Highlights of 1997 NHK

Pick your favourite moment(s) of 1997 NHK

  • An early season look at Kulik's Olympic programs

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  • Other - name in the thread

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    34
  • Poll closed .

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,378
Although I reluctantly voted "Everything Pasha",

:lol: I didn't realize this was a mandatory voting poll.

Anyway, I do agree that Bourne & Kraatz's skating was nowhere near the level of Grishuk & Platov and CBS was silly to pretend otherwise. The side by side compulsory dance at NHK really shows that off and I don't think that was the intention. It's kind of sad to me how poorly B&K's skating stands up now, although I do still enjoy watching their Riverdance program if I can try to ignore the bad skating skills.

It's also kind of a shame that the pro-B&K pushing overshadowed some of the real problems with judging, as I do think that there were judges who were clearly judging together, but it was hard to take the complaints seriously when the people making the arguments were also trying to argue that B&K should be competitive with G&P. Or when Jean Senft was trying to play the victim when she was clearly part of the collusion with Balkov - neither of them should ever have been on a judging panel again.

But all that aside, I can't be sad about the Pasha fluff pieces, which were amazing and made her a legend.

As for Grishuk & Platov's pro career or lack thereof, I doubt CBS had anything to do with that. Presumably Platov had some agency in his decision to not skate with her after 1998? And what ice dancers had much of a pro career anyway? If anything, Grishuk & Zhulin got a bit of mileage out of the rivalry with Usova & Platov, but ice dance was never that popular in North America and pro skating was past its peak by 1998, so they were never going to do that well anyway.
 

Yuri

Active Member
Messages
446
Well, remember that B/K won the 1997 Champions Series Final over K/O ... in Canada .. just as they ended up doing in 2002 at home just before the Olympics (over A/P and FP/M), and I'm sure many in the North American continent saw that as fair judging and a sign of things to come ;) But even as a pre-teen, I was tired of how B/K were always being thrown out as victims on US television. We've rehashed this in many different threads over the years, but Judy Blumberg tore into this team like no other team during the 1998 Worlds OD, pointing out how simplistic and below-par their skating and choreography was. To this day, Ive never heard a commentator be so harsh throughout a program.

It only got worse, 1998 Canadian Open their music was supposedly played too fast and the time deduction made them lose to the brand new team of Usova/Platov (another mini-'scandal'), and then we got the continued BTS drama during the 1999-2000 GP series where the producers went above and beyond to show B/K complaining -- mind you, with absolutely horrendous content that season.

North American television in general was trying to play up the fact that Riverdance was so audience friendly and that must be a sign of who should win. No one except for Blumberg really went out of their way to say 'Well no, the content behind the skate is bad', and the constant playing up how great they were just caused audiences to believe there was some kind of injustice when there really wasn't one.

And no one else needs to bring up the Senft thing. Remember- she went along with it and only blew the whistle after her outlandish ordinals and not getting what she wanted. Yeah, some hero. If anything, a bloc judging panel saved it by NOT handing B/K a medal.
I had completely forgotten about the 1997 Champions Series Final in Canada, but now that you mention it those unfortunate memories quickly came rushing back into my brain! I don't remember any of the details on how precisely B&K managed to knock K&O off at that competition, but OK I now remember why there was some legitimate expectations (albeit overly-hyped) that B&K had an opportunity to challenge the top Russians in Nagano. I forgot to mention another key motivation of the hype--the fact that B&K had recently switched coaches to Natalia Dubova, one of trio of Russian divas (along with Linichuk and Tarasova), who had coached G&P prior to their move to Linichuk and capturing the 1994 Olympics. I think the North American media appreciated the story of a top Russian ice dancing coach shouting to the world that B&K could beat her former pupils with Riverdance!



As good as Memorial was, I really wish K/O could have reversed their programs with Masquerade Waltz in the Olympic year and Carmen in the previous one. I think they would have been much tougher competition at Nagano that way.

