U.S. Pairs 2021-22 season - News & Updates, Part X

yeslek

Well-Known Member
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354
Do you mean more often than pairs girls who are also among the top ten pairs teams in the World Championships, twice? Or do you mean more often than 50 percent of all pairs girls competing in the World or even in the US? It's one thing to be openly "campaigning" against someone in threads, and trying to convince others of your favorites or non-favorites. But I'm not sure your statement about Ashley Cain-Gribble is accurate. Of course if you've comprised statistics, that's another thing.

I'd like to say a huge congratulations :cheer2:to Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc for their good skating at Finlandia last week-end, and for their bronze medal.* It was a good step for them to have two clean skates in the competition, and it was also fabulous that they skated two lovely performances of beautiful skates! I love these programs, especially the SP, and I believe they both highlight the unique beauty of Ashley and Timothy's skating: their gorgeous lines, their unison, their passion and mutual commitment to the music. I like to see a lot of diversity in styles in pairs skating, so I'm very appreciative of their good qualities, which are different from the qualities of most pairs skaters. *ETA: this was a stacked field, so C-G/L's accomplishment is even more impressive.

Consistency is wonderful and allows the judges to begin to trust skaters and ready to give them their due. Still ... I'd rather watch a team that has some interesting moments and may or may not deliver consistently than a solid team that doesn't give me something emotionally.
All I was looking at was skating scores.com under their main summary page around 50% of their jumps were called under.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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3 pairs have been assigned to CS Warsaw Cup, November 18-21, 2021:

Jessica Calalang/Brian Johnson - glad to see them getting a 2nd Challenger (they won the gold at this comp. in 2019)

Emily Chan/Spencer Howe - originally assigned to Asian Open Trophy before everyone was pulled so glad they can make their Challenger debut after all!

Chelsea Liu/Danny O'Shea - this will be their Challenger debut together
 

olympic

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10,205
3 pairs have been assigned to CS Warsaw Cup, November 18-21, 2021:

Jessica Calalang/Brian Johnson - glad to see them getting a 2nd Challenger (they won the gold at this comp. in 2019)

Emily Chan/Spencer Howe - originally assigned to Asian Open Trophy before everyone was pulled so glad they can make their Challenger debut after all!

Chelsea Liu/Danny O'Shea - this will be their Challenger debut together
Very happy that the USFSA utilizes all these comps; many pairs need as much international exposure as possible
 

wickedwitch

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I just realized that if an American pair doesn't medal this year at Worlds, the pairs medal drought would be officially longer than the ice dance medal drought from 1985-2005 (B/S medalling in 1985, B/A medalling in 2005). :( Although I still think I/B should have medaled in 2006.

On the bright side, if we look at the success US ice dancers have had since the medal drought, it shows that things can be turned around long-term.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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9,999
On the bright side, if we look at the success US ice dancers have had since the medal drought, it shows that things can be turned around long-term.
It was a pretty unique set of circumstances that led to that success in ice dance that started with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It's hard to pinpoint an event that could lead to the same series of improvements in US pairs.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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JUNIOR PAIRS Total score/Name/SP/FS [competition]
...
150.05 Sonia Baram/Daniel Tioumentsev 54.31/95.74 [Glacier Falls] (new; she's not ISU Jr. age-eligible until next season)
Daniel shared this clip in early August from the beginning of their Glacier Falls FS (high 3twist & sbs 2A): https://www.instagram.com/p/CSD8dA5r3jQ/
He also posted a montage showing the progress of their triple twist under Chris Knierim's guidance from the summer: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQrsMCOFmfG/

Baram/Tioumentsev had a very impressive showing in the first pairs qualifying competition in Henderson, NV (on demand video available for Peacock Premium subscribers) with all new PB scores of 62.79 / 112.16 / 174.95 (and are not even attempting throw triples in competition yet!) - Junior Pairs final results/protocols are here: https://ijs.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/2021/30105/CAT012SEG020.html
They are both accomplished singles skaters (she won the Novice silver in her group in Henderson & has all her triples through Lutz & he previously qualified for 2019 Novice Nationals) and are coming together nicely as a promising young pair -- I'm looking forward to watching their progress!
 
