Pairs Discussion Thread 2019-20: “Two skating as one”

RoseRed

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T/M now have to wait to see what happens in Japan.

The best news for them is that while they came second, they were second with a big score (as opposed to if their programs hadn't gone as well, but they had a lot of room to mess up and still take silver given the rest of the field). As a result, there's now very little chance they would lose a total score tiebreaker if it came to that, so M-T/M have to outright be second at NHK.
Don't know about that. MT/M would need ~210.6 to win the tiebreaker. That's a couple points higher than they got at SC, and a couple tenths above the SB. Which is doable. Mishina/Galiamov had 210 something at their CS and 207 something at their GP with a mistake. While it's not the most likely scenario, MT/M getting a close 3rd behind M/G with both skating well and MT/M winning the score tiebreak would definitely be possible.
 

NAOTMAA

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I guess its been lost in the mix but B/K winning Rostelecom puts P/K into the GPF for the second year in row so congrats to them :respec:
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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Now it is up to M&G to help their country by winning a silver at NHK. It may put both M&G and T&M in the GPF.
 

Colonel Green

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Maybe this was also a thing last season and I just forgot, but it seems like nobody can get a Level 4 death spiral right now.
 

Amy L

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Finally caught up.

I much preferred BoiKoz's LP last year, it built up a lot of excitement and ended with a bang. They chose a lot of blergh Bond music, but the skating is exciting on its own.

Evgenia looked pretty hot in her new dress, but putting a ginger man in a pink shirt??? Did they expect to trick the judges into thinking they're BoiKoz or something? They pulled off the tech much better here than in their 2 previous comps. Not that that's saying much, if they were worse than SLC they would have needed an ambulance. They have a rather anxious week long wait for the GPF. Too bad it's probably too late to enter the Golden Spin. If they don't make the GPF, I don't see how extra time would benefit them that much. They have competition nerves, so they need to get out in public and work on it.

I apologize for completely writing off H/S for the podium. I still think this LP is all wrong, but I was very happy that they pulled it together for the bronze. I thought Minerva was going to full-on pageant cry and it was adorable.

I want the old Susie back. I can tell she's putting in an effort to be civil to her minion, but if Susie goes to a competition and doesn't glare, why even have a competition???
 
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Spun Silver

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I want the old Susie back. I can tell she's putting in an effort to be civil to her minion, but if Susie goes to a competition and doesn't glare, why even have a competition???
He he. There was a long pause after they finished before she put her arm around him. The old Eve was rising up in her throat but she choked her down.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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Maybe this was also a thing last season and I just forgot, but it seems like nobody can get a Level 4 death spiral right now.
It was a thing last year, and in previous seasons as well, with the callers being very picky about getting 3 revolutions with the man in the pivot position and the woman with her head below her knee.
 

aftershocks

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Last year’s FS was a prime example of PCS-worthy skating [by T/M]...
Nope, I have to disagree with you here. There is a difference between clean technical excellence, physical beauty, smooth flow over the ice, and simply skating to the music versus the indescribable impact we feel when music, movement, partner connection, personality, costumes and above all innate expressiveness and powerful emotion bring out the essence of the music and tell a story that's palpable but also ineffable.

We get that in these performances:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY0t3vfx_iA Great technical brilliance but also a palpable emotional connection with compatible music; D/R have variant physicality but a soulful connection that shines through
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bNOnXTe4Ok Sheer force of will and desire that transcends technique; Musicality flows with technique to deliver a powerful emotional punch throughout that we can feel because of S/M having to come from behind, added to the drama behind the partnership's formation, and the challenges Aliona faced for so many years and overcame in these moments

The same for this performance by S/H: great technique backed by a deep emotional connection and sheer force of will and desire, complemented by and expressed through the music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDXhT77g5HU 2017 sp (sadly the experience is destroyed by the stupid overhead shot during climactic footwork sequence) :rolleyes: We don't need any sleight of hand tricks from director and camera crew!!! :revenge:

