Did a wrong choice of program lead to undesirable result?

Vash01

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Sometimes I wonder if a wrong choice of music or program may have cost a skater a better placement? Particularly when they went away from what had worked for them over time, it seems like it often did not work in their favor.

Usova- Zhulin, who are being discussed in the ice dance thread could be an example. Their FD in 1994 probably kept them from winning the gold. They went away from their classical style.

Duschenays used a traditional FD (WSS) in 1992 and they too went away from what had worked for them. Their originality was their strength. I think K&P would have won regardless with their Bach FD but it would have been much closer, had D&D had stuck with their strength.

Tarasova-Morozov's Candyman LP was a terrible choice. They did make major mistakes in the LP and that was the main reason they did not win a medal, but still a better choice of program might have helped them.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I felt for a long time that Michelle Kwan should have stuck with Lori Nichol's choreography in 2002. I didn't feel that Scheherazade was the right music or program for her. Nothing personal against Kawahara. She is a good choreographer. Michelle wanted to try something different (including going coachless). It was a bad time to make such big changes.

There May be more Examples.
 

briancoogaert

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Sometimes I wonder if a wrong choice of music or program may have cost a skater a better placement? Particularly when they went away from what had worked for them over time, it seems like it often did not work in their favor.

Usova- Zhulin, who are being discussed in the ice dance thread could be an example. Their FD in 1994 probably kept them from winning the gold. They went away from their classical style.

Duschenays used a traditional FD (WSS) in 1992 and they too went away from what had worked for them. Their originality was their strength. I think K&P would have won regardless with their Bach FD but it would have been much closer, had D&D had stuck with their strength.

Tarasova-Morozov's Candyman LP was a terrible choice. They did make major mistakes in the LP and that was the main reason they did not win a medal, but still a better choice of program might have helped them.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I felt for a long time that Michelle Kwan should have stuck with Lori Nichol's choreography in 2002. I didn't feel that Scheherazade was the right music or program for her. Nothing personal against Kawahara. She is a good choreographer. Michelle wanted to try something different (including going coachless). It was a bad time to make such big changes.

There May be more Examples.
ITA about the Duchesnays. This WSS program was clearly not their best. Previously, they had programs that hided their flaws. I don't think WSS did that.

What about Domnina&Shabalin 2010 OD ?

About Michelle Kwan, I don't share your opinion because her Olympics LP was so different from what Sarah Kawahara choreographed at the begining. Michelle changed the program so much, and this LP was similar to her previous LP from 2000 or 2001. Plus, had she landed the 3Flip, she would have been Olympic Champion. I don't think it has anything to do with the choreography.
 

floskate

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You could argue that T&D's Face the Music FD in Lillehammer was the wrong program, even after the 50% overhaul that took place between Europeans and Olympics. They themselves said they felt they were trying to comply with what the ISU had specified they wanted, i.e. back to ballroom, rather than going with their hearts and instinctive creativity.
 

Louis

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I'd go the opposite way and say Klimova and Ponomarenko's 1990-91 program to Lawrence of Arabia cost them the gold medal that year. I loved the voids, but they tried to beat the Duchesnays at their own game and failed.

I'm not sure there's anything the Duchesnays could have done to beat K&P in 1992. Missing 3? :lol:

Usova and Zhulin's 1994 free dance was weak, but Grishuk and Platov had simply become a stronger team by that point. I'm not sure a different free dance would've made a difference. For Torvill and Dean, maybe. Their original dance was sublime. A free dance at that same level may have been unbeatable.
 

floskate

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I'd go the opposite way and say Klimova and Ponomarenko's 1990-91 program to Lawrence of Arabia cost them the gold medal that year. I loved the voids, but they tried to beat the Duchesnays at their own game and failed.

I'm not sure there's anything the Duchesnays could have done to beat K&P in 1992. Missing 3? :lol:

Usova and Zhulin's 1994 free dance was weak, but Grishuk and Platov had simply become a stronger team by that point. I'm not sure a different free dance would've made a difference. For Torvill and Dean, maybe. Their original dance was sublime. A free dance at that same level may have been unbeatable.
Even the Duchesnay's tried to beat themselves at their own game with their 1991 Europeans Reflections FD. It's a shame that didn't go down well in Sofia as I loved it and I remember their finally winning worlds with Missing II felt like such an anticlimax. Would Reflections have won them the title in Munich had they kept it? What with all the scandal surrounding Klimova in the weeks between, even though the B test came back negative, I always wondered if the ISU would rather not have a world champion with a potential doping scandal just weeks previously and the Duchesnay's would have won with their first FD.
 

Karen-W

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I’ve long thought that Sale and Peltier should have kept their Orchid program (and ironed out the difficulties in it) instead of going back to Love Story (an easier program) for the Olympics.
THIS! I completely agree. Their Orchid program was gorgeous while their Love Story program was so pedestrian. I actually hated the LS program and the fake snowball fight in it made me want to vomit. There was nothing about the LS program, right down to the grey costumes, that I liked in comparison to the Orchid program.
 

