Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Didn't you have a reality show?

Inserting this here: Beverly Smith breaks it down

This is interesting, although she fawns over Cizeron, who, IMO, is as fake a skater as ever faked (stroke stroke SQUAT. Stroke Stroke GET LOW. Stroke Stroke - TWIZZLE, then do something other than change direction or use your blades to arrest momentum. If he can change direction using his blades without some external support or non-skating assist, I haven't seen it). She doesn't address that not only do P/C's extensions not match, their angles don't match. She sees them as limited, though, and Virtue and Moir as superior, and seems to find P/C inferior mostly due to Papadakis not matching Cizeron.

BUT, then she goes deeper, and reports where the judges placed the rest of the field. It's a tire fire. One judge places a team third, the other places them ninth. It is like this all over the field, not just with placements, but GOE. Are judges even trained anymore, or is it out in the open that the skating is irrelevant when it's all about deal making? It seems to me that the belief the judges get together and review anyone who scores far outside the rest of the panel is myth. Everybody is doing what they want outside the podium, there is no standard, there's nothing.

Uh huh.
One of the most characteristic facets of Scott and Tessa's endless are they or aren't they games with the media is how they just whisk their own elaborate webs of bullshit straight to the curb whenever they feel like it. It's so rude. They spend all this effort ordering fans to buy into their latest re-written crap version of their history or relationship; while fans work overtime letting them know: "Yes, we believe you. That's such a great story." Virtue and Moir address "fan suspicions" that they're together, when these suspicions are, objectively, invisible outside one solitary, insane corner of a google blogspot, and most fans tsk tsk and decry the few crazy fans that make the rest of them look bad.

Why are they taking a niche blog run by a crazy person as representative of the fan base? If I were a regular fan on the forums, I'd be insulted. I actually believe Virtue Moir/their media buddies would pretend fans doubt them even if this blog weren't around, but it sure is convenient for everyone that it is.

Did I imagine they did a 2014 reality show that Scott insisted was a documentary,? Why is he sitting there at a press conference acting like he and Tessa have kept their personal lives in a vault this whole time.

Where is the media getting the idea that fans think they're together when all fans deny they're together, and why is Scott saying he and Tessa might be able to open up their private lives if they retire, when we all saw him having his post-coital coffee at Cassandra's house, and when he told the world he was bringing two condoms to Sochi?

I think they're getting it from Scott and Tessa, who, despite their denials, obviously want fans to think they're together. They can climb down from the cross about it any time now.

Finally, please please please Scott and Tessa, RETIRE. Just for me. I don't care if you "open it up a little bit" or not. I don't care if you remain official platonic best friends for the rest of your lives. I just can't handle 2022 when it's gonna be Papadakis & Cizeron's "turn" to win gold even when you blow them out of the arena. Alternatively, I can't handle watching Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro (13th place ice dance finishers in Pyeongchang) crowned world champions in 2019 after a year in Gadbois unearths the world's most superior skating skills that were heretofore invisible to the judges until Marie-France discovered how to package them. This is the first time in nearly a year I can visit my own blog w/out getting agita. Yet even though they won, I still get nauseous watching that brilliant Olympic free skate come in second to Papadakis Cizeron's load of crap - in fucking TES. I love that they won gold but the feeling is relief. It would be more joyous if the scoring weren't as sour grapes as it gets.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

She's enjoying herself. She's loving every second out there. I never even knew Madison Chock liked to figure skate. Who could tell?

What a shame that of all their programs, this one that is actually semi-warm blooded literally crashed at the Olympics.

I've always hated both Chock and Bates' skating and their aggressively frozen performance mode. Enough with the face skating. However, Madison's face after her and Evans' fall had a quality to it that was more than sorrow - there was a naturalness to it I hadn't seen in her since her previous partnership. So I went to watch a clean version of "Imagine". Cup of China.

It *is* their best program since they teamed up, a direction they should have taken ages ago, instead of the S&M-y, dominatrix-y, we're-so-humorlessly-sexy stuff it seems they did over and over. That hard as nails shit made such an impression it feels as if that's all they ever did, although that can't be true.

Madison spends more time off her feet than I think should be permitted in ice dance, but it's the most fluid skating, and the most actual skating - well, at least the most fluid movement -  they've done in forever. And what a relief not to watch Evan try to be hot.

What strikes me most is how into it she is, how much apparent joy she is taking in simply moving to that music. Every part of her body is animated to the very end of her extension with a natural flowing, confident energy. Apparently the real her was locked inside Drama Chock all this time. Why didn't they break out of it until now? Most teams make some type of contribution, have an input into their programs. I am guessing they knew they were more of a manufactured Davis White type of deal versus exceptional talents, so they went hard - so to speak - into packaging, just as Davis White did.