This was powerful emotionally too by S/H, especially in the final step sequence and lifts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u7gwsPkwfs 2019 Worlds

And this, innovative, beautiful program, expressive to the music, and performed at this team's first Olympics together (2006) during a time when they and their coach Steuer were under siege:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MG4cpfzjl8 -- they deserved better scores, they landed in fifth

https://youtu.be/8sGIlHFS-ls?t=114 2007 Euros -- more innovation and powerful emotion;
there's a reason why they are five-time World champions, two-time Olympic medalists, four-time European champions and four-time GPF champions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4a5FDDgtVg 2011 GPF innovation par excellence with Pina;
Aliona tends to get most of the credit, when Robin & Ingo deserve equal credit for their collaborative achievements which pushed forward the pairs discipline; It's sad how the sport has largely dismissed Ingo due to his politically-compromised past

Breakthrough ice dance/pairs cross-fertilization innovation in these performances, added to palpable connection and unique chemistry:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZqqWIKjlVI S/M Find That Man TEB 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A2_sCgWJac WTT 2017 J/C's Earned It, and boy have they!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O72bm7Dq8b8 Euros 2017 fp
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACYihOfXumo IDF 2017 fp
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PkUzRixwA0 Euros 2018 sp
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZnWFHvsAr4 GPF 2018 fp
The connection and the story they tell is not about sexiness. That's there but the more powerful impact is a deep emotional connection which isn't just romantic. It is full of passion and desire to prevail in pursuing their dreams; very much like the fierce will and desire in the performances of S/H and S/M
Just as we see in this iconic performance full of courage and desire:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kql3sf_crA 2003 Worlds fp S/Z

This promising new pairing also demonstrates the power of an emotional connection combined with great choreo, music, costumes, effortless lifts, speed, SS, gorgeous triple twist, death spiral class and sass, well-matched physicality, etc. With steadier jumps, they can go far:
 
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aftershocks

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For T/M, the below Worlds 2016 fp (under no pressure) is full of technical brilliance and youthful promise; they even seem happy and Vlad smiles at the beginning, but they have not gone on to fully realize the potential this program portends:

Perhaps they were getting back on track in the below 2019 Worlds fp after a season of miscues, but they haven't followed up the below with any confidence going into this season. They have generally struggled to find music that works -- I think classical pieces and compositions like this one are up their alley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X03nDGtMGcQ

Still there's a detached quality to their skating, which deserves high points for technical brilliance when they are in the zone, and for SS and CO when well-choreographed, but there is a lack of a powerful emotional, story-telling impact. This is perhaps because their personalities seem shy and reserved, but I think they do have the ability to project more, and they need to IMO. Or, maybe not in the judges opinion, as long as they skate clean. Below is their Russian test skates fp, which is the best they skated the program to date: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM6u56I91b8

I believe 2017 Worlds was the last time a quad-twist was performed in competition, by S/H, although she fell on the 3-salchow; they still pulled out a win after being out the first part of the season:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g_5T6IRFgY the quad-twist was effortless, but now not worth the risk/reward
 

aka_gerbil

Rooting for the Underdogs
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They have a rather anxious week long wait for the GPF. Too bad it's probably too late to enter the Golden Spin. If they don't make the GPF, I don't see how extra time would benefit them that much. They have competition nerves, so they need to get out in public and work on it.
It's a 13-14 hour trip to Zagreb from Southwest Florida and another 15-16 hour trip back. They lose basically a week of training time and have to deal with jet lag before they turn around and go to Russia for nationals. If they were still based in Russia, it would have been an easier trip.

I get what you're saying about they need to skate in public, but I feel like it would be hard emotionally to skate at a senior b challenger event with the pairs equivalent of the junior varsity team when they've done the main event (GPF) with the big guns the last three years.

