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I guess Cup of China isn't rich enough to have tara/johnny comment on the nbc coverage.  It was (I think) the same people who comment on the universal network.  Johnny would have had such a great time with the drama.   I would love to know what they think of Hanyu/Yan's free skate and how they were scored.


I think that it was a mistake for their coaches (or whomever) to let the HanYu and Yan let them back on the ice.  They clearly were concussed, and can't necessarily make the best decisions at that time (world cup football and american football examples come to mind).  No medal of any color is worth brain damage.


Thus said, I don't know why Hanyu got the silver, given his free skate and the errors in it.


My understanding is that Julia was upset and left.  She may have been confused but her coaches/her team knew better- and if they didn't, they should be dismissed from their job.  I know that she got fined.


Yay for Dornbush for winning a medal!  Given how mediocre the us men are, I'm glad they are getting on the podium.


Here's my latest conspiracy theory on the us women:  They have no one spectacular coming up, so they have convinced Christina Gao, Ashley Wagner and some other veterans to stay for another year.


But someone PLEASE ban phantom, carmen, romeo and juliet, les miz, and a chunk of other composers/singers for a decade or so.  Let us miss them.

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Wow, I am horrified that they let Yuzuru Hanyu and Han Yan compete after that collison, but especially Hanyu, who as it now turns out, needs a 2-3 week recovery. For shame! You could hear how shocked and upset Tracy Wilson was-- both of them should have been pulled to make sure they were ok.

I am also astounded Yulia ended up with the silver after all the mistakes in her program, but I guess that's the name of the game these days.

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Terry Gannon and Tracy Wilson were the commentators - Johnny was on vacation and therefore Tara skipped too. Terry is apparently out next week - maybe some golf thing or could it be basketball - he did a basketball tourney last year for NBC Sports Network.

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I think that it was a mistake for their coaches (or whomever) to let the HanYu and Yan let them back on the ice.


Coaches have no authority to pull an athlete.  The coach works for the skater, not the other way around. In pro sports, both the coach and the athlete work for the team owner, and therefore the athlete can be benched even if they want to play.  The national federation could have pulled the skater, but they didn't.

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Maybe Tara Lipinski could address the mechanics of the donkey kick; she had a doozy on her triple flips.  Certainly the donkey kicks must have a minus GOE?  I haven't seen many of the performances, but I did catch a few on you tube.

Ah, yes. See, it's one of those things that I simply didn't ntice until now, and now it's all I see--especially with the younger female skaters who tend to skate slower.


Julia Lipnitskaya and Yuzuru Hanyu definitely showed how you can't win a competition in the short program but it can help you to not totally lose. It seems nuts they didn't pull Hanyu from the competition since head injuries and possible concussions are no joke. I know fuck all about sports medicine, but I do that.


Add me to the Richard Dornbush appreciation chorus. His skating is nice to watch--like Jeremy Abbott but with less of the baggage. If he and Jason Brown can do well this season, I'd really like to see them rep. the U.S, at Worlds in March.

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It seems to be a sad state of skating when the silver medalists in the mens' and womens' events both fell multiple times and made numerous mistakes but were more interesting than the majority of other skaters shown on tv.


I'm pretty sure a few years ago there was a competition and the commentators said something along the lines of the first pair to skate clean would win the gold.  I think all the pairs were having problems in their side by side jumps and only one couple managed to complete the jumps with no falls or errors.  I'd be willing to bet if you watch enough skating over the years at some point this has been said in all the disciplines.


Full disclosure on my part - I only watch the pairs and dance couples in skating now.  I used to watch the men and the women but every since the men turned competitions into jumping competitions instead of skating displays, I lost interest in them.  As for the women, well none of them seem to have any charisma or whatever you want to call it to stand out for me.   So from the sounds of things it's a shame the guys who had the collision didn't get pulled for their own health.  Here's hoping they make full recoveries.

