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

NAOTMAA

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Although I still question what the fed. are thinking (still thrilled for B/K though :cheer2:) it probably is a huge blessing for T/M not to have won. They did some of their best skating when they were skating in the shadows of V/T and S/K. It was only when they became the defacto #1 that they seem to really tense up and become more unstable. Now they got B/K sharing some of the attention and pressure they look far more relaxed. I don't think they ever liked being the leaders and being chased so they probably like how things are now. The weight of the nation isn't on their shoulders alone so perhaps it will make them better fighters against S/H.
 

Minou

Active Member
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From #ttw thread:

I think the Fed made a very wise decision to support (a bit) Boikova/Kozlovski at Nationals and give them that title. On one hand, they have Tarasova/Morozov, who can be brilliant, but are inconsistent and can't deliver under pressure. And the whole world knows that if skating clean, they are capable of winning all the gold medals out there.
On the other they have B/K, who are young, pretty consistent, have it-factor and both judges and fans seem to love them.
To me it seems like a win-win situation :)
Does that mean that the (Russian) Fed influenced the decision; or am I misreading this?
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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6,307
Well the judges at the senior and junior GPF this year didn't think doubling a jump was a "big mistake" so I'm shocked the national judges did. I Iove-love-love B/K too but as you said they aren't at T/M's level yet.
But I guess they really did take the results of the GP series seriously and T/M were kind of punished for it.
The issue was that they did different jumping passes - she did 2T+2T+1T, and he did 3T+2T with a hand down. If they'd both done 2T+2T they would have won.
 

Mad for Skating

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The issue was that they did different jumping passes - she did 2T+2T+1T, and he did 3T+2T with a hand down. If they'd both done 2T+2T they would have won.
I was trying to explain this to my mom the other day! They received the low base value for her double along with the negative GOE he got for his hand down. Basically, they got almost no points for that element whereas B/K got several points for their clean combo. That's where the points went down.
However, I think T/M prefer to be the chasers, so I think this might be very beneficial to them in the long run.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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Does that mean that the (Russian) Fed influenced the decision; or am I misreading this?
I assume you didn't see the competition. The Fed could have given T&M the title if they REALLY wanted to. T&M still have superior edges and elements (when they are executed well). So a decision to support T&M no matter what could have been made... But B&K simply have too much going for them. The Russian Fed would have to be dumb & blind not to recognize that.
 
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bcash

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297
I still don’t understand this B/K thing. They skate so clunky. 90s choreo and heavy, eked-out elements. By no means should they get more GOE than T-M
 

Ka3sha

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I could agree on B/K’s PCS being a bit too high, but their elements don’t look heavy to me.
Their throws are one of the best ones among current teams, great height and distance, plus she always holds a great position on the landing. Their lifts are quite strong too, especially considering their age and height.
I think only their twist looked better last year. They lost some cleanliness and height by adding an arm over her head feature.
 

Michalle

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I think T & M are still stronger in terms of polish and maybe classic pairs skills if my understanding of what those are is even correct and my heart is really torn b/c I like both teams. The challenge they face is that B & K just have something intangible going for them that I don't even know how to put into words, maybe it's just the connection between them that feels very strong. They've built a lot of momentum as well. It is really hard! If they both skated clean, I would be intensely torn because I think their strengths and weaknesses are very different.
 
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Perky Shae Lynn

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I still don’t understand this B/K thing. They skate so clunky. 90s choreo and heavy, eked-out elements. By no means should they get more GOE than T-M
The skating is juniorish, but it's not"clunky". Boikova is tall and blessed with a womanly body. Of course she moves differently than a smaller girl. The choreo is nostalgic very much on purpose. Moskvina wants to evoke certain feelings in fans and judges - and it works. Finally, when you watch these two live, you see magic. They have a wonderful chemistry.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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I still don’t understand this B/K thing. They skate so clunky. 90s choreo and heavy, eked-out elements. By no means should they get more GOE than T-M
Part of it is consistency in jumps and throws by B&K. That wins the judges and elevates their PCS. T&M are a better pairs team at this point where pair elements, basic skating skills, lifts are concerned. Missing sbs jumps is killing them.