Vash01

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THIS! I completely agree. Their Orchid program was gorgeous while their Love Story program was so pedestrian. I actually hated the LS program and the fake snowball fight in it made me want to vomit. There was nothing about the LS program, right down to the grey costumes, that I liked in comparison to the Orchid program.
I read somewhere that after the Canadian nationals Jamie (or both?) lost confidence in the Orchid, so they decided to go back to LS which they could skate in their sleep. When it came out first in 1999, it was fresh, but by 2002 it was stale, outdated, not competitive choreographically, and overexposed.

Some (not me) even praised the snowball fight as part of great choreography. The side by side bunny hops were hardly example of unison (at high level). I didn't mind the gray costumes, but I didn't feel it had the difficulty. The Orchid did, and they should have taken on the challenge.
 

floskate

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I read somewhere that after the Canadian nationals Jamie (or both?) lost confidence in the Orchid, so they decided to go back to LS which they could skate in their sleep. When it came out first in 1999, it was fresh, but by 2002 it was stale, outdated, not competitive choreographically, and overexposed.

Some (not me) even praised the snowball fight as part of great choreography. The side by side bunny hops were hardly example of unison (at high level). I didn't mind the gray costumes, but I didn't feel it had the difficulty. The Orchid did, and they should have taken on the challenge.
It was only overexposed in skating circles and to fans who followed the sport season by season. To the majority of viewers around the world watching the pairs even in SLC, it would have been completely new to them. I do agree Orchid was the better program though.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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but I felt for a long time that Michelle Kwan should have stuck with Lori Nichol's choreography in 2002. I didn't feel that Scheherazade was the right music or program for her. Nothing personal against Kawahara. S

I have always agreed with that statement. It was such a departure for her but did nothing to emphasize her grace and elegance like Lori did. I have not like this music or program for all the other skaters have gravitated towards it since Michelle. As far as Sarah K goes I like what she choreographed that one time for Sarah Hughes.
 

alchemy void

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As far as Sarah K goes I like what she choreographed that one time for Sarah Hughes.
Quite the confident endorsement here! :rofl: When I think of Kawahara, I think of the pro programs she did for Oksana, which I loved. Not sure what that says about me, though. 🤷‍♀️

And back to the original question, would Mao's Bells of Moscow program in 2010 qualify? I wasn't following skating terribly closely that quad, but did that program choice hold her back versus Yuna, or was it just a lack of consistency/politics? For the record, it's one of my favorite Mao programs, and I've rewatched it infinitely more than anything Yuna did. I love the drama and the power, but wonder if Yuna's more traditional pretty programs contributed her towards that general consensus her OGM was inevitable, despite three triple axels from Asada?
 

litenkyckling

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A bit more recent but I think that H/D's R&J cost them the momentum they had going into this quad - I think had they chosen something more "them" then it would have grown and it would've been harder for S/K to overtake them as much as they did. The same goes for their ASIB FD - had Worlds 2020 happened I don't think they'd have medalled. Perhaps a good lesson in that they won their first world medal because of their great material - they didn't need to act like a team that deserved to be on the podium and choose more predictably because they already did deserve to be there.
 

Vash01

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Quite the confident endorsement here! :rofl: When I think of Kawahara, I think of the pro programs she did for Oksana, which I loved. Not sure what that says about me, though. 🤷‍♀️

And back to the original question, would Mao's Bells of Moscow program in 2010 qualify? I wasn't following skating terribly closely that quad, but did that program choice hold her back versus Yuna, or was it just a lack of consistency/politics? For the record, it's one of my favorite Mao programs, and I've rewatched it infinitely more than anything Yuna did. I love the drama and the power, but wonder if Yuna's more traditional pretty programs contributed her towards that general consensus her OGM was inevitable, despite three triple axels from Asada?
I liked Mao's Bells program. IMO there are two reasons she did not win the gold. First is that in the SP the judges placed Yuna for so far ahead that it was impossible to catch her. Second was that Yuna was technically superior in her jump technique, even though Mao landed the 3A. IMO a cleanYuna was unbeatable at tha time but the gap in the scores should have been much smaller, so I believe politics did play some role.
 

Vash01

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H/D's A star is born FDdid not get a good reception. I am not quite sure why. Is that why they lost the nationals? I hope my memory is correct.
 

alchemy void

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Slutskaya in 2006. She should've stuck with her 2005 Worlds winning free program. Her Flamenco free was totally forgettable, whereas her "Totentanz" SP was a hit.
I agree that flamenco program was hideous and the worst thing she ever did, but she actually debuted the fortune teller program at 2004 Worlds. So technically it would have been the third season with that program and she is no Viktor Pretrenko. :p I don't feel like the program necessarily held her back, it was simply the several botched jumps at the Olympics.
 

Belsornia

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Re Torvill and Dean's Face The Music FD, in my view the overhauled programme at the Olympics was worse than the Euros/Nationals version. But it's testament to their skills as professionals that they gave such a good performance in Lillehammar when they were finishing reworking it on the Olympic practices.

