Most Controversial Judging Decisions Ever

gk_891

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Oh yeah! My brain forgot that travesty of a LP result. Ito should have won that LP (and probably SP).
I definitely thought Ito should've won the SP and LP at those Olympics. Some people think that Kadavy should've won the SP though. I prefer Ito though since she did a more difficult combination, had a bigger double axel with a more difficult entrance, and had faster spins.
 

gk_891

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Another result I cannot figure out is how 5 judges thought Bonaly was better than Kwan in the short program at 1995 Worlds— and they skated one after another. It’s even questionable with the other skaters above Michelle, but especially with this head-to-head.

I know this is the year everyone said Michelle still looked too junior with her ponytail (and whatever other reasons), but nothing about her skating screamed immature or not ready for primetime. See Slutskaya in the same competition as someone who fit that definition IMO.
On the CBC channel, I remember Underhill and Martini talked about how Michelle Kwan was almost at a standstill when she landed her jumps which was maybe why her marks weren't as high as they could've been. I agree though that Kwan probably still should've been ahead of Bonaly in the SP.
 

kwanette

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On the CBC channel, I remember Underhill and Martini talked about how Michelle Kwan was almost at a standstill when she landed her jumps which was maybe why her marks weren't as high as they could've been. I agree though that Kwan probably still should've been ahead of Bonaly in the SP.
Do you have a link to that commentary? I could only find this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMpLejOZkm4
 

snoopy

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In terms of judges providing WTF remarks after an event, that goes to 1994 ladies. I don't know if there is another event where judges gave such non-professional, if honest, answers to why they went with one skater over another. There is the we were bored by Kerrigan's consistency noted upthread, the I went with Bauil because "her love of skating" comment, and the Nancy is "cold" comment. Judges became alot more closed lip after that.
 

Vagabond

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I definitely thought Ito should've won the SP and LP at those Olympics. Some people think that Kadavy should've won the SP though. I prefer Ito though since she did a more difficult combination, had a bigger double axel with a more difficult entrance, and had faster spins.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_skating_at_the_1988_Winter_Olympics#Ladies

1 Katarina Witt East Germany 3 1 2 4.2
2 Elizabeth Manley Canada 4 3 1 4.6
3 Debi Thomas United States 2 2 4 6.0
4 Jill Trenary United States 5 6 5 10.4
5 Midori Ito Japan 10 4 3 10.6

IINM, given the results of the Compulsories, Ito would have won the OGM under either scenario, since Kadavy withdrew.

This presents one of the great what-ifs of skating. If someone who finished tenth in the Compulsories had won the OGM, it might have weakened the impetus to eliminate the Compulsories.
 

gk_891

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I thought Delobel & Schoenfelder were lowballed a bit at the 2006 Olympics during both the compulsories and OD. I definitely had them on the podium over Grushina & Goncharov and maybe over Belbin & Agosto as well. I also thought their FD was marked too low at the 2006 Worlds. I guess the problem was the audience reaction (was flat) since the Canadian audience wouldn't have been able to understand the Italian voice over.

OOTH, I thought Belbin & Agosto should've been ahead of Domnina & Shabalin at the 2010 Olympics. D&S's OD should've dropped them out of the top 5.

I also remember there was some talk about how Belbin & Agosto should've won the 2009 Worlds and that D&W should've been ahead of V&M at the same competition. I'm not sure widespread that was though. For whatever reason, I completely skipped the 2009 Worlds and have never even watched youtube videos of the performances except for Yuna Kim.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I thought Delobel & Schoenfelder were lowballed a bit at the 2006 Olympics during both the compulsories and OD. I definitely had them on the podium over Grushina & Goncharov and maybe over Belbin & Agosto as well. I also thought their FD was marked too low at the 2006 Worlds. I guess the problem was the audience reaction (was flat) since the Canadian audience wouldn't have been able to understand the Italian voice over.
Agreed. Delobel/Schoenfelder should have easily won 2005 Worlds FD as well. It's so amazing to watch 2005 Worlds after 13 seasons of IJS as it was the first Worlds judged under it. Every top team seemed to be struggling with doing some of the itemized elements and looked like they were just trying to get through them without crashing into each other or falling, except for DelSchoes and Belbin/Agosto who skated with conviction.

OOTH, I thought Belbin & Agosto should've been ahead of Domnina & Shabalin at the 2010 Olympics. D&S's OD should've dropped them out of the top 5.
So should have the FD to be honest. I think most people are fine with the result because most of the other teams didn't have FDs that people loved so they couldn't really care more about the bronze medal fight. I think Faiella/Scali should have placed third in the FD, probably.