I like B&K a lot, in terms of potential, but they still need development or polish. I don’t get this ‘magic’ that so many are talking about. They are young and exuberant, which is attractive. They are in good hands with Moskvina helping their development. At This time, IMO T&M is the superior pair and superior skaters but they will not beat B&K who almost always skate clean. B&K could catch up with T&M in pair elements as early as next season. Their split twist is clearly lower quality than T&M but they are not losing a lot of points on it. They have more difficult jumps and throws and that just about seals the deal as long as they land those.

I do prefer the maturity of T&M but I can see why B&K have surpassed them. Consistency is the key. Pumping fists in the air after a clean skate helps too. I think their vivacious personality attracts fans.
 

whiteskates

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416
It’s hard to compare pairs with such different styles, strengths and weaknesses. I like both T/M and B/K but somehow I have a feeling T/M are giving up. I hope they prove me wrong though and that I get to see both pairs live at Worlds next year.
 

antmanb

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I think the frustration I have with Tarasova/Morosov is that they have the potential to be one of the best Russian pairs ever but they haven't lived up to that potential. Their Rach SP is an example of how they could have been amazing when they hit all their elements and have good programmes. The problem is when they had consistency they had less than stellar programmes (Rach being the exception), and now that they IMO have better programmes they've not managed to skate them clean.
 

aftershocks

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At this time, IMO T&M is the superior pair and superior skaters...
In terms of experience and quality of their elements when they are at their best, for sure T/M are superior to B/K. But it isn't always the team with the superior elements and greater experience who win.

I would say the same re Alexa & Chris Knierim at their best especially when/if they land their jumps which has been rare statistically, they're right up there with the top teams in the world. Moreover, the power and quality of the Knierims' 3-twist, lifts and throws is greater than the same elements of Moore-Towers/Marinaro. What I think T/M and the Knierims appear to be suffering from is a crisis of confidence, although it takes different forms and is for different reasons. Meanwhile, M-T/M at their very best can lay it down and get the kind of score they got in the sp at 4CCs, even though they aren't actually the best team overall on paper. But by working on improving their elements overall, having great programs, believing in themselves, overcoming nerves, having the political backing, and laying it down like they did in 4CCs sp, they can get the points.

At 4CCs, the Knierims appeared to get down on themselves about the jumps in the sp (because that is known to be their Achilles heel weakness). By not succeeding on the jumps, that sometimes seems to lead to them losing concentration on other elements they should ace with no problems (like sbs spins at 4CCs, and death spiral at NHK).

The biggest weapons Sui/Han have going for them are fierce desire, strength of will, and self-belief, along with all the rep they have with the judges. S/H have not been that strong all season, particularly not at GPF. It may have to do with some of the injury problems they've had which can impact training and confidence on elements in competition. I don't particularly care for S/H's sp. I don't think it's really their vibe, even though they can handle it. Perhaps this style was chosen in order to show range. Usually S/H bring their level up when they need to, but since they haven't performed on the GP for three straight seasons, it's possible they could be losing endurance in their first full season back. Plus, the pounding that Sui takes on the jumps can't be helpful for the injury she's been rehabbing which is what kept them out of fall competitions the prior three seasons. If S/H don't pull out a win at 4CCs, they'll have time to regroup for Worlds and come on strong. But at the moment, overall, they appear vulnerable technically.

M-T/M deserve to be in first, and I had a feeling they were going to take advantage of their huge opportunity skating last in the sp and knowing that some top teams had faltered. M-T/M show where you can get with self-belief and determination. Political backing and being #1 in Canada since D/R retired is also hugely beneficial for them.

Calalang/Johnson are a quality team with speed, power, great chemistry, lovely skating skills and wonderful programs. Since they are a fairly new team (even though they both have a lot of pairs experience with other partners), the judges seem to skimp a bit on PCS. So they have to continue building their reputation as well as their confidence on the jumps, which as we've seen in some recent competitions, they can land when they're on.

