Was the 1999-2002 Period the Most Entertaining and Corrupt Period of Ice Dance?

VGThuy

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I was researching old World Championship videos this week and this video of the 2001 Worlds Free Dance (CTV):


First of all… the judges totally robbed Anissina/Peizerat of the title. Second, Tracy Wilson commentary during Fusar-Poli/Margaglio’s skate was like a level-and-a-half below Judy Blumberg’s scathing commentary for Bourne/Kraatz’s 1998 Worlds Original Dance. Then when Wilson was so pissed off at the 5/4 split in FP/M’s favor that she did not talk for like almost 6 minutes straight during Lobacheva/Averbuk’s skate. Whether that was due to her rooting for Bourne/Kraatz or even Drobiazko/Vanagas to overtake L/A or if she was still reeling from her disapproval of FP/M’s win over A/P or a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B, it was quite funny to watch.

The crowd, already riled up by FP/M’s placement over A/P and D/V’s inability to place over L/A, almost went full soccer/hockey hooliganism mode after B/K’s 4th place finish behind L/A.

It was true that protocol judging was in full swing and out of the 24 teams, 4 of them did not change placements at all between the Original Dance and the Free Dance (and the OD ranks were close to the Compulsory Dance rankings).

I just remember people at the time being sort of numb and thinking this was just part of ice dance culture. I admit I was very perplexed by some of the CD results from the videos I’ve watched and I don’t get the OD rankings much. I also think Krylova/Ovysiannikov’s retirement due to injury during the 1999-2000 season did politically propel L/A into gold medal contender status by 2002, which I never understood except for the fact that those 2002 free dances were so awful by the most part that you have to kind of get it (and L/A had one of the better ODs that season while everyone else not A/P….).

I also remember 1999 Worlds and the crowd being supportive of A/P and angry over that result, but at least there was a change from OD to FD rankings.

The judges having all the power and being more brazen about using it really messed with the skaters’ heads during this era, I believe and the fans were seemed to be becoming angrier about it. It got to the point where I remember when :skandal was first being reported and before any of us had enough info to determine if there was any validity to Marina Anissina and her mom using a Russian mafioso to help broker a deal to ensure a victory in 2002 SLC, most people actually understood and were kind of okay with it because, after seeing 2001 Worlds, many fans understood if she felt like she had to do something to get the gold she would have deserved anyway. It was more the fact that the pairs event got embroiled into it that was much less acceptable for people.

That all said, I had to say the dances were really fun to watch even if at the time the ISU found them depressing and overly dramatic that they put an “uplifting” or some sort of entertainment mandate for the 2001-02 season… that A/P and L/A didn’t really follow, and they placed 1 and 2 anyway (much to Barbara Fusar-Poli’s chagrin in a skating book I read). And there was a lot of shredded shirts and ripped shirts, etc.

Speaking of ripped shirts, shredded skirts, and melodramatikkks…although we knew the ISU had already decided that no other style but the Russian style was going to be rewarded in ice dance after 1990 or whatever (killing the old Western Euro and North American styles/technique that used to be competitive for titles and medals for many decades prior), that “Russian and only Russian” message seemed to have exploded by this era with all the messy dramatics. Every team had to have a Russian on their team to have some success. Even A/P took in Natalia Dubova after this season. Bourne/Kraatz went from Dubova to Tarasova and was starting their process of becoming more Tarasovaed… and introducing us to Morosovian ice dance choreography before his choreography became a template. Linichuk still had the power in this decade, which ended after 2009-2010, when Igor/Marina and their IJS focused training started to pay off.

Back to enjoying the actual dance during period though, I mean… talk about personalities! Marina Anissina (her arabesques!) and Gwendal Peizerat (his extension!)… Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio not being shy about how they felt (especially after A/P snubbed them and “did not recognize them as world champions”. Shae and Viktor were also good for drama and complaining about how they were robbed as were Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas…

Overall, I honestly think this period was such a boiling pot of frustration among all the competitors due to the judges’ antics that it all boiled over by 2002 Worlds with that near-universal supported (by the competitors) petition over the bronze medal incident.

So do you think of this era? Was it the most corrupt era of a pretty accepted corrupt discipline? Was it just as corrupt as others? Did you find it as entertaining as I did? Do you think the ISU giving so much power back to the judges in terms of determining results will bring back what we saw from this era?

Also, does anyone else miss the overall bounciness and fast steps, and dense and complex content of older ice dance and miss that dance wasn’t just relegated to the basic choreo sections that are itemized? I also miss watching free dances where I couldn’t predict the structure of the program and see the choreography as “elements” throughout the whole program.

