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  1. #1
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    How did Sandra Bezic get such a high-profile gig on NBC?

    Anyone know? This isn't a bash thread about her commentating. I'm truly curious how a woman without name recognition in the U.S. landed such a plum job in the NBC lineup. Did she work her way up in the network, or did Scott suggest her for the job? It just occurred to me while watching nationals this weekend that I never heard the story behind her hiring. I did a web search but couldn't find much about her broadcasting history. She's a gifted choreographer but I'm just shocked that NBC went with an unknown instead of a well-known network face or even a past skating champion.

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    Casting couch maybe?



    In all seriousness, I've wondered that too. She isn't a judge, and her competitive record wasn't anything to write home about. She has done some terrific choreography for competitive skaters and for SOI, but if anything that should be a clear conflict of interest.

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    She is far easier for me to understand than Elfi Schlegal in gymnastics. She was the director of Stars on Ice, which is a huge position in the World of skating, especialy in the U.S, for decades. Heck she might still be today, I wouldnt know as I no longer follow the now nearly dead tour. She was one of the most sought after and highly respected choreographers in the World, and mostly worked with some of the most famous North American skating stars. I dont see why anyone is surprised how she got a job with NBC, even if it might be a surprise how long she kept it with increasingly poor quality work in the 2000s onwards (she was pretty good before that).

    Compare that to Elfi Schlegal who is just an ex so so Canadian gymnast, who is an annoying and condescending blabbermouth, who has no ties or contributions to U.S gymnasts at all. How on earth she got her NBC job (which she was horrible at from day 1 to boot) is beyond me, and Bezic while I dont care for her is only 1000 times easier to understand than her.

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    Sandra used to be a high choreographer. She did choreography for Boitano during the 1988 Olympic season as well as several other champions, including Yamaguchi and Lipinski.

    She was offered the commentators position when skating was still relatively rare on NBC.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 01-14-2014 at 05:37 AM.

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    FOS - friend of scott

    not famous or tall enough to overshadow him
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    FOS - friend of scott

    not famous or tall enough to overshadow him
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

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    Yet Sandra was working for NBC long before Scott ever did, and while Scott was firmly commited to only CBS. I know the comment was meant in jest but in all seriousness who knows, maybe Scott got his job after CBS ceased to hold the rights to any skating due to his friendship with Sandra who put in a good word for him. I know many cant stand her, and in the last 12 years I have been added to that list, but I cant believe anyone would deny with her role of directing Stars on Ice, for many years the Worlds biggest and highest earning skating tour, and being one of the most sought after choreographers in the World, Sandra was anything but a hugely important figure in the sport, and that is a large reason she was hired by NBC.

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    One thing I found interesting in TSL's interview with Sandra is that she made it sound like she no longer choreographed for Olympic-eligible skaters due to the conflict-of-interest that would arise if she was commentating about them on NBC. However, in an interview years back, I remember reading how she no longer choreographed because she wasn't a big fan of the IJS and felt too stifled.

    Anyway, it's interesting to see which choreographers have easily transitioned from being highly-sought after 6.0 choreographers to highly-sought after IJS choreographers, and which ones haven't.

    Does anyone know of a Chris Dean program designed specifically for IJS?
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

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    didnt he do eleanor rigby for crone / poirier?
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

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    IIRC he choreographed Crone and Poirier FD for 2010 season when they won Canadian Nats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    One thing I found interesting in TSL's interview with Sandra is that she made it sound like she no longer choreographed for Olympic-eligible skaters due to the conflict-of-interest that would arise if she was commentating about them on NBC. However, in an interview years back, I remember reading how she no longer choreographed because she wasn't a big fan of the IJS and felt too stifled.
    And thank God for that, because if her lack of understanding of IJS was reflected in her choreography, the skaters would be leaving points on the table left and right. I'm not sure what Sandra's best piece of choreography was, but she certainly crafted some crap for Chen Lu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    And thank God for that, because if her lack of understanding of IJS was reflected in her choreography, the skaters would be leaving points on the table left and right. I'm not sure what Sandra's best piece of choreography was, but she certainly crafted some crap for Chen Lu.
    IMO Boitano's Napoleon LP was her best choreographed program. It was challenging because Boitano was not known for his artistry or for his expressiveness. She used a piece of music that fit his introverted nature and created a masterpiece that showcased his great technical ability, and using the power in his skating to create artistry. She is a terrible commentator, but she is/was a really good choreographer for singles skaters. I can see why she would have difficulty choreographing under the IJS. She used in her choreography the skater's personality to create a work of art. The restrictions of having x number of technical points would have really restricted her.

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    of course, she also may have been responsible for the "gold medal rap"
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveRinger View Post
    seconded.

    I find Sandra's snobby and overly-artsy tone at times to make me ask myself this same question. Her "No!" in SLC is exhibit #A.

    Though I do find her insightful and educated, and her voice sounds like she hasn't been sucking on helium and sugar cubes.

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    Her commentary during us nationals made my ears bleed. Neither she nor Scott give the impression of caring to learn a thing about the scoring system and it would be really nice if NBC axed them for the Olympics and had Johnny weir and Tracy Wilson call all the events.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    And thank God for that, because if her lack of understanding of IJS was reflected in her choreography, the skaters would be leaving points on the table left and right. I'm not sure what Sandra's best piece of choreography was, but she certainly crafted some crap for Chen Lu.
    Your Lu Chen example is bogus. Other than Cranston's Last Emperor Chen's best artistic programs were all with Bezic by far. Her 96 Worlds LP is one of the all time great masterpieces. How else could she have won the bronze at the 98 Olympics with such lame technical abilities for a top level skater by then (even if she skated cleanly and far above her expectations technically for the time), if it wasnt for her superb Bezic choreography which still stood far out over almost everyone.

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    I can't stand her. I'm always yelling at her to shut up. Ugh!!!

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    My guess is a clearing in the woods, a pentagram, pigs blood, and some weirdos in robes.

  19. #19

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    Sandra was THE choreographer of choice 'back in the day' (esp. after Boitano's win in 1988). She was tied to Stars on Ice which means the Scott Connection. C'est tout.

    I know I've joined many in bashing her arrogant voice but she is very knowledgeable and, too, has a pretty on-camera appearance. I guess I've made my peace with Sandra in my middle age.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    I like Sandra but I had the same question. My guess is she has a communications major in there somewhere. I checked her profile on linked in - it doesn't mention college. But her time line shows that her analyst work for NBC dates to 1990. This appears to be prior to any of her production responsibilities for SOI or the television shows, but after her big first stint as choreographer. She looks and sounds like a broadcast news woman, so I'm sure that helped.
    What would Jenny do?

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