To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.
It's certainly possible that after they almost won euros I/k could have said they were there and didnt have to work harder or at all because they were doing well. There are just so few examples of the kind of extreme technical collapse I/k had at worlds in ice dance. Either they pretty much stopped training or didn't train hard or they totally lost confidence in an fd agreed to be the worst ever or the third theory that they just worked so hard they overdid it and exhausted themselves because they were so close at euros. Zhulin has said since they left him they hate training and he got validated tremendously by their 16th place out of 20 Tes at worlds.
There are many examples of skaters messing up competition. Kostner worlds 2009, Verner Olympics 2010, Gedevanishvilli Worlds 2010 and 2013, Czisny worlds 2012, Mao Asada had a bad season a few season's back, both Adelina and Liza messed up worlds 2013...
I don't believe that I/K suddenly stopped working hard. I don't even think that it was about lost confidence. I think they had their best season, getting decent results and therefore they were too much aware that they could do quite well at worlds and sometimes when you put yourself under too much pressure, things just don't work. I think we keep forgetting the amount of pressure these elite skaters are under. And I think the better results you had, the better you expect from yourself and are putting yourself under even more and more pressure. I think exactly the same happened to Adelina and Liza. After successful Europeans they put themselves under too much pressure. And it is not only them putting themselves under pressure. It seems that suddenly everyone expects the results, so there is also the pressure from the people around them.
I&K are still very young. I am sure that with time they will figure out how to deliver when it counts. Their skating is beautiful. It's a matter of time before they put everything together. JMO.
Technically speaking, I/K has a few flaws: her flexibility seems lacking; their lifts are year after year uninteresting, which I suspect has something to do with his upper body strength; their step sequences aren't as steady and big as the top 2 teams. That being said, they are a beautiful team and has stunning qualities (esp. speed) no other teams have, which is the reason why everyone had so much hope for them. But I've convinced myself that I/K isn't a "genius" team. They might just have to climb the ladder like everyone else.
They need to go to Zueva post-Sochi. Zueva, not Shpilband. They need a woman to whip them into shape.
The Shibs, I/K, and C/P have shown that the judges are willing to give and take, and that teams who've done well in the past aren't held up as much when making major mistakes or being rusty from injury. I can't imagine that W/P or P/B would have dropped under C/L under 6.0, like Chait/Saknovsky didn't even beat Winkler/Lohse in the FD at 2003 Euros, even though W/L fell at the beginning of the FW sequence and pretty much lost the element.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
I/K are very young and had a bad competition last year at worlds, it happens. They way ARE too young to be written off. They (she in particular) are one of the youngest top teams in the world.
Yeah I/k were really only bad at worlds in 2012/2013 but it was one of those bad performances that turn people's heads! Especially with the program they had. So it was a double whammy of extreme awful!