Most Controversial Judging Decisions Ever

Marco

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The conventional wisdom, which lifelong Tara supporters are totally free to gloat about because they never believed the "hype", was that if Kwan skated cleanly and well, she would have won because Tara couldn't compete against her second mark no matter how she skated.
And that was the case at 1997 Worlds (Kwan doubled the lutz too) and 1998 Nationals. Even in the short at the Olympics, Kwan got 5.9s across the board and Lipinski got only 1 5.9 and the rest 5.8s with some 5.7s and even 1 5.6.
 

gk_891

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I thought Kerrigan and Harding placing 3rd and 4th respectively at the 1992 Worlds SP was extemely generous considering the mistakes they made. Even with her own error on the solo double jump, I thought Chouinard should've been ahead of both of them in the SP.

I strongly disagreed with Dubreuil & Lauzon winning the rhumba CD at the 2007 Worlds. Their double choctaw was not pretty and part of that is because she's on the wrong edge. I thought D&S (both the Bulgarian and French D&S) and V&M had better rhumbas based on what I vaguely remembered.

I thought Klimova & Ponomarenko should've won the 1986 and 1987 Worlds. I could sort of understand why the judges went with B&B at the 1985 Worlds because that Carmen FD was stunning artistically. But I wasn't so impressed with their 1986 and 1987 free dances and I honestly though K&P outskated them during both the OSPs and FDs. I personally had K&P ahead at the 1988 Olympics as well (at least in the FD) but it seems like their Beatles medley FD wasn't everyone's cup of tea. I will admit that B&B had some truly awesome compulsories. They traced out those patterns amazingly well and they seemed to skate everything on the correct edges.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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When I was first getting into ice dance and old comps, and didn't understand why a team won gold, I would remind myself to watch compulsories and OSPs, and usually when I did that, I understood. I think B/B were probably one of those teams (though I think when the runner-up is Klimova/Ponomarenko...it's not as if B/B were always going to be superior in OSPs and even CDs either), as were Linichuk/Karponosov.
 

gk_891

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When I was first getting into ice dance and old comps, and didn't understand why a team won gold, I would remind myself to watch compulsories and OSPs, and usually when I did that, I understood. I think B/B were probably one of those teams (though I think when the runner-up is Klimova/Ponomarenko...it's not as if B/B were always going to be superior in OSPs and even CDs either), as were Linichuk/Karponosov.
I thought K&P were definitely better in the OSPs. Their polka and waltz OSPs in 1986 and 1987 were definitely superior. I thought their quickstep was better than B&B's in 1985 as well. Both had nice tangos though although they were almost polar opposites to one another.
 

essence_of_soy

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I thought Kerrigan and Harding placing 3rd and 4th respectively at the 1992 Worlds SP was extemely generous considering the mistakes they made. Even with her own error on the solo double jump, I thought Chouinard should've been ahead of both of them in the SP.

I strongly disagreed with Dubreuil & Lauzon winning the rhumba CD at the 2007 Worlds. Their double choctaw was not pretty and part of that is because she's on the wrong edge. I thought D&S (both the Bulgarian and French D&S) and V&M had better rhumbas based on what I vaguely remembered.

I thought Klimova & Ponomarenko should've won the 1986 and 1987 Worlds. I could sort of understand why the judges went with B&B at the 1985 Worlds because that Carmen FD was stunning artistically. But I wasn't so impressed with their 1986 and 1987 free dances and I honestly though K&P outskated them during both the OSPs and FDs. I personally had K&P ahead at the 1988 Olympics as well (at least in the FD) but it seems like their Beatles medley FD wasn't everyone's cup of tea. I will admit that B&B had some truly awesome compulsories. They traced out those patterns amazingly well and they seemed to skate everything on the correct edges.
When they trained with Natalia Dubova, I always thought that Marina & Sergei's free programs were pleasant, albeit similar. Their Beatles free dance was a bit of a snooze, though.

Until recently, I'd never seen K & P's Latin ballroom free dance from 1985, which I actually preferred to Carmen. Go figure.

B & B always ramped up the drama. Theatrical as it could be at times, I kind of loved it, and was amazed when K & P switched to Tarasova, just how fabulous their free dances were as well.
 
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gk_891

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When they trained with Natalia Dubova, I always thought that Marina & Sergei's free programs were pleasant, albeit similar. Their Beatles free dance was a bit of a snooze, though.

Until recently, I'd never seen K & P's Latin ballroom free dance from 1985, which I actually preferred to Carmen. Go figure.

B & B always ramped up the drama. Theatrical as it could be at times, I kind of loved it, and was amazed when K & P switched to Tarasova, just how fabulous their free dances were as well.
What I loved about K&P's free dances with Dubova was the insane range of steps, edges, and handholds. Their free dances, whether one actually liked them or not, were amazing displays of skating abilities. Everything was very tightly woven and interconnected, not to mention their clinical execution.

