Last edited by hanca; 11-23-2013 at 10:25 PM.
It might be that they took out the throw axel because Aljona was so hurt the day before and they didn't want to risk injury. I agree they have consistency issues, but for me they are by far the most interesting pair to watch. Very elegant and beautiful. I am also really happy they stayed for this quad because of the great programs they have skated (well, except for maybe Bolero). The Nutcracker is lovely, I hope they skate it clean.
I said this in the Kiss & Cry forums, but I wish they'd forget the 3A and focus on consistent speed and power throughout the program. In both programs there are sections with power, speed and flow, but also sections that are glacial. V/T only have one section like that - the last lift before the final pose.
I really love V/T, but when I watch S/S I waver. It's been like that ever since I became a V/T uber. I tune in to the main competition, S/S and see how good they are. Charisma and charm too.
When I look at element quality, the teams are completely on par, element to element. So clean. Completely in control. Wonderful quality of edge. S/S don't need the 3A. If they skate as they skated here - good speed and power in part of the program, slowing way down in other parts, it won't matter if she manages to stick the landing on the 3A at the Olympics, if V/T are mostly clean, they'll win due to the nonstop speed and power coupled with element quality that matches S/S. S/S both look ferociously fit. Even back in 2010 the fact that one of their lifts didn't cover much ice and some parts of the program were slow was mentioned. They spin fast. Their death spiral moves at a good clip. It's coming out of elements and in preparation that they slow down versus V/T, even when the elements themselves are delivered with good speed. Yet due to both being strong technicians, both having excellent skating skills, it would seem they could up the ante in that area without having to remake themselves.
At this point in time they can't be cheated out of any olympic gold medal because none of the segments have been skated yet. Their programmes last season didn't help their cause either, which could have been to distinguish themselves in that regard, that much is clear. This year's programmes are no uberprogrammes but pretty decent. The throw axel, if well executed, is also as much a symbolic thing as a point getter.
V/T are clearly ahead in the twist and SBS jumps. S/S also have never been the most consistent pair to begin with. And consistent performances raise your PCS over time. However, they should have the chance to be evaluated fairly in relation to V/T in those PCS areas and certain elements+GOE where they can compete with V/T and are not clearly behind. IMHO, it doesn't look like that will be the case. Even though it's all rather academic and they will probably lose either way and likely deservedly so given the lots of problems they have at the moment.
We will see what happens at the GPF in that regard.
I feel like one of the big issues with their program this year is that it's to a ballet, and they're trying to take a classical approach to it. For the most part it's fine, but their lifts do not fit the music at all. Their timing with the music is usually slightly off, but what really bothers me are her positions. They would go great with more modern approaches, but not with the nutcracker.
I felt the same way about Berezhnaia/Sikharulidze's lift with the circusy flip up and over entrance. It worked perfectly for Chaplin, but was out of place in Meditation. However, teams go with what they've done before or variations of them that have been big winners in the past.
"'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney
^this. That was the one move that felt really out of place in an otherwise gorgeous LP.
I don't think S&S are as interesting to watch when they skate like every one else, which is what they are doing this year and last year. Maybe Ingo ran out of ideas, but it did not look like Wilson came up with anything fresh for them either. I really wanted to like S&S programs this year, but I have not been able to.
V/T usually lands their sbs jumps, S/S sometimes double
V/T have huge throw jumps, but S/S too - here they are both on par.
twist - V/T have a huge one, S/S can have sometimes decent one but sometimes he struggles to catch her and she lands on his shoulder.
Both pairs have very good lifts - here I would say they are both on par
Both have decent spins (both sbs spin and pair spin)
As you said, S/S has a few spots in their program where they are not quite moving. A bit like dancing on ice - hit nice position, look pretty an don't do too much. No action. V/T doesn't have them, or at least it doesn't show so much if they do.
V/T have consistency, S/S have really completely clean program.
