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  1. #541
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    Not like USFSA judges prop anyone up or anything, based on past results...
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Happy to see Cesario's strong PCS in the free skate; I can only imagine they'll go up even further with another good skate at her next GP. Her ChSq scored the highest in the field by quite a bit, which I am pleasantly surprised by. It was certainly deserved, but I wouldn't expect the judges to throw out +2 and +3 so early in the competition for such an unknown.

    What I'm concerned about are the American ladies' spin levels- Wagner and Cesario both counted a level 1, and no level 4. Is it the composition of their spin selection, or the execution causing this? They could've closed in on 1st and 4th, respectively, had they gotten their levels. I hope Wagner scraps her combo and flying spin completely... The second sit position is extremely unattractive and the hop over-broken sit in the combo is slow and awkward.

    Last question- is Cesario capable of a 3toe? Hoping that'll replace the second axel at some point. Hers is my favorite long of the Americans so far, and I really hope she skates strong enough for a 4CC slot.

    Wagner's long is a bust... I respect that she wanted to use the best for the Olympic season, but Wilson just isn't a good match. The short is a huge improvement; I agree with those who thought her previous 2 were contrived and predictable, if pleasant and refined. The long needs some "oomph," and I think leaving so many jumps to the end was a mistake. It sucks all the energy out of the program, and the fabulous ending isn't enough to bring back choreographic attention. Again, all respect for choosing unheard pieces of the score, but moving the footwork to the end with a strong "dance of the knights" before closing with the current ChSq might be enough to give the program some drama and variety.

  3. #543

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    Doesn't the hop in the middle of the combo spin count as a bullet to increase the level of the spin? It may seem slow and awkward, but better slow and awkward with a bullet than fast without.

    Cleaning up the spins is doable by Nationals. Cleaning up two footing ... Probably not. That is not to say Ashley will two foot at Nationals, she doesn't always now. More that I suspect the percentage of two foots will remain the same over the course of the year.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  4. #544
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    Yes, the hop counts as a feature, and your comment is a sad reflection of the IJS mindset. Sad and awkward is clearly not checking the box it needs to, given the level 3 and 1 it received at SA. Ashley is capable of fast, well-positioned, high level spins... I would agree for, say, her layback, as there aren't other ways to a level 4, but given she's clearly done everything she possibly can to show up this season with the very best, I would hope she would carry that determination over to her spins and work on something that is fast, interesting, and high level. I would hate for her to end a perfect Olympic free skate with a level 1 combo spin and lose bronze by mere points.

    I'm less worried about the two-foots; they haven't been an issue the last two seasons, and I think are clearly related to stamina which should improve throughout the season. The lutz was the only 2ft, correct? The loop was UR after the slight trip but I didn't see a 2ft. I wouldn't mind her bringing a couple jumps earlier in the program, including the lutz. That would help choreographically and technically, by spacing out the content and reducing the chance of an UR/2ft.

  5. #545
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Oh, I disagree. Gold needs to be in fighting shape - it's not going to be handed to her on default. For instance, she CANNOT afford to have the disaster of an SP that she had last year. It was pure luck that she was able to pull up to as high as 2nd even after that knockout FS. She still needed several skaters ahead of her to mess up (and that's precisely what happened).
    I don't think it was pure luck at all. She was outstanding, perfect really,..the class of the field in that free skate and I do believe she was robbed of a national championship.

  6. #546
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    Wagner has been struggling with spin levels since last season when "8 revs" can only count as a feature once. This is something that she must seriously look into. Missing an Olympic medal due to a 3lutz is one thing, missing it due to a level 2 spin is quite another.

    Her hop in the combination spin is probably too small to count. I say if she can't do some of the harder features (or can't do them well), she should aim for level 4 for her flying spin and combination spin and level 3 for her layback (level 3 and 4 made the least differernce in base value in a layback). Something like this:

    Flying spin: deathdrop (1) - twisted sit (2) for 8 revs (3) - ball position (4)

    Combination spin: back entry (1) - layover camel (2) - change broken leg (3) - Y (4)

    Layback: layback to sideways (1) - haircutter (2) - Biellmann (3).