Anyway, this era gave us so many FSU emoticons. :ap1: :swoon:

P.S. that video for some reason showed the full commercial for Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and the woman squeezed ketchup onto her mac n’ cheese… is that something people do? Is it common in Canada? I need to know.
 
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caseyedwards

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With the sad retirement of K/O it was totally chaotic and unpredictable with a Russian team not winning anything. L/A never really established themselves as a champion team. It’s like judges didn’t want to just go from K/O to them. It’s not even clear the Russian powers that be really liked them. He was the star. They were obviously already looking at Navka and liked her much more.
 

VGThuy

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Could have fooled me with the way Lobacheva/Averbukh quickly leapt over teams that were beating them pretty consistently when Krylova/Ovsiannikov were around and were one judge away from winning the Olympic gold in SLC. They were nearly two-time World champs too with more judges putting them in first at 2003 Worlds but losing in a 5-4 split with the judges whose scores counted (in that weird system they had for that one year).
 

caseyedwards

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Could have fooled me with the way Lobacheva/Averbukh quickly leapt over teams that were beating them pretty consistently when Krylova/Ovsiannikov were around and were one judge away from winning the Olympic gold in SLC. They were nearly two-time World champs too with more judges putting them in first at 2003 Worlds but losing in a 5-4 split with the judges whose scores counted (in that weird system they had for that one year).
But it is true they didn’t medal at 2000 worlds and barely medaled in 2001. Bottom line is he was a really great talent and he drove the success which was not the era at all. It was the age of the diva. You had Barbara Fusar Poli becoming world champion because she was a total great and talented diva of dance.

Personal opinion A/P stunk in 2002 but of course she was the iconic diva always
 

Former Lurve Goddess

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P.S. that video for some reason showed the full commercial for Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and the woman squeezed ketchup onto her mac n’ cheese… is that something people do? Is it common in Canada? I need to know.
Kraft Mac n' Cheese is known as Kraft Dinner or "KD" in Canada. And yes, people put ketchup on KD. The Barenaked Ladies's song If I Had $1,000,000 has a line about putting fancy ketchup on KD. Also, A&P:ap1: were robbed a lot between 1999 and 2001.:drama:

 
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Icetalavista

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Was 2001 worlds the one where some fans organized a walkout during the medals? At the time I just thought it was odd that so many people were leaving (wasn’t privy to the reason for the walkout at the time.)

My dream for ice dance? Actually reward the best dancing regardless of style. What a concept: a final group with lyrical, dramatikkkk, playful, techician-y, classic…not just one style dominating. The all- dramatikkkk, all-the-time era was my least favorite in my decades of watching dance.

The Anissina mafiosi incident is just bizarre beyond belief. How much money/status/ego was involved to go to those lengths?
 

clairecloutier

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Most entertaining? No way, not for me anyhow. There are very few dances from that era that I'd revisit.

Most corrupt? I don't know. Maybe it became corrupt because there was no quality dancing to get behind??? :angryfire:bloc:
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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I think the code of points have made all four disciplines less entertaining, especially women. All the programs look the same as dick button would say. There needs to be more freedom allowed especially in something called a free skate.
 

UMBS Go Blue

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It was definitely a very p*rny time for ice dance. :saint: :grope:

From:
 
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I enjoyed that were 5 or 6 teams as serious medal contenders, and some unpredictability to placements and movement. Even if the field was not truly great outside of the often underscored Anissina & Peizerat and Krylova & Ovsiannikov the year and half they were there.

As for some of the teams I would say I honestly felt sorry for Lobacheva & Averbuhk. For one thing they were probably never destined to be Russian #1 ever, and only were thrust into that role due to Krylova's career ending injury. Navka & Kostomarov probably would have even jumped them sooner (like for the 2002 Olympics even) if Krylova had stayed. They were being compared to past Russian/Soviet dance greats and they just didn't seem to compare. They also were the commentators and writers favorite punching bag when it came to supposed scandalous ice dance judging, moreso than teams whose results/placements were often even more questionably favorable- Fusar Poli & Margalio, Israelis, Winkler & Lohse at times. Largely since people were sick of Soviets/Russians winning in ice dance (mostly deservedly), and so now that you had a less outstanding team than used to as Russian #1 people were going to be especialy hard on them. It had to be a sucky feeling to be getting the worst results for a Russian #1 in decades, and still have people screaming you were the most held up/overscored team. To wait so long or a first world medal, dropping to 4th in 2000 beneath 2 teams you were ahead of previous, barely finally get the bronze in 2001, and have everyone saying you didn't deserve it.

