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

Mad for Skating

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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... :(
That Addams Family program is so cute! It's exactly what I needed today, and especially fitting re: the Stolbova news.

Also, gutted about Efimova/Korovin.
 

Simone411

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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... :(
I'm glad you did! I love The Addams Family anyway! Their program is awesome! 💞💓
 

pairskatingfan

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I just came over here to boost this thread up! I love so many of the pairs around the world, even those not ranked as highly. I recently watched the European Championships and top to bottom many of the pairs are so good! Who are your favorite underrated pairs right now?
 

skylark

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I just came over here to boost this thread up! I love so many of the pairs around the world, even those not ranked as highly. I recently watched the European Championships and top to bottom many of the pairs are so good! Who are your favorite underrated pairs right now?
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro

Minerva Fabienne-Hase and Nolan Seegert

Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer

Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud
 

Mad for Skating

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I just came over here to boost this thread up! I love so many of the pairs around the world, even those not ranked as highly. I recently watched the European Championships and top to bottom many of the pairs are so good! Who are your favorite underrated pairs right now?
Cheng Peng/Yang Jin
Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud
Apollonaria Panfilova/Dmitri Rylov
Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer
 

Mad for Skating

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Do you consider P/R to be underrated?? I’ve rarely seen such hype about a junior pair going up to seniors!!!
Well, I suppose you’re right! I just think they’re such exquisite skaters - with the exception of their side-by-side jumps, their elements and skating skills are better than most senior pairs’. I guess I’m a bit of an uber :)
 

Immortelle

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Well, I suppose you’re right! I just think they’re such exquisite skaters - with the exception of their side-by-side jumps, their elements and skating skills are better than most senior pairs’. I guess I’m a bit of an uber :)
Looking forward to seeing what they can do in seniors once they get back on the ice!
 

Ka3sha

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Panfilova/Rylov have already said that they are staying in juniors for 2020/21 season and initially they planned to do some Challenger events (but given current circumstances it’s hard to predict).
 

GoneWithTheWind

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I just came over here to boost this thread up! I love so many of the pairs around the world, even those not ranked as highly. I recently watched the European Championships and top to bottom many of the pairs are so good! Who are your favorite underrated pairs right now?
Adding another vote for Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer!
Also, for me:
Annika Hocke / Robert Kunkel
Nicole Della Monica / Matteo Guarise
Diana Mukhametzianova / Ilya Mironov
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Side note:

I do feel like Hase and Seegert have been underscored much of last season.

And Della Monica and HUNKY Guarise have been massively overscored at some competitions the past 2 seasons....

And ANL wasnt liking it.

@GoneWithTheWind I respectfully, but massively disagree with you regarding DM&G, they keep receiving gifts and it aint right. And I am their fan! Big fan! But they dont deserve some of their scores.

After thinking about it I also feel like DM&G need what I call "The Angela Nikodinov Makeover".. Come back next season please in NON matchy matchy unitards, try different things and start going outside the comfort zone. They have been around wayyyyy too long to not start trying to do something different. They are a very predictable team for me.
 
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GoneWithTheWind

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Side note:

I do feel like Hase and Seegert have been underscored much of last season.

And Della Monica and HUNKY Guarise have been massively overscored at some competitions the past 2 seasons....

And ANL wasnt liking it.

@GoneWithTheWind I respectfully, but massively disagree with you regarding DM&G, they keep receiving gifts and it aint right. And I am their fan! Big fan! But they dont deserve some of their scores.

After thinking about it I also feel like DM&G need what I call "The Angela Nikodinov Makeover".. Come back next season please in NON matchy matchy unitards, try different things and start going outside the comfort zone. They have been around wayyyyy too long to not start trying to do something different. They are a very predictable team for me.
I'm also a big fan of theirs but agree it would be nice to see DM/G try something outside their comfort zone. Their short from 2018/19 I thought was a step in the right direction (still with unitard, but it actually worked with the program IMO), but last season was a bit of a back-track (Maybe because of Nicole's injury? Less time to prepare so stuck with what was comfortable?) Hopefully next season they can wow us with something totally new and different!

