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  1. #661
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    It's a shame that sometimes it can be difficult to go into other threads because of the negativity and bashing. I hate when an honest or interesting debate about anything in skating gets turned into an angry flame war over whether Skater/Team A is superior to Skater/Team B. It seems fans can't discuss sequins on costumes without it devolving into bashing this one or that one, sometimes over skaters who haven't competed in years or even decades.

    One argument that always makes me scratch my head is the one that so-and-so should always win because they're more inherently talented or "their basics are better." If that were the case, the whole history of competitive skating results would be different. Some of the most talented skaters in the sport never won a major title because they couldn't control their competition nerves and ended up losing out to skaters who may not have been as naturally brilliant, but who could complete clean (or nearly clean) programs. Heck, even Surya Bonaly, whose basic skating was by any measure pretty lacking, won some world medals.

    I would never deny that politics plays a role in skating. However, to say that Virtue-Moir are currently the victims of some kind of conspiracy is ludicrous. They have an Olympic and two world titles, among others, which I don't think they would have won if the judges/ tech specialists of the ISU were really out to get them. Likewise, I'm sure Meryl and Charlie's big wins are not solely the result of good politicking by either Marina or the USFSA. They still had to get out there competitively with strong, clean performances of difficult programs. Their skating has been evaluated time and time again by different judging and tech panels. When they have errors, they get dinged points, like everyone else. Look at their short dance at NHK--they had some small problems, they lost points. They had a much stronger freedance, and their scores reflected that.

    As for using still photos to bolster claims of either superiority or inferiority--well, my current screensaver contains 176 photos (at last count) of Meryl and Charlie from various competitions, and they look brilliant in every one--good lines, good unison, nice deep edges, amazing positions in their lifts, perfectly synchronized twizzles and non-touching step sequences. A skating performance is a dynamic event. Judges are evaluating the whole performance, with whole technical elements. They're not judging a flip-book of still photographs. The fact is that it's possible to find awkward or outright horrible looking moments in just about every skating performance. I distinctly remember the Sports Illustrated coverage of Kristi Yamaguchi's 1992 Olympic win, where every photo they had of poor Kristi was taken from an awkward angle or caught her with a contorted expression on her face. Someone even wrote into the magazine and asked them, "This is really the best you could do?" That's why photographers take piles and piles of pictures, so that they can use the best ones for publication. A weird-looking picture of a skater IMO reflects the skill of the photographer/ photo editor as much as the skill of the actual skater. Unfortunately, the internet makes it easier for really dreadful looking photos to be disseminated far and wide. You could make a good case with a few well-chosen photos that the most talented and graceful skaters on earth are perfectly horrid and completely lacking in ability.

    Anyway, I'm always happy to come into this thread, which is a generally fun, positive place to be. I would hate to see us get to the point of anger and bitterness that I've seen in other threads.

  2. #662
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.A. Week View Post
    One argument that always makes me scratch my head is the one that so-and-so should always win because they're more inherently talented or "their basics are better." If that were the case, the whole history of competitive skating results would be different. Some of the most talented skaters in the sport never won a major title because they couldn't control their competition nerves and ended up losing out to skaters who may not have been as naturally brilliant, but who could complete clean (or nearly clean) programs. Heck, even Surya Bonaly, whose basic skating was by any measure pretty lacking, won some world medals
    It's about what's delivered on the ice and who's the greatest skater, in that intangible quality thing, is something that should be measured in the hearts and minds of spectators...not the scores.

    Talent - A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment. <---This can not win medals alone.

    ***I'm in no way shape or form implying that D/W don't have an intangible quality or that they won't go down in history. I'm just saying even if they didn't, even if they were little robots, it doesn't matter. This is a sport, whether some people accept it or not.
    Last edited by Jessiebanana; 11-12-2013 at 06:55 PM.

  3. #663
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessiebanana View Post
    I could, if I wanted to spend my time in a very negative space, make photo/video evidence of all the sloppy pieces of Carmen through the 2012-2013 year, but I don't want to. It doesn't change that they exist, I'm just not super aggressive about it. I wasn't happy about some things in 2012, but again, I'm not super aggressive about it.

    Reading the thread I landed on, almost made me feel a little crazy about not being on top of all the reasons I disliked a skate by V/M...until I reminded myself that I don't love D/W because I dislike V/M. In fact I don't dislike V/M (skating wise) .
    I then chose not to comment, cause why stoop, and I vow to never enter a mixed thread or predominately V/M thread ever again. You all will just have to forgive me if I comment or speculate on V/M here, because I refuse to do so elsewhere.

    Now I need tea, because I think my stomach actually hurts from all the vitriol. It's stressful.
    I agree with you that sloppy moments and mistakes can be found in Tessa and Scott's performances, but "stooping", "vitriol"? "Stooping down" to elaborate analysis of skating, analysis as "vitriol"? Now, I find it exaggerated and even absurd to say something like that.