I had no problem with their bronze at the 2001 worlds. Bourne & Kraatz IMO were badly undermarked in the OD, and even have a case for winning that round, but their free dance was sloppy, especialy the badly out of sync twizzles near the end, and would have been lucky to even come 5th in that phase vs the 4th (nearly 3rd) they were placed. Drobiazko & Vanagas were using an old program they only returned to last minute, even if it was an exquisite one. Personally I had Drobiazko & Vanagas over them in the free dance, even with the old program, but their original dance this year IMO was much weaker than teams like Lobacheva & Averbuhk and Bourne & Kraatz, so I can see justification with beating them overall.

I do think their nearly winning the 2002 Olympics was absolutely ridiculous mind you, especialy with their terrible compulsories, which were some of the worst they ever did somehow coming 2nd over teams like the reigning World Champions (who while a very overrated team did have good compulsory performances at these Games, better than L&A), which was evidence that unlike previous IMO false cries of conspiracy theories for them, was a sign the fix was indeed in them for this particular Games. They s hould be relieved they did not win here, as I can only imagine the public outcry at that result, particularly with people already out for blood for Russia. Brennan was completely off the mark that Slutskaya nearly winning the gold over Hughes was near public scandal 2.0, that would have been nowhere near as controversial even in America as L&A winning, particularly if Slutskaya won it via winning the short and placing 2nd in the long which could have been easily justified (I didn't neccessarily say correct but justified). Or Hughes being worse than 4th in the short which would have been very easy to see too. Anyway L&A winning over A&P would have created a public outcry that surpassed the pairs scandal, despite there being no judge coming forward this time.

I was also fine with their world title in 2002, even though I had Drobiazko & Vanagas (who dropped from 3rd to 4th in the FD, LOL) winning the FD portion. And they have a legit case for being robbed in 2003, even though I personally was thrilled to see Bourne & Kraatz finally win.
 
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To be fair, Averbukh was almost on two feet as much as Margaglio in 2001, and I don’t know how L/A placed in the top five in the FD with a program was all crossovers and little actual dance in 1998 Worlds.

Punsalen & Swallow definitely deserved atleast 5th in Nagano and atleast 4th at the 98 worlds, both above L&A and of course the Italians IMO.

I will have to rewatch the 2001 worlds sometime. I do remember thinking Bourne & Kraatz had a not so good performance in the free dance and pretty sloppy technical execution that day, and Drobiazko & Vanagas's OD not being that good either, so was fine with L&A's bronze overall even with their boring free dance, or atleast it not being worth a big scandal over. I might feel differently on a rewatch though.
 

miffy

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This was one of my favourite periods of ice dance which was my favourite discipline then (it’s pairs now).

I was sorry K/O had to retire through injury but I wasn’t a fan and thought A/P should have been ahead in 1998 and 1999.

I enjoyed all of the top teams in the 99-02 cycle but in general I felt FP/M and L/A were overmarked and D/V were consistently held back, their 2002 FD is still a favourite of mine, especially the Worlds performance.
My views on B/K varied more but I did think their 2001 FD deserved higher marks, and I was really happy they won in 2003, I loved that FD.
 

ellenpuff

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First of all… the judges totally robbed Anissina/Peizerat of the title. Second, Tracy Wilson commentary during Fusar-Poli/Margaglio’s skate was like a level-and-a-half below Judy Blumberg’s scathing commentary for Bourne/Kraatz’s 1998 Worlds Original Dance. Then when Wilson was so pissed off at the 5/4 split in FP/M’s favor that she did not talk for like almost 6 minutes straight during Lobacheva/Averbuk’s skate. Whether that was due to her rooting for Bourne/Kraatz or even Drobiazko/Vanagas to overtake L/A or if she was still reeling from her disapproval of FP/M’s win over A/P or a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B, it was quite funny to watch.

Conversely, Susie Wynne on ABC preferred FP/M and believed they deserved the win. I'm inclined to agree with her. While A/P were undoubtedly superior dancers, they coasted too much in 2001 and the FD lacked interest and originality. They looked stale compared to FP/M.

And don't get me started on Anissina's MLK program in 2002; the fact they won an Olympic gold with that abomination of a program speaks to how badly everyone else bungled that season.

Interestingly enough, Wynne pointed out several times B/K were significantly slower than L/A in the free dance. I'm going to guess Wilson chose to omit that from her commentary.
 

yurokis40

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The americans are corrupting the sport know with the shawn resttatt , blumberg and their alliance with the french Molina, Hurth even worse they took over the spot from the russians.
 

tony

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Conversely, Susie Wynne on ABC preferred FP/M and believed they deserved the win. I'm inclined to agree with her. While A/P were undoubtedly superior dancers, they coasted too much in 2001 and the FD lacked interest and originality. They looked stale compared to FP/M.

