Pairs Discussion Thread 2018-19--"Two Skating as One"

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love_skate2011

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people totally underrating Zabijako / Enbert

I'll go on a limb and say they will win the GPF.
the new Zabijako (Stolbova haircut) looks ready for the kill...
 

Mad for Skating

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people totally underrating Zabijako / Enbert

I'll go on a limb and say they will win the GPF.
the new Zabijako (Stolbova haircut) looks ready for the kill...
Zabijako/Enbert are looking strong this year, but I’m not sure they can catch up THAT quickly...we’ll see

Her new haircut makes me smile, but I still miss the real Stolbova.
 

love_skate2011

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Zabijako/Enbert are looking strong this year, but I’m not sure they can catch up THAT quickly...we’ll see

Her new haircut makes me smile, but I still miss the real Stolbova.
they are solid russian no.2 and if T/M have some shaky competitions they will be propped up more.
They are already getting 140s that the same as James/Cipres'.
 

NAOTMAA

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To an extent with Z/E improving and a number of younger teams with promising GP event results it feels like Russia is starting to live up to the hope people had right after Sochi about a Russian pairs revival.

After S/K got derailed it felt like all the air went out of the balloon. There still work to be done but this season it feels like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
 

aftershocks

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people totally underrating Zabijako / Enbert

I'll go on a limb and say they will win the GPF.
the new Zabijako (Stolbova haircut) looks ready for the kill...
Yeah, the haircut. But it's Zabijako going for the Vanessa James short haircut look. Stolbova was copying Meagan Duhamel anyway. Today, plenty of pairs teams are copying James/Cipres' costumes, music and moves, etc., but they can't match the magical connection that Vanessa & Morgan have! The other thing is that Vanessa/Morgan have helped energize the pairs discipline with the help of their coaches and choreographers! They and their team have come up with great sps and fps three years in a row!!! And that's a WOW! :encore::swoon::respec:

Z/E are a lovely team in terms of their long lines and their technical skill and the traditional Russian aesthetic. I think they are nice people too, but their personalities are simply too bland on the ice, and they don't exhibit any palpable connection whatsoever. To compensate for that, they were given very dramatic music this season. And Zabijako also got a dramatic short haircut, which is reminiscent of Vanessa's striking short hairstyle we saw her begin rocking last season. IMO, Z/E are trying to channel Savchenko/Szolkowy's 2007 fp to the Mission in their sp, and in their fp, Z/E seem to be trying to channel Kavaguti/ Smirnov's Manfred Symphony fp that was so good it was used by K/S for three straight seasons 2013-2017. And I emphasize the words, "trying to channel," because Z/E have a long way to go to build a sense of excitement in their performances. But at least their team is trying to make something work for them to compensate for their blandness.

While it's fine and not uncommon to copy what you see working for others, or to be inspired by music and themes explored successfully by other skaters, the issue for Z/E is that they don't exhibit any exciting energy or connection with each other and with the audience to back up what they are doing. But sure, when they skate clean, the judges don't care. Z/E and T/M (even with mistakes) will get everything and the kitchen sink and then some from the judges. Z/E's PCS scores are so overly high. And while their consistency has improved somewhat since they first partnered, and I understand what their coaches are trying to do for them to inject more excitement into their skating, the end result is still very bland. They are just checking off the elements one-by-one, and while they might look good doing that, there's nothing substantial between them to draw me into their skating.

I'm not even sure why you would think that Z/E would win GPF, except for how the judges like to throw PCS gifts at them, and because they are a Russian-Mozer team. The only way a Z/E win happens is if T/M and J/C both mess up. OTOH, I can see the judeges pushing back on J/C to maybe even try to keep them off the GPF podium. Sad to say that, but it's what I sense the way J/C have tended to be looked down on too often. They've had to constantly prove themselves over and over again, and they have to be perfect just to receive competitive scores. Apparently scores out-the-wazoo are being reserved for T/M and now maybe even for Z/E too.

Instead of J/C genuinely being viewed as a leading team, we have the judges trying to put young inexperienced teams on their level. It's not a conspiracy either, it's just a snobby conceit and a show of reluctance to reward J/C in the same way T/M are rewarded when they make mistakes. Z/E really don't match up well against J/C's strengths: boffo programs, difficult transitions, exciting lifts, charisma and connection. Prior to recent IDF, J/C were also showing a great deal of confidence and consistency. Z/E had a poor outing against a weak field at their first GP, and then an easy walk-through at their second where they were more consistent and received huge gifts from the judges. Comparing Z/E to Della Monica/Guarise, I prefer the latter. But D/M didn't look like they were very eager to beat Z/E when they had the opportunity this season.
 
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Mad for Skating

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they are solid russian no.2 and if T/M have some shaky competitions they will be propped up more.
They are already getting 140s that the same as James/Cipres'.
Z/E are very talented, but they just don't stand out to me. I want to see some diva power!