I labelled them as underrated for me more because they don't have a big following/fan base/are not necessarily always appreciated or talked about as opposed to being underscored, their scores at Europeans this year, for example, were a bit generous, I agree.
 

Mad for Skating

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Panfilova/Rylov have already said that they are staying in juniors for 2020/21 season and initially they planned to do some Challenger events (but given current circumstances it’s hard to predict).
Really? When did they’ve say this? I thought I just saw an interview where they said they were turning senior. It seems like they keep changing their minds!
 

Immortelle

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Really? When did they’ve say this? I thought I just saw an interview where they said they were turning senior. It seems like they keep changing their minds!
I’m glad you mentioned that, I thought I must have been hallucinating that I’d seen the same thing somewhere.
 

Ka3sha

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Panfilova/Rylov have already said that they are staying in juniors for 2020/21 season and initially they planned to do some Challenger events (but given current circumstances it’s hard to predict).
They said it after JGPF in Torino , but apparently changed their plans later. I also think it makes more sense to at least try do some senior events.

Sorry for disinformation :)
 

rfisher

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They said it after JGPF in Torino , but apparently changed their plans later. I also think it makes more sense to at least try do some senior events.

Sorry for disinformation :)
Well, they have to do it sometime. All they need is for her to land the SBS triples and they can rule seniors. Everything else they do is :swoon: Or they need to rack up so many points that her doubles don't really matter. Intentional doubles for the win!
 

Mad for Skating

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They said it after JGPF in Torino , but apparently changed their plans later. I also think it makes more sense to at least try do some senior events.

Sorry for disinformation :)
No problem; they kept changing their plans throughout the season so I wasn’t sure! I’m just so happy they’ll be turning senior because their elements are so stunning.
 

aftershocks

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Cheng Peng/Yang Jin
Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud
Apollonaria Panfilova/Dmitri Rylov
Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer
I don't think Peng/Jin are underrated. They just haven't so far lived up to their potential, for different reasons. Likely working through injuries and inconsistency, and having to 'wait their turn' behind Sui/Han. When P/J were ahead of S/H at 4CCs, the looks on P/J's faces in the kiss 'n cry were a bit nervous. Neither they nor their coaches were celebrating. P/J are expected to compete well by their coaches, but not to place ahead of Sui/Han.
 

Mad for Skating

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I don't think Peng/Jin are underrated. They just haven't so far lived up to their potential, for different reasons. Likely working through injuries and inconsistency, and having to 'wait their turn' behind Sui/Han. When P/J were ahead of S/H at 4CCs, the looks on P/J's faces in the kiss 'n cry were a bit nervous. Neither they nor their coaches were celebrating. P/J are expected to compete well by their coaches, but not to place ahead of Sui/Han.
Frankly, I have to disagree with that. I think P/J often get counted out because they don’t have two consistent triples, but the quality of their other elements is exquisite.
I still think S/H are the better skaters, but that doesn’t make P/J any less enjoyable or beautiful to watch, at least not for me :)
 

aftershocks

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Frankly, I have to disagree with that. I think P/J often get counted out because they don’t have two consistent triples, but the quality of their other elements is exquisite.
I still think S/H are the better skaters, but that doesn’t make P/J any less enjoyable or beautiful to watch, at least not for me :)
I said nothing about P/J not being wonderful skaters to watch. Nor was I putting down their talent. If you will recheck, I simply pointed out that as the team behind Chinese fed-favored S/H, P/J are expected by their fed to skate well, but not to top S/H.

Obviously, that observation doesn't have a lot to do with what might happen in international competitions, as we saw at 2020 4CC in the sp. S/H had problems in the sp, and P/J were fairly placed ahead of them. But the coaches/ skaters reactions in the kiss 'n cry were less than celebratory. It all worked out in the end, since S/H managed to do a better job in the fp.

