The Skating Lesson

znhurston

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With Jonathan not there, Dave didn't go off on tangents which made it so much easier to listen to. Or if he tried to, Meagan didn't follow.

Yes, the audio was horrible and I finally gave up on it before listening to the end.
I found Meagan's remarks informative, interesting and appropriate. Dave's not so much.
 

aftershocks

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Kinda interesting how TSL is still managing to get some interviews. It mostly seems to be skaters who formerly had a connection with the show via prior interviews and who are still willing to come on, like Duhamel and Aljona. Also coaches and choreographers, like Igor Shpilband, Doug Haw, Mark Mitchell, Sandra Bezic, and Tom Dickson.

I suppose Dave is banging the heck out of those past relationships and connections to garner whatever gems he can manage to grab hold of to fill air time. And the truth is, in the absence of other substantial fs coverage outlets, there is a vacuum being filled no matter how frustating, sometimes off-putting and never fully satisfying TSL is in its current existence.
 
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skatfan

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Kinda interesting how TSL is still managing to get some interviews. It mostly seems to be skaters who formerly had a connection with the show via prior interviews and who are still willing to come on, like Duhamel and Aljona. Also coaches and choreographers, like Igor Shpilband, Doug Haw, Mark Mitchell, Sandra Bezic, and Tom Dickson.

I suppose Dave is banging the heck out of those past relationships and connections to garner whatever gems he can manage to grab hold of to fill air time. And the truth is, in the absence of other substantial fs coverage outlets, there is a vacuum being filled however frustating, sometimes off-putting and never fully satisfying TSL is in its current existence.
The interviews are the best thing that The Skating Lesson does. Admittedly there was a lot more prep and structure when Jenny was around, but I loved this one with Aljona - she is such a bright light. I really am impressed with her taking on the Kneirims this season with everything else that she is doing!
 

aftershocks

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The interviews are the best thing that The Skating Lesson does. Admittedly there was a lot more prep and structure when Jenny was around, but I loved this one with Aljona - she is such a bright light. I really am impressed with her taking on the Kneirims this season with everything else that she is doing!
Indeed, the interviews are and have been the best things about TSL. But that's because of the guests they interview! :D Kudos to Aljona! I learned a lot from Doug Haw, Tom Dickson, and Igor Shpilband too. And Mark Mitchell is a veritable sweetie. :encore: Linda Fratianne was lovely and funny.

There are bonafide gems in the TSL archives. That's why I often find Dave's inability to evolve beyond frustrating. Jonathan irks -- he's too much the bubbly Dr. Jekyll to Dave's mean Mr. Hyde. And too often their personas are simply too similar, thus no contrast.
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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There are bonafide gems in the TSL archives. That's why I often find Dave's inability to evolve beyond frustrating. Jonathan irks -- he's too much the bubbly Dr. Jekyll to Dave's mean Mr. Hyde. And too often their personas are simply too similar, thus no contrast.
Except when it comes to skaters he dislikes.

ETA: So I caved on my personal protest of TSL and watched the Igor interview because I love ice dance that much and I give Dave props for getting Igor. I was impressed with the personal questions Dave asked Igor about his own career and deflection. However, the questions he asked afterwards and about the skaters he coached left a lot to be desired. I do think Dave maybe realized Igor wasn't quite understanding some of the questions based on Igor's answers and had to figure out how to continue the interview in a coherent manner. I sort of found it to be a missed opportunity. But as I said before I always give Dave and Co. props for their actual interviews because I think Dave shines there. Whatever I think of him, he is a passionate skating fan and knows so much to provide meaningful questions and follow-up questions.
 

aftershocks

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ETA: So I caved on my personal protest of TSL and watched the Igor interview because I love ice dance that much and I give Dave props for getting Igor. I was impressed with the personal questions Dave asked Igor about his own career and deflection. However, the questions he asked afterwards and about the skaters he coached left a lot to be desired. I do think Dave maybe realized Igor wasn't quite understanding some of the questions based on Igor's answers and had to figure out how to continue the interview in a coherent manner. I sort of found it to be a missed opportunity. But as I said before I always give Dave and Co. props for their actual interviews because I think Dave shines there. Whatever I think of him, he is a passionate skating fan and knows so much to provide meaningful questions and follow-up questions.
Yep. I loved the Igor interview. I'd never heard Igor speak before (at least not in an extensive personal interview). I loved hearing about his early work with Liz and Jerod, and about how he became a coach. Dave tried to get Igor to trash Marina, but unsuccessfully. :D

I agree with you that there was a lot more to delve into in an interesting way with Igor. Dave is not the best interviewer in the world, so he couldn't segue that opportunity. All the more reason why figure skating needs more and better coverage. The sport cries out to be covered in a more in-depth, professional and fully satisfying way that's not simply dyed-in-the-wool fawning status quo, nor boho trolling snarky.