I wish there were something in North America and that didn't have overlapping dates with the GPF.
 

clairecloutier

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It was a thing last year, and in previous seasons as well, with the callers being very picky about getting 3 revolutions with the man in the pivot position and the woman with her head below her knee.
I think the issue is that, now that GOE goes to +5, it's more important to maintain good speed through the element, to try to get higher GOE. Not many teams can maintain speed through 3 rotations. So they do 2 rotations, with speed, resulting in level 3.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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I am surprised that all death spirals have the same BV. Why is that? FIDS is considered easier than BIDS, and BODS, but they all have the same BV. Only the levels are different. FODS is rarely executed, so why doesn't it get more points?
 

Mad for Skating

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if Susie goes to a competition and doesn't glare, why even have a competition???
TBH, I’d rather have her skating poorly and being happy than skating decently and being upset. I think she’s just so happy to be back. Hopefully by the end of the season, she can be skating decently AND happy! :)
 

aftershocks

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TBH, I’d rather have her skating poorly and being happy than skating decently and being upset. I think she’s just so happy to be back. Hopefully by the end of the season, she can be skating decently AND happy! :)
I don't think Susie skated poorly. Unfortunately, her partner failed in backing up her fierce efforts to hold their fp together. For a minute there at the end, I thought we were going to get one of Stol Queen's patented glares. She thought about it, but then gave poor Novo 'manservant' a break and tried to comfort him in his agony and extreme disappointment. What is up with Stol Queen seemingly not wearing any makeup though? She looks exhausted. This huge effort to jump-start another partnership is putting her through a lot, especially with having had to nurse injuries too.

Why didn't Susie and Alexei Rogonov give it a try-out? Is Rogonov not tall enough, or were the logistics and timing not in the cards for them to hook-up? On paper, Rogonov is surely a more charismatic and talented pairs guy than Novo.
 

aftershocks

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I much preferred BoiKoz's LP last year, it built up a lot of excitement and ended with a bang. They chose a lot of blergh Bond music, but the skating is exciting on its own.

Evgenia looked pretty hot in her new dress, but putting a ginger man in a pink shirt??? Did they expect to trick the judges into thinking they're BoiKoz or something? They pulled off the tech much better here than in their 2 previous comps. Not that that's saying much, if they were worse than SLC they would have needed an ambulance. They have a rather anxious week long wait for the GPF. Too bad it's probably too late to enter the Golden Spin. If they don't make the GPF, I don't see how extra time would benefit them that much. They have competition nerves, so they need to get out in public and work on it.

I apologize for completely writing off H/S for the podium. I still think this LP is all wrong, but I was very happy that they pulled it together for the bronze. I thought Minerva was going to full-on pageant cry and it was adorable.

I want the old Susie back. I can tell she's putting in an effort to be civil to her minion, but if Susie goes to a competition and doesn't glare, why even have a competition???
:lol: Dead on, entertaining assessment. Unfortunately, time moves on, and there's no 'going back.' :( Diva Susie recognizes she ain't with stalwart Klimov anymore. She has to help Novo along if she wants to continue pursuing another Olympics chance. Competition nerves are par for the course for any new team, and those anxious nerves at home in their first GP comp got the best of poor Novo. I'm sure they can get it together better than they looked in the fp. If the judges had maybe placed them a point or even half a point behind H/S in 4th place in the sp, instead of giving them third, maybe there would have been less nerves for Stol/Novo in the fp, or maybe not. There was a bit of online fan debate that ensued about S/N's third place in sp with mistakes, so there might have been some feeling about H/S being done wrong wafting through the arena too, among non-Russian fans.

H/S are a competitive team with decent elements and a nice physicality together. Seegert is attractive, but I'm just not feeling his scraggly beard scruff. :p H/S also connect well, but I don't find them particularly interesting or exciting. Their former Say Something program was nice and got them noticed. Their sp is good this season, but I don't find their fp particularly engaging or suited to them. The fact H/S were able to take bronze with a less than scintillating fp with errors is another indication of the weak field/ jitters/ sophomore 'next-quad' blues being experienced on the GP this season. It is nice H/S got on the podium unexpectedly (they and their coach were fair to busting in the kiss 'n cry with hopeful expectation before the scoreboard changed for them from 2nd place in fp to first overall, prior to T/M and Boi/Koz skating their fps).