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I tried to wade through the ISU rulebook but kept having problems with my eyeballs glazing over when I went looking to see if there was anyone who could force a medical withdrawl. I got as far as it being the responsibility of the skater's federation to guarantee they were healthy and fit enough to participate in the competition, but couldn't puzzle out whether a representative of their federation had to be on hand at Grand Prix meets and could also force a skater out of a Grand Prix against their will over medical concerns once the event had started. General ISU rulebook has a section on required medical personnel on site for sanctioned events, but didn't specify if there was an official who could pull athletes for health/injury concerns. (I think they saved that for the speed skating technical section because it's usually more relevant there than on the figures side.)

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The next stop on the Grand Prix circuit is the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, which will take place this weekend.

The live streaming times on icenetwork are at a bit more reasonable hours this week, although it will cause you to sacrifice some sleep, especially if you are not in the Eastern Time Zone. For those who feel sleep is more important that watching an event live, NBC Sports (not Universal), NBC and the CBC in Canada also will be showing the event.

All times listed below are EASTERN. As always, be sure to check your local TV listings for the times in your area.

Icenetwork Live Streaming

Friday, Nov. 14:

7:00 am - Ladies Short Program
8:55 am - Pairs Short Program

11:00 am - Men’s Short Program
12:55 pm - Short Dance

Saturday, Nov. 15:

6:00 am - Ladies Free Skate
8:10 am - Pairs Free Skate
9:55 am - Men’s Free Skate
12:10 pm - Free Dance

NBC Sports TV

Friday, Nov. 14: 11:00 am - Men and Ladies Short Programs
Saturday, Nov. 15: 11:00 am - Pairs Free Skate and Free Dance


Sunday, Nov. 16: 4:00 pm - Highlights of Men and Ladies Free Skate

CBC (Canada)

Saturday, Nov. 15: 3:00 pm - Grand Prix of Russia short programs
Sunday, Nov. 16: 2:00 pm - Grand Prix of Russia Free Skate

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For Rostelecom (or as NBC calls it "Skate Russia"), I predict that Anna Pogorilaya will take the gold (unless she has a massive meltdown, like Yulia did at CoC).


The rest of the field here in ladies is pretty much 2nd tier, so I hope Mirai steps it up and gets a medal.  She won bronze last year at RC, so I hope she at least is able to achieve that here.  We will also see Angela Wang and Ashley Cain, too.  Ashley was in last place at CoC so let's hope she can move up.  Angela has had a few good outings at some of the Challenger events, so she may do well here if she's on. 


The men's competition is more interesting.  Both Jason Brown and Max Aaron will be competing, so it will be interesting to see where they both land.  Jason has a silver medal from SA and Max a bronze from SC.  Javier Fernandez might take gold here if he keeps it together.  If Jason can get another silver, he could qualify for the final.

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So...IIRC I don't think I've ever seen Tarasova/Morozov skate togther before. Should I be excited or should I modify my expectations?


I just want Mirai, Jason, Javier, Madison and Evan to do well.


I agree that Anna is probably going to win easily. Her dress for Firebird definitely got a little side eye from me but in comparison to Alexandra Proklova's (who is also skating to the firebird) it's actually not too bad. I watched some of the Dresden grand prix and Alexandra had a pretty rough skate. It was also my first time seeing Wakaba Higuchi--and wow, she does not look thirteen to me. Usually I think a lot of skaters look young for their age but Wakaba Higuchi seemed like she was fifteen or so I was surprised to learn that she's so young. Her jumps are certainly there. 




Did anyone see the article in the Washington Post about music in figure skating? It talks about how overused Carmen, PotO, and Rachmaninoff concertos are among other things. I thought for sure they'd mention Romeo and Juliet. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/10/28/can-a-new-rule-change-save-figure-skating/

Edited by Avaleigh
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So I watched the universal coverage of the men's and women's short program.  Yay for Mirai!  Her program is lovely, and I'm glad she in the medal mix.  And surprised and happy that the candian (Alaine?) is in first.  Fingers crossed for Mirai.