Noticed this also:

This is familiar. Not as high scoring as
the L4, dumbed down, four-handed
clutch job we see from the French however.

I never thought I'd ever use Chock Bates as the positive example in a comparison.

Side thoughts: if VM's return put any kind of glitch into the Kaitlyn Weaver/Tessa Virtue bff-ness, it certainly turned out to be irrelevant.

Have I missed where Papadakis and Cizeron praise VM's skating, their skills, their musicality? Or is it mostly lip service to their resume and competitive drive? I'm just curious if we've got another one way street situation where Virtue Moir prop up their inferior competition, loading them up with praise, while the competition is like, "They're very nice people. Tessa is so stylish."

Monday, February 19, 2018

Thank God


I enjoyed Scott Hamilton, Leslie Jones,
and Adam Rippon commentary on the heat in the
VM SD. "Are they dating?! Cause you have to
have kissed at least once to do that!'
Hamilton. "I don't knooooooooow."
He knows.

The score for the French was obscene.

The French were indifferent in the free, and worse in the short. Scott and Tessa had to spike the ball, and I think the crowd helped.

Thank fucking God. Two gold medals, one short of what they deserve. A fake epic battle. Well, a fake epic SKATING battle. A battle where they had zero room for error (despite Madison Hubbell's bullshit) and the French just had to stay standing to get scores a razor's margin from perfect. Virtue Moir cleared the hurdle. I can't even express how important it is, how huge it is, in my heart, and for me, for them to have two golds. I mean, obviously, every VM fan and true skating fan out there feels the same.  They should have more, but I'll take it. 20 and 22, gold medal. 28 and 30, gold medal. That'll do it. Should be three.

I can't quite believe it, but they're clutch. At least this time it was possible for them to win, no matter how absurd the standard. A tiny difference between 2018 and 2014, in view of the revolting double standards, but at least the possibility existed, where there was no possibility in 2014. VM, if you are beyond the beyond, we will give you the opportunity to defeat a French team with indifferent skating skills, a French team with careless bodies that are indifferent to what's happening at blade level, even though we'll call that talent.

Congrats too to the Shibs. I had extra incentive to root for them after reading about Madison Hubbell's verbal antics (also didn't want Gadbois to sweep).

My twitter timeline is trending with both Virtue Moir and ShibSibs. I don't do a lot of searching or hashtag following for either, so I'll take it as genuine. I don't see Papadakis Cizeron there at all. Every four years, the civilians can tell who deserves it.

PS  - good for VM for going back to the old lift. Bullshit is bullshit, and I'm glad they thumbed their nose at the pandering.

Still absolutely insane that P/C had such a mess of an Olympics and still won the free. This sport needs to be booted out of the Olympics - it's not a sport.

I must say, the faces on Papadakis Cizeron got on my nerves. Dudes, you don't deserve to be anywhere near the medal ceremony. At least I always thought Davis White understood that. Sure, they wanked it that "hard work", all the effort friends, family, country, blah blah blah put into things worked to kind of make them justify it, but I always got the idea that Charlie, at least, understood it was not about who skated the best. So P/C - suck it up. VM are leagues better than you are. Have a little shame.

Finally, it's nice to see Tessa's face. Part of me wonders if her face and eyes during Sochi isn't why they were here. She's as well bred as they come, but she knew they were fucked over in Sochi, and maybe it's harder for her to swallow than Scott. Scott was probably not feeling the greatest in Sochi either, but during the medal ceremony and elsewhere he was dialed in to the expression in her eyes and seemingly distracting her to the utmost. Here, I didn't get the "OMG, we won the Olympics!" vibe we saw in Vancouver. It was much more subdued. I often think winning is like that - real winning, when you deserve to win, or are a megaton better than your rivals. It's what's supposed to happen. It feels natural. Things are right. No need to punch out walls or jump through the rafters. The real problem is when you deserve to win, and don't. It rankles. I feel Tessa has always felt it. If she fucked up, she'd be the first to think she didn't deserve it, even if someone else's skate was inferior in the fundamentals. However, she's not an idiot, and she knows if she and Scott skate their best, they're better than everyone else and should win. So since 2014 she hasn't felt right. Now she feels right.

So do I.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Epic Crap from PJ Kwong


PCs fucked up twizzles

Gif of P/C's truly hot mess twizzles. This is not glitchy, not need a discerning eye, this is fucked up the element. +3s.

I have a pit in my stomach, and not that "secretly know it will all come right in the end but don't want to jinx it" kind.