I'm not sure when they started training for their return, but I wonder if they'd have benefitted from doing an autumn international, or even keeping the British championship in the usual pre-Christmas slot, rather than going for Nationals/Euros/Olympics in a matter of weeks. Then they'd have had time to revise or change the FD without it being so rushed/panicked.

On the flip side, after almost a decade as pros T&D didn't get their CDs back to their previous level, which stopped any residual idea that they were unbeatable at the start of competition. So if they had competed in the autumn things could have been very shaky in the compulsories.
 

jenny12

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Quite the confident endorsement here! :rofl: When I think of Kawahara, I think of the pro programs she did for Oksana, which I loved. Not sure what that says about me, though. 🤷‍♀️

And back to the original question, would Mao's Bells of Moscow program in 2010 qualify? I wasn't following skating terribly closely that quad, but did that program choice hold her back versus Yuna, or was it just a lack of consistency/politics? For the record, it's one of my favorite Mao programs, and I've rewatched it infinitely more than anything Yuna did. I love the drama and the power, but wonder if Yuna's more traditional pretty programs contributed her towards that general consensus her OGM was inevitable, despite three triple axels from Asada?

I think in this case Yu-Na’s jumps and power were so superior to Mao’s at that point that it didn’t matter but at the time I did agree. However, I liked Bells of Moscow at Worlds and think by the end of the season Mao understood how to deliver it. I think Mao’s costume (or at least her Tarasova’s collar 😜) held her back more than anything else.
 
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VGThuy

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I think Mao’s Bells of Moscow’s version of the music and program itself was way too heavy and didn’t highlight her strengths, which was light, ethereal skating with complex choreography in terms of body position and dance but room for real long held edges that could build with power. I think of say her “Madame Butterfly” LP from 2016. I think Lori got Mao in a way Tarasova never did. And even Raf was sorry he reacted the way he did before 2008 Worlds and he now understood why Mao was spending so much time back in Japan. If she had a team of Raf and Lori back in 2009 and 2010…who knows? That could have narrowed the gap even though the code in 2010 played much more to Yuna’s strengths than Mao’s.
 

Bigbird

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The last RD and FDs for P/C made it clear that the judges want teams to play it safe. That was their biggest mistake. That is what prevented them from getting their gold in EC in 2020.
 

angi

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The last RD and FDs for P/C made it clear that the judges want teams to play it safe. That was their biggest mistake. That is what prevented them from getting their gold in EC in 2020.
The same programs got them very high scores from the judges during the GP season and even got them the highest RD score in GPF with a big mistake during an element so I don't think the results support this honestly. They simply were off their game during EC which was noticeable to many and in a politicking environment that is already pro-Zhulin (at least it seems like it to me) they couldn't afford to be off their game.
 

Bigbird

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The same programs got them very high scores from the judges during the GP season and even got them the highest RD score in GPF with a big mistake during an element so I don't think the results support this honestly. They simply were off their game during EC which was noticeable to many and in a politicking environment that is already pro-Zhulin (at least it seems like it to me) they couldn't afford to be off their game.
They got high scores in France. Every time they come to Europe and the judges are ususlly pro-Russia their scores are always low. They made one mistake on a step sequence and another on a choreographic lift. S/K made similar mistakes and also on their spin and yet still the judges ensured that they win. P/C would have to be squeaky clean to win. It was all pre-arranged. Those judges preferred the wan traditional choreography of the Russian team. Period.

Edit: The judges were also informed not to give out the 10s they usually do to P/C because they wanted to make it more competitive? Even though they skated their own PB? What gives? Ice dance isn't a sport but rather a subjective beauty contest. Period.
 
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litenkyckling

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The last RD and FDs for P/C made it clear that the judges want teams to play it safe. That was their biggest mistake. That is what prevented them from getting their gold in EC in 2020.
perhaps but their FD performance at EC was just bad - any other team would've dropped off the podium with a technical performance like that and they know it.
 

Bigbird

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perhaps but their FD performance at EC was just bad - any other team would've dropped off the podium with a technical performance like that and they know it.
Their bad compared to an inferior team's mediocre was not enough for them to lose. If they were Russians we all know they would have won.
 

angi

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They got high scores in France.

That's simply not true.
GPF France: RD - 88.69, FD - 133.55
NHK Trophy: RD - 90.03, FD - 136.58
GPF: RD - 83.83, FD - 136.02 (major error in the RD and overall levels issues)
EC: RD - 88.78, FD - 131.50

They were scored very generously during the entire season and only got dinged when they made errors. If I remember correctly they even admitted themselves that they barely did full run-throughs between French Nationals and EC. They were scored for what they produced which was unfortunately subpar.
 

Louis

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Not surprising to me that almost all of the examples are ice dance (and most pre-IJS).

Curious if there are examples from outside of ice dance, or whether the common belief that program components / presentation following technical merit marks prevents that in singles.
 

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