The way North American tv handled this whole era of dance is a huge part of why I stopped watching the sport for many years.
I disagree, I think that Carmen--especially the opening segment--was far superior to Masquerade Waltz and was skated well enough to challenge Memorial for the gold medal. Even G&P in their most honest moments know Carmen had great moments. Unfortunately for K&O, too much posing and some overly dramatic moments ultimately lowered Carmen's technical content below Memorial which continually built to a crescendo. But I think the wonderful Carmen FD gave K&O their best shot at unseating G&P, even though I really loved Masquerade Waltz as well.
Earth to Yuri. "Unfair" television coverage was not the cause of the demise of Grishuk & Platov,my dear. Marilyn Monroe's Miss Grishuk's outlandish,unstable, and unlikeable behavior was the primary reason she had the least notable professional career of any Olympic medalist in history. She has no one to blame but herself.

-BB
I mean I cannot really disagree with you too much that Pasha self-destructed with her pre-Olympics behavior, but I will counter that those surrounding her pushed her buttons in the hopes that she would react in this manner. It's true that her two main rivals, Maya Usova and Oksana Baiul, "mysteriously" both moved to the Marlborough rink not too long after she and Evgeny arrived. Why, but for to drive her crazy or at least feed upon her paranoia? After all, Maya did conspire to steal Evgeny away from her post-Olympics and she succeeded--so why not help drive a negative media campaign that would damage their future career earnings after a second Olympic title? You aren't paranoid if people really ARE out to get you. In the end, both Maya and Sasha have admitted that Oksana did NOT break up their marriage, if was always Tatyana Navka, and Zhulin's latest interview confirms he strung Oksana along with a marriage proposal to get her to quit skating so he and Maya could literally waltz to the 1994 Olympic Gold. But it backfired on him, and he lost both Maya and the Olympic Gold Medal--and years later, Tatyana. Oksana has also claimed her wannabe-agent coaxed her into the name change and Marilyn persona, both of which she dumped shortly after the Olympics. She's said she wasn't herself in 1997-98, and clearly her behavior under Olympic Gold medal pressure was inconsistent with what she was like before that season, and after the Pasha/Sasha team terminated quickly. It's really unfair to judge someone's entire life by the fluff pieces promoted for controversy and ratings.

Finally, I said only that the negative media "contributed" to the premature demise of G&P, not that they were the PRIMARY cause. Clearly Evgeny didn't appreciate the media enabling her Pasha and Platov persona, or them egging along her Hollywood career aspirations that could have left him without a professional partner. I still think that Marilyn puff piece for Nagano, much more damaging than the NHK fluff, was supposed to be in jest but that CBS deliberately and viciously edited to make her look like a fool--and wildly succeeded in doing so for their entire North American audience. Still not a fan of Tracy Wilson years later...
 

thvu

Usova's Apprentice
Messages
5,211
It's also kind of a shame that the pro-B&K pushing overshadowed some of the real problems with judging, as I do think that there were judges who were clearly judging together, but it was hard to take the complaints seriously when the people making the arguments were also trying to argue that B&K should be competitive with G&P. Or when Jean Senft was trying to play the victim when she was clearly part of the collusion with Balkov - neither of them should ever have been on a judging panel again.
Right! Senft's ordinals were the only ones that matched "the plan." Her marks were also egregiously biased. She gave B&K the highest tech mark of the night! I boo her whenever she's announced as a judge.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
34,432
Ice dance losing is its “accreditation” at the Olympics was another North American media narrative that had no basis in fact just like the Bourne/Kraatz were robbed stuff. Isn’t it noticeable how quiet that got when North American dance teams started winning? ;)
Did it get quiet? I thought that kept happening but the accents changed. ;)
 

gk_891

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,210
The excessive B+K bashing in this thread is nearly distressing as Sydne Vogel's last place finish behind a Canadian!


Thank you. Crazy intoxicated girl is an apt description. Conversely,B+K actually DANCED. It might have not been quite as difficult as Pasha+Partner, but they actually danced and expressed the music.

However,I will admit if G+P competed in speed skating with bonus points awarded for gaudy sacrilege,then yes—they deserved to win the Olympics.

-BB

The B&K bashing was deserved. ISU Vice President Lawrence Demmy made it clear to the media that B&K made three errors in the Golden Waltz CD. Their Argentine Tango CD was also littered with errors as his counters were incorrectly skated both times and her twizzles were skated on two feet both times. And her left forward outside edge goes flat before her faux twizzle both times. Their OD had almost zero content and no business placing anywhere near the top 5. And their Riverdance FD was skated almost entirely hand to hand or side by side. It was an exhibition piece, not a competitive number. I personally had B&K at around sixth place in Nagano. If there was a North American team who was ripped off, it was Punsulan & Swallow.

