance that our media made it, and the results should never have been questioned. However, politics are politics and FS cannot escape it.

  2. #42
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    Some quotes from "The Second Mark"

    "In terms of the great Chaplin program, which Europe had hailed as a masterpiece, Moskvina was acting very mysterious and wise...Having tested Chaplin out on North America in the the year before the Olympics and gotten burned once, she wasn't going to bring the program back to Salt Lake City." (p. 209)

    "Now the Olympics loomed, and they needed a program. All autumn, they quarreled about it. Lena and Anton wanted to keep the Chaplin program, or maybe make a new variant of it. But Moskvina wouldn't hear of it. 'I heard many remarks from judges who considered Chaplin program too showy...And I was afraid that t the Olympics this principle can be used to judge the program low. So I thought, Okay, I will better take this classical program, that nobody can make any criticism.'" (p. 210)

    "In the months they were suposed to be polishing [Meditation], they didn't practice it enough. Whenever they could Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze put in the Chaplin CD instead." (p. 211)

    "They couldn't afford to take a gamble on Chaplin. The judges might find fault, and they could lose the Olympic gold medal--again. Their entire future earnings depended on winning.' (p. 211)

    ETA this quote: "After a split-decision loss to the Canadians six weeks ago, in Canada, Moskvina went to some judges for advice. 'I talked to different judges directly, indirectly. I want to find out impression of the judges. So we talk, and I am getting like the feeling.' The feeling was that the 'Meditation' program was too subtle. So Moskvina hired a digital composer to add more instruments to the music. She brought the choreographers back to fire up every small gesture, and hastily cmmissioned new costumes in bolder colors." (p. 226)

    Context from earlier in the book: interest in figure skating in Russia was at an all-time low, with many empty seats at shows, and the West was the only place they could earn money at the time. Hard to believe that was only a decade ago.

    '[At GPF]: They got two sixes [for "Love Story"] from judges who were going to be at the Olympics.' (p. 219)

    "It seemed clear that they should take the "Love Story" program to the Olympics, but all the same Sale and Pelletier decide to give "Orchid" one more chance [at Canadian Nationals]." (p. 219)

    B/S's Chaplin program at 2001 Cup of Russia is the greatest pairs program I've ever seen on tape, and "Orchid" was a beauty. Both teams started committed to their original programs -- Chaplin and Orchid -- and both teams changed them because they thought they read the judges' preferences, and there was too much at stake to stick with the better programs.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 02-25-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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  3. #43

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    Somewhat OT: The second mark had so many factual errors that I don't refer to that book for information. I don't mean that everything in it is wrong either, but when something in print is obviously wrong- because my tapes tell otherwise- I start doubting the rest of the material.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by PashaFan View Post
    I thought that Elena & Anton should have won Worlds in 01' (but none of my friends did). Jamie fell in the short & singled out on the axel in the free. Elena & Anton were perfect in the short & had a slightly dodgy split twist in the free.
    If Elena & Anton skate perfectly IMO they are way better than Jamie & David.
    The result of 2001 Worlds was a far bigger scandal than anything that happened in Salt Lake City. Of course, nothing came of it since the "right" team won.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair View Post
    Although both were great, I preferred S&P on the basis of the perfecly clean elements throughout the program...the twist, death spirals, throws, jumps, lifts...all were done spotlessly.

    B&S had some loose ends despite the fact that their program complicated. That alone can't convince me that B&S were better that night.
    Totally agree.
    Just watched ORCHID... Thanks for the link.. I surely did not appreciate that program before.... Now I think it was complex, nuanced, sophisticated and beautifully executed... Wish they had kept that...maybe we could have avoided Le Scandal.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  6. #46
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    I found I agreed most with the Chinese and Polish judges who made sure to give S&P the technical mark, but gave presentation to B&S ,who had a program that ,IMHO, really paid better attention to the judging criteria of presentation under 6.0.
    However, I can understand those who would have wanted to reward a cleaner skate as well. It was a close call in my eyes.
    For me S&P forfeited the "cleaner skate" consideration by skating a much emptier, simpler program that made it much much easier to skate clean. In fact, I believe they ditched Orchid, a program more competitive with Meditation, because they couldn't skate it clean. I don't believe it's fair to reward a clean program when the program is easier so that you can skate it clean. B&S could have skated a perfectly clean Meditation if it were as comparitively empty as LS. It's the same thing I felt reading over some comments that D/W were underscored in the 4CC short because they were clean. Yes, clean, but many other teams would have been just as clean skating that content.
    Last edited by Subway; 02-25-2012 at 09:37 PM.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by PashaFan View Post
    I'm with you but it was never going to go away if the Canadians did not get another gold medal. The IOC were not happy with the whole situation & many were starting to question if Figure Skating had a part in the Olympics.
    They needed to act quickly.
    If you look at the three major championships Jamie & David competed-Worlds in 00', Worlds in 01' & the Olympics in 02'. Jamie made an error in each of the short programes. I thought that Elena & Anton should have won Worlds in 01' (but none of my friends did). Jamie fell in the short & singled out on the axel in the free. Elena & Anton were perfect in the short & had a slightly dodgy split twist in the free.
    If Elena & Anton skate perfectly IMO they are way better than Jamie & David.
    I've always thought the French judge situation was suspicious. They were looking for something and they found it. I wonder if she was pressured to "confess."

