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  1. #41
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    Maybe NBC and CBS before them was trying to address something fans here say all the time - we want more in depth commentary from someone who knows what they are talking about. In 1990 Peggy Fleming hadn't competed in year, Dick Button in decades. And did either ever coach or choreograph? Maybe the producers wanted Bezic because in addition to be a former world level competitor, she was then a top ranked choreographer who could add a different perspective to commentary. And, she was well versed in pairs, not just singles like Dick and Peggy. Having just done Boitano's Olys gold program (as well as Brian O's silver the same year) plus a ton of other skaters, I can see where she'd have some resonance to US audiences.

    I'm not saying she was the best choice, and certainly there are others who do a far better job now, but back then, I can see how she might have got the job.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    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.
    Dorothy did commentating for Fox. It wasn't her thing. Janet Lynn commentated for CBS for 83 Europeans; she was not good at all.

    Sandra commentated for NBC back in those World Pro days. She has had a long relationship with them.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by zee703 View Post
    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.
    Deep breathing is "bizarre"? I think I will start a list of weird things that skaters do mid-performance. Somehow I dont think stopping to take a deep breath is going to be very high on the list, LOL.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Deep breathing is "bizarre"? I think I will start a list of weird things that skaters do mid-performance. Somehow I dont think stopping to take a deep breath is going to be very high on the list, LOL.
    Actually- while I really enjoyed Mirai's long program and thought she showed some of her past spark, I did really notice how she would take in giant breathes, and it did interrupt the flow. I didn't notice that with any of the other skaters. I noticed a few of Jason Brown's deep breathes, but while he was still doing things- just timed to be between them.

    Watching on a 55" HD TV definitely allowed me to see things I had never noticed on my computer screen.

    But if we want bizarre behavior- the few skaters that tried to surreptitiously hide their costume fixes, including Ashley Wagner pulling hers up is probably more so. If your costume is low cut enough that you have to pull it up, you need a higher cut costume. Same with those who fix wedgies- you need a better dressmaker.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Camel View Post

    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.
    Mirai is a 20 years old elite level athlete who has been at this level since at least 13. It's not unreasonable to expect her programs to be more complex and challenging choreography-wise at this stage of her career.

  6. #46
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    The only commentary I've ever enjoyed came out of the mouth of Dick Button. Very smart and funny guy. Some of the others are tolerable, but if you are knowledgeable about the sport, they don't really add anything and just get in the way.

    I mention that because I confess that I can't stand Sandra's commentary, but the reasons have less to do with her (she does exactly what the modern networks like) and more to do with how commentating is handled in general.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Mirai is a 20 years old elite level athlete who has been at this level since at least 13. It's not unreasonable to expect her programs to be more complex and challenging choreography-wise at this stage of her career.
    Money talks.....and choreography aside - who is going to compete at the Olympics? Mirai's choreographer or Ashley's choreographer?

    Last time I checked Yuna got the OGM in Vancouver, not Wilson.

    Spin it anyway that makes you happy. We saw who skated better in Boston.

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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.
    Skating is skating no matter what country it happens in. I don't think a commentator needs to be from the same country as the network they work from.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  9. #49

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    I dont particularly care for Sandra's commentary and, other things being equal, I would rather have an American too. But the suggestion at the top of the thread that she got her job by way of the casting couch is ludicrous and offensive. There is a super-informative 2-part interview with her on The Skating Lesson site. Her resume is impressive. (Now I have to watch The Freshman again!)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Bezic

  10. #50
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    Sandra Bezic has been a wonderful fs choreographer, and maybe she should have chosen that career over commentating, but I assume it doesn't pay as well. I hated Scott and Sandra bleating and blaring throughout Mirai's performance, willing her to mess up. Sandra is often annoying, but she's not as bad as Scott. The only memorable and notable thing Scott said that made sense was his analogy (during Christina's fp) of trying to keep up with a conveyor belt in relation to having to get up from a fall and keep going with the rest of your program elements.

    After Sammi Cesario's fierce and determined free skate, Sandra started to rightly praise her, while USFS mouthpiece, Scott Hamilton, began croaking loudly about tech reviews. I think Sandra has great love for the sport and sometimes she offers fairly good insights, but she's not a very good commentator, especially not paired with Scott and whatshisname (I can never remember that guy's name -- he's a familiar face who hosts other sports on NBC, but he appears to know zip about figure skating, unlike the ever thoughtful and knowlegeable Terry Gannon).

  11. #51
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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.