    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    Yep. I tried to keep holding on in that thread until they started demanding photos and videos. Then I just gave up. Apparently they think they are better tech specialists than the actual tech panels. First they were talking about GOE on D/W's lift so we showed them why they received the high GOE. With no arguments whatsoever, they started to whine about the bad direction that ice dance is taking, the flaws of the scoring system and their personal preferences, something they previously bashed us for.
    I don't remember you (as "we" must include you as well) showing why Meryl and Charlie deserve better GOE than Tessa and Scott for their lift. Maybe I missed that? A few other people have presented an analysis of their lifts in the (currently) second to last page (or, more precisely, page 11) of that thread. So far there simply haven't been responses to that at all. The one post by Subway in page 12 about the scoring system itself was not in response to that. So I think you should have waited a bit more to speak about "no arguments whatsoever", "whining" and "personal preferences". Anyway, most of the "personal preferences" that have been expressed in that thread before can be found in the rule book, the same as reasons why should something score highly for Meryl and Charlie can be found in the rule book.

    Another interesting thing is that they only have snapshots of Meryl and Charlie. If they love to analyse so much, why don't they also analyse Tessa and Scott?
    Again, I agree that analysis should go both ways. Actually, there has been plenty of analysis of Tessa and Scott's skating complete with snapshots and video fragments in the Virtue/Moir ubers thread itself, and I wonder why that has not been brought out more to the mixed thread.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffeine View Post
    Look, we've had how many different judges judge the two teams? A couple dozen at least? You can't tell me that every single one of them is judging wrong. Don't tell me that they are throwing out the rulebook in consistent favor of DW. Don't patronize me by saying you "know better" than the judges. These are seasoned judges, who know/understand/and apply the rulebook better than you ever will because they have to judge multiple competitions year after year. The federations have the power to file reviews or complaints if they feel a result is wrong (and they have done so!)
    I don't believe either that all judges are judging it wrong. Furthermore, when you look at the protocols, you can see that even when Meryl and Charlie are winning, there are always at least a few judges who apparently prefer Tessa and Scott in one thing or another (or, rather, who think that Tessa and Scott were better at least at that). It is quite difficult to determine which judge is wrong and which one is right in such a case. But I think there is a possibility that lately most judges have been not ignoring the rulebook, but putting more emphasis on the things that Meryl and Charlie do well than on the things that Tessa and Scott do well, although they are given equal weight in the rulebook. Why, you might ask. Again, I think it's possible that there is a general consensus among judges (many of whom know each other and have discussed things between themselves for sure), directly expressed or not, that now it's Meryl and Charlie's time, that the "wealth must be spread", so that, looking back, it would be really clear that there has been a great rivalry between two teams, or something like that. In such case it would not be a wonder that many judges seize every opportunity that Tessa and Scott give them to mark them down and tend to overlook small flaws by Meryl and Charlie more. Especially because Meryl and Charlie's programs are very cleverly constructed to emphasize their strengths and hide any small flaws (admittedly, there are not many of them) which makes it easier for judges to sort of overlook and forgive those small flaws.

  4. #664
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauravvv View Post
    Especially because Meryl and Charlie's programs are very cleverly constructed to emphasize their strengths and hide any small flaws (admittedly, there are not many of them)
    I don't think there is any skater (or gymnast or rhythmic gymnast for that matter) who doesn't construct their programs/routines so that they highlight their strengths and hide there flaws. Why would anyone want to highlight their flaws?

    which makes it easier for judges to sort of overlook and forgive those small flaws.
    I think that judges are well aware of skaters flaws (the best example is that those skaters known for underrotated jumps, they seem under heavier scrutiny than those who aren't known for it) so, I would think that judges know exactly what to look for, no matter how the program is choreographed.

  5. #665
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    Another cute picture posted by Maia

    https://twitter.com/MaiaShibutani/st...174336/photo/1

    Is it me or does Alex get taller every season?
    Last edited by Jessiebanana; 11-12-2013 at 09:00 PM.

  6. #666
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    Question: What's the element you'd like to see improved the most by the GPF? It doesn't have to be a realistic change, I just want to hear everyone's opinions.

    For me in the FD I really want to see Meryl and Charlie on top of the music going into the diagonal step sequence. I know they chose that staccato transition into it + the one crossover, that doesn't really give way to building speed, but I think they need to get quicker and sharper with it (or edit it), so that they're on the music. It will help add more drama to the program and match the high musicality they have in the rest of the program. I think they're doing it better, but they're not quite there. They eventually catch up in the last half of the step sequence, so I really do think it's just working with the transition piece.

    I think I've been watching too much TSL though, because I'm literally counting crossovers now. It's kind of a helpful little thing they pointed out though. Outside of lifts, they're really staying away from this year. It's a whole other level of impressed.

  7. #667
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    Double Post

  8. #668
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    I want the overall transitions to be improved on. I'm a little lost as to why the music jumps from "Disney Happy Land" melody to "I want to kill everyone" during the last ft seq...
    I also want to see a better ending pose. I think both Meryl and Charlie can add a little more to their current poses. Coming closer together may or may not work.