    Besides that, the whole thing was railroaded. The U.S. media even more than Canada was railroading the story, influenced by network commentators Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic screaming. The American network had taken to calling S&P the "north americans" instead of Canadians, emphasizing the American part because the U.S. had no dog in the pairs fight. It was a way to invest the American television viewer. The evil Russian empire had nephariously controlled the top of the podium in pairs and now these plucky upstart north americans bravely dared to challenge. If they lost, the Evil Russians must have found a way to cheat. It had nothing to do with figure skating but it helps that neither most of the viewers nor the media knows anything about figure skating except who stumbled and didn't. It's so ironic that 2002 helped promote such a simplistic view of skating so an easy program should win over a difficult, complex one if the easy one is clean and the complex one has a small error. Then there was the Lori Nichol part of it because she was S&P's choreographer and the U.S. media knew her from her high profile days choreographing Michelle Kwan. It was all us and them and had so little to do with figure skating. The ISU let itself be bullied by the U.S. media a whole lot more than it was influenced by Skate Canada in my opinion. It was Hamilton, Lori Nichol and Sandra Bezic inciting a know-nothing media looking for a big story.

  8. #48
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    I think people are thinking S/P chose LS over Orchid because they wanted an easier program. I don't think that was the case at all. Watch the commentary of the GPF that year.. The American & Canadian commentators raved about LS and were questioning whether LS should be their Olympic program. Fast forward to nationals where they had their worst skate, and there was further talk and encouragement by D. Wilkes to stick with LS so they did. I am very sad that we did not get to see a clean version of Orchid, I loved that program. And I absolutely think they could've skated it clean, because they were able to manage this with T&I which was almost as demanding choreographically. And that was what IMO won them worlds the year prior ironically enough
    Last edited by maharbabackward; 02-25-2012 at 09:54 PM. Reason: grammar

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subway View Post
    I've always thought the French judge situation was suspicious. They were looking for something and they found it. I wonder if she was pressured to "confess."

    Besides that, the whole thing was railroaded. The U.S. media even more than Canada was railroading the story, influenced by network commentators Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic screaming. The American network had taken to calling S&P the "north americans" instead of Canadians, emphasizing the American part because the U.S. had no dog in the pairs fight. It was a way to invest the American television viewer. The evil Russian empire had nephariously controlled the top of the podium in pairs and now these plucky upstart north americans bravely dared to challenge. If they lost, the Evil Russians must have found a way to cheat. It had nothing to do with figure skating but it helps that neither most of the viewers nor the media knows anything about figure skating except who stumbled and didn't. It's so ironic that 2002 helped promote such a simplistic view of skating so an easy program should win over a difficult, complex one if the easy one is clean and the complex one has a small error. Then there was the Lori Nichol part of it because she was S&P's choreographer and the U.S. media knew her from her high profile days choreographing Michelle Kwan. It was all us and them and had so little to do with figure skating. The ISU let itself be bullied by the U.S. media a whole lot more than it was influenced by Skate Canada in my opinion. It was Hamilton, Lori Nichol and Sandra Bezic inciting a know-nothing media looking for a big story.
    Ummm.... what?! LOL this has everything to do with the judging scandal... and nothing to do with the "Meditation vs Love Story at the SLC Olympics"

    Here is the deal with judging situation.

    Was it fact that there was a judge pressured into voting for a certain team and ultimately made it an unfair playing field? Yes.

    Would this still have been the case even HAD S&P, as many people have been crying over, skated their Orchid program clean at the Olympics? Yes.

    The fact that there was unfair judging that led to the result of two gold medals being awarded for that close of a competition is a separate discussion from comparing the programs from both competitors and how well they were skated that night at the Olympics.

    The ironic thing is, under 6.0, the basis of the judging system was based on simply that! A clean, well skated slightly less difficult program SHOULD win over a more difficult program not performed as well with mistakes, however minor. Now, this thread is a discussion on the programs, S&P's Love Story and B&S's meditation and which performance DESERVED to win that night, of which we have heard many different and valid opinions.

    It is not a thread on the judging scandal and media (of which I believe the OP is trying to stay away from so we can have a nice discussion on the skating, something that is often forgotten about).