Yeah, the haircut. But it's Zabijako going for the Vanessa James short haircut look. Stolbova was copying Meagan Duhamel anyway. Today, plenty of pairs teams are copying James/Cipres' costumes, music and moves, etc., but they can't match the magical connection that Vanessa & Morgan have! The other thing is that Vanessa/Morgan have helped energize the pairs discipline with the help of their coaches and choreographers! They and their team have come up with great sps and fps three years in a row!!! And that's a WOW! :encore::swoon::respec:
Interesting analysis! I agree that Vanessa and Morgan got slighted several times last season and that they are a very special pair that deserves recognition. They've given this sport some new life - that brightness that Zabiiako/Enbert unfortunately don't have.

Short hair has become a must-have for pair ladies! Vanessa, Wenjing, Ksenia, Meagan, and now Natalia are all rocking it. It's just so stylish and easier to manage than long hair - I personally am a fan!

(Not to start a war and not that it really matters, but I don't think Ksenia stole Meagan's hairstyle, because Ksenia actually had it first). IIRC, Duhamel had the short bob cut (a little above chin length) in the 2014-15 season
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoaFOOfjNdk

Then (after a crazy blonde crisis over the summer), Stolbova got the super-short pixie in the 2015-16 sesaon. It doesn't really look much like Meagan's previous haircut imo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_qWxu_6xyE

Wenjing Sui also cut her hair short in the 2015-16 season, but not as short as Ksenia's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUcz-F-OSZw

Meagan trimmed her hair into her current pixie cut in the 2017-18 season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h60VdaEy6I

This was also the year Vanessa debuted her chic, stylish pixie cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c28ruFdBDMo

And now Natalia joined the club: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SV11__H48o

Oh, and let's not forget Cheng Peng! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoJtdL1dS58

They all look beautiful :)
 

aftershocks

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^^ Yeah, pairs divas are always experimenting with their hair, especially these days. And the short cut is en vogue. Young ladies in general like experimenting with hair and makeup, so it's not unusual. In figure skating there is the tendency for singles ladies to have the long hair and the bun, but there's always been the outliers, i.e., short styles by Janet Lynn and Dorothy Hamill immediately come to mind. Linda Fratianne also had short locks.

I still think that Zabijako is inspired by Vanessa's short do. And to be honest, Meagan always wore her hair short, she just cut it even shorter one season, which I think definitely inspired Wenjing Sui. You may be correct re Stolbova already having a short cut, but again Meagan had a short style before Stolbova cut hers very short. So maybe it was indirect influence on Stolbova who was probably looking to do something different. There really isn't anything wrong with copying what inspires you that you see others doing. But I say, bring with it some of your own originality and authenticity. That's what Wenjing and Stolbova do. I think Zabijako is trying for some personality and creativity, but she isn't there yet with her partner and they may never be. But that won't stop the judges from over-rewarding them on PCS.
 

Mad for Skating

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^^ Yeah, pairs divas are always experimenting with their hair, especially these days. And the short cut is en vogue. Young ladies in general like experimenting with hair and makeup, so it's not unusual. In figure skating there is the tendency for singles ladies to have the long hair and the bun, but there's always been the outliers, i.e., short styles by Janet Lynn and Dorothy Hamill immediately come to mind. Linda Fratianne also had short locks.

I still think that Zabijako is inspired by Vanessa's short do. And to be honest, Meagan always wore her hair short, she just cut it even shorter one season, which I think definitely inspired Wenjing Sui. You may be correct re Stolbova already having a short cut, but again Meagan had a short style before Stolbova cut hers very short. So maybe it was indirect influence on Stolbova who was probably looking to do something different. There really isn't anything wrong with copying what inspires you that you see others doing. But I say, bring with it some of your own originality and authenticity. That's what Wenjing and Stolbova do. I think Zabijako is trying for some personality and creativity, but she isn't there yet with her partner and they may never be. But that won't stop the judges from over-rewarding them on PCS.
I think the short cuts are really cool! It’s very possible that they all set off a chain reaction, like you said - what a refreshing change for the sport!

I started wearing my hair short a couple years ago (because of the pair girls of course!) and haven’t looked back since! First I had the Wenjing, but this summer I trimmed it up into a pixie cut - a slightly longer version of the Stolbova/current Duhamel, I guess. Maybe I’ll do the Vanessa cut next year! It’s just so much more manageable and it’s sassy 😀
 

Sk8swan

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Matteo just makes me :lol:. He speaks English like a Russian would do... cutting off almost all articles!
 

Mad for Skating

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By the way, where is Robbin? I mean, isn't he working with Mozer anymore?
I believe they said his time working for Mozer was finished. I don't think he got fired or anything - he's probably going to move back home to Germany to be with his wife. Mozer's team is in good hands with Trankov and Klimov helping out; she can spare Robin now.
 

Mad for Skating

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TSL said he is done with Mozer, basically pushed out by Trankov. Said he might be going to work with Dalilah. take the source for what you wish.
I don't put much faith in anything TSL says, but I have heard that he's left Mozer, and since he's not in the kiss-and-cry with Tarasova/Morozov anymore, I can believe that.