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olympic

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By
I think in the end all it will take is one great coach to start the process, just like with ice dance.
By the way, wasn’t Robin Szolkowy supposed to start a pairs rink in the US? Along the lines of it may just take one great coach like in Ice Dance …
 

Sylvia

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By the way, wasn’t Robin Szolkowy supposed to start a pairs rink in the US?
Szolkowy was based in Irvine, CA from April 2019 to fall of 2020 and also worked as a pairs consultant with USFS during that time (before c0vid hit). He and his family have since returned to Europe but he has been making occasional coaching trips this year to the Northeastern part of the U.S. for Krigor Studio (run by Igor Lukanin).
 

skylark

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I think in the end all it will take is one great coach to start the process, just like with ice dance.
Which coach do you mean? I ask, because I think the coaches who started the process were the brilliant team of Igor Shpilband and Marina Zueva. They completely re-visioned the discipline, along with their students Belbin-Agosto, Virtue/Moir, and Davis/White. At least that's how I see it ... not as a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In pairs, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand seem to be taking strides to being that great coaching team. For one thing, I think it's really neat that they've created a rink environment where several top US pairs see themselves as colleagues and real training mates as well as competitors. Like Marie-France et. al. in Montreal.

 

BittyBug

The missing ingredient
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23,922
It was a pretty unique set of circumstances that led to that success in ice dance that started with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It's hard to pinpoint an event that could lead to the same series of improvements in US pairs.
One could argue that the collapse of the Soviet Union made it more difficult to succeed in ice dance because it resulted in a proliferation of quite competent teams from former Soviet republics.

Which coach do you mean? I ask, because I think the coaches who started the process were the brilliant team of Igor Shpilband and Marina Zueva. They completely re-visioned the discipline, along with their students Belbin-Agosto, Virtue/Moir, and Davis/White. At least that's how I see it ... not as a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
True and also Shpilband defected and came to the U.S. before the USSR dissolved. Not sure about Zueva.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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One could argue that the collapse of the Soviet Union made it more difficult to succeed in ice dance because it resulted in a proliferation of quite competent teams from former Soviet republics.
It did create a lot of new countries some of whom have had successful programs in ice dance, but the resulting influx of coaches and skaters into the US as the '90's progressed were very influential in creating a successful US ice dance program.
True and also Shpilband defected and came to the U.S. before the USSR dissolved. Not sure about Zueva.
The group of skaters that defected along with Shpilband did so before the Soviet Union had dissolved, but it was well on its way to collapse at the time.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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USFS Fan Zone article on Liu/O'Shea (Oct. 20):
Excerpt:
Both agreed to a tryout last December at Liu's home rink in Irvine, California. At first, the pair practiced for fun when O'Shea was in town every couple of weeks. They noted their compatible long lines and jump timing, but neither was ready to commit to a new competitive partnership unless the fit was perfect.
"I went through a couple of trials with other partners, but I knew I needed a partner and a training space that checked off all of my boxes," O'Shea said. "Chelsea and her rink felt supportive and safe and natural, so I kept coming back."
In March, after nearly four months of relaxed tryouts, Liu and O'Shea made it official
"On our breaks during that tryout period, we would walk around and get to know each other," Liu said. "We quickly gained an understanding and appreciation for each other's paths and the obstacles we overcame to get back to skating."
"We realized we shared one goal: to reclaim love for the sport," O'Shea said. "We wanted to feel that childlike wonder on the ice every day."
Great Park Ice shared some practice photos of the 3 pairs before they left for Las Vegas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVOfiCTvEve/

A few practice clips from earlier today in Las Vegas (thanks @thvu!):

Calalang & Johnson Slow-mo Triple Twist: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTL-dsl6y3/
C/J sbs 3S: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTNE0QlqzV/

Knierim/Frazier throw 3F: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTM8csFpT-/
 

Spiralgraph

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USFS Fan Zone article on Liu/O'Shea (Oct. 20):
Excerpt:

Great Park Ice shared some practice photos of the 3 pairs before they left for Las Vegas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVOfiCTvEve/

A few practice clips from earlier today in Las Vegas (thanks @thvu!):

Calalang & Johnson Slow-mo Triple Twist: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTL-dsl6y3/
C/J sbs 3S: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTNE0QlqzV/

Knierim/Frazier throw 3F: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVTM8csFpT-/


Thanks for the link to the article about Liu/O'Shea. I did notice an error by the writer, who says that the Kerrs choreographed their Free Dance.. Uh, no not a free dance... :)
 

jmtfti

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142
Thanks for the link to the article about Liu/O'Shea. I did notice an error by the writer, who says that the Kerrs choreographed their Free Dance.. Uh, no not a free dance... :)