    She won bronze at the 98 Olys,because she was the best ARTISTIC SKATER at the time(still is). Her great INTERPRETATION of Rachmananov at 96 Worlds(was totally robbed of the title) made that program an absolute masterpiece(had the audience under a spell). I haven't seeing anything that GREAT since.
    Last edited by crs; 01-14-2014 at 08:21 PM.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post


    Sandra Bezic has been a wonderful fs choreographer, and maybe she should have chosen that career over commentating, but I assume it doesn't pay as well.
    Given that Sandra used to charge $10,000 per program for choreography, I'm sure she was making more doing that than she does as a commentator. I doubt she gets paid all that much to do 2-3 events per year for NBC.

  13. #53
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    She was also the driving force behind Battle of the Blades. She was the creator, producer and host/judge. She must know a lot about the 'ins and outs' of TV.
    Incidentally at Canadians, Joannie Rochette said she is going to school to be a television journalist/ commentator.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedySucks View Post
    Given that Sandra used to charge $10,000 per program for choreography, I'm sure she was making more doing that than she does as a commentator. I doubt she gets paid all that much to do 2-3 events per year for NBC.
    Really? If that's the case, I don't understand her career switch. Maybe she thought she'd be able to do both. I believe it was considered a conflict of interest, which led her to stop choreographing.

  15. #55

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    My guess is NBC's contract with Sandra is quite large. Top choreographers will charge $5k-$6k for an SP and $9k-$10k for an LP, but imagine she feels fulfilled by the many years she spent creating work for eligible skaters, plus now her work with Battle of the Blades. I don't think showing up for a few competitions a year and providing commentary is very difficult compared to what goes into creating IJS programs. In her TSL interview she mentioned that she isn't choreographing for eligible skaters due to her NBC contract, but for many years she was choreographing while still commentating on those programs during events, so I wonder what changed.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    My guess is NBC's contract with Sandra is quite large. Top choreographers will charge $5k-$6k for an SP and $9k-$10k for an LP, but imagine she feels fulfilled by the many years she spent creating work for eligible skaters, plus now her work with Battle of the Blades. I don't think showing up for a few competitions a year and providing commentary is very difficult compared to what goes into creating IJS programs. In her TSL interview she mentioned that she isn't choreographing for eligible skaters due to her NBC contract, but for many years she was choreographing while still commentating on those programs during events, so I wonder what changed.
    I remember an article back in 2003 (after she parted ways with SOI) in which Sandra claimed that she was done doing choreography because she didn't like the new judging system and no one wanted to pay $10,000 for her programs anymore.

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    I have a feeling it's more about the money. I'm sure had Sandra been offered $10,000 to choreograph a routine at the time (assuming what she said about NBC and conflict-of-interest being an issue now is the truth), then she would have taken that job.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by crs View Post
    She won bronze at the 98 Olys,because she was the best ARTISTIC SKATER at the time(still is). Her great INTERPRETATION of Rachmananov at 96 Worlds(was totally robbed of the title) made that program an absolute masterpiece(had the audience under a spell). I haven't seeing anything that GREAT since.

    Rachmaninoff*

  19. #59
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    FWIW, I always figured that Bezic went into semi-retirement because she was burned out and wanted to spend more time with her family. I know she had a husband and young son during the time she was running around as co-producer of Stars On Ice, which must have been a tough life to maintain. She must have made a pile of money during the pro skating boom and probably nowadays can afford to pick and choose projects that interest her.

    ETA: Now that I think of it, I think having the baby was the reason why Bezic didn't commentate for 1994 Worlds and NBC ended up hiring Kurt Browning for that event instead.
    Last edited by dr.frog; 01-14-2014 at 08:59 PM.

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    IMO Boitano's Napoleon LP was her best choreographed program.
    She did some great competitive programs for Kurt Browning and Josee Chouinard as well, and Lu Chen as discussed. And Katarina Witt in 1994.

    I don't keep track of pro programs so much. Bezic's work there is certainly of less interest to me -- too much sex kitten for the single ladies and lovey dovey for the pairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Camel View Post
    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.
    Nothing wrong with breathing. Dropping all choreography and connection to the program to do so is definitely a negative from a PCS point of view, so it makes sense to point that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLucky View Post
    Money talks.....and choreography aside - who is going to compete at the Olympics? Mirai's choreographer or Ashley's choreographer?
    If Mirai had shown better choreography and performance thereof, she might have finished second instead of third, the team selection would be different, and we'd be having a different conversation.

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