  10. #50
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    In the end, it was that the ISU had to respond to pressure from IOC to fix things fast and quiet things down. Yes, there was a lot of exaggeration and claims that went beyond the actual performances of the skaters. The judging scandal simply uncovered corrupt politics that traditionally was a huge under-reported part of fs. If left to the skaters alone, they would certainly have accepted the results as is b/c accepting results however unfair they might feel the scores were is simply part of the DNA of skaters. While they surely didn't agree with the judges' decision, Jamie & David did not cry foul over the results but were caught up in the media maelstrom, Skate Canada's cry of foul, the French judge's revelations, the ISU need to do something quick as demanded by the IOC. Therefore, the ISU awarded two sets of gold medals, and began quick work on changing the judging system -- the latter to the detriment of the sport in many ways.

    Yep, I would still have given S/P gold for their performance on the night and in that system of 6.0. The top teams were very close, much closer than a lot of people give them all credit for being. B/S were not the end-all and be-all. B/S were gorgeous together but lacked a palpable connection, and lacked visible passion -- their nerves showed.

    In general, I'm tired of the notion that only Russian teams can do pairs skating "right". Yes, there will be many more Russian names on the list of greatest pairs skaters, but S/P and other NA teams such as Tai & Randy et al, should also be on that list, as well as the Chinese team of Shen/Zhao, and the German team of Savchenko/ Szolkowy.

  11. #51
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    The ironic thing is, under 6.0, the basis of the judging system was based on simply that! A clean, well skated slightly less difficult program SHOULD win over a more difficult program not performed as well with mistakes, however minor. Now, this thread is a discussion on the programs, S&P's Love Story and B&S's meditation and which performance DESERVED to win that night, of which we have heard many different and valid opinions.
    I disagree that's what we had here. B&S were much stronger - a much more difficult program skated with a higher level of quality.Thank you though, for the lecture and letting me know that your opinion settles the debate.
    '

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Fall and all, I think S&P deserved top 3 after the short program so the "control their own destiny" point was pretty moot.

    In the free, B&S's program was so complex and well executed compared to S&P's that the minor step out should not cost them the title. But it's just me.

    I am much more interested to know what would have happened if S&P skated to Orchid (and cleanly), which was a brilliant program and one that could rival Meditation.
    I agree about Orchid. I wish they would have trained the h**l out of that program and skated it at the Olympics.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    It's not just you, it's me as well.

    Anyway, Love Story is a beautiful, and very pleasant program, but there is nothing difficult in term of choreo, transitions...only cross-overs.
    Meditation is not my favorite piece of music, but B&S had so much speed and complexity. There is no debate for me that B&S are superior in everything, it's not about this little toe at the end of the side by side 2Axel.
    So, it's funny to imagine that under CoP, B&S would have won easily, without any problem (large margin after the SP, and after the LP, IMO).

    I disagree.

    Love Story DID have difficult choreo. E.g. it had footwork before the sbs triple toes (B/S had not), connecting steps after the triple toes, difficult entry into (or exit out of, can't remember since it's been ages since I've seen that prog the last time...) the death spiral, etc. The fact that it did not have the complexity of B/S's prog does not mean that it was easy to skate or that it only had "only crossovers".

    Now as for the real question: B/S did have the more difficult program and had more emphasis on extension movements, but they did not look 100% secure while having those. S/P had the better twist and cleaner throw jumps - basically 4 of the 5 biggest elements (2 sbs jumps, 2 throw jumps and 1 twist) went to S/P. Presentation-wise, S/P had great chemistry, beautiful choreo IMO, everything was rock solid and unlike B/S there were no technical erros that could distract from the performance.

    My marks:

    S/P: 5.9/5.9
    B/S: 5.8/5.9
    Last edited by David21; 02-26-2012 at 01:26 AM. Reason: I did NOT mean Belbin/Agosto! Thank you, aftershocks ;)

  14. #54
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    ^^ ITA with your assessment David21. Especially thanks for pointing out that LS was not just a nothing empty program as B/S proponents constantly claim. You mean B/S, not B/A (as in Belbin/ Agosto).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbkenn View Post
    I agree about Orchid. I wish they would have trained the h**l out of that program and skated it at the Olympics.
    To be realistic, S&P did not have the skills needed to skate a complex program like the Orchid cleanly and with confidence. Had they skated the Orchid at the Olympics, it's very possible that they would have made mistakes, and we wouldn't have seen Anton's stepout of the 2A ad nauseum on our TVs. S&P made a strategic decision to skate to Love story- a familiar, emotional piece of music that was easy to skate to. Since the Olympics were in N.America, that alone would have gotten the audience on their side. Majority of viewers have no idea of an easy vs difficult to skate program. All S&P had to do was skate it clean- they could skate it in their sleep-, and hope that B&S make a mistake, which they did, no matter how small. Bezic & Hamilton picked on that immediately and started the war- "how could B&S possibly win over the clean Love Story?" The French judge should never have been an issue, but I suspect she was targeted from very early because the powers knew she had a fragile psyche. I am hypothesize here, and there is no way to prove it, but it is possible that happened, because based on the performances and a close result why would anyone say to her- how could you possibly place the Russians higher than the Canadians? Four other judges did, but they were not pressured.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by David21 View Post
    I disagree.