Too bad the audience vibe and attendance isn't that great at 4CCs due to fears over the Corona virus.


With J/C out and their competitive future uncertain, I think it hurts the overall stylistic excitement and variety we've seen in pairs over the past three seasons. There are certainly plenty of teams who are willing and able to step forward and carry on, so we'll see what happens. But I hope the excitement and innovation will continue. I'd been looking forward to seeing what Shae Lynn Bourne was working on with J/C.

It would be cool if Shae Lynn brings her sass to the fore with more pairs teams because the ice dance choreographer influence on pairs is truly what has infused the pairs discipline with energy and excitement over the past three seasons, epitomized in the programs of J/C (as much as some fans have not wanted to recognize or admit). The way Denney/Frazier's revamped Lion King fp was structured and choreographed this season was exciting and energetic. It's too bad they weren't able to continue building momentum with their trajectory this season. I've noticed some other teams picking up on the potentially powerful effect of capping off the end of their fps with several lifts that build.
 

aftershocks

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And am gutted for S/H, my favorites. But they should be looking to peak in 2022, in which case some losses/less-than-clean skates on the way might actually be to their benefit. I worry that their timing is not ideal in terms of Olympic cycles. I might say the same about Nathan Chen, but I'm not entirely sure that he is fully human.
S/H didn't skate as well as they can. It could have something to do with them skating a full season for the first time in 3 years. Personally, I don't like their sp that much. Their fp which is a holdover from last season I like better.

I can't feel too sorry for S/H since they can always turn things around -- they aren't that far behind. Their deserved rep with the judges will hold them in good stead if they perform better in the fp. They got some very high PCS scores because of their reputation and because they generally are good performers. It could be that Sui is not at full strength physically since her injury and now skating a full season. She wills those jumps, but it's apparent that she isn't as confident on the jumps, maybe due to experiencing a bit of pain on her landings.

Peng/Jin landed 3-toes, so maybe they are comfortable with those triples rather than the 3-salchows. It will be interesting to see what they go for on their jumps in the fp. Calalang/Johnson have lovely skating skills and wonderful chemistry. Plus, C/J's 3-twist, lifts, and death spirals are outstanding. They are clearly a quality team and they should be scored better on PCS: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1920/fc2020/SEG005.htm

Holding C/J down on PCS categories is pure politics (somewhat based on them being a fairly recent partnership). But C/J should be receiving better PCS for their amazing speed, skating skills and power elements alone, which frankly rival all three of the teams ahead of them. If C/J continue getting stronger and more consistent in competing their jumps, it will be cool to witness.
 
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saturdaysun

New Member
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I had to register an account just to tell you to please stop spreading this weird lie about S/H missing 3 years of the GP. They skated 2017-18, skipped 2018-19 and are back for 2019-20. That's one year, not three.
 

aftershocks

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I'm not trying to spread lies as you call it. So then, let's be specific:

Sui/Han competed on the Grand Prix during 2015-16, but they had to withdraw from GPF. The following season 2016-17, S/H withdrew from their assigned GPs and did not skate the first part of the season. They came back for Worlds and 4CCs in 2017, winning both. In 2017-18, the Olympic season, S/H skated during the GP and came in second at GPF and second at the Olympics, but they skipped 4CCs and Worlds. In 2018-19, S/H withdrew from their GPs and did not skate the first part of the season. They came back to skate at 4CCs and Worlds in 2019, barely scraping by to win at 4CCs and willing a win at Worlds with a heart-filled fp.

This season (2019-20) S/H skated the GP and backed into a win at GPF with less than their best. At 4CCs in the sp, they were not at their best, but for sure they are capable of turning that around with their fierce competitiveness. I realize that the reason for S/H having to miss or deciding to skip parts of the last three seasons is in large part due to Sui's serious foot injury and rehab. Yes, they came back for most of the Olympic season because winning the Olympics was their goal (elusive so far). I don't know if injury was the reason for their withdrawal from 2015 GPF, but obviously S/H have had to approach their competitive seasons strategically ever since Sui's surgery and rehab, and there's nothing wrong with them having to do so. It's just a fact.
 