    That's it for me. I would give the FD: A
    SD= B
    Last edited by Jiazumi; 11-12-2013 at 10:01 PM.

  9. #669
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    I definitely want to see a different ending pose, completely forgot about that.

    Yeah I'm not so sure about that either. I'm not particularly familiar with Scheherazade, so perhaps something is happens in that last scenes that are dramatic and break up the enchantment she's casting on him. I think it works, in that the music is cut well, but it probably has more to do with building the program than anything else.

  10. #670
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    I don't think there is any skater (or gymnast or rhythmic gymnast for that matter) who doesn't construct their programs/routines so that they highlight their strengths and hide there flaws. Why would anyone want to highlight their flaws?
    Sometimes it's not so much highlighting flaws (which also happens, unfortunately, but I am no talking about such cases now) as choosing a more difficult route and/or a route that is new and unusual for the particular skaters where it is easier to make mistakes, or doing a kind of program in which small mistakes/flaws are more visible irrespective from the skater's strengths. Of course, I don't want to say that Meryl and Charlie's FD, for instance, is not difficult, but it is in a style that they are quite used to and that also is quite fast and dynamic which actually helps to hide some small flaws. Although, admittedly, they have slowed down when compared to their earlier FDs.


    I think that judges are well aware of skaters flaws (the best example is that those skaters known for underrotated jumps, they seem under heavier scrutiny than those who aren't known for it) so, I would think that judges know exactly what to look for, no matter how the program is choreographed.
    It's not a question of whether judges are aware of flaws, or whether they know what to look for, but more of do they really want to notice those flaws and mark according to them and what is in the rule book, or of how willing they are to ignore some small things in favor of other things that are in the rule book too.

  11. #671

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    I'd like to see a new ending pose for the FD too. It's the last image the judges will see! I want something iconic.

  12. #672
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    Just a thought, perhaps it's the easiest position to get to from the exit out of that lift? Maybe when they get more comfortable with it they'll change it.

  13. #673

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    I hope the reverse lift becomes more refined. Meryl's legs are better closed, and more straight in the air. Charlie "sits more" in the squat position he's in. It's gelling..just not 100% yet.

    I too want that transition area before the last step sequence to be finished more...it needs something.

    I want a new end pose. Maybe something like this . It's kinda a flashback to the beginning.
    "Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him."

  14. #674
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffeine View Post
    I want a new end pose. Maybe something like this . It's kinda a flashback to the beginning.
    I like the idea of bringing it full circle. I feel like the position could be really awkward to hit in skates though, especially after the lift momentum. Charlie would really have to grit through the tired and focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffeine View Post
    I want a new end pose. Maybe something like this . It's kinda a flashback to the beginning.
    Ooh, really nice. I agree the final pose doesn't really fit with the story of the relationship between Scheherazade and the Sultan, which ends with their marriage. I still think their current ending pose looks too much like victory or success for her is escaping him.

  16. #676
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    I'd like to see more of the threat of Charlie's intent to kill her. Right now the dominant mood/feeling I get from it is the enchantment of Scheherazade but this will be more effective if they could bring in the uneasiness and the tension between them earlier in the program.

  17. #677

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    Love that ballet pose. Maybe they could still do their ending but Meryl facing him? And I agree the beginning could have more tension but with his looks, threatening is not a word I'd ever use for Charlie, lol! He'd have to work hard at that.

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    The ballet pose is lovely, but IMO this kind of romantic pose does not suit the dramating ending of the music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~tapdancer~ View Post
    Love that ballet pose. Maybe they could still do their ending but Meryl facing him? And I agree the beginning could have more tension but with his looks, threatening is not a word I'd ever use for Charlie, lol! He'd have to work hard at that.
    LOL, so true. Maybe not menacing, but just cool and aloof. Meryl also should have some reserve in the early part of the program. After all, countless brides before Scheherazade had been executed; why should she be any different? There definitely should be an element of fear, or at least risk-taking. Both Meryl and Charlie should become warmer and more passionate in their expressions as the program goes on. Admittedly, these are subtle emotional states to convey when flying around the ice "at 100 miles per hour" (as the British EuroSport guys said after their NHK freedance). Still, I think it would be possible, through the use of body language, to convey the sense of a developing relationship. Right now, it's basically enchantment, followed by about 15-20 seconds of triumph at the end. Part of the problem is Marina is such a hard-core romantic; I don't think she could choreograph a dysfunctional or troubled or uneasy or problematic relationship if her life depended on it. Maybe the expression and characterization will be refined once Meryl and Charlie are more secure in the technical demands of the program. And absolutely they should end the program at least facing each other.
    Last edited by E.A. Week; 11-13-2013 at 03:13 PM. Reason: spelling

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    At the beginning of the program, Meryl does her lovely arm movements and Charlie just basically skates away and stands there. I would like them to give him something more intricate to do. Maybe this could be the "menacing" look mentioned above.

    Let's face it, we have to nitpick because this is already one great program!!!

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