While you might not have liked G&P's Memorial Requiem, it still featured far greater skating skills and content than Riverdance or Carmen did. The only free dances that came close to the content of Memorial Requiem were A&P's Romeo & Juliet and P&S tango program.
 

gk_891

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,210
I disagree, I think that Carmen--especially the opening segment--was far superior to Masquerade Waltz and was skated well enough to challenge Memorial for the gold medal. Even G&P in their most honest moments know Carmen had great moments. Unfortunately for K&O, too much posing and some overly dramatic moments ultimately lowered Carmen's technical content below Memorial which continually built to a crescendo. But I think the wonderful Carmen FD gave K&O their best shot at unseating G&P, even though I really loved Masquerade Waltz as well.

I would personally disagree with this. The choreography for K&O's Carmen was far too open in the handholds. The content was way below that of not only Memorial Requiem but also A&P's Romeo & Juliet and P&S's tango program. They practically stopped skating after the first section and the rest of the program was skated almost entirely hand to hand or side by side. I had K&O outside of the top 3 in the free dance in Nagano. And at Worlds, I only had them third (at the very best) in the free dance.

I also disliked K&O's tense handholds and her stiff back. These issues in their skating were especially noticeable in the compulsories. In some of the split screen comparisons that you can find on youtube, some of the issues become apparent when comparing to couples like G&P and A&P. The problem is that Ovsiannikov engulfs Krylova's hand instead of holding it (like Platov does with Grishuk's hand or like how Peizerat does with Anissina's hand). I think this is one of the reasons why their upper bodies looked so hard and stiff and his shoulders are kind of high. Lobacheva & Averbukh have a similar problem in that Averbukh completely engulfs Lobacheva's hand instead of holding it. Almost all of Linichuk's teams have this problem. The only ones that don't are the ones that learned their basics from another coach.
 
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gk_891

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,210
Well, remember that B/K won the 1997 Champions Series Final over K/O ... in Canada .. just as they ended up doing in 2002 at home just before the Olympics (over A/P and FP/M), and I'm sure many in the North American continent saw that as fair judging and a sign of things to come ;) But even as a pre-teen, I was tired of how B/K were always being thrown out as victims on US television. We've rehashed this in many different threads over the years, but Judy Blumberg tore into this team like no other team during the 1998 Worlds OD, pointing out how simplistic and below-par their skating and choreography was. To this day, Ive never heard a commentator be so harsh throughout a program.

It only got worse, 1998 Canadian Open their music was supposedly played too fast and the time deduction made them lose to the brand new team of Usova/Platov (another mini-'scandal'), and then we got the continued BTS drama during the 1999-2000 GP series where the producers went above and beyond to show B/K complaining -- mind you, with absolutely horrendous content that season.

North American television in general was trying to play up the fact that Riverdance was so audience friendly and that must be a sign of who should win. No one except for Blumberg really went out of their way to say 'Well no, the content behind the skate is bad', and the constant playing up how great they were just caused audiences to believe there was some kind of injustice when there really wasn't one.

And no one else needs to bring up the Senft thing. Remember- she went along with it and only blew the whistle after her outlandish ordinals and not getting what she wanted. Yeah, some hero. If anything, a bloc judging panel saved it by NOT handing B/K a medal.
So many North American skating fans seem to think that ice dance is some sort of American Idol type of competition where they simply think that whomever they enjoyed the most should win. It's as if the technical aspects of the ice dance don't matter at all. Of course, some of the commentators don't help in that regard. For CBC, Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini were commentators for many years. And Barb Underhill could barely hide her contempt for Klimova & Ponomarenko and would badmouth them at almost every turn while heaping nothing but praise on the Duchesnays and Usova & Zhulin even though their skating skills were nowhere near as good. She would go on and on about stuff like audience connection, connecting with one another, expressing the music, etc but she would almost complete ignore other and IMO more important aspects like content and the quality of the skating.