I would have preferred celebrating heartily for Austrians, Ziegler/Kiefer, had they miraculously taken third! Z/K have been going through a lot of struggles emotionally after the death of their coach. Alas, Z/K gave up an outside chance for the podium with a poor sp performance. Kudos to them for coming back so strong in the fp, and landing in fourth. With this strong fp effort under Z/K's belts, maybe the achievement can turn around their moods and mindsets going forward.
 

aftershocks

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Tarasova / Morozov have been dumped by the judges lower PCS than B/K
T/M have never deserved consistently huge scores on CO and IN, despite their amazing technical brilliance, which let's face it, has even dropped a notch with their decrease in confidence. So the judges are only taking them down a little on PCS for a freakin' reason, at least temporarily. And the drop is justified -- I would characterize it as karmic debt making an adjustment to reality. :COP:

The judges have a tendency to become slaves to any skater(s) who can combine stellar technical talent with consistent performances. A rise in all PCS categories tends to follow whether warranted or not. And now, in the particular instance of the judges being confronted with a young, hungry, charismatic Russian pairs team who have Moskvina as their ace-in-the-hole, along with bravura talent, Rusfed political favor and huge scores are quickly building, for the most part on merit. :D

T/M's fp music is NOT wearing well. Their Bolero sp isn't bad but the fact Bolero has a repetitive theme, it makes the fp music's repetitive theme a boring snore, especially when skated in such a lackluster, tepid fashion. :yawn: During T/M's fp, I found myself distracted away from looking at the screen, and wondering when it was going to be over, regardless of how sweet on the eyes these two are physically.

Their PCS will go right back up when they skate with command and a bit of flair. JMO.
T/M have skated with technical brilliance and command on a number of occasions, but rarely with much flair. The 2016 Worlds fp I linked earlier was very nice for T/M, and they displayed more confidence and a modicum of flair as the fresh, up-and-coming Russian team-on-the-block in that performance.

T/M were on the rise, but they never quite made it to the top of the mountain. The reasons why are complex: It's probably a mix of T/M arriving on the scene when V/T were still competing and Stol/Klim were transforming into stellar performers; then Aliona stormed back with a new partner; Duhamel/ Radford began changing the pairs scene with boffo quads and tech difficulty; Sui/Han were maturing and adding aesthetic quality to their tech tricks; T/M's shy reserve did not translate well in their performances, added to their team's miscues in music and choreo selection; plus the compelling rise of James/Cipres, as they exploded out of the blocks at 2017 Euros and never looked back.

And now, hungry, talented, next-gen Russian pairs teams are loaded for bear... :watch:
 
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aftershocks

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M-T/M have to outright be second at NHK.
Doable, if M-T/M can overcome the competitive fire of young M/G, and if the Knierims continue to not flex their muscles. Slot S/H for first, and the battle is on for second and third places likely mainly between M-T/M, M/G, and the Knierims. Della-Monica has been injured and D-M/G don't look particularly compelling or strong so far this season. Of course, if D-M/G skate well there's a shot they could be in the podium mix. Efimova/Korovin have talent, but tepid programs so far performed inconsistently. Kayne/O'Shea should come ahead of Miura/Kihara, and if clean maybe could challenge E/K. Della-Monica/ Guarise have more rep clout than mid-tier teams, but are not unbeatable if K/O show spark and cleanliness, which they haven't done with the programs they have this season.

Worlds are in Canada. I suspect they’ll be pushing hard in Japan for M-T/M to get to the final to set them up to push for the podium at worlds.
Yep, but M-T/M absolutely have to perform well at NHK with the mindset that they are in S/H's league, even if they aren't. Mishina/Galliamov should have a lot of confidence going into NHK. And the Knierims do have competitive weapons, despite appearing to currently be lacking in confidence. On paper, it may be another 4th for the Knierims, with M/G and M-T/M battling it out for silver and the GPF. Do both teams need silver at NHK in order to make GPF?