Fine if you feel P/J get counted out. I do not think that is true at all. P/J are highly regarded by the judges, even with mistakes. It's up to P/J to consistently skate well, and to overcome the challenges that have so far had them not exactly living up to their huge potential of reaching inspired and consistent 'team to beat' status. Some of their inconsistencies have been related to injury, but sometimes it's probably nerves in big moments. They have good triples, they were simply in this past season purposely doing doubles due to Peng dealing with an injury. Any jump inconsistencies for P/J are IMO down to what I just described, dealing with injuries and/or nerves, and/or confidence with certain jumps. No one ever said pairs skating is easy. :)
 

Mad for Skating

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I said nothing about P/J not being wonderful skaters to watch. Nor was I putting down their talent. If you will recheck, I simply pointed out that as the team behind Chinese fed-favored S/H, P/J are expected by their fed to skate well, but not to top S/H.

Obviously, that observation doesn't have a lot to do with what might happen in international competitions, as we saw at 2020 4CC in the sp. S/H had problems in the sp, and P/J were fairly placed ahead of them. But the coaches/ skaters reactions in the kiss 'n cry were less than celebratory. It all worked out in the end, since S/H managed to do a better job in the fp.

Fine if you feel P/J get counted out. I do not think that is true at all. P/J are highly regarded by the judges, even with mistakes. It's up to P/J to consistently skate well, and to overcome the challenges that have so far had them not exactly living up to their huge potential of reaching inspired and consistent 'team to beat' status. Some of their inconsistencies have been related to injury, but sometimes it's probably nerves in big moments. They have good triples, they were simply in this past season purposely doing doubles due to Peng dealing with an injury. Any jump inconsistencies for P/J are IMO down to what I just described, dealing with injuries and/or nerves, and/or confidence with certain jumps. No one ever said pairs skating is easy. :)
True! I just think Peng/Jin sometimes get a bit lost in the shuffle with Sui/Han and the great Russian pairs. I’m really hoping they can set themselves up as dark horses for a medal in 2022!
 

aftershocks

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^^ If you are saying P/J should never be counted out, I agree. I just do not agree that they are under-rated by anyone in the skating community who understand how to judge talent. Like many teams, it's P/J themselves who will ultimately be the judge of whether they can slam dunk consistently to reach that elusive breakthrough next level. They are already on the cusp of being great, and they are already considered one of the top teams in the world who the judges are always happy to reward. Therefore, I do not see them as being under-rated. Again, it's down to them how well they perform. Whenever they perform consistently well (and even when they make mistakes), they get excellent scores and generally place in the medals at important competitions, except for Worlds because the competition is so deep at that event. They are an above-average team, never to be counted out.

In order to be a great team, P/J have to push past nerves, doubts, and setbacks, to really skate with the inspired motivation we've seen from them on occasion, but not enough. Obviously, this is just my two cents. ;)

ETA:
Indeed in the sport of figure skating, it's hard to break through to the top when there are so many other great teams, as well as good, up-and-coming teams (not to mention the ever-present politics endemic in how skaters are judged). That's where the confidence factor and the desire, motivation and killer instinct come into play. Otherwise, just try to steadily build, stay optimistic, pick your spots, and wait behind the current 'killer' teams. Eh!

I don't see P/J as 'lost in the shuffle.' They can't help it that S/H are the favored team with 'chops.' As I said, the Chinese fed expects P/J to be good and to place well, but not to beat S/H. That can be difficult to navigate while still trying to be fiercely competitive. P/J should maybe focus on improving their confidence and projecting well to the audience, and more consistently displaying the magic we've sometimes witnessed in their partnership. Meanwhile, I haven't seen any evidence that the judges have ever lost sight of P/J.
 
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Weve3

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2,996
Side note:

I do feel like Hase and Seegert have been underscored much of last season.

And Della Monica and HUNKY Guarise have been massively overscored at some competitions the past 2 seasons....

And ANL wasnt liking it
.

@GoneWithTheWind I respectfully, but massively disagree with you regarding DM&G, they keep receiving gifts and it aint right. And I am their fan! Big fan! But they dont deserve some of their scores.