I'm not sure how I feel about the commentators- one of them sounds so amp-ed when he talks, I feel like he's talking too much, even though he clearly knows what he is talking about, and doesn't talk so much about "Me! Me! Me!" and "when I was a skater...".


The men...not exactly thrilled, but glad it wasn't a splat/crash fest like cup of china.

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People are all over Rostelecom Cup on YouTube today--yay. Stepanova and Bukin's twizzles in the short dance were very cool in that first set--I don't think I've ever seem them done that low to the ice before. If anyone knows of any other skaters that have done that particular variation, send me some video links! Misha Ge, good lord is he fun to watch--though I do miss the terrible hair coloring from the Olympics. The Canadian skater in first in ladies, Alaine, was nice to watch, as were Ashley Cain and Mirai.  I like Mirai's skating so much and hope she can keep up the momentum. Anna Pogorilaya--I'm not feeling her style yet, I guess? She and many of the other female skates were showcasing some wicked ugiy catch-foot positions in their spins. In her spin at the end of her program, Mirai was able to get her skate blade all the way over her head with little loss of speed, but most of the others doing that same manuver were just...blerg. I thought the rules were tweaked after the Torino games so we'd get less of the skate-to-the-head thing, or am I making that up in my head?

Edited by specialj67
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Every time I watch a lady skate to "Carmen", I can't help but compare her to Sasha Cohen. Her "Carmen" program amazed me.


I know who this is but have never watched her skate, so whenever I hear someone is going to skate to "Carmen" I immediately think of Katarina Witt ... maybe I'm dating myself with this?


I'm watching CBC's coverage of this and have to ask if the commentators are actually in the arena.  I don't think Kurt and Company are on location are they?  I don't think they were on location in China so is this happening once again?

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Hawayek and Baker, the U.S. ice dance team that finished 6th, were the surprise of the day for me. I've never seen them before today, but it didn't take long for me to be impressed. They remind me of Davis and White about 7-8 years ago when they were making the transition from junior to senior competitions.


Also, Coomes and Buckland from G.B. I don't know what they did over the summer, but they seemed like a different pair than they were in Sochi. Their whole free dance was engaging, not just the lifts this time.

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I guess I should be thrilled that Chock/Bates won Rostelcom...and could very well be the next World Champions, but there are a few things about this pair that irritate me.  The height difference is really annoying.  In pairs it doesn't seem to be as noticeable once the skating starts, but in ice dance, where skating close together is crucial, where we can see the lines of the skaters, the ht difference is glaring with C/B.  I love their FD music and choreography, though (lots of little gestures that pull in the audience, lots of truly skating to and with that fabulous Gershwin music). One other thing that bugs me is the floppy hair that's constantly in Chock's face. I've noticed a few others with a similar hair style (did Shae-Lynn start this back in the day?)  It's distracting, and messy looking.


Hah!  Tara and her donkey kick (when her skates would clonk down onto the ice...shades of her roller skating comp days).  Tara's skating didn't smooth out until after a season with SOI.

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From the shallow end of the pool, may I say John Zimmerman is still looking might fine!  Okay now that I have that out of the way I can follow up with a question.


During the pairs LP, did anyone else notice a piece of costume that came off from one of Artur Dmitriev's pairs he coaches - Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV?  I thought someone would have talked about it and I'm sure it's worth a deduction of at least 1.0 but I could be mistaken.  No one on the CBC feed mentioned it and I found it very distracting worrying if the skaters would skate over it and fall. 

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During the pairs LP, did anyone else notice a piece of costume that came off from one of Artur Dmitriev's pairs he coaches - Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV?

Hah! Yes. Peter Carruthers noticed this during the Universal Sports coverage. And yes, they did get dinged a point for "costume failure", according to the detailed judges scoring sheet.

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Quick Questions for those who know more than I:


-Are Mirai's under-roations worse really that bad, or are the judges singling her out a bit?  I feel like other skaters are under-rotating too, but the judges don't seem to be as harsh. 

- I've seen comments about how Rostelcom is a "joke" competition- Why? 