The weird thing about the Senft and Balkov was that it was a plan in favour of B&K, not against them. But many North American fans use that as proof that there was a plot against B&K for whatever reason.
 

allezfred

Lipinski Stole My Catchphrase
Staff member
Messages
58,082
Did it get quiet? I thought that kept happening but the accents changed. ;)
Please show me which media or fans said ice dance should be kicked out of the Olympics because North American teams started winning. ;)
 

tony

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,669
The weird thing about the Senft and Balkov was that it was a plan in favour of B&K, not against them. But many North American fans use that as proof that there was a plot against B&K for whatever reason.
After hearing Balkov tell Senft to put A/P 5th in the FD, or that was his supposed plan, I was confused too about what they actually wanted. With enough judges on board for that, B/K would’ve gotten bronze anyways. I remember I started a thread questioning all of that after little bits of the convo were on the telecast, but I think someone said the majority was still going to give A/P bronze.

Either way, Senft was the one who went really out of line as it was and then attempted to blow a whistle.
 

thvu

Usova's Apprentice
Messages
5,211
Either way, Senft was the one who went really out of line as it was and then attempted to blow a whistle.
On herself! It's hilarious to me that she admitted she plotted, then followed through on that plot, but cried foul at her suspension that came from it.

I think she just tried to keep receipts in case Balkov lied to her and didn't follow through. She's completely complicit until B&K don't win the bronze, and her marks are left nakedly ridiculous relative to the rest of the panel. She releases the tape as a scorched earth strategy. It more or less backfires, as she just gave the ISU rope to hang her.
 

Brenda_Bottems

Well-Known Member
Messages
535
ISU Vice President Lawrence Demmy made it clear to the media that B&K made three errors
Yes,because ISU bureaucrats are world-renowned for being a beacon of ethics and fairness.

The weird thing about the Senft and Balkov was that it was a plan in favour of B&K, not against them. But many North American fans use that as proof that there was a plot against B&K for whatever reason.
But then why did B+K not win their bronze medal? If they had won bronze,there would not have been any outrage.

For those making disparaging comments about Miss Senft,she is a class act and one of the most hardworking virtuous officials in our sport. But don't take my word for it:


-BB
 

gk_891

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,210
Yes,because ISU bureaucrats are world-renowned for being a beacon of ethics and fairness.


But then why did B+K not win their bronze medal? If they had won bronze,there would not have been any outrage.

For those making disparaging comments about Miss Senft,she is a class act and one of the most hardworking virtuous officials in our sport. But don't take my word for it:


-BB

B&K did make errors though whether you like it or not. When she hits her shoot the duck or teacup position in the Golden Waltz, she's not on a forward inside edge (she only hits her forward inside edge when coming out of it). And what about all of their errors in the Argentine Tango? Why was it that Kraatz was the only one who had to keep his free foot on the ice just before his counter? That free foot should've been off the ice. And why couldn't Bourne skate her twizzles on the required one foot? Maybe it was because they were technically weak ice dancers relative to their rivals although they never should've been rivals in the first place.

They didn't win the bronze because they made multiple errors in both compulsory dances, their OD had atrociously simple choreography (as Judy Blumberg tore them apart for at Worlds that year), and their free dance was skated entirely side by side which means it was not difficult. And all of the side by side skating highlighted their shoddy unison. Like I mentioned before, I thought their skating warranted about sixth place.
 
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VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
34,432
Please show me which media or fans said ice dance should be kicked out of the Olympics because North American teams started winning. ;)
You’re right, they didn’t say that much about accreditation. They just complained and bitched about many many many other things about ice dance for a quad or so with hopes that saviors from Russia would come or at least until Papadakis/Cizeron came before Russian teams got stronger to finally challenge them.
 

all_empty

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,795
A few thoughts:

Maria Butyrskaya looks stunning in white. I preferred this dress to the one she would wear for almost two seasons because watching this back in HD, her arms are utilized really well. She also had some incredibly smooth landings here (it's a miracle she saved that Salchow because I thought she would go sprawling across the ice).

Also preferred this pale lavender dress on Lu Chen over her burgundy one at the Olympics, but I believe she wore this for the exhbition.

I actually think Lori Nichol did some of her very best work with Fumie Suguri in late '90s and early '00s, first with classical standards and then moving onto more modern music when Fumie discovered more artistry and expression.
 

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