After thinking about it I also feel like DM&G need what I call "The Angela Nikodinov Makeover".. Come back next season please in NON matchy matchy unitards, try different things and start going outside the comfort zone. They have been around wayyyyy too long to not start trying to do something different. They are a very predictable team for me.
:lol: I wasn't liking it either, ANL. ⬆ I had made a comment in one of the gymnastics thread about rep scoring being exasperating, but that it was par for the course. DM&G have been gifted more than can be reasonably explained. It gets to be a bit embarrassing. Also, I agree w/ you that they've become very predictable. It could be they are playing it safe, as in ’if it ain't broke, don't fix it.’ Too comfortable to risk shaking it up?

I was feeling okay about the matchy, matchy unitards, but something different is a go! 👍 Nothing worse than being stuck in a fashion rut! :drama:
 

aftershocks

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^^ Well, there's a bit of politics involved always in the sport of figure skating. Della Monica/Guarise are a well-respected and accomplished team. And according to all I've heard, Guarise is a kind, sweet person. He's obviously been a very accomplished champion/ artist in men's and pairs roller skating too. I wish that sport was more widely popular. Italy certainly has a lot of champions in roller skating.

As far as how D-M/G have fared recently, I believe they've experienced setbacks due to injuries. And also in some recent, big competition moments, they somewhat faltered, which again ends up being a setback in terms of perceptions and in terms of being able to take that step to the next level. The judges will often give them the benefit of the doubt in scoring due to their veteran status. And their fed has a bit of clout due to Cinquanta's long tenure as ISU President. Carolina Kostner often received benefits from that factor, early in her career. I'm not saying Kostner and D-M/G didn't/ don't deserve breaks or good scores. The point is that they have the talent to be recognized, and the fed clout factor helps/ has helped sometimes in the scoring.

There are so many examples of teams hovering on the cusp of making it to the top level of 'team-to-beat' status. Duhamel/Radford's career is a good example of a team with talent hovering in the second tier, and then achieving success, and then having to make adjustments to continue being top competitors in the deep and talented pairs field. James/ Cipres are yet another example of a talented team around for a long time, steadily improving, but remaining in the second tier, trying mightily to make that big leap. I think part of that was due to a bit of J/C being under-rated. This is a tough sport in general for all athletes, but especially for non-white athletes. Asian athletes made the leap to top respectability and recognition over a period of time. There's always room for continued advances, but generally Asian athletes are accepted and rewarded in the sport of figure skating. There are not many athletes of color in figure skating. And those who rise to mid-tier recognition do so through a huge amount of courage, fight, self-belief and talent. The few who break past mid-tier are few indeed.

That's why it has been great to witness James/Cipres' breakthrough circa 2016 - 2019. Everything finally came together for them, but not without years of hard work and many coaches, mentors, and fans giving support and cheering them on. I admire and appreciate Vanessa's talent, grace, and staying power through many challenges. No matter what may happen going forward, what J/C achieved as a team should not be forgotten. In fact, they are far from forgotten, because IMO, despite views of detractors and naysayers, J/C's breakthrough, and their signature style (incorporating dance moves, stand-out costumes, unique choreo and modern music suitable to their raw, edgy, charismatic vibe) has greatly influenced and impacted the pairs discipline.

Savchenko/Szolkowy were immediately a striking team with obvious talent. They were good from the get-go, even at their first Worlds in 2005. But they had to pay their dues for a bit and wait for some retirements post-2006 Olympics. And then, they could not be stopped from shooting to the top because their talent was so creative, magnetic and palpable. S/S and S changed and greatly influenced pairs skating. Their approach and style inspired teams like Duhamel/Radford, Stolbova/ Klimov, Ashtakova/Roganov, et al. And then D/R and S/K went on to influence and impact the discipline. In recent years, of course, both Savchenko/Massot and James/Cipres with the help of ice dance choreographers, injected pairs skating with even more excitement and new ideas, often based on moves that are not new, but are simply put together in new ways.

 

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