I guess most FSUers are laying low on giving TSL any acknowledgment clicks or positive discussion. I do understand why.
 
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aftershocks

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The sport cries out to be covered in a more in-depth, professional and fully satisfying way
Maybe when the Shibs retire they could do something along the lines of in-depth interviews. And or AdaRipp and Ashley could join up to inform the world about the intricacies and endless fascination of figure skating and the athletes and personalities who make the sport so entertaining to watch! :swoon:
 

libecha

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The interviews are partially what make the rest of their "programming" so irritating, because they are shooting themselves in the foot. When you eliminate the skaters they've insulted, the friends of skaters they've insulted, and skaters who don't speak English well enough to participate (or pretend they don't), the list of potential interview subjects grows shorter and shorter. And yet it's the best thing they do, but they sabotage themselves. I'm a little surprised Aljona agreed to the interview--they've always been respectful and awed by her but now she's the Knierims' coach and that certainly has not been the case for them.
 

skatfan

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The interviews are partially what make the rest of their "programming" so irritating, because they are shooting themselves in the foot. When you eliminate the skaters they've insulted, the friends of skaters they've insulted, and skaters who don't speak English well enough to participate (or pretend they don't), the list of potential interview subjects grows shorter and shorter. And yet it's the best thing they do, but they sabotage themselves. I'm a little surprised Aljona agreed to the interview--they've always been respectful and awed by her but now she's the Knierims' coach and that certainly has not been the case for them.
I think there was a bit of shadenfreude (sp?) in the Knierims releasing their music for this season the day after their interview with Aljona. They haven't forgotten last season.
 

aftershocks

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Aljona is delightful. I enjoyed hearing her talk about her approach to last season, their ups-and-downs, and particularly the Olympic experience: the uplifting and surreal combination of joy in victory and the almost depleted sense of, "I achieved my dream. I can't believe it. What do I do now? I want to go back..." :) Also, the dynamic between her and Bruno in preparing for taking the ice in both their programs. How calm came over both of them during their fp. And a moment when Aljona is in a lift thinking, "I'm at the Olympics. Give the crowd something extra." And then she quickly tones herself down and says, "No, concentrate to the end."

I also loved hearing that Ingo texted Aljona: "Now you have your gold medal. Congratulations!" And that Robin sent her a message too. :cheer2:

Here's TSL's Asian Trophy/ The Ice discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY9-LnBC38w
They mention an old clip of Tom Dickson skating for Ice Capades, and here it is: :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHiP5jbiSHw

Meanwhile, Dave and Jonathan were absolutely offensive and snide in discussing Starr and her programs. Nasty.
 
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aftershocks

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A discussion ensued in U.S. ladies thread which should probably be brought here regarding Dave's & Jonathan's negative trashing of Starr Andrews and her programs. They never even mentiond Bradie Tennell, albeit we haven't seen full clips of either of Bradie's interesting new programs yet. [ETA: It's been mentioned that I included descriptive words in the below. Since the descriptive words are my reaction, I will take out those words, i.e., 'derisively, dissmissingly, inane, uncontrollably, emphatically, fiddling, sidekick.' Dave's and Jonathan's utterances I transcribed verbatim, and are not in question. I'm also leaving in the gestures they made and that are clearly observable and not in question (including hand movements, head movements, facial movements, and also laughing, grinning, etc.) My personal reactions and comments that are in brackets I am also leaving as is. Anyone else is entitled to react or not, in their own way. If the episode is still up and this section hasn't been edited out, anyone can take a look at the visuals and listen to the actual comments themselves, and form their own opinions, or not.]

I must say that when I first listened to the podcast and got to the part where they took OTT swipes at Starr, I was so turned off and disgusted, I stopped watching the rest of this episode.