And don't get me started on Anissina's MLK program in 2002; the fact they won an Olympic gold with that abomination of a program speaks to how badly everyone else bungled that season.

Interestingly enough, Wynne pointed out several times B/K were significantly slower than L/A in the free dance. I'm going to guess Wilson chose to omit that from her commentary.
Wilson actually went out of her way to make special mention of Drobiazko/Vanagas being stuck in 5th place in 2002, behind two teams that had fallen. She also knew the instant that Bourne/Kraatz fell at the end of their FD that it was over for them, and didn't try to argue anything otherwise-- not even a hint of suggesting they should've beaten FP/M.

By 2002 Worlds, the scandal was all about 3rd place and pretty much all 'experts' and the entire field minus three teams saying D/V deserved it.
 

VGThuy

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Conversely, Susie Wynne on ABC preferred FP/M and believed they deserved the win. I'm inclined to agree with her. While A/P were undoubtedly superior dancers, they coasted too much in 2001 and the FD lacked interest and originality. They looked stale compared to FP/M.

And don't get me started on Anissina's MLK program in 2002; the fact they won an Olympic gold with that abomination of a program speaks to how badly everyone else bungled that season.

Interestingly enough, Wynne pointed out several times B/K were significantly slower than L/A in the free dance. I'm going to guess Wilson chose to omit that from her commentary.
I totally understand preferring FP/M's FD over A/P's. It's just, content-wise, it wasn't even close in terms of difficulty that A/P, even with a few messy parts, were still so technically ahead that they should have won. FP/M did skate cleanly and with fire, though. B/K were probably slower overall, but L/A's program was so basic in terms of complexity that it's not hard to have more speed with the programs they had.
 

Karen-W

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The americans are corrupting the sport know with the shawn resttatt , blumberg and their alliance with the french Molina, Hurth even worse they took over the spot from the russians.
Wait... is that the same David Molina whom you declared, prior to Worlds 2023, was a solid GilPoir judge since he's such good friends with Carol Lane?
 

Former Lurve Goddess

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I totally understand preferring FP/M's FD over A/P's. It's just, content-wise, it wasn't even close in terms of difficulty that A/P, even with a few messy parts, were still so technically ahead that they should have won. FP/M did skate cleanly and with fire, though. B/K were probably slower overall, but L/A's program was so basic in terms of complexity that it's not hard to have more speed with the programs they had.
I was in the audience at 2001 World's. FP/M's FD was super entertaining (as was their OD) but it definitely lacked content. Much as I loved A&P, I only half-liked their 2001 FD, (which would have been better as an all-Beethoven piece rather than Beethoven's Last Night) but it had the difficult content and A&P were by far the most complete team in the competition. The 1999-2002 period of Ice Dance was odd in that required elements had been introduced but there seemed to be no actual rubric for the judges to evaluate those elements. That quad did have a lot of great FDs, including A&P's Carmina Burana.
 
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One thing I would say is Anissina & Peizerat legitimately had problems with the original dance in both the 99-2000 and imparticular the 2000-2001 season. They legitimately were often placed lower than 1st in that round. For instance at the 2001 Europeans, you can see the Eurosport commentators who are a big fan of them and called out on them being robbed often, stating that this performance was pretty weak and they were lucky to be 2nd and not lower: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbDnnyMvnwc This opened the door for them to be beaten, since while at worlds they were much improved from the rest of the season, with their by far most decent original dance of the season, and the most difficult and strongest free dance which pretty undisputably should have won over the Italians simpler free dance, their original dance problems created some negative momentum/perception for them. That plus the big fall in the free dance at Europeans didn't help them any.

It is strange since their original dance was their biggest strength many other seasons, particularly the two Olympic seasons.
 

ellenpuff

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The americans are corrupting the sport know with the shawn resttatt , blumberg and their alliance with the french Molina, Hurth even worse they took over the spot from the russians.

I actually agree. The Americans (and Molina) are playing the game just like the Russians used to, but now they've cleverly packaged themselves as inclusive and forward-thinking and liberal, so no one dares call them out. They are protected by the cloak of woke.
 

Ena Grins

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I actually agree. The Americans (and Molina) are playing the game just like the Russians used to, but now they've cleverly packaged themselves as inclusive and forward-thinking and liberal, so no one dares call them out. They are protected by the cloak of woke.
I feel like people call out politicking for American teams (specifically Chock/Bates right now) a lot?

I wasn't watching a lot of ice dance in this time period but this thread REALLY makes me want to check it out! I love this ridiculous sport.
 

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