It also originally referred to their Taylor Swift program as a "rhythm dance" but I guess only one such error was brought to their attention post-publication, lol.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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Knierim & Frazier talked about their programs during the Team USA virtual media summit that was held on Monday - Alexa on their SP:
Our short program is House Of The Rising Sun, and I think we chose this music because it really highlights our strengths and power as a team. And it has a bit of freedom and kind of wild energy that we feel is exciting and can bring the audience a lot of joy and pleasure watching.
"Fix You" was Brandon's idea for their FS - in his words:
The free program actually was something I brought to the table. It's been a piece that I've actually wanted to use for a very long time as being a competitor. And when I brought it to Alexa and the team and explained to them just my feelings behind it, it's kind of one of those songs that I have a personal connection to. And I always saw myself wanting to skate to it. And Alexa and the team were very supportive about it. We played with it and our choreographer listened to it and we all thought it was a great piece. And for me, it's very personal this year. So I'm very excited to get it out there and showcase it.
 

Jammers

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I wonder why K/F didn't do any major Senior B competitions before the GP? The ones that they took part in were rather small and weren't facing a big field of competitors. As a fairly new team they need to compete as much as possible.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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I wonder why K/F didn't do any major Senior B competitions before the GP? The ones that they took part in were rather small and weren't facing a big field of competitors. As a fairly new team they need to compete as much as possible.

That crossed my mind earlier as well. Because they only did cranberry and John Nicks
 

yeslek

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354
I wonder why K/F didn't do any major Senior B competitions before the GP? The ones that they took part in were rather small and weren't facing a big field of competitors. As a fairly new team they need to compete as much as possible.
They faced C/J and T/M. My guess was also because they had an early GP? Autum classic wouldn’t have been too difficult for them to get to but I’m assuming they had to go to John nicks challenge since he was their coaches coach and helps them which was the same weekend.

The only one they could have done that had more people at it was finlandia but that is a super tight turn around for skate America.
 

Willin

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TBH Calalang and Johnson looked a lot better than Knirem/Frasier... Maybe I've never seen them side-by-side before, but Idk why USFS holds Knirem/Frasier on a pedestal when C/J, C-G/L, and L/M are clearly much closer to them than USFS judges score it. K/F look world-class fast and impressive in most parts of their program, but in the steps, spins, and dare I say twist they are outclassed.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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TBH Calalang and Johnson looked a lot better than Knirem/Frasier... Maybe I've never seen them side-by-side before, but Idk why USFS holds Knirem/Frasier on a pedestal when C/J, C-G/L, and L/M are clearly much closer to them than USFS judges score it. K/F look world-class fast and impressive in most parts of their program, but in the steps, spins, and dare I say twist they are outclassed.

CJ twist is looking stronger while Alexa and Brandon seem to have having issues
 

SorrySkater

Member
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Did anyone else think C/J and L/O were underscored? I thought both teams should’ve been one spot higher in the standings. In particular, in still scratching my head as to how C/J scored behind the Japanese team in musical interpretation. They owned that performance! It’s entirely possible that I missed something, so this is is an honest question.
 

Jammers

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It almost seems like the judges can't help but overscore the Japanese team since Japan isn't know for having good Pairs teams so once one of them comes along the judges get carried away with their scores.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico, via Russia - to the World!
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Did anyone else think C/J and L/O were underscored? I thought both teams should’ve been one spot higher in the standings. In particular, in still scratching my head as to how C/J scored behind the Japanese team in musical interpretation. They owned that performance! It’s entirely possible that I missed something, so this is is an honest question.
Not with that loud electronic modern music blasting away. Mute button! The top 3 skated to far more tasteful music.
Russia Russia Japan all the way!
🇷🇺 🇷🇺 🇯🇵
 

olympic

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C/J have been my US fave since I first saw them at 2019 Nationals.

I think what judges and others see in them is a US pair with strong edges and speed (which frankly is a rarity). On the elements, their twist and throws are high, probably the best twist and lifts in the US right now. Their score would've been over 70 if they had just gotten levels 4 and / or she kept her foot up after the throw. That is what an intl. judging panel sees. I think they are capable of catching JPN team if they are clean

Still, interesting that intl. judges are putting K/F only 2.5 points behind them, with a more glaring error and also missed levels. Maybe US pairs are interchangeable in the bottom half of the World top 10 in the eyes of the ISU :lol:

I really hope between what I've seen in Finlandia and the SkAm SP, they are conquering their issues w/ the SBS jumps.

ETA - Also can't stand their SP music, though
 

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