When they moved to Tarasova, I thought their Bach free dance was overkill. I honestly thought they were trying too hard. But it clearly moved a lot of viewers and at least 5 of the judges in Albertville.
 

gk_891

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I know very few people will agree with me on this and I'm fine with that. But I thought Grishuk & Platov should've won the 1993 Europeans and Worlds over Usova & Zhulin. Even with 2 illegal separations and an illegal lift, I thought their FD was significantly more difficult than Usova & Zhulin's which was almost void of any real content. But I will admit that their FD had so much heat that it almost melted the ice.

I also wasn't all that impressed with U&Z's compulsories or OD that year. Their Westminster Waltz was lovely but relative to G&P, I found it kind of slow, the pattern a little conservative, and they lose even more speed and flow after step 15 when the lady does an inside three turn. And their widestep shortly after her inside three turn wasn't very wide.

Both couples did a nice job with their ODs and the waltz suits U&Z much better than it does G&P. But there was an energy and joie-de-vivre to G&P's waltz that I thought was lacking in U&Z's. Not to mention I thought G&P's waltz did a better job of demonstrating that the two partners were more equally matched in skating skills than U&Z's did. But I wonder if part of my problem with U&Z's OD was that I was expecting to be wowed and I wasn't.

Speaking of the 1993 Worlds, I might've had Josee Chouinard ahead of Bonaly and Baiul in the SP. I've been looking for her SP on youtube for years but haven't been able to find it. But I remember being impressed with I saw it on CBC years ago.
 

blue_idealist

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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.
I barely remember, since it was so long ago I read one of his books, but I think he was told to be more conservative by the TV network.
 

Japanfan

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I barely remember, since it was so long ago I read one of his books, but I think he was told to be more conservative by the TV network.
Cranston was also a commentator on CBC television for figure skating events. However, in 1991, the CBC fired him, citing concerns from the Canadian Figure Skating Association that his often brutally frank and opinionated commentary was denigrating to Canadian skaters. Cranston filed a lawsuit against the CBC that was eventually resolved in his favour.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toller_Cranston#cite_note-zero-18
 
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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.


I was very disappointed when Blumberg and Seibert didn't get the bronze medal. Heartbreaking. If they had won a medal, the USA team would have received a medal in every discipline. We were very strong then. That Italian judge was very cruel.
 

gk_891

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One thing I find kind of curious about the Italian judge's deduction in regards to Blumberg & Seibert is how is it not possible to 'dance' to any piece of music?
 

olympic

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Belbin/Agosto is another team that was never given correct marks. I can see the argument that they should have been off the podium at Torino 06 and 07 Worlds, but they were robbed of the bronze in '08 (Khoklova/Novitzky? GMAB!), the gold in '09 (They outperformed an injured Domnina/Shabalin), and a bronze in Vancouver in 2010 (Ditto).
 

MR-FAN

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Belbin/Agosto is another team that was never given correct marks. I can see the argument that they should have been off the podium at Torino 06 and 07 Worlds, but they were robbed of the bronze in '08 (Khoklova/Novitzky? GMAB!), the gold in '09 (They outperformed an injured Domnina/Shabalin), and a bronze in Vancouver in 2010 (Ditto).
Khokhlova!!!! :swoon::swoon::swoon:
 

Ohyes

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obvious already stated so,Mine:
Chen lu should have won over Michelle Kwan at 1996 worlds (Love you Michelle tho you still deserved Olympic gold in 98)
Tessa and scott should have won the sochi SD
W/P or C/B Should have won the 2015 worlds over P/C
U/Z were robbed of Olympic gold in 1994 G/P's programs were laughably bad there. (Who remembers that rock n roll program? LOL!)
V/M was robbed of at least two GPF titles and three world titles (2008, 2011, 2013)
D/W was robbed of the 2012 world title
Shibs were robbed of the 2016 world title
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Belbin/Agosto is another team that was never given correct marks. I can see the argument that they should have been off the podium at Torino 06 and 07 Worlds, but they were robbed of the bronze in '08 (Khoklova/Novitzky? GMAB!), the gold in '09 (They outperformed an injured Domnina/Shabalin), and a bronze in Vancouver in 2010 (Ditto).
I agree that B&A (like Lang & Peter T before them) often got robbed... but they earned that Torino silver... they fairly edged out The Ukraninas.... And werent they there as World Silver medaists? In fact wasnt the 06 Oly Podium the same as the 05 World podium?
 

thvudragon

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Out of curiosity, what did your podium in Vancouver look like?
Gold: V&M
Silver: B&A
Bronze: D&W

Domnina & Shabalin were a mess. Great CD and controversial (racist) program aside, they should have been nowhere near the podium with how clearly undertrained they were. Slow heavy skating. Generally sloppy and lacking unison. Just terrible.