    My marks:

    S/P: 5.9/5.9
    B/S: 5.8/5.9
    If you look at the whole program, there was no comparison between the difficulty of B&S's program and S&P's. The latter was a 3-year old program, already outdated. There is no way you could give them 5.9's on both tech and presentation marks. B&S had 3 turns going into their sbs 3 toes, they had a spiral into a throw 3R. S&P had no such transition moves. B&S had numerous in between moves, and they were skating continuously. S&P's in between moves did not have dance holds which make it difficult to skate. Side by side bunny hops hardly add any difficulty. S&P stood around looking into each other's eyes at times to help them catch their breath. Then it was cross overs for a long time before doing an element. B&S needed just a couple of cross overs to gain enough speed to do their move. S&P never paid any attention to positions or lines, which again made it easier for them to skate. It is much harder to skate when you pay attention to details.

    My marks would have been S&P 5.8/5.8 and B&S 5.8/5.9.

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    ^^ Your preferences and opinions do not negate those of posters who enjoy the skating of S/P, Vash01.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    To be realistic, S&P did not have the skills needed to skate a complex program like the Orchid cleanly and with confidence...
    What a dismissive and totally blanket statement. If S/P did not have the "skills needed to skate a complex program" they would not have been competing at the top level of the sport, nor would they ever have become champions, nor would we be discussing their close rivalry with B/S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    ... S&P made a strategic decision to skate to Love story- a familiar, emotional piece of music that was easy to skate to...
    No matter how "simple" and/ or "easy" a figure skating program is considered to be by fans, it is not a piece of cake to skate cleanly and confidently any program at any Olympics. If the "strategy" and formula were as easy as you are making it out to be then everyone would select a "simple", "easy" program to skate to at the Olympics. It is one thing to prefer B/S performance to Meditation, but quite another to tie yourself up in knots tearing down S/P, their LS program, and "powers" you seem to think orchestrated the outcry against the judges' initial scoring decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    ...The French judge should never have been an issue, but I suspect she was targeted from very early because the powers knew she had a fragile psyche. I am hypothesize here, and there is no way to prove it, but it is possible that happened, because based on the performances and a close result why would anyone say to her- how could you possibly place the Russians higher than the Canadians? Four other judges did, but they were not pressured.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subway View Post
    In fact, I believe they ditched Orchid, a program more competitive with Meditation, because they couldn't skate it clean. I don't believe it's fair to reward a clean program when the program is easier so that you can skate it clean. B&S could have skated a perfectly clean Meditation if it were as comparitively empty as LS.
    The four biggest issues that B/S had with Meditation were the SBS 2A's (his landing), her two landings on the throws, and the low catch on the 3Tw. Those were three of the first four elements. The only issue on a later element -- there was a lift in between -- was the Th3Lo. The cumulative complexity wouldn't have impacted the first elements of the program.

    If it were so easy to skate all of the major elements, including the most complex lifts, cleanly, we'd see a lot more clean Free Skates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    To be realistic, S&P did not have the skills needed to skate a complex program like the Orchid cleanly and with confidence.
    Again, the issue that S/P had a very confident performance of "Orchid" at 4C's was in the second element, when she doubled the 3T, an element she was rarely consistent with. More or less complexity throughout the program had little impact on that element.

    It was at Canadian Nationals that she had a meltdown performing "Orchid" similar to the one at 2000 Worlds, and then she was bedridden the week before the Olympics. Had she not fallen apart at Canadian Nationals, it would have been interesting to see whether there would have been continued pressure to switch to "Love Story".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    but it is possible that happened, because based on the performances and a close result why would anyone say to her- how could you possibly place the Russians higher than the Canadians? Four other judges did, but they were not pressured.
    Perhaps because she gave Candeloro a 6.0 for one of his crap programs and had established her aesthetic taste?
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    The result of 2001 Worlds was a far bigger scandal than anything that happened in Salt Lake City. Of course, nothing came of it since the "right" team won.
    Yes, but only about .1 of 1% of the media from the Games were at '01 Worlds.

    When I want to laugh, I compare Scott's commentary on '02 pairs to his commentary on '94 pairs. Very similar situations, with the judges going for the most classical pair in both circumstances.

    Also, in the days after the SLC LP, it was hilarious to hear how many people were all 'oh - he bobbled a jump, only a corrupt judge could place them first!' But after the SP, where Jaime & David FELL, 2 judges placed them first and no one really commented on that. Yes, I know they didn't fall on a required element. But 1st place? Seriously?
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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