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Watching NBC's coverage of Skate Russia, and even Johnny made a comment about the "old warhorses" of skating music.  Got to see Firebird, Carmen, and Dr. Zhivago all in a half hour.  Is there nothing new under the sun?

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Are Mirai's under-roations worse really that bad, or are the judges singling her out a bit?  I feel like other skaters are under-rotating too, but the judges don't seem to be as harsh.

 I think it's one of those informally understood things where you get a reputation with the judges for certain habits, like habitually under-rotating certain jumps or taking off on the wrong edge, so they are more likely to scrutinize you heavily for that aspect of your skating more than other skaters they are judging. Maybe? That's what I've gleaned from other forum posters over the years who were much more in the know than myself. I think Ashley Wagner has had the same issue over the years, especially at the Olympics, where she lost points because of under-rotated triples. Reputation still counts for a LOT in this sport--once you become known for a certain tic, it's hard to shake it off.

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Johnny was really informative at Rostelecom - he was good at explaining why Anna's messy triples got more points that Mirai's UR clean looking jumps.  The casual and even not so casual skating fan has a hard time understanding the COP rules, so good for him.

BTW, didn't he skate to Dr. Zhavago during his competitive career?  LOL


Tara wasn't quite as useless this time, but I find that she doesn't add too much to the technical analysis.  I'm glad they were kind to Mirai in their comments, despite her UR issue.  Mirai's been getting some flack on her instagram, so she asked that people stop tagging her in their negative comments.   I watched the gala (on Youtube), and she did her SOI "Demons" performance with that amazing pearl spin.  I would love to see her use it in competition, but it must strain her back.


I suppose Terry was off this week (I enjoyed him with Tracy Wilson last week).

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whenever I hear someone is going to skate to "Carmen" I immediately think of Katarina Witt ... maybe I'm dating myself with this?



For me, Carmen = Bestemianova and Bukin from 1985 Worlds (or was it 1986?).   I loved that program so much that I eventually wore out my poor VHS tape after countless viewings. 

Edited by Tartlet
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I do personally feel that the judges are harder on Mirai than they are with Ashley. I feel like Ashley has basically two footed her way through the bulk of her career (kind of like an Oksana Baiul only Ashley is staying in the game a lot longer) but for whatever reason she has this reputation for being a reliable skater. Taking the jumps out of the equation for a moment I think Mirai is the better skater by far. IMO Mirai's spins are so far above Ashley's it's ridiculous. Ashley's combination spin comes across as fairly basic and her layback is average. Mirai has better spins, spirals, the bauers are exquisite, and in general this season I feel like she's found a program that really suits her personality. When it comes to the jumps, I just don't feel like Ashley is far and away better than Mirai. Not to the point where Ashley should be considered to be reliable.

As far as the commentary, I thought they were pretty easy on Anna. There was a point where she actually UR a freaking double axel and they all just ignored it.

Watching NBC's coverage of Skate Russia, and even Johnny made a comment about the "old warhorses" of skating music. Got to see Firebird, Carmen, and Dr. Zhivago all in a half hour. Is there nothing new under the sun?

I'm pretty sure we got Romeo and Juliet too plus Phantom of the Opera.

I thought Johnny would at least acknowledge that he used Doctor Zhivago. (Twice IIRC not to mention other warhorses like The Swan by Saint Saens and Malaguena. ) Tara skated to Samson and Delilah but other than that I can't recall her using any other regulars.

Every time I watch a lady skate to "Carmen", I can't help but compare her to Sasha Cohen. Her "Carmen" program amazed me.

And I miss the spiral...

Am I correct in thinking that Sasha did most (all?) of her own choreography for Carmen? I remember really liking the program too.

I remember Viktor Petrenko skating to Carmen and I've seen the Carmens of 88 but the first time I remember a Carmen performance blowing my mind was from Anjelika Krylova andOleg Ovsyannikov. IIRC I was pissed that they didn't win that year.

Re: overused music--

With the mention of Sasha's Carmen, I think Sasha might well be the reigning queen of the warhorses. Carmen, Rachmaninoff's concerto #2, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Malaguena, Espana Cani, etc.