    In the free, she should also consider doing a flying combo spin to replace the flying spin for added points and more opportunities for features.

  7. #547
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    Happy to see Cesario's strong PCS in the free skate; I can only imagine they'll go up even further with another good skate at her next GP. Her ChSq scored the highest in the field by quite a bit, which I am pleasantly surprised by. It was certainly deserved, but I wouldn't expect the judges to throw out +2 and +3 so early in the competition for such an unknown.
    I am pleasantly surprised too. Her high scores are definitely well deserved though. Now onto the jumps... the 3loop3loop is probably the best option for her right now even if UR-ed. She should probably also practice the 3toe3toe or 3flip3toe.

    What I'm concerned about are the American ladies' spin levels- Wagner and Cesario both counted a level 1, and no level 4. Is it the composition of their spin selection, or the execution causing this?
    She has the features, she just never seemed to be holding them long enough to count.

    Wagner's long is a bust... I respect that she wanted to use the best for the Olympic season, but Wilson just isn't a good match. ... The long needs some "oomph," and I think leaving so many jumps to the end was a mistake. It sucks all the energy out of the program, and the fabulous ending isn't enough to bring back choreographic attention. Again, all respect for choosing unheard pieces of the score, but moving the footwork to the end with a strong "dance of the knights" before closing with the current ChSq might be enough to give the program some drama and variety.
    The program grows on me each time I watch it. But yes, a more familiar cut towards the end to complement the dramatic ending would be a good idea.

  8. #548
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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    Plus I was surprised the Eurosport commentators said Mao's program lacked spark and was empty... I thought Ashley's was more empty...
    In contrast to Wagner's unfamiliar cuts, Asada's cuts were all too familiar and predictable. I really can't get excited at all no matter how brilliant the footwork is. While the opening has some good attention to detail when it comes to bodily expression, overall I also find the program empty and lacking that extra something. It's very much your same old same old rach 2, just done extremely well.

    Wagner's program seems more empty because of her new flip entries. The whole spiral into SE into 3loop into 2axel is great. There's also some choreography into the spins, the 3sal and out of the 2axel. The issue with the program isn't that it's empty. It's no more emptier than Samson & Delilah.

  9. #549
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I don't think it was pure luck at all. She was outstanding, perfect really,..the class of the field in that free skate and I do believe she was robbed of a national championship.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Wagner has been struggling with spin levels since last season when "8 revs" can only count as a feature once. This is something that she must seriously look into. Missing an Olympic medal due to a 3lutz is one thing, missing it due to a level 2 spin is quite another.

    Her hop in the combination spin is probably too small to count. I say if she can't do some of the harder features (or can't do them well), she should aim for level 4 for her flying spin and combination spin and level 3 for her layback (level 3 and 4 made the least differernce in base value in a layback). Something like this:

    Flying spin: deathdrop (1) - twisted sit (2) for 8 revs (3) - ball position (4)

    Combination spin: back entry (1) - layover camel (2) - change broken leg (3) - Y (4)

    Layback: layback to sideways (1) - haircutter (2) - Biellmann (3).

    In the free, she should also consider doing a flying combo spin to replace the flying spin for added points and more opportunities for features.
    Great suggestions. She can do this and I think she knows what has to be done. The more I think about it, the more her strategy makes sense. Get over the mental block of being able to consistently land the 3F/3T. Rotate it--I hope to see it fully rotated because it seemed questionable to me in the free skate. After she is mentally and physically comfortable with that hurdle, load up the non-jump elements. I don't expect this to happen by TEB, rather gradually over the course of the season, as a process.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  10. #550

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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    Plus I was surprised the Eurosport commentators said Mao's program lacked spark and was empty... I thought Ashley's was more empty...
    Don't be serious, Joanne Conway lives in her own land.

  11. #551
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    ^Oh wow. Was that Joanne Conway commentating for British Eurosport?

  12. #552
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    ^Yup.

