Just want to give some specifics on Dai's program and then later compare to Usova Zhulin in 1993. Yes, different discipline, but many of the interpretation criteria are similar. I'll also highlight some pieces from Chan
Here's a link to Dai in Nice
Chan in Nice
I love Dai; he's charismatic and invests himself emotionally. But you have to pull that out of the analysis because those intangibles only count for so much in the PE IN and CH marks. So many other things matter.
His two main shortfalls are (compared to Chan)
1. The number of opportunities missed to interpret the music in a meaningful way and
2. The lack of variety in his movement and ways to interpret the music.
As for #1, there are places in the program where he doesn't really acknowledge the music.
The first main part is through first 3 elements (0-1:20)
-other than first 15 sec of program not many body movements connected to the music. Three turns after quad count for transitions but don't connect to music. Almost none of the notes acknowledged although some good transitional moves
Musical transition (2:53 - 4:00)
-Intensity picks up in the music with more furtive string instrument work. Dai's energy does not similarly amp up and there is very little movement that connects to the music. He does move his arms around but not in relation to the music. This is the best example here of missed opportunities to highlight the music. Arm movements, simpler connecting footwork and head bops. All very good but not worthy of 9s
Compare that section specifically...2:53 to about 3:10 to Usova/Zhulin 6:10 to 6:40. Same cut of music. U/Z hit the notes and varied their body movement. More importantly their energy and speed surged with the music whereas Dai kept to one level of energy and kept the choreo to simple arm movements. Doesn't compare. Note that just before this section he stripped out a number of transitional moves he had earlier in the year at the J.O.
As for #2, watching the program again with a more critical eye, I've now become even more aware of the lack of variety in his movement compared to Patrick. I now find that Dai's program is again simple arm movements and simpler footwork movements and sporadic edge work. And, outside of footwork everything he does is completely upright. Comparatively easy.
With Patrick I see something different. Already in the first 20 seconds he uses almost every edge and rocks on them to the music. His body goes from high to low which you never see from Dai. Impacts choreo and IN part depending on how judges see it.
-Also unlike Dai Patrick is up and down in his knees to the music even going into his hard early jumps, something Dai never does.
-3A lands on a musical transition. Harder to do and gets more credit.
Patrick has a much more well developed vocabulary in edges and turns. He highlights almost all of the notes and with an incredible variety of movement that incorporates his entire body. Lots of hops, directional changes and varied arm movements that are sharp or fluid all relative to what the music dictates.
I find the more I watch the two side by side the better I find Patrick's program and interpretation. I'll catch a lot of sh*t for this but I think now I'd put Patrick a full point ahead of Dai on most of the components.
Happy to hear what others see that I'm missing. Again, Dai's emotional investment does count but for much less than some people might think.