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  1. #21

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    One more thought on Bezic.... She started with NBC in 1990. Peggy Fleming was nabbed by ABC, Hamill still skated, Yamaguchi hadn't won yet. I guess there was Janet Lynn but she bowed out of the whole scene. So Sandra filled a void at the time wrt no real US lady options.

    Who commentated at Boitano's Olympics? That was just before Sandra started.
    What would Jenny do?

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    One more thought on Bezic.... She started with NBC in 1990. Peggy Fleming was nabbed by ABC, Hamill still skated, Yamaguchi hadn't won yet. I guess there was Janet Lynn but she bowed out of the whole scene. So Sandra filled a void at the time wrt no real US lady options.

    Who commentated at Boitano's Olympics? That was just before Sandra started.
    Uncle Dick and Peggy. ABC still held the rights for the Olympics in 88.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorianhotel View Post
    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.
    I couldn't agree more. Sandra's work for Lulu are among my favorite programs in history. I still watch them when I need a break from the aimless arm flapping that is considered art under the COP.

    I have never minded Sandra's commentary and unlike many posters/posers at skating boards - Sandra has left a major mark on the figure skating world.

  4. #24
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    Sandra's first assignment on U.S. TV was 1990 Worlds for CBS. That coverage was produced by David Michaels (brother of Al Michaels). David Michaels left CBS for NBC shortly after 1990 Worlds, and he has been the producer or director of NBC's figure skating coverage since then. I think he's the reason why Sandra ended up on NBC and has stayed there all these years. NBC doesn't make a lot of changes to its commentators, though it did recently replace Elfi Schlegel (who was also hired by Michaels) with Nastia Liukin for gymnastics.

  5. #25
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    I felt the job should have gone to an American lady. We have had so many champions. I can't believe none of them would have been interested.

    Sandra got on my nerves talking about Mirai having to stop to catch her breath. The girl is not 16 anymore. She is a 20 year old woman. What was wrong with her taking a couple of seconds to breathe.

  6. #26
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    When did she start working for the CBC? Was it before she started working for NBC? Maybe NBC was just lazy and decided to hire someone with credentials instead of finding some inexperienced American woman with name recognition like Dorothy Hamill or Tai Babilonia and giving her a shot.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Camel View Post
    I felt the job should have gone to an American lady. We have had so many champions. I can't believe none of them would have been interested.

    Sandra got on my nerves talking about Mirai having to stop to catch her breath. The girl is not 16 anymore. She is a 20 year old woman. What was wrong with her taking a couple of seconds to breathe.
    Well, to be fair, Sandra was pointing out the choreographic disruption of the program and how noticeable it was compared to the other ladies. It is a competition.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrLucky View Post
    I couldn't agree more. Sandra's work for Lulu are among my favorite programs in history. I still watch them when I need a break from the aimless arm flapping that is considered art under the COP.
    This didn't include a lot of arm flapping. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58pdFFpT74E -- though you might want eye bleach.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    This didn't include a lot of arm flapping. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58pdFFpT74E -- though you might want eye bleach.
    It's an exhibition program -but thanks for the link.

  10. #30
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    Bezic was also quite a well-known skater in her own right. She was a 5-time Canadian pair champion with her brother Val, and competed at the 1972 Olympics. The US "LIFE" magazine even put her on the cover in 1972! As a professional skater, she worked with both Toller Cranston (she pops out of a giant clam in "Strawberry Ice") and John Curry (as the title character in "The Snow Queen"), and competed with her brother in at least one of Dick Button's World Pro events. Her work with Boitano was what really put her on the map as a choreographer, but before that she had worked with Underhill & Martini from the very beginning of their competitive careers.

    I don't know the story about how Bezic got started doing TV commentary, but 1990 Worlds for CBS is the first event I recall her doing, and then she moved the NBC the following year when they got the ISU contract. I think that in that timeframe, Bezic was *not* particularly a "friend of Scott" -- she was affiliated with the Boitano/Witt "Skating" tour, which was a rival to Stars On Ice.

    BTW, Tracy Wilson *does* owe her job to being a "friend of Scott". She was feeling pretty lost at the time she lost her partner Rob McCall to AIDS, and per Hamilton's autobiography, he talked CBS into hiring her so she would have something productive to do again.