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    Grrrrrr that NBC only showed the final group of the ladies free on TV so a national audience was deprived of Cesario's free skate. Instead we had to see some really poor skates with only Ashley and Mao really coming through.

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    I posted the link to and an excerpt from Gracie Gold's latest blog for TeamUSA.org in GSD: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...=1#post4027158

    Top total scores of the Senior ladies that competed at Regionals:
    161.15 Leah Keiser, All Year FSC (SWP1)
    160.00 Barbie Long, Illinois Valley FSC (UGL1)
    153.91 Yasmin Siraj, SC of Boston (NE1)
    150.36 Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC (SA1)
    147.09 Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC (SW1)
    145.12 Alissa Czisny, Detroit SC (EGL1)
    139.48 Rachael Flatt, St. Moritz ISC (CP1)
    137.47 Aimee Buchanan, Colonial FSC (NE2)
    136.20 Joelle Forte, SC of New York (NA1)
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  15. #555
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    I really like all of Ashley's programs for the past three seasons and I think she has progressively shown improvement in her skating over the course of these several seasons. Nothing wrong with taking a different approach to choreo. As far as my previous mention of "stripped down," I'm not referring so much to Ashley's new choreo in both programs as I am to a pared down focus, a subtle simplicity and more softness and gracefulness in her arms (albeit they are still a tad over busy at times). Her improved technique on jumps as well as confidence and sense of ease with her skating is palpable.

  16. #556
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I don't think it was pure luck at all. She was outstanding, perfect really,..the class of the field in that free skate and I do believe she was robbed of a national championship.
    Really? Robbed of a national championship? Do you realize that the crappy short program she put out at Nationals counts toward final placement? Or should short programs just be ignored?!...........

  17. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayra View Post
    Perception of being a lock is nice, but see Wagner 2009/2010 GP finalist for how much that actually came into play when deciding the Olympic team vs Nagasu (4th,5th). If I were any of these girls my worry would be less beating each other on the GP and more progression to beating them when and where it counts, US Nationals.
    Not sure this applies. Ashley was barely a frontrunner back then. She just had some okay skates while the other US ladies were more meh. At that time, she was an inferior skater to Mirai and Flatt when all were at their best.

    This year is different, and Ashley is different. Ashley is a clear frontrunner, and she is a cut above the rest in performance ability, consistency, and package. She needs to be one of the 3 girls at the Olympics, she's proven her worth these past 3 seasons, and has delivered at two World Championships in a row, whilst getting better and better.

  18. #558
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    Sorry for the double post!!! Just for those curious, Ashley lost a level on her layback in both programs since her haircutter position didn't have the blade close enough to her head to count (it has to be within one blade length, and hers was about two blade lengths away). I hope she knows this, as it's an easy fix.

    For the CCoSp's, she bobbled on her layover camel and lost the bullet to get level 3, and in the FS it would have been level 4 except she didn't hold the sit long enough (2-3 revs needed). Since the sit was too short, she did not have the required 3 basic positions and the CCoSp drops right to level 1 by default.

    These are easy-peasy fixes and her SP and FS spins would be levels 3, 4, and 4 for flying sit, layback and change combo respectively.

    Source: I know the rules really well by now

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    ^ Wait did the ISU implement that hair cutter rule this season all of a sudden?

    Beyond that, the music is starting to grow in me a little bit for Ashley's LP. Given that, I listened to a recording of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet yesterday (didn't realize the beginning is such a familiar tune!) and what it seems like is that there aren't many portions of it that are very skate-able... Why Ashley chose this piece of music... Who knows. It's not really a skating program piece of music. Plus, something like this requires a more exquisite choreography and more attention to the music which Ashley isn't bringing. And with Ashley's level of interpretation and artistry, I don't think she ever will (despite what Ashley has said about bringing a sophistication in... Ashley doesn't have this level of artistry).

    This LP would be more suited to Carolina than anyone else. Carolina's the only person who can make bizarre music work. Does anyone else agree?

  20. #560

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    My issue with Ashley's music is it sounds like background music. I drift off when watching her skate, which is a shame, because I actually like the program.

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