Edited by Avaleigh
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I haven't listened to Johnny commentate enough to know if he ever references his skating career.  I did catch some of the COR coverage and I didn't notice him make any remarks.  His Zhivago was magnifico amazeballs at Nationals the year he won his first US title.  He had absolutely wiped out the previous year with an embarrassing performance that saw him hit the wall and have to quit.  He came back the next year and won!  Still one of my favorite moments ever in figure skating.  I will always have a soft spot for Johnny, I guess, because I found his skating while he was coached by Priscilla Hill absolutely breath taking.  If only he had mastered the quad...


Unfortunately, my new favorite Jason Brown I feel is doomed to follow in Johnny's footsteps.  I am not seeing any improvement in his jumping.  Spinning, choreo, interpretation, stellar.  Nailing the triple axels consistently, let alone getting the quad, doesn't look like it is going to happen.  Such a shame.  Peggy Fleming once made a remark that Michelle Kwan could take you along on a journey of emotions (and she did for me.)  Jason can have this same quality and I am going to hate to see him with the "also rans."


As to the old warhorse music, sometimes a skater can really bring a new twist or interpret the music so beautifully that I don't mind having heard it 9,000 times before. Michael Weiss had a great Carmen FS.  I don't care at all for Schez but loved D&W's FD.  Shen & Zhao had a great Nutcracker if I am remembering correctly. Julia L's Schindler's LIst was fab. It's all in the execution for me.  I have to say, though, I HATE the vocals in the programs this year!!!!  Very distracting and way too much like exhibition skating.

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I suppose Terry was off this week (I enjoyed him with Tracy Wilson last week).

He was over on Golf Channel hosting a LPGA event.

I like the vocals in theory but in practice, you get that program by the Russian second finisher, that was a non James Brown version, then two or three other worse songs (unless there's another song called "Come Together" I didn't hear it).

Not only did Johnny not comment on Dr Zhivago, he didn't mention Umbrellas of Cherbourg either and he skated to that.

Jason Brown needs his pal Arsenio Hall to find him some better music - he's one of my favorites but those programs are a snooze.

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I will never get over the fact that there is a pairs team named Tarasova/Morozov. And speaking of; why in the world, when you're now allowed to use lyrics, would you skate to that terrible muzak version of "Hello" by Lionel Richie? Why would you skate to "Hello" by Lionel Richie in the first place?

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Jason Brown needs his pal Arsenio Hall to find him some better music - he's one of my favorites but those programs are a snooze.


I liked Jason's program's last season better - it's hard to top Riverdance.  I don't like Juke - it doesn't work for me b/c it's too cutesy. Tristan & Iseult is growing on me though - very dramatic (but perhaps a bit too angsty and those sound effects need to go) and I like the way the emotion builds with the music - I thought he delivered at RC.


At least his choreographer Rohene Ward picks pieces that not everyone uses.  I don't think we'll ever see Jason skating to POTO or Carmen, which is a relief.

Edited by apgold
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Trophee Bompard is the next stop on the Grand Prix circuit. The event is being held in Bordeaux, France, instead of Paris this year.


The time difference between France and the Eastern U.S. makes the live streaming times on icenetwork a little more reasonable, and of course, taped replays will be available on Universal Sports, NBC and the CBC for those who can’t watch the live streaming.


Below are the broadcast times for Trophee Bompard (All times listed are EASTERN). As always, be sure to check your TV listings for the times in your area and any changes.


