Shishkova & Naumov
Kovarikova & Novotny
Eltsova & Bushkov
Woetzel & Steuer
Kazakova & Dmitriev
Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze
Petrova & Tikhonov
Sale & Pelletier
Shen & Zhao
Totmianina & Marinin
Pang & Tong
Savchenko & Szolkowy
Hopefully Sale & Pelletier get voted out next round.
Kazakova & Dmitriev are first skater/team to go through a whole round without a single vote
I can almost predict the final result in each of these survivor threads. In pairs it will come down to S&Z vs. S&S (although neither is on my list for 'best').
In men, it's a given that Yagudin will win.
In ladies it will come down to Michelle and Yu na.
In ice dance it will come down to V&M vs. D&W.
Of the pairs on the list, which are missing most of the all the all time greats anyway, I would rate S&Z and S&S in the top 4. B&S are way better than both, and T&M are better than S&S atleast IMO (although I know that isnt a popular opinion, I have no idea why though, S&S couldnt even challenge an old S&Z who were able to cakewalk to a season of dominance as grannies in their return which shows to me how S&S would have fared in past eras).
S&S try to be innovative. I give them that. They also have very big throws, inventive lifts. They dont have the consistency, technical precision, or quality of spins, death spirals, or solid jumping technique of past champions though, and their triple twist isnt very good either. Artistically they are original but too many mistakes to be of full effect 97% of the time, and they dont have the polish, perfection, or chemistry of the past greatest pairs either. Compared to T&M I can see why they are more enjoyable to watch to many people, but they really arent as good, and if both teams competed in their primes T&M would dominate. Look at how much trouble S&S often have even beating P&T, who T&M could always beat in their sleep, and how S&S found it impossible to compete with an old S&Z, kind of embarassing for the so called dominant pair of the era. It just shows how they stack up to some real competition.
I could never watch T&M do a lift without wincing. His footwork was never great to start with, and only got worse after the accident.
Even when Tikhonov was about to keel over from a heart attack past the three minute mark, he still had more stable feet than Marinin. Everything else they did was so pure and precise that it made there lifts all the more jarring. (The triple twist too)
Ease and flow of lifts is a big thing for me in pairs skating. It's part of the reason why I think S&N and E&B are a bit underrated.
When does this first round of voting end anyway?
I will not be ignored! -Me
True T&M had pretty bad lifts. I cant argue that. I just feel the overall package was still superior to someone like S/S. As lifts are the pinnacle of pairs skating in a way though, I can more readily see people ranking T&M downwards for that reason more easily than the usual "they are boring, etc..." stuff.
I think S&S are getting to the point that they are as good/better than T&M. The only advantage I see for T&M at this point is the sbs 3sal. But those conversations should be for later cause those two teams deserve to make it far here (I guess S&S, K&D, B&S, T&M and S&Z top 5).
Atleast S&S have gotten more consistent. It was boring seeing them dominate in 2008-2009 with flawed programs and falls repeatedly over practically a nothing field with a technical only team clearly past their technical peak in the Zhangs and an erratic and slumping Pang & Tong as their only "competition". I think the emergence of V&T has made them pull up their socks.
Of course, S&S don't often skate two clean programs, so that's where the issue comes in.
I agree that T&M are underrated. The quality and consistency they possess is outstanding, though artistically I wouldn't call any of their LPs 'great programs'.
I was never comparing T&M and S&S of 2006 to each other. I am well aware the real S&S is 2008-today. I was comparing the fact S&Z could waltz back after being retired a few years, very very old for amateur skaters, and easily dominate S&S. Yet S&Z even fully healthy in the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons in fact had a losing record to T&M. S&Z could not make a mistake and still beat T&M after the SLC season, but against S&S they could make alot of them. Also looking at teams like Pang & Tong who S&S often lose to and who T&M never once lost to ever. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to put 2 and 2 together and see what would happen with both teams in their primes. As you said who would win with both teams going clean is moot, since T&M always skate clean, and S&S cant to save their lives, although they have finally gotten a bit better with that.
By 2006 S/S had only been together for 2 seasons; T/M were together for 9, hardly comparable in terms of skating. S/Z were given too much credit in the Olympic season as far as scores go but Ingo made the biggest mistake of changing their free skate four months before the Olympics.
Also, I think no enough credit is given to skaters who are pushing or are in their 30's, there is no magical number where pair skaters suddenly are geriatrics.
S&Z could make a lot of mistakes against S&S? When? At the Olympics, they had a small point difference after the SP, and appropriately so. In the LP, S&Z skated clean with the exception of a botched lift, while S&S messed up multiple elements. Not to mention, that was a very poor season for S&S. If S&S skated like they did in past Worlds, it would be a hard comparison.
As for Sale & Pelletier, I can easily see why people consider them the worst Olympic pairs gold medalists in recent history, but one of the worst World champions? That's a stretch. I agree they shouldn't have won 2001, they were overmarked in both portions of the competition. At SLC, I thought either they or B&S could've won and it would make sense. Sort of like Kwan vs. Chen in 96 or Kwan vs. Lipinski in 98. There are other pairs who should go before them.
I'm far from an S&P fan, and I can't stand Jamie, but they had strong pairs elements and memorable programs. David was one of the strongest male pairs skaters in that generation. I would vote them off before some of the better Russians because of Jamie's inconsistency and ugly lines, but they should stick around a few more rounds.