Read this this morning from PJ Kwong



Mother of God.

So far:

This was very nice.

Sui Han and Tarasova Morasov were more than capable of blowing their long programs. The miracle is Savchenko/Massot skating clean and racking up enough points to catch up.  Fourth to gold doesn't happen often. Savchenko seems to me to be a better "pure" skater now than she was before. She has more speed, more run of blade on her throw landings.  More true difficulty in the lifts, more flow in and out, even if the final lift was glacial. And, putting in a word for Bruno Massot - he's about as stiff in the torso as many other male pairs skaters, but he's more than the warm body escorting her through these Olympics. He does not pop up when he throws her, for one. While not quite sustaining a Grinkov-esque glide, he is a very strong skater and pairs man.

And of course have to put in a word for Meghan Duhamel who has really shown her maturity, decency and humanity in a big way.

This guy:

Did not want to win Olympic gold. He didn't choke
For two Olympic cycles he has been an epic
instance of willful, maybe even conscious, self-sabotage.

Monday, February 12, 2018

So this time around VM's presumptive biggest rivals weren't in the team competition, so we're left to understand Virtue and Moir are a bit lacking in the tech department, since they're getting docked for imaginary missed key points and nonexistent edge imprecision. That will really be the ultimate planned humiliation - to pretend Gabriella Doesn't-Even Bother-To-Care-About-Steps-And-Footwork Papadakis is more precise on pattern dances, chocktaws and footwork than Tessa Virtue. We know it's coming.

The team win and Virtue and Moir's placement is pointless absent the French, since we can't see if the tech controller scrupulousness over invented edge placement issues in VM will be extended to scrupulousness over the standard slop presented by the French, or if we're going to see ceiling shattering "That's how it's done!" scoring in TES. It would figure, though. Davis White were defeating Virtue & Moir in pcs while the public relations were telling us Virtue and Moir were struggling technically. If Papadakis & Cizeron win, the media relations will say their ineffable, undefinable, ethereal floaty magic carried the day, while a scan of the protocols will reveal that the judges decided one of the sloppiest teams ever to stand on a podium were technically more precise than the greatest technical skaters to ever step onto a rink.

I wonder if we'll ever get instant replay on a key point or choctaw transition. Nobody's gotten around to it - wonder why.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I was white knuckling it through the start of the team event in figure skating, not having seen that Papadakis & Cizeron decided to give it a miss. So we don't know if the tech caller who decided Virtue and Moir's pattern was L2 would have rated P/C's unmatched, shallow edges, broken lines and sloppy transitions a 3 - or 4. Why not just go for broke.

It's very difficult to read the tea leaves when VM's nearest competitors are ice dance's other punching bags, the Shibutanis.

P.S. re skating forums - describing a tech caller as "strict" or "brutal" suggests exacting standards, no benefit of the doubt. I think many fans don't understand that there actually needs to be something to be exact about for the "strictness" to be justified. Without that, "strict" isn't the word for what's happening.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

There are usually about six subjects* I avoid on social media or the news, and figure skating has started to become one of them:

A recurring gif on my twitter timeline.
Applies to so much stuff.
Last month I was on a political blog, squinting and skimming so as to avoid certain key words, when one participant mentioned he was taking a break by watching figure skating. I knew this meant the Grand Prix Final, and as mentioned in last month's post, I knew it would turn out the way it did for VM, and didn't watch. It's not that VM had a rougher skate than usual, although, along with the Shibs, more is expected of them just to stay in contention for the podium than is expected of Papadakis Cizeron, who are only subject to the "don't fall down" requirement. Hell, more is expected of juniors.

It's the Papadakis Cizeron scoring I can't tolerate. The widespread promotion of all things gaslighting has taken its toll, and Papadakis Cizeron are the proverbial bridge too far for me this year. It's only skating. Who needs it.

I didn't even enjoy Virtue and Moir's new ending in their Nationals free dance:

Well, not as much. They're splitting the difference. She's kind
of playing dead with her character up there, but if you
want to overlook it, you can. Then she gets out of it and
they emerge from the program as themselves. Oh my God,
what an improvement. That quiet, nuanced ending
they had before - that sort of thing has no place in ice dance. 
And I was not expecting this:

Iliushechnika and Moscovitch. How it Ended.

I guess an entire glass door fell on Dylan? It didn't miss
any part of his important pairs equipment.
His hands. His back. His knees.
MTM V.2 go to the Olympics.
Whatever happened to schadendfreude?
What is this era called? The neverending winning streak of things that suck? I don't even have anything against MTM V.2. That's too small a thing to matter.