I think in terms of elements they are pretty evenly matched. S/S have generally had more program content outside the elements. V/T tend to be more consistent, at least for the past calendar year or so. If both pairs skate well, I think they should be evenly matched. The politiks in this situation make it unlikely.
The ISU should look at the CoP for pairs lifts and make some changes. Lifts are increasingly difficult now, but not nearly as enjoyable to watch as they were in earlier eras. Lifts should not detract from the overall look of the program just to get points IMO.
Choreographing for the system often results in programs that are exactly the sum of their parts.... V/T could be so much more interesting than they are. But anyway, I'm more concerned about their PCS than their GOE.I think V&Ts programmes have been choreographed with GOE bullets in mind though, more carefully that S&S. I say this because when V&T first skated on the GP I was a little bit outraged by the GOE scores they were getting and went to do an analysis of their programmes so went and dug out the GOE guidelines and watched their programmes and promptly had to eat my words...even the GOE bullets that are somewhat subjective, they make sure to tick the most objective ones, so that the subjective ones are the icing on the cake (like height and distance of the jump, or delayed rotation in the throw etc). I found myself surprised and quelled at the same time
I like S/S a lot, but they make a lot of mistakes and I'm not talking about the 3A. They are not skating at the level they were 4 years ago or even 2 years ago. Robin is as likely to miss a jump as he is to hit it. It's unfair to blame V/T for honing their skills. They haven't made a mistake all season. Not one. For S/S to be truely competitive, they must put out mistake free programs just like V/T are doing. That hasn't happened for a long time. They've had illness that impacted them and lord knows Aliona has skated in pain given the falls she's had in practice to say nothing of competitions. But, it's really not fair to blame V/T for skating clean and winning.
Adelina Sotnikova defeated the curse of Esta She is indeed the Greatest Of All Time!
Many interesting comments and I agree with some and I disagree with others.
Tatiana and Maxim have certainly an advantage over Aliona and Robin since winning Worlds last season. As other said, they have performed excellently this season and if they continue to skate as clean and powerful and Aliona and Robin continue to make mistakes it is of course not unfair nor thanks to pushing by their federation if they win in Sochi.
However, I think Aliona and Robin still have the better choreography and I disagree with those who said that they don't do these little extras anymore. Just look at their entry into the sbs 3T in the short and into the 2A in the free. The long program is exquisite, but I think they need to get some more speed.
I prefer Tatiana and Maxim's short program, but Aliona and Robin's long program. Tatiana's and Max' FS has quite a few empty places and poses.
When looking back, "Pina" was a masterpiece. The "Bolero" never was skated to its full potential, so it is a bit hard to judge. Although I didn't particulary like the music (probably my least favorite program by Savchenko/Szokowy), I think it was a difficult program and they were hardly ever stopping. So I can't agree with those who said that Aliona and Robin's programs aren't as good in the past two years as before. Maybe you just got so used to the quality of their program that you don't notice anymore why they are different and superior to most others.
As for the throw triple Axel, I wish they would take it out of the short program and keep it as an option, a trump card, for the long. Depending on where they are after the short and how they feel, they could go for it. In the short I believe the risk is too high and the throw takes away from the program too much. Plus it doesn't really give them that many more points. It only would give them more if landed really cleanly with positive GOE, but I don't know if that is going to happen. I actually discussed this with Aliona in Moscow. According to Aliona, her motivation for doing the throw is most of all to continue to do something new and different that the others are not doing. She said they never would have had so much success if they always had stuck to the old and proven ways.
For sure they were among the first ones to put difficult elements into the second half (even before the bonus was introduced I believe) and continue to do so (they have the twist and one jump in the second half while Tatiana and Max do both jumps and the twist in the beginning).
As for the side by side jumps, Savchenko/Szolkowy usually land the triple toe-triple toe in the long and it is impressive, they really have a great unison in their elements.
That said, I really like both teams and wish they will perform their best.
Well said, Eislauffan. I agree with everything.
They skate amazing, perfect short program. And they get second mark lower in every single component...