Dave will likely edit out their comments when/if he gets wind of the calling out of what he said. It was OTT negativity and completely uncalled for. Here's what they said, so there's a record, starting @ 1:01:05:

Dave: Now Jonathan (presses his lips together and pauses)

Jonathan: Speaking of interesting to watch (giggles)

Dave: I've called Starr Andrews a novelty act in the past

Jonathan: Who did?

Dave: Me, but ... (laughs and makes facial expressions) I think I've said it on the show

Jonathan: I believe you (laughs)

Dave: I don't know how to say this in a way that's not offensive (places his chin in his hands) [Seriously Dave is worried about not being offensive! Yeah right! :rolleyes:]

(Silence for a few seconds)

Dave: I have to choose my words carefully (banter and grinning from Jonathan; Dave grins in response)

Dave: Because another choreographer said this to me too [His usual tendency toward veiled name-dropping to support his views]

Dave: Ummm, (pause) I asked one choreographer if they've ever worked with Starr Andrews because they're near the same choreographic* area, and the choreographer said to me, 'Well, the mother only wants to do programs by black singers that'll garner them attention.' And you know (Dave makes facial expressions and presses his lips together) that's quite true, ya know. [*Dave said 'choreographic' though maybe he meant 'geographic']

Jonathan: [I can't make out his initial words] Yeah, it was interesting. Do you remember back-in-the-day a little show called Dance Moms...

Dave: Yes, and she's [Starr's mother?] Nia.

Jonathan: But you remember Nia's Mom came in and said, 'Hey enough, my daughter happens to be African-American. She doesn't have to do an African-American-inspired number every time she dances.' And you know what. I was like, I get that. (J says all this while pointing his finger and touching his beard) [I wonder what it is that Jonathan and Dave feel threatened by??? Starr can skate to whatever music she pleases!]

Jonathan: In the same way like I was in this Cabaret thing once, and every punchline was about me being gay. And it's like (sighs), it's a little on the nose. You know what I mean like, you're limiting the potential of a skater by saying they can only do one thing. [Meanwhile, what both D&J are carping about is hearsay. And even if Starr's Mom does prefer that she use music which reflects her heritage and inspires her, so what!? Still we don't know details nor context of any conversation between Starr's mother and any of her daughter's choreographers]

Dave: Even though Johnny skated to all music that Maria Butryskaya would use [Dave's exaggeration], you don't have to skate to Angels in America every year when you are a gay skater. We see several gay skaters, maybe they pick a classical piece from year-to-year. But I was seeing Starr Andrews and thinking, 'What could she do?' (Dave places his hand on his chin and makes facial expressions) Well obviously, there's going to be another Beyonce short program coming.

Dave: I was thinking that we could go the Beloved route when she gets a little bit older. [Not funny, Dave]

Jonathan agrees: Mmm hmm (nods his head)

Dave: The Color Purple.

Jonathan: (Laughs) Okay (grins)

Dave: I think for the Olympic year is when we should do Dreamgirls. Don't you think (starts singing) 'And I'm telling you...'

Jonathan: (holds up both hands toward the screen and turns his head to one side, grins and laughs) This whole conversation is like a minefield. (Leans forward with his head down, laughs). Because she did Summertime, right? Last year?

Dave: Summertime is the short program, ya know. And is Summertime from Porgy and Bess? Is that what this is?

Jonathan: (Nods) Mmm hmm

Dave: Yeah

Jonathan: (makes facial expressions) And it doesn't know if it's an opera or a musical. I think it's an opera.

Dave: What is the 90's musical on Broadway? It was another one about the steamboat. What was it called? It was not Porgy & Bess.

Jonathan: (fingers his beard with one hand) Showboat. Maybe they revived it then. But that was it.

Dave: (Nodding his head) It was in the 90s. It was on Broadway. [What does any of this blather have to do with Starr's skating and her debut of her new programs?]

Jonathan: Yeah. Ragtime could be also something you're thinking of.

Dave: (Moves one hand vertically across the screen) No... So yes. I'm thinking. I'm thinking of what we could do. Maybe we could do a Motown program. A little up tempo.

Jonathan: If these are legitimately your requirements. Fortunately, there is a great deal of repertoire from which you have to choose. But also you can't chase (pauses and fingers his beard) And this is kind of what we were talking about

Dave: (interrupts) Jason

Jonathan: (continues) with Jason after Riverdance. You can't chase a viral moment.