  11. #31

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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.


    Lu's 1996 Rachmaninoff LP was a masterpiece- not just in performance but in choreography too. The performance could not have been that great without great choreography. Her 1998 Oly LP for Lu earned a mediocre but emotional performance an Olympic bronze, after most had written off Chen Lu. I remember the commentator saying that she wanted to use Chinese music for Chen Lu that year to bring out her deep emotions and Butterfly lovers was a fantastic choice.

    That said, I was very disappointed to see (again!) Sandra & Scott as the commentators for the US nationals. Scott's phrase- "every jump has value" made my eyes roll. May be some people really are so ignorant about FS that they need to be told that. Sandra wasn't much better. I can't remember a single thing where she actually explained what the skater was doing. Scott actually did a better job of that.

  12. #32

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    To me, the only surprise is that she is a commentator on US TV but not on Canadian.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post


    Lu's 1996 Rachmaninoff LP was a masterpiece- not just in performance but in choreography too. The performance could not have been that great without great choreography. Her 1998 Oly LP for Lu earned a mediocre but emotional performance an Olympic bronze, after most had written off Chen Lu. I remember the commentator saying that she wanted to use Chinese music for Chen Lu that year to bring out her deep emotions and Butterfly lovers was a fantastic choice.
    I did like Butterfly Lovers. I cringed at Black Magic Woman, which I saw live. It is still cringeworthy.

  14. #34
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    99% of the time I agree that Sandra and Scott are terrible commentators who haven't bothered to help educate the viewers about the judging system. But I believe part of that is due to the producers' beliefs that all those numbers would confuse the ordinary viewer. Not the skating fan watching.

    However, they were mostly silent during the last two thirds of Jason Brown's LP. You could hear Scott's oohing and ahhing of course and they both exclaimed how great that skate was. I actually liked that they refrained from talking at least for that short time.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosiekins View Post
    I can't stand her. I'm always yelling at her to shut up. Ugh!!!
    I can't stand her either and I am always yelling at both scott and sandra.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.frog View Post
    Bezic was also quite a well-known skater in her own right. She was a 5-time Canadian pair champion with her brother Val, and competed at the 1972 Olympics.
    Being a five-time Canadian Pairs champion is good enough to get the CBC to consider you, but it doesn't mean anything at all in the U.S. media market unless you have some greater claim to fame like (three-time Canadian champion) Jamie Salé, who is a World and Olympic Gold Medalist. The Bezics finished ninth at the Olympics and never finished higher than fifth at Worlds. Their skates at those competitions may never even have been shown on American television.

  17. #37

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    In addition to skating w/ her brother in the initial Landover World Pros - always shown on NBC - I believe that she commentated on World Pros during the late 80s, before NBC initially had ISU Worlds in early 90s.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    In addition to skating w/ her brother in the initial Landover World Pros - always shown on NBC - I believe that she commentated on World Pros during the late 80s, before NBC initially had ISU Worlds in early 90s.
    Sandra didn't start with NBC until 1990. The first event she did for NBC was the 1990 Tour of Champions (Champions on Ice) broadcast. Carol Heiss did the commentary for the World Pro on NBC in the late-80s.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Camel View Post
    I felt the job should have gone to an American lady. We have had so many champions. I can't believe none of them would have been interested.

    Sandra got on my nerves talking about Mirai having to stop to catch her breath. The girl is not 16 anymore. She is a 20 year old woman. What was wrong with her taking a couple of seconds to breathe.
    I've often wondered why American broadcasters have Canadian commentators for skating. Do the Canadian broadcasters have Americans as commentators? I bet they never have and never will.

    Both Scott and Sandra commented on Mirai's bizarre behavior in the second half of her LP after observing Mirai stop a second time, take a deeeeep breath, and slowly blooooow it out). I don't think I've ever before seen a skater do such a weird thing during his/her program. They were correct in making a comment about it.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by girlscouse62 View Post
    IIRC he choreographed Crone and Poirier FD for 2010 season when they won Canadian Nats.
    I totally forgot that Crone and Poirier won a Canadian National title.

    Sandra directed a skating special in the early '90s that won quite a few Emmys, so that might have opened some doors.

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