Thanks very much again to cuteiceprincess tumblr and to Lady B. And once again, Meryl Davis fans are invited to explain how Lady B has it all wrong.
Finnstep: DW's skating doesn't match their protocols
Okay, here we go. Let's remember that Lynn Rutherford justified VM's Finnstep levels in the Olympics by pointing out that VM had failed to get their levels in the past. That's it then. She's a figure skating "journalist", after all. Like every single mainstream figure skating journalist in existence*, her deal is, "I'm a figure skating journalist, but I'm not a technical specialist" which means "I write about figure skating but don't actually know what I'm talking about when it comes to what went on out there. I trust the judges when they produce results I support, and so should you even if you don't like the results. Should any observer deviate from the agreed upon official narrative (such as the inventor of the Finnstep disagreeing about how the Finnstep was scored), just disparage his credentials." This stuff about you need to be a technical specialist to write about the technical side (which is the damn win and lose side!) is hammered home to us fans, who are nevertheless supposed to invest ourselves in this "sport." Then there are the times a journalist gets worked up about an outcome, but, not having educated him/herself in the twenty years they've spent writing about the damn thing, makes a half-baked hash of it when attempting to challenge dubious results (looking at you, Steve Milton).
It's notable that people like Lynn Rutherford are interested enough in figure skating to work for publications dedicated to it, which means they write, tweet, attend competitions, etc., but they never manage to get interested enough to actually be able to tell what's going on for themselves. They like to tell us it's impossible to tell for yourself unless you're some sort of "specialist." Figure skating journalists have been using that one for years. Those who presumably do know technique, such as P.J. Kwong, don't talk about it when they discuss figure skating with fans and pretend to know nothing about it when a team like Davis White hijacks the Olympics from the rightful winners.
Yet mere fans, who have not spent years writing about skating, or rubbing elbows, are able to read and understand the rulebook, and evaluate a skater(s) performance vis a vis what's in the rulebook. Turns out this sport is observable. Turns out, the rules are comprehensible and applicable to real stuff. We can familiarize ourselves with the rules in whatever language we speak, and then see if the skating and the scores make sense per the rules.
The likes of Rutherford, and those in the comment booth pretend this is impossible to do. Per them, the only way to evaluate the legitimacy of a protocol is to see if the skater has been given similar protocols before. Cuteiceprincess tumblr, along with quite a few other fans (who are, of course, ignored because then the propoganda jig is up) disagrees. You can actually evaluate a protocol's legitimacy by looking at the skating. What a concept.
Here's Lady B:
The next image makes you see two keypoints that are needed to assign the level 4 to the first sequence of finnstep. To Tessa and Scott was awarded Level 3 and a Level 4 for Meryl and Charlie. Let us see for a moment
FIRST KEYPOINT: the woman must do twizzle and a half, and end on a right foot with an “outside back” edge.This edge must be CLEAR. And the foot with which he comes have to be ONE. We see clearly how Tessa comes with only one foot (the left is oriented forward as it should be to give the draw back on the right foot instead is on the outer edge) and a clear outer edge.
Meryl instead not only arrives on TWO FEET but even over a non-defined, completely flat (as is also visible in the gif).
Again, the gif.
This keypoint has been given the right to both Tessa and Meryl.
SECOND KEYPOINT: After another twizzle and half, the woman has to come with a light foot, right, forward, on a CLEARLY outside edge.
Now, let’s see how Meryl and Tessa are clearly arrived with a flat edge and not defined (not by chance that keypoint is the most difficult to reach). The blade is straight and there is a clear tilt in either of both Tessa and Meryl.
NEVERTHELESS, to Tessa is not given the keypoint, while Meryl yes.
Conclusion: Tessa, a keypoint only earned a level 3.
Meryl two keypoints not deserved, level 4.
What’s the story?
How is it that Tessa and Scott are counted at infinitesimal and Meryl and Charlie is not it?
I would like to remind you that the judges have MEGA replay of what happens during the keypoints and the keypoints that are fundamental to assign levels.
This thing happens all too often in the steps sequences, where Meryl and Charlie seem to automatically level 4 even if their blades are miles away, while Tessa and Scott struggling to get a level 3.
In any case, this is another chapter.
As usual, it seems to me that is rewarded the performance and not the difficulty and true technique. All the more reason why the Tessa and Scott shall be made a higher standard and will have to have everything perfect (all executed perfectly) to win, unfortunately.
As it turns out even when Virtue and Moir are not only better than Davis White, but as near to perfect as ice dancers can get, they're simply not allowed to win. We were all sold a bill of goods about the "storyline" of rival ice dance teams. There was no rivalry. VM were cast as foils meant to legitimize Davis White. Davis White are beating Virtue Moir! Ergo Davis White must be terrific! That's it. Virtue Moir spent the past quad propping up Davis White so Davis and White could appropriate what they did on the ice and pretend to best it. Virtue Moir were only fodder.
P.S. - Re-reading this analysis and looking at the screen caps, Meryl missed both key points in this performance, yet Davis and White got L4.
ETA: Figure skating is consciously, aggressively, perpetuating absolute fraud not just on the ice but off the ice. It's connected. Both are tied to the current culture in the support, with a condescension and sanctimony that accompanies all of it. Davis White are so deserving and it's disrespectful to question the outcome in Sochi. And hey, did we mention Virtue and Moir are GREAT people?
*As ever, excepting those figure skating journalists who write on their own web pages, or for skating-centric websites, but who do not influence how figure skating is discussed in mainstream media, on twitter, or in the comment booth.