[What are they trying to say exactly?! They are managing to dis Johnny Weir, Jason Brown, Rohene Ward, and Kori Ade right along with Starr and her mother]

Jonathan: It has to happen because you hear something and you want to express it. And it becomes so meaningful to that skater and so honest that it becomes viral. That can't be the goal. And I can't help but feel like these programs are like chasing a moment [Why are Dave and Jonathan attempting to decide what the goal is for Starr, her mother, and her coaches??? Much less, formerly for Jason Brown and his coach and choreographer???]

Dave: So the Jungle Book, Jungle Fever, Lindsay (last name garbled) music that she's using, yeah, in the free skate with the black leotard is so Surya Bonaly. [They've brought Surya into it, apparently so they can side-eye her as well, which is par for the course. I'm surprised they didn't mention Debi Thomas too.]

Jonathan: Yeah the leotard especially. (laughs) Or the unitard, yeah yeah.

Dave: With the cheated triple-axel. And the lack of skating skills. (holds one hand to his mouth and makes facial expressions throughout)

Jonathan: That surprises me. I knew that there were rumblings as you had mentioned about the triple-axel from her. But I mean I ... This was another one that ...

Dave: It was not even close. You didn't know it was a triple-axel. [Actually it was close, Dave. What were you looking at?]

Jonathan: (Rubs his forehead) Yeah, I didn't. I thought ... I had to go back for a second. Because I was like, 'Wait, was that a clumsy double? What was that?' Because the ice was cloudy. I couldn't really see and they weren't doing slo-mos here, so it was harder to catch, but umm, yeah

(silence, then Jonathan makes a smacking sound with his lips apparently thinking of something else to say)

Jonathan: You know what, there's only one Jungle program for me, Dave.

Dave: The Duchesnays (grins)

Jonathan: The Duchesnays in 1988 at the Calgary Games!

Dave: I don't think Dick even liked it when Krylova did it in '99, so I don't...

Jonathan: Not after the Duchesnays, sorry. (laughs)

Dave: And there was also Yuna Shiraiwa from Japan, uh. Ya know I think during junior worlds, they said she could jump, but uh, to me she looks like someone who would be in the middle of the line, synchro, just the overall aesthetics and...

Jonathan: The anchor. (holds up his fist and laughs) [So now they are bringing Shiraiwa into their dis-fest]

Jonathan: Now, you have to remind me. We did Japanese Nationals recap. It wouldn't have been the Olympic season. So it wouldn't have been '17. It would have been '16. And I think, wasn't she the one who... There was a skater at Japanese Nationals whose glove got caught in her toepick (grins) at the end of a spin, and it was like a total debacle (waves one hand up and down; places the other hand on his chin and looks down). I think it might have been her. But, I'd have to verify that. But I think it was her. And that's literally all I think of. [What???]

[Dave meanwhile is listening and making what I would describe as encouraging facial expressions with his eyes and mouth]

Jonathan: Of course, if it wasn't her, I don't know why I'm thinking about it. [:huh:]

Dave: She won the free skate. Parabens. Okay.

(Difficult to decipher chatter from Jonathan with hand gestures)

Dave: Also, we're going to discuss the pairs uh next week, because...

Jonathan: Chinese and North Korean pairs were there. So yeah, much to discuss... [1:07:01]

:scream: Apparently, they'd tailed off from dissing Starr and her mother by this point. I had stopped listening before this point. I'm only going back to get down what they said on the record. They are so very nasty and bitchy, and it's unclear why they feel this kind of snark is necessary? Is it what they feel some people think, and they are just nastily and viciously bold enough to say it? The derogatory bias was just dripping from their pores.
 
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aftershocks

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Listening further, I see they did immediately launch into a brief discussion of Bradie's new programs right where I left off the transcript. They couldn't say anything negative about the boffo triple jump combo Bradie performed (which is mostly all we saw in the posted clip). Then Jonathan attempts to say something positive about Bradie's opening moves, and Dave jumps in: "Don't overblow it. Like Boyang Jin, I am still like..." (gives side-eye). Dave mentions someone at Skating Protocol who is a 'big Boyang Jin fan.' They go on to discuss the comeback of Dai Takahashi (apparently fawning rather than negative), and then Dave mentions something positive about posting a clip of a nice triple flip by Gracie.