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aftershocks

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Just as I said, 'Why feel bummed for S/H?' They are not an easy team to best by mid-tier and up-and-coming teams. Probably even Chinese coaches did not really want P/J to beat S/H at 4CCs. S/H are the team Chinese fed clearly want to win Olympic gold in Beijing 2022. Sui's fierce desire and Han's rock solid strength might get them there, but obviously the jumps are going to be their Achilles heel. It's about Sui's injury and all the pounding they are going to have to endure to get to Beijing.

As we see, S/H could have negative GOE on two jumping passes and still win because they are great on everything else and they have huge, deserved rep which means all the contenders needed to skate completely clean to top them in the fp at 4CCs. And that was a big ask. While P/J have quality elements and programs, they still have not lived up to their talent and potential. They did step it up from earlier in the season.

M-T/M faltered under the pressure. They needed to skate completely clean to pull out a win against S/H, even with S/H's negative GOE on both jumping passes. It must be extremely difficult for most mortal competitors going into jumping passes knowing you have to be clean. For Sui though, I don't think she has nervy nerves or tightness under pressure. It's just that her injury has caused her physical discomfort on the jumping passes. As well, probably the injury impacts their training regimen too, because Sui likely has to cut back a bit on the pounding that jumps place on her injured foot.

C/J should have received better PCS in both programs, but their PCS are held back at the moment. If they keep progressing and skating their best under pressure, the judges should more fairly reward them. With more deserving PCS, or skating clean on their second jumping pass, C/J might have won bronze in light of M-T/M faltering. It was M-T/M's huge score in the sp which kept them on the podium. The final results are fairly predictable, but it could have come out differently.

At this point, S/H are looking vulnerable on the jumps. But even so, it's pretty clear that their expertise on everything else and their championship rep is intimidating and impressive.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Ah thanks. A lot of creative touches, some of which are seen today, including the upside down hold of the lady against the man's body. J/C recreated that move recently. In addition, A/B's swinging the lady vertically through the man's legs and immediately up into a lift. Although lifts did not have as many position changes or ice coverage as today, A/B incorporated a difficult dismount on one lift, similar to what we see today. There were a lot of transitions, and of course, more time to develop their program characters.
 

Mad for Skating

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Thanks for sharing that, @Mad for Skating. I totally love Sui/Han!
No problem! I do too!

Just wanted to share one of my all time favorite pairs programs, Abitbol/Bernadis' Addams Family LP. The elements are brilliantly timed to the music, both partners show so much personality and charm, and the choreography is genuinely creative and original.

OMG this is so good! I really enjoy the innovation in the movements; it’s something totally off-the-wall in the best way. I almost got Gilles/Poirier vibes from some of the quirky choreo!

I know Abitbol’s name is currently in the media for other (important) reasons, but it’s nice to remember her not just as a voice for survivors, but as an amazing skater.

Also, as a Stolbova/Klimov uber, this brings up a lot of nostalgia for me. I never knew it had been used long before 2014! Honestly people should use this music more often; it makes for some entertaining and quirky programs.
 

feraina

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Happy for S/H’s win.

Really happy for P/J! Is this the first time they’ve landed 3S cleanly in competition?
 

nimi

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Also, as a Stolbova/Klimov uber, this brings up a lot of nostalgia for me. I never knew it had been used long before 2014! Honestly people should use this music more often; it makes for some entertaining and quirky programs.
Sorry for going a bit off-topic in a pairs thread, but this Addams Family RD from a Canadian junior team is really good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyJsvteT37g

This has been discussed in the Russia thread, but because not everybody goes there: Efimova/Korovin have split. Maybe not very surprising considering her jump issues and their Nats results but still... :(
 

nimi

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This has been discussed in the Russia thread, but because not everybody goes there: Efimova/Korovin have split. Maybe not very surprising considering her jump issues and their Nats results but still... :(
Wait, now we've lost Stolbova too?!?! :eek:
What a week... :wuzrobbed
 

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