Icenetwork.com Live Streaming


Friday, November 21:  9:30 am - Pairs Short Program

                              11:00 am - Ladies Short Program

                              12:55 pm - Men’s Short Program

                               2:50 pm - Short Dance


Saturday, November 22:   7:05 am - Ladies Free Skate

                                    9:20 am - Pairs Free Skate

                                   12:30 pm - Free Dance

                                    2:10 pm - Men’s Free Skate


Universal Sports TV


Friday, November 21:   7:00 pm - Men and Ladies Short Programs


Saturday, November 22:  2:00 pm - Pairs Free Skate

                                  3:30 pm - Free Dance




Sunday, November 23:   4:00 pm - Highlights of the Men and Ladies Free Skate




Saturday, November 22:  7:15 am - Ladies Free Skate

                                   9:00 am - Pairs Free Skate

                                  12:45 pm - Free Dance

                                    2:20 pm - Men’s Free Skate

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The first of the Dyson Skating shows will be on TV on Sunday November 23. The Family Skating Tribute will air on ABC at 4:00 – 6:00 pm Eastern Time and 2:00 – 4:00 Pacific Time.  For those on Central and Mountain time, check your TV listings.


This show is on opposite the NBC telecast of the Men and Ladies Free Programs from Trophee Bompard. So for those of you who do not have DVR’s, The Family Skating Tribute will air again on ABC on Sunday, December 7, 4:00 – 6:00 Eastern and 2:00 – 4:00 Pacific.


The description of the show:

This “family-themed” show features a skating of cast of parents, including Ekaterina Gordeeva, Ilia Kulik and more, along with their children, who will be incorporated into at least one of their mom and/or dad’s numbers in the show. Featured guest artist Amy Grant is also a mom, and she will perform a number of songs live during the show.

Edited by Good Queen Jane
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Thank the good lord baby Jesus that Ryan Bradley was doing the singles commentary for Trophee. I couldn't take much more of Peter. After catching up on the Rostelecom, I've noticed how much he needs to do more research. He said Simon Schnapir has a new partner because Marissa didn't want to go on. Guess no one told her that. Or her new partner apparently. Then he said that Narumi Takahashi hadn't developed the leg muscles to control her throw landings. Guess they are giving bronze World medals to skaters with undeveloped legs these days. It couldn't possibly be because her partner didn't give her enough of a throw. Holy Cow, Carruthers. I can see him not being up to par on the singles, but frickin' pairs? Even I know all this gossip and I am far from plugged in. Back to Simon, with his size, I have to say I was surprised they couldn't manage a triple twist. He should be able to chuck that girl halfway across the rink, you would think.


Bradley continues to impress me. He doesn't talk too much, he is basically helpful pointing out jumping errors, he is calm, and while he might be repetitive in his requests for more speed, he is only echoing what I am thinking so that makes me think he is even smarter. He even made cogent comments about his own skating (since he couldn't compete with the spins and artistry, he went all-or-nothing in his skating, fyi). More Ryan, less Peter, PLEASE.


At this point, I know it is a losing battle, but I am currently cheering for ABR--anyone but Russia. I realize the technical skills of the Russian ladies exceed anyone else out there, but the artistry marks are just absurd for a few of them. Heck, artistry marks across the board have been absurd. Have we all finally concluded that the artistry mark is pure BS and that the judges just think it should be about the same as the technical and mark accordingly? Unless of course a favorite skater is having a bad day--then throw 20 extra points at them to make up for the falls. I like Yuzuru, but I cannot conceive how a program with 5 falls can still get 8+ in Skating Skills, Performance/Execution, and Interpretation. Because let's be honest, unless you are interpreting a Zamboni, five falls DO impact the overall presentation. He also was skating like a guy with a concussion (aka slowly) and still managed to get the top PCS of the competition. And Nam Nguyen can barely break a 7 in a few categories, and he didn't hit the ice a single time. And if they aren't going to actually grade it in a meaningful way, why not just double the technical score and be done with it?

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MaKaM, if I could like your post a thousand times I would.

I frankly feel that it makes skating seem like a joke of a sport when a person can do a lacklustre program that includes five falls and still sail away with a silver medal. The fact that something like this generates so little discussion in the world of sports tells me that it's unlikely that any of this is going to be addressed or changed any time soon. It reminds me of how irritated I was over all of the blatant overscoring that was going on in Sochi.

Re: Trophee Eric Bompard- -

I really like Sui and Han's long this season. I like Stolbova and Klimov but I think I need the program to grow on me. Wang and Wang have a lot of potential.