It would be very interesting if he is going to Dalilah - not what I expected. I'll believe it when I see it.
 

rfisher

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TSL said he is done with Mozer, basically pushed out by Trankov. Said he might be going to work with Dalilah. take the source for what you wish.
As Trankov was a very reluctant coach and has said he's not certain he will continue coaching at all, I doubt he pushed Szolkowy out. More likely he wanted to be in Germany with his family.
 

Mad for Skating

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As Trankov was a very reluctant coach and has said he's not certain he will continue coaching at all, I doubt he pushed Szolkowy out. More likely he wanted to be in Germany with his family.
Agree. I think TSL just said it that way to make more of a fuss.
 

oleada

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Russian pairs are awesome. That's all. :cheer2:
The entire competition was FABULOUS. Boikova/Kozlovskii were my personal favorites today, but what a great competition it was. I'm looking forward to seeing B/K develop, along with Mishina/Galiamov, Pavlyucheko/Khodykin, Kostiukovich/Ialin and Panfilova/Rylov. It should make for some great rivalries. I would be totally fine with them kicking Z/E out of the team next year.

I expect M/G to move up next year, and they could be very competitive in the senior GP, very quickly (despite her nervy fall on the 3S today). I hope K/I move up, too, but does anyone know what their plans are?
 

NAOTMAA

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I personally won't get too excited until T/M can skate like that at the major international events :slinkawayIt's frustrating to see them constantly crumble when its clear the judges want to put them on top. And they still need better programs too! :wall:

I hope B/K continue to improve, they certainly looked very promising here. They were only some 6.5 points behind Z/E (who had a great skate themselves) here. I could potentially see them overtaking them as #2 next season if they continue to improve and Russian fed. isn't so inflexible. They also have in my opinion the best free program of the top 3 finishers. It's not the most innovative but its a great display of classic Russian pairs skating (I'd love to see T/M try it :shuffle:).
 

Mad for Skating

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What an amazing pairs event at Russian Nationals!!! I'm speechless.

T/M...wow. I had goosebumps watching that FS. I've been waiting four years to see them do a clean performance of a gorgeous program, and they finally did it. If only they could skate this way at Worlds!

Not a fan of Z/E (the SP still makes me go WTH???) but they skated very well so good for them. TBH I don't know why, but I think they would be stunning with a program to "Arrival of the Birds" - avant-garde yet elegant.

Boikova/Kozlovskii are so beautiful; they look a lot more mature than 16 and 18 imo. I think they will move up very quickly.

Pavliuchenko/Khodykin's SP is a jewel, the FS is a mess. I kind of want her to upgrade to a different partner; I think she's the better skater of the two.

I don't mind Mishina/Galiamov, but their programs were a little...meh to me? I like their elements though so I hope they get more interesting programs next year.

Efimova/Korovin's SP was my favorite. I think they were grossly underscored here.
 

Shayii

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Love Yu/Zhang’s SP she is grace personafied on the ice. Too bad we wouldn’t get to see the FP. Both of Sui/Han’s programs (the little of what I saw from the FP practice) have some cool and interesting choreography but not feeling the music of their short. And for a hot second I thought their FP music was a cover of To Build a Home, but it’s Rain in Your Black Eyes by Ezio Bosso. Or is it, they sound the same? But still happy to have them back on the scene. S/H SP, S/H FP practice
 

RoseRed

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Love Yu/Zhang’s SP she is grace personafied on the ice. Too bad we wouldn’t get to see the FP. Both of Sui/Han’s programs (the little of what I saw from the FP practice) have some cool and interesting choreography but not feeling the music of their short. And for a hot second I thought their FP music was a cover of To Build a Home, but it’s Rain in Your Black Eyes by Ezio Bosso. Or is it, they sound the same? But still happy to have them back on the scene. S/H SP, S/H FP practice
Part of P/C's 2015-16 FD was Rain in Your Black Eyes.
 

aftershocks

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she can spare Robin now.
Hmmm, well I do hope it was mutual, and that Robin has saved up his money and is finding other opportunities to continue contributing his talents in the skating world. Methinks Robin was 'spareable' or perhaps more-so 'expendable' to Mozer due to Max Trankov coming aboard to take over the major coaching of T/M.

I don't get why anyone reporting it as Robin essentially being out of a job (even TSL unless it was mentioned in DL's usual snarky, gossipy manner) is taken as not believable. I don't see Max taking over T/M as a new coach being very conducive to Robin staying on, since AFAIK Robin was working mainly with T/M. Being former direct rivals, I doubt Max and Robin working together with T/M would have been a good fit (whether or not Robin's parting was awkward and abrupt or mutually understood and amicable). I'm not even sure exactly how much freedom of input Robin had with T/M anyway. Surely Robin knew that Candyman was NOT a good program for T/M, but he had to grin and bear it. :D

I believe Robin has participated in some pairs training camps in the U.S. this summer (but I didn't know if that was part of his work with Mozer's team -- probably not). Maybe Robin can freelance and continue sharing his knowledge in a training workshop capacity if he isn't interested solely in finding and coaching students of his own. ETA: I see that it's been mentioned Robin may be coming to the U.S. to work with Dalilah Sappenfield, which sounds cool.
 
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