Delobel & Schoenfelder were my favorite team, but they were shades of their former selves. Their CD was insecure. In all their programs, their edges weren’t nearly as deep, and their speed seemed to suffer throughout. The whole situation was heartbreaking. They should have been contending for gold with V&M.

D&W should have fallen far behind B&A with that awful CD. They were sloppy throughout all three programs. Looking for line was very much a needle in a haystack situation with D&W.
 

sharsk8s

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W/P or C/B Should have won the 2015 worlds over P/C
Shibs were robbed of the 2016 world title
I actually understand where you are coming from with the 2015 worlds because I think in 2015 p/c were not as well matched and had some technical issues so either w/p or c/b could have beat them but both those teams didn't have their strongest performance.

It's the 2016 one that I disagree on. I think that s/s should have been much closer after the SD because p/c had noticeable wobbles on their twizzles and it wasn't performed perfects. While in the FD I think s/s had a better performance at US nationals while p/c had a perfectly skated program so they would have won overall with a margin even if the SD scores were closer.
 

gk_891

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Gold: V&M
Silver: B&A
Bronze: D&W

Domnina & Shabalin were a mess. Great CD and controversial (racist) program aside, they should have been nowhere near the podium with how clearly undertrained they were. Slow heavy skating. Generally sloppy and lacking unison. Just terrible.

Delobel & Schoenfelder were my favorite team, but they were shades of their former selves. Their CD was insecure. In all their programs, their edges weren’t nearly as deep, and their speed seemed to suffer throughout. The whole situation was heartbreaking. They should have been contending for gold with V&M.

D&W should have fallen far behind B&A with that awful CD. They were sloppy throughout all three programs. Looking for line was very much a needle in a haystack situation with D&W.
I haven't watched the Vancouver competition in ages but I too remember being somewhat put off by D&W's posture and line. And I agree about Delobel & Schoenfelder. I too was very sad to see that they were shadows of their former selves.
 

blue_idealist

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I agree that B&A (like Lang & Peter T before them) often got robbed... but they earned that Torino silver... they fairly edged out The Ukraninas.... And werent they there as World Silver medaists? In fact wasnt the 06 Oly Podium the same as the 05 World podium?
I think B&A deserved the silver in Torino, especially with all the falls in the OD that pretty much knocked some of their competitors out of contention. They were much better than Grushina and Goncharov, IMO.
 

bardtoob

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Chen lu should have won over Michelle Kwan at 1996 worlds (Love you Michelle tho you still deserved Olympic gold in 98)
Not so obvious because my eyes now see spins ... and Lulu did not win any of those despite Kwan being only a serviceable spinner.
 
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gk_891

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U&Z probably should've won the gold in 1994 if you go strictly by the books since there were no question marks regarding any rules being broken unlike G&P and T&D. But their FD was clearly too difficult for them as they looked like they were crawling over the ice, especially in the final section. And it was cheesy too which probably turned off a lot of judges.

I can understand why G&P won even though they won for all the 'wrong' reasons. Still, you have to admit that scrapping content and going completely for speed and energy was a very clever strategy because it got the attention of the judges.
 
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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.
only "Canadians" think this way...hmm?? I thought it was an overall "North American" perception
 

essence_of_soy

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I thought Kerrigan and Harding placing 3rd and 4th respectively at the 1992 Worlds SP was extemely generous considering the mistakes they made. Even with her own error on the solo double jump, I thought Chouinard should've been ahead of both of them in the SP.
Of those worlds, I thought that Alice Sue Claeys from Belgium should have won silver behind Yamaguchi. Though I didn't see her short program from Oakland (there is footage available from the 1992 European Championships in Lausanne), I am guessing with her 8th place in that portion of the competition, she skated clean.

Her free program may not have had the bigger triples (lutz or flip), but it was absolutely gorgeous. Too bad that injury hobbled her future progress. She had real potential.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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When they moved to Tarasova, I thought their Bach free dance was overkill. I honestly thought they were trying too hard. But it clearly moved a lot of viewers and at least 5 of the judges in Albertville.
Oh my gosh, yes! It wasn't truly organic, because it wasn't who Marina & Sergei were. But they felt strongly that a dramatic routine was needed. And they delivered it perfectly. It wasn't what I wanted to see, but a lot of people LOVED the program. And that performance, overkill or not, was truly memorable.
 

gk_891

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Of those worlds, I thought that Alice Sue Claeys from Belgium should have won silver behind Yamaguchi. Though I didn't see her short program from Oakland (there is footage available from the 1992 European Championships in Lausanne), I am guessing with her 8th place in that portion of the competition, she skated clean.

Her free program may not have had the bigger triples (lutz or flip), but it was absolutely gorgeous. Too bad that injury hobbled her future progress. She had real potential.
In terms of the free skate, I can see why you think Alice should've placed 2nd. I liked her speed and flow across the ice. If only she had more triples in her arsenal.
 

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