I thought Denis Ten was great. I loved the choreography in the short.

I think I prefer Elena to Anna and Julia right now. I didn't even like Elena's music choice for the short but at the end of the day I feel like she's more interesting to watch than the other two. There's something about Anna's presentation that comes across as dead and emotionless to me. I definitely see emotion in Julia there are just little things that bother me that keep me from seeing her as the full package. I hate her axel take off and know it will never change. She isn't good at holding positions and still rushes through things in that junior-ish way. Plus she seems like she has difficulty in shaking off mistakes so that there's this defeated attitude about her when things don't go particularly well. I'm really looking forward to seeing the ladies event at Russian Nationals because I feel like it can easily go any way.

I know I've been a little down on Ashley lately but I did enjoy her short and think Spartacus is a good choice for her.

Heh, my friend who is a casual viewer of the sport saw Frank with Denis in the kiss and cry and said she thinks that Frank is looking a bit like Alfred Hitchcock these days. Made me lol.

Edited by Avaleigh
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After watching the free skates for the guys and ladies at TEB on TV today, SMH at the dudes. Not as terrible as CoC a couple weeks back, but man. Denis Ten's long program has so many intersting things in it, but it was so frustrating to see him just mentally check out of it like he did--it says a lot about the other competitors, and the splatfest there, that he managed to win a medal. Disappointing to see Dornbush and Machida struggle with their long programs because their skating, especially Dornbush's skating skills, are wonderful to watch. Maxim Kovtun isn't my cup of tea, I guess. Johnny and Tara were showering him with all kinds of love in the commentary, and while there's no denying his ability to land a jump and keep it together for 4:40, his programs as a whole simply aren't to my taste. I really liked the other Russian guy, Pitkeev, at first, because his program was kinda weird and his style so different from Kovtun, but he fell off hard about half way through and his axel technique is really disctacting.


I find it very boring whenever any country dominates any of the disciplines, so the fact that there's going to be 4 Russian skaters in the ladies' GPF leaves me less than enthused. None of them are faves to watch, right now anyways, but I think of the top ones, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is the one with the most interesting programs and skating style. I'm just not feeling/buying what the other Russian ladies are selling right now. I also find it boring when the ladies' competition is dominated with very young skaters, such as we usually get the season following an Olympics, because the overall level of sophistication of the programs and choreography takes a bit of a hit.

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I do find quite glaring the difference between these really young skaters and the more mature ones, unfortunately there is a glut of them in the system now and they are racking up the points, they seem to have no fear.   I thought Dornbush did a good job considering he took food poisoning on the flight over there, he was so pale and drawn looking, I wanted to give him so herbal tea or something.


That's not to say I don't enjoy watching the improvements of the younger ones, it is interesting to watch them grow, however, I don't find any who really stand out, it's like watching reruns, can't explain it I guess.

Edited by wintrygal
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The Russian ladies don't do anything for me. It all comes across as very juniorish and a lot of arm flailing. I dont understand their costumes and they're always way overdone with beads and sparkles. And for the love of baby Jesus, can they stop with over the boot tights? I hope puberty knocks a couple of them out.

I really tried to like Ashley this weekend, but I have to disagree with Tara, Ashley bores me. Maybe it's the overdone hair. But I don't see any improvement over last year and I don't see her making a world podium. I kind of hope she's shut out of the GPF.

Really liking Gilles and Poirier. I hope they do well at Worlds this year.

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Ashley is way too blonde, and "Moulin Rouge" seems junior to me (especially after "Spartacus"). I do think Arutunian is a good choice for her (and I can't help wondering what would her career be like now if he had been her coach from the start). But Johnny Weir made an interesting point that Adam Rippon might do better if he were Arutunian's only skater. 


Julia looked depressed. She and Tuktamysheva are my favorites of the Russians; I'm not feeling the Radionova love. 


Denis Ten and Hanyu both look like petulant kids. I was surprised when Tara said that Frank Carroll (who does look like a crochety old codger these days) indulges Ten.