I also remember there was some talk about how Belbin & Agosto should've won the 2009 Worlds and that D&W should've been ahead of V&M at the same competition. I'm not sure widespread that was though. For whatever reason, I completely skipped the 2009 Worlds and have never even watched youtube videos of the performances except for Yuna Kim.
It took me a while to watch 2009 Worlds since I didn't watch it live either, but I enjoyed both D/W and V/M's performances immensely. V/M's "Pink Floyd" FD is actually my favorite FD of theirs. I wish DelSchoes would have been healthy and V/M weren't recovering from injury because I would have loved to have seen a top 2 Pink Floyd match-up between the two.
 

Japanfan

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By some, at least here in Canada. But since it was Elvis that was the one that lost, I guess that's to be expected. I was indifferent to the results but I do know some here didn't care for the results. But you're right in that it was nowhere near as hotly debated as the pairs, ice dance, and ladies results were.
That was the first figure skating competition I ever watched - not sure if it was because I was just captivated by it, or because the Kerrigan-Harding scandal had prompted an interest in FS. But I still remember walking into the living room of the house I was living at the time and being drawn in by the skating. So I think it was the former. It remains my favorite men's competition to date.

I had no issue with the result the first time I watched the comp and have agreed with it after rewatching it multiple times. I am Canadian, but that doesn't mean I therefore think Canadians should win simply by virtue of their nationality.

I don't recall the SP for that comp - don't think I ever watched it. But given that both skaters had an equal chance of winning, I think the result was correct. Both made a mistake in the LP, but Urmanov was effervescent and lyrical, and definitely won in terms of artistry, IMO (extra points for the ruffled sleeves IMO :)).

Stojko's 'Bruce Lee/Dragon' was a masterpiece IMO and I appreciate it even more all these years later, as few skaters have attempted martial arts programs.

But to pull the masterpiece off, Stojko had to be perfectly clean. Landing the quad helped also. Mistakes distracted from his speed and power, and made his unappealing jump landings (always landed hunched over) all the more glaring.

He did 'Dragon' credit at the '94 Worlds and landed the quad. The titles he gained in years to come were because of the quad and because of his consistency.

But I am :confused: that 3 of 9 judges gave the win to Stojko in Lillehammer.
 
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Mad for Skating

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On the topic of robbed skaters from the 6.0 era, I think Midori Ito was underscored her entire career. She was ahead of her time on jumps and I found her skating aesthetically pleasing.
 

gk_891

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I had no issue with the result the first time I watched the comp and have agreed with it after rewatching it multiple times. I am Canadian, but that doesn't mean I therefore think Canadians should win simply by virtue of their nationality.

But I am :confused: that 3 of 9 judges gave the win to Stojko in Lillehammer.
I knew quite a few people who thought Stojko should've won and went on about how Urmanov only won because he's Russian. Looking back though, I do have to cringe at how weak Urmanov's spins were.

Quite a few Canadians in my experience seem to think that when decisions are made against Canadian skaters, it's because they're Canadian. Bourne & Kraatz are probably the biggest examples of that even though they received more than they ever deserved.
 

KatieC

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At the time, I recall thinking Stojko was robbed, but then some years later I rewatched Urmanov and Stojko at that competition. Neither skated well, but Urmanov skated better. I have always thought winning an Olympic gold medal means you were best in the world on that day, at that time. It might even mean you got lucky and made fewer mistakes than your competitors. Doesn't mean you're the best for all time, or that results would be the same the next day. But it is still a very nice achievement.
 

Vagabond

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JanetB

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I wonder how many of these controversial judging calls where caused by the judges not being able to see some errors from the angle they are in relationship to the skaters.
 

essence_of_soy

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_skating_at_the_1988_Winter_Olympics#Ladies

1 Katarina Witt East Germany 3 1 2 4.2
2 Elizabeth Manley Canada 4 3 1 4.6
3 Debi Thomas United States 2 2 4 6.0
4 Jill Trenary United States 5 6 5 10.4
5 Midori Ito Japan 10 4 3 10.6

IINM, given the results of the Compulsories, Ito would have won the OGM under either scenario, since Kadavy withdrew.

This presents one of the great what-ifs of skating. If someone who finished tenth in the Compulsories had won the OGM, it might have weakened the impetus to eliminate the Compulsories.
Although in 1990, Ito was the defending world champion, but ended up placing second to Jill Trenary.

Midori won both the short and the free in Halifax, but botched her second compulsory figure, and ended up tenth in that portion of the competition. The Japanese skater was far and away the best free skater in the event.