Their OTT nastiness is so sad, because more extensive skating coverage is needed. I guess that people who agree to go on the podcast for interviews don't know a lot about Dave's negativity, and there aren't any other real opportunities for in-depth interviews during the off-season especially. Particularly, now with IceNetwork being defunct.

They really need to apologize to Starr Andrews and her family. But I guess that won't ever happen. Many people in the skating community are now ignoring TSL, so the word needs to get out more widely. What keeps them going are their fans and supporters like Sandra Bezic, Meagan Duhamel, and perhaps Christine Brennan and Phil Hersh, who give them a pass which helps them maintain some credibility. And I'm sad to have to say that there must be some people in the skating community who actually agree with their negative commentary.
 
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bardtoob

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Dave: I've called Starr Andrews a novelty act in the past
Dave: Me, but ... (more laughter and inanity from Jonathan) I think I've said it on the show
Dave: I don't know how to say this in a way that's not offensive (places his chin in his hands)
Dave is officially a f℅©# @55π°£€ d®!+¥ ©×π+. TLS is officially imperceivable to me forever.

David was a novelty show until he ceased to exist in my book.

Starr continues to be part of the MAIN EVENT!
 
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Tinami Amori

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Besides creating gossips (not repeating but creating) and conspiracy theories, Davis/TSL can be vile about any skater or pair, if he disagrees with or dislikes something/everything in their skating. He usually attacks "the theme", "the subject" or the skater's "shtick".

If the "shtick" is "tutu" for Zagitova, he'll attack the "tutu", like he did again in this interview.
If the "shtick" is "mime" like in Med's routines, he'll attack "mime" issue.
If the "issue" for Nagasu is "under-rotation", he'll attack "under-rotation".
If a skater poses as "flirty one", he'll go after "flirty"

He finds an "issue/theme" associated with a skater and goes after it.

So, if Starr's mother clearly stated that she wants only African-American music artists for her daughter's programmes, then "Af-Am programmes" is the "shtick"/"issue".. There is nothing "racist" or "un-PC" is David's addressing "the given shtick/issue" if it is the issue that is identified or made obvious by the skater's team.

If Starr's team chose to position her not just as "another skater" but specifically as "Af-Am skater" and to highlight her "ethnic origin and race", then just like with "tutu", "mime", "too sexy", "too theatrical", "too xxxx", the Af-Am issue will be part of the discussion.

Dave is officially a f℅©# @55π°£€ d®!+¥ ©×π+ fit for a closeted Trump rally. TLS is officially dead to me forever.
:D I think David presents so many "fake news" that it is more like the Democratic Candidate rally.
 

Tavi

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Aftershocks, are you aware that there is a long-standing debate in the classical music world as to whether Porgy is an opera or a musical? I don’t agree that Jonathan was being dismissive about it.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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That transcript is quite something...to say the least. Has anybody called Dave and Jonathan out on that? The above conversation is very problematic. I had some feelings about Dave and race in the past but I won't get into it. I will say it ranged from imitating Satoko and Shoma's accents and voices to invoking huge stereotypes of Asian-Americans.

ETA: After all of that, I wouldn't mind if Andrews or anybody else makes Jonathan cry in a bathroom stall in Grenoble one day as he tweets about how he's going to quit skating while fishing for sympathy again.
 
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bardtoob

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:D I think David presents so many "fake news" that it is more like the Democratic Candidate rally.
I don't consider a Trump rally anymore Republican than a Democrat rally. They are both their own parties full of snowflakes that can't tolerate anything but imposing their thought police on everybody else.
 
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chameleonster

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The fact that they cannot seem to conceive of a reason that it might be important for a young black skater and/or her family to skate to music by black artists other than to seek attention and fame says it all.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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And of course not all black singers and genres are the same and would they (or people in general) have noticed if a skater NEVER skated to music by a person of color?

Aftershocks, are you aware that there is a long-standing debate in the classical music world as to whether Porgy is an opera or a musical? I don’t agree that Jonathan was being dismissive about it.
I think it's pretty pretentious to dismiss something because it's a musical. Anyway, I thought any perceived dismissiveness was due to it being a musical/opera about black characters since in context they were commenting about all the "black" themes Starr could explore and pretty much making a mockery out of it.

ETA: I read it again, and now I get where you're coming from with your quote. Sorry for not correctly following the first time.
 
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