This is pairs, so teams' scores are only as good as how their jumps and throws go. The politicking certainly matters, but it's much more around the margins than with something like ice dance.
Yes, but we've seen some strange circumstances on occasion in the scoring, particularly on PCS. I agree though that performing the tech elements solidly under pressure is much more impacting and easier to see in pairs. Still, judging outcomes are often no less debatable.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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Why are we not seeing quads (twists and throws) in pairs skating anymore? Is it because 1) they are not rewarded highly, 2) fear of injury on quad throws?
 

Colonel Green

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Why are we not seeing quads (twists and throws) in pairs skating anymore? Is it because 1) they are not rewarded highly, 2) fear of injury on quad throws?
The 2018 ISU reforms reduced the base value of the pairs quads and increased the importance of GOE. That basically killed teams’ incentives to attempt them (and a lot of people would say that was intentional).

Honestly, other than Duhamel/Radford, how many teams even had a semi-consistent throw quad?
 

Vash01

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The 2018 ISU reforms reduced the base value of the pairs quads and increased the importance of GOE. That basically killed teams’ incentives to attempt them (and a lot of people would say that was intentional).

Honestly, other than Duhamel/Radford, how many teams even had a semi-consistent throw quad?
Kavaguti SMIRNOV
 

aftershocks

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James/Cipres valiantly put throw quads out there in competition, and the height was amazing yet always landed double-footed, similar to Sav/Mas' throw 3-axel always landed double-footed...

The last quad twist may have been Sui/Han at 2017 Worlds. Of course the Knierims had a boffo quad twist which gained them attention internationally. Since Alexa's injury recovery, they have not risked attempting it, but they have a high level 3-twist.

Tar/Mor had a gorgeous quad twist. I'm not sure who else attempted quad throws. Probably a few teams were starting to train them. But honestly, the point value is not worth the risk. Pairs skaters apparently are focusing more on putting together stylish, cohesive programs with engaging dance lifts and smooth moves, difficult overhead lift positions, unique transitions, interesting entry variations and positions on death spirals, and trying to skate clean to boost GOE.
 

angi

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The last quad twist may have been Sui/Han at 2017 Worlds. Of course the Knierims had a boffo quad twist which gained them attention internationally. Since Alexa's injury recovery, they have not risked attempting it, but they have a high level 3-twist.
Both Sui/Han and Tarasova/Morozov performed a quad twist in their Olympic FS. Tarasova/Morozov also performed it at Worlds 2018.
 

clairecloutier

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The 2018 ISU reforms reduced the base value of the pairs quads and increased the importance of GOE. That basically killed teams’ incentives to attempt them (and a lot of people would say that was intentional).

It was definitely intentional. What’s interesting is that the ISU found a way to essentially remove quad elements from pairs skating, without outright forbidding them. The majority of fans barely noticed, it seems—and the ISU was able to avoid any criticism about trying to squash or constrain the technical development of the sport.
 

Dobre

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I am good with it regarding the throws. The percentage of injured teams was too high for my enjoyment of the element. I miss the quad twists though.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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G&G used to do the quad twist but judges barely noticed. Some thought they did a 3twist. Katia wrote that they dropped the quad twist because they were not even getting credit for it.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Why are we not seeing quads (twists and throws) in pairs skating anymore? Is it because 1) they are not rewarded highly, 2) fear of injury on quad throws?
I was gonna ask the same question a week or two ago..

Three teams I know can do the quad twist... The Knierims, S&H and T&M, yet none of them have done it in a few years. Why?

Sometimes I wanna ask Alexa but I feel its not my business to pry. Or is it? tee-hee
 

Colonel Green

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What’s interesting is that the ISU found a way to essentially remove quad elements from pairs skating, without outright forbidding them. The majority of fans barely noticed, it seems—and the ISU was able to avoid any criticism about trying to squash or constrain the technical development of the sport.
It's perhaps not surprising in that pairs quads were still so rare that most viewers wouldn't notice them being gone.
 

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