Their final combined points were

1. Jill Trenary USA (1 5 2 5.4)
2. Midori Ito JPN (10 1 1 5.6)
 

Japanfan

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Quite a few Canadians in my experience seem to think that when decisions are made against Canadian skaters, it's because they're Canadian. Bourne & Kraatz are probably the biggest examples of that even though they received more than they ever deserved.
Well this Canadian has never thought that decisions are made against Canadian skaters because of their nationality. And I don't know any Canadians who think that, either.

If anything, the opposite is true - Canadian skaters benefit from having a powerful federation. I think plenty of my fellow Canadians will agree.

With regard to Bourne and Kraatz, I didn't follow FS when they were competing. I liked them and was thrilled for them when they finally won a world title - but didn't have an opinion on their placements otherwise.

There certainly were a lot of complaints about ice dance judging under 6.0 - and justifiably so, IMO. And while there may have been a pro-Russian bias (some would say deserving), it would have affected all non-Russian dancers more or less equally.

Ice dance was just too easy to pre-rank. At 2001 Worlds there was no movement in the three phases of the ice dance competition, and I was among those in the audience who left before the medal ceremony.

The dance team I mostly felt did not get their due under 6.0 was D&V, who were not a Canadian team.
 
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lala

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Quite a few Canadians in my experience seem to think that when decisions are made against Canadian skaters, it's because they're Canadian. Bourne & Kraatz are probably the biggest examples of that even though they received more than they ever deserved.
:confused: And why? There is no reason politically or otherwise..Plus the Canadian Skating Federation is a influental , big federation..
 

gk_891

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:confused: And why? There is no reason politically or otherwise..Plus the Canadian Skating Federation is a influental , big federation..
Dunno. I just remember hearing and reading about how there was a plot against B&K in 1998 to make sure they were off the podium because they didn't want a North American team to do well and that there was a pro-Russian/pro-European bias.
 

gk_891

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Although in 1990, Ito was the defending world champion, but ended up placing second to Jill Trenary.

Midori won both the short and the free in Halifax, but botched her second compulsory figure, and ended up tenth in that portion of the competition. The Japanese skater was far and away the best free skater in the event.

Their final combined points were

1. Jill Trenary USA (1 5 2 5.4)
2. Midori Ito JPN (10 1 1 5.6)
On youtube videos, there are some comments about how some people felt that Trenary's 5th place in the SP was extremely generous and that the 2 German skaters (Neske and Grossmann) should've finished ahead of her. However, I personally wonder how generous Ito's 10th place may (or may not) have been in her figures. Based on what the CBC showed, she really botched her figures at that competition.
 

olympic

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Here are obviously the worst -

1968 - Tim Wood losing the Olympics to Wolfgang Schwarz due to one judging error.
1984 - Blumberg / Seibert losing the Olympic bronze to Klimova / Ponomarenko by one judge; Italian judge Cia Bordogna who felt that Scheherazade wasn't 'dance music', giving them a 5.5 and throwing them into a tie situation. Yet, she gave Torvill / Dean a 6.0 for a performance rather than a dance.
1994 - Nancy losing the Olympics to Oksana. I have reevaluated that over and over for over 20 years, and always come up with Nancy as the winner: Five clean triples (one as a 3-3) in well-constructed program against three clean triples in a poorly constructed program. I don't care how much of an 'it' factor you felt that Oksana purveyed. No way. You can even argue that Nancy beat Oksana in costume and hair. LOL.
2014 - Sotnikova over Yu Na at the Olympics. Inflated PCS and judges looking the other way on jumping passes gave Adelina quite a giant gift.
2000 or 2001 (?) - Slutskaya over Butyrskaya at NHK Trophy. Butyrskaya skated one of her best competitions in recent memory and was still upended by Slutskaya skating sloppily. I remember the camera panned to them in the audience afterwards and they were sitting near each other but looking in opposite directions. LOL.

Here are some that were just bad -

2001/02 - Slutskaya over Kwan at the GPF. Interestingly, no judges had Slutskaya in 2nd place in the LP. I believe 4 judges put her 3rd behind Sarah Hughes, but a scant majority put her in 1st place for the win. Slutskaya was skating sloppily as she did many times in this timeframe. I believe Kwan showed a lot of composed skating at the competition.
1980 - Poetzsch beating Fratianne at the 1980 Olympics. In short, I was fine w/ their scores in the LP, but Poetzsch was held up in the SP, and I have to wonder about the figures especially with reports that Dagmar Lurz wasn't fully on her game and was still slotted in front of Fratianne.
 

blue_idealist

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OOTH, I thought Belbin & Agosto should've been ahead of Domnina & Shabalin at the 2010 Olympics. D&S's OD should've dropped them out of the top 5.