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I really like Ashley Wagner as a person, and I think it was very bold for her to go for a triple-triple at the end (despite the underrotation call), especially considering she wasn't feeling well. That said, I don't really "get" her skating, and her Moulin Rouge LP looks like an exhibition program. I think that she has been gifted with high PCs this season-all I see are exagerated facial expressions and no transitions (that is not to say that others have not been gifted, especially those who have stumbled through their programs and walked away with silver medals, as mentioned upthread. I'm talking more in the context of Ashley as compared to the American field). I have a feeling that the world team for US ladies is going to be the exact same as last year, with one of the three being gifted a top three finish at nationals via padded marks.

What was with Tara saying that Ashley said her story was hers to tell (for Moulin Rouge), and then a minute later saying "Well I left you with a clifthanger, do you want to hear the story?"

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A few thoughts.  First of all, though I loved Tara and Johnny at the Olympics and still like their commentary, I think the clothes/fashion thing feels a bit overdone at these small events.  It is so awkward how in the beginning they have those 2 and the 3rd commentator (his name escapes me because he is just covering for a short while) stand up in front on of the camera in what seems to be only to see what T and J are wearing.  And then when you see Johnny in one of his "creative" get ups, it just seems a bit unnecessary now.  It is like it worked at the Olympics to me because it was kind of a fun thing, but now it seems too silly and takes away from the actual sport they are commentating (for me).


Ashley--I used to really like her as well, but she bores me now too.  I just think she is missing something that will keep her from being a true contender.  I just feel like she has been in it for a long time, and she had a promising last year, and then it just kind of went downhill from there.  


As for the Russians, I agree it feels like too many, but this seems to always happen...in the past it was a ton of Japanese skaters, and now the new trend is young and motivated Russian teenagers :-)  I will say that they are more interesting to me than Ashley or any of the US skaters right now because what they lack in polish they make up for with their attack.

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I like Ashley.  I can't stand the music in her long program, but she seems to love it.   Thus far, it seems like she is the only USA woman who, thus far, has made it to the podium twice so far- I hope she makes it to the grand prix final.   I fear for Gracie next week, and wonder if Polina, Mirai (who I love) can improve.


I hope that Ashley can do well at Nationals- she is in the twilight of her career, I think, and I'd rather she go out on top.


It is looking more and more that the grand prix final will have a russian podium sweep.  I am glad that the russian field is so deep, but I don't like it when one team or player continually dominates the sport.  

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Call me crazy, I still like Ashley (but can’t stand her hair color) and root for her to do well- she is a fighter even if she might be past her prime   If Gracie falters at NHK, Ashley will most likely make the GPF.  I doubt any American has a chance at medaling at the final though. 


With 4 Russians in the GPF already, I think Elena will win, with Liza T silver and Yulia with the bronze (or possibly Anna with the bronze if Yulia has a meltdown).


I have a feeling that Satoko will win NHK, being on home ice and she’s been very consistent this season despite her tiny UR jumps.


I was happy that Adam Rippon skated well (for him).  He was third in the FS so I think he somewhat redeemed himself for the “hot mess” he was at SC.  He might have a couple of seasons left in him, but I think he can do well as a choreographer.   He probably shouldn’t work with Ashley though since they had issues working together, despite being BFFs.

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I recorded the Grand Prix event and watched the exhibition on ABC, which had the theme of "kids skating with their parents." It was kinda boring, but one thing I noticed is the difference in elements from the older skaters and the newer ones. I'm just a "watch skating on TV but never have been to a live competition" fan, but from my perspective the older skaters are more graceful, have better spins and spirals (spirals!), and are just more fun to watch, even if they only do doubles.  It seems in the Grand Prix competitions the skaters spend so much time just going from one jump to another, pumping their arms to build up speed.

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The older skaters are more graceful because they had to compete in the days of figures (or they certainly had to study figures if the competition side had already been phased out) and they were forced to learn how to use their edges.  Nowadays the race is on to get those triple jumps (or quads) and who cares if grace is a part of the equation?

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