I also remember there was some talk about how Belbin & Agosto should've won the 2009 Worlds and that D&W should've been ahead of V&M at the same competition. I'm not sure widespread that was though. For whatever reason, I completely skipped the 2009 Worlds and have never even watched youtube videos of the performances except for Yuna Kim.
I agree about B&A in both cases, especially the 2009 Worlds, even after going back and re-watching the programs a few years later. About V&M and D&W in 2009, I think V&M being ahead was OK.
 

essence_of_soy

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On youtube videos, there are some comments about how some people felt that Trenary's 5th place in the SP was extremely generous and that the 2 German skaters (Neske and Grossmann) should've finished ahead of her. However, I personally wonder how generous Ito's 10th place may (or may not) have been in her figures. Based on what the CBC showed, she really botched her figures at that competition.
I think I remember reading a few years back, that Midori placed 6th in the first figure and around 20th (for her botched second figure). Together, they earned her a combined overall placement of 10th in that portion of the event.
 

gk_891

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I think I remember reading a few years back, that Midori placed 6th in the first figure and around 20th (for her botched second figure). Together, they earned her a combined overall placement of 10th in that portion of the event.
In that case, maybe her 10th was fair. But if Trenary should've finished lower than 5th in the SP, then maybe Ito should've won those worlds.
 

essence_of_soy

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In that case, maybe her 10th was fair. But if Trenary should've finished lower than 5th in the SP, then maybe Ito should've won those worlds.
I must watch YouTube again. But from memory, apart from Ito, Yamaguchi (second in the short), Cook (3rd), Lebedeva (4th), Sergeant (6th), Bonaly (7th), Neske (8th), Grossmann (9th), and Gelmini (10th), all skated clean short programs including a triple in the combination.

In 1990, a double-double wasn't actually a mistake.

Jill was given less credit for her double toe loop, of course, which surprisingly, also affected her scores for presentation.

Even with the fifth place, it has to be said that her polish and refinement was much stronger than many of the other ladies listed.

However, as @gk_891 notes, if Trenary had been just one place lower in the short, Ito would have won.

As a side note, I remember how in 1989, Toller Cranston was banging on about how Jill should have beaten Midori in the short program in Paris. Even though Midori's technical content earned her perfect scores from some of the judges.
 
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gk_891

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I must watch YouTube again. But from memory, apart from Ito, Yamaguchi (second in the short), Cook (3rd), Lebedeva (4th), Sergeant (6th), Bonaly (7th), Neske (8th), Grossmann (9th), and Gelmini (10th), all skated clean short programs including a triple in the combination.

In 1990, a double-double wasn't actually a mistake.

Jill was given less credit for her double toe loop, of course, which surprisingly, also affected her scores for presentation.

Even with the fifth place, it has to be said that her polish and refinement was much stronger than many of the other ladies listed.

However, as @gk_891 notes, if Trenary had been just one place lower in the short, Ito would have won.

As a side note, I remember how in 1989, Toller Cranston was banging on about how Jill should have beaten Midori in the short program in Paris. Even though Midori's technical content earned her perfect scores from some of the judges.
Trenary's SP in 1990 was very subdued. I think doubling her combination took the energy right out of her program and the judges noticed.

I'm not sure what was with Toller in 1989. He went on about how Midori had mediocre spins, mediocre skating skills, and mediocre choreography. I thought Midori's spins, skating skills, and choreography were far better than Trenary's were. At the 1988 Worlds during Midorit's SP, he was going on about how the Eastern European, Canadian, and American judges were looking for something to mark her down but there was nothing because she was strong at everything. Her style might not have been his cup of tea but that doesn't mean the actual choreography or skating stills weren't strong.
 

essence_of_soy

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Trenary's SP in 1990 was very subdued. I think doubling her combination took the energy right out of her program and the judges noticed.

I'm not sure what was with Toller in 1989. He went on about how Midori had mediocre spins, mediocre skating skills, and mediocre choreography. I thought Midori's spins, skating skills, and choreography were far better than Trenary's were. At the 1988 Worlds during Midorit's SP, he was going on about how the Eastern European, Canadian, and American judges were looking for something to mark her down but there was nothing because she was strong at everything. Her style might not have been his cup of tea but that doesn't mean the actual choreography or skating stills weren't strong.
It's certainly a personal preference, but power skaters like Ito, Harding, Zayak and Manley were so exciting. They pushed technical boundaries, and really kept me on the edge of my seat

Given what an outsider Toller was in terms of his own skating versus the establishment, I was very surprised at how conservative a commentator he could be at times. Maybe it was a directive given to him from the suits at Canadian television.

Who knows.
 

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