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Thread: 2019-20 U.S. Pairs Figure Skating

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by readernick View Post
    Definitely too high of score, probably 8 points to high between the short and the long. Deserved win though.. I like their performance quality. They need to continue working on the quality of the pairs elements. Throws and twists need more height.
    I definitely agree with the higher PCS but GOEs were definitely generous but it was to be expected.

    C/L needs to capitalize on this win because judges are eager to push an American pair to the top. Knierims were getting the US pair no.1 treatment for the past couple of years but I think it is wise to give the push to other pairs now.

    Lets hope C/L thrive and capitalize this treatment

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by readernick View Post
    Throws and twists need more height.
    I'm not sure about that. If you slow their throw jumps down to .25 video speed, and pause it at the top of the jump, Ashley's feet are almost always at the level of Tim's waist. If you slow other pairs' throws using the same method, theirs compare very well, and are higher than some pairs with a reputation for good pairs elements. Also, if you watch videos from the pairs programs at 2019 Worlds, you can see that graphic showing the length, height and curve of the throws. Again, Ashley and Tim's throws compare very well. I mean, of course you may not care to go to all that trouble. but it's interesting.

    In fact, I sometimes wonder if they should go for less height so she doesn't come down so hard. However, I have a feeling Ashley, Tim and their coaches want to keep the height and work to make the landings gentler ... and I feel sure they know what they're doing better than we back-seat drivers do. They may already be doing them consistently in practice with the height and the gentler landings. Skaters often have to do things imperfectly in competition for a long time. Of course that's part of why the couples who have been skating together longer have inherent advantages. Knierims are a good example; they've been working on landing their jumps for years, and they're not giving up on them. They're not going back to the double axels that they used to do in their FSs. Ashley and Tim have only skated together for 3 years. Another good example: James/Cipres. It's very interesting to go back and view their programs from 2012 to 2015. Vanessa even credits being together for 8 years for last year's success. To me, what's so exquisite about Vanessa and Morgan is how they move together, the result of all those years of refining everything they do.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylark View Post
    In fact, I sometimes wonder if they should go for less height so she doesn't come down so hard. However, I have a feeling Ashley, Tim and their coaches want to keep the height and work to make the landings gentler ... and I feel sure they know what they're doing better than we back-seat drivers do. They may already be doing them consistently in practice with the height and the gentler landings. Skaters often have to do things imperfectly in competition for a long time. Of course that's part of why the couples who have been skating together longer have inherent advantages. Knierims are a good example; they've been working on landing their jumps for years, and they're not giving up on them. They're not going back to the double axels that they used to do in their FSs. Ashley and Tim have only skated together for 3 years. Another good example: James/Cipres. It's very interesting to go back and view their programs from 2012 to 2015. Vanessa even credits being together for 8 years for last year's success. To me, what's so exquisite about Vanessa and Morgan is how they move together, the result of all those years of refining everything they do.
    I think the bigger problem with their throws isn't height, it's that they mostly don't have a lot of flow and speed out, which makes the throw look much less impressive compared to some of the Chinese and Russian pairs where the girls just ride out that edge and it looks gorgeous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowWhite View Post
    I think the bigger problem with their throws isn't height, it's that they mostly don't have a lot of flow and speed out, which makes the throw look much less impressive compared to some of the Chinese and Russian pairs where the girls just ride out that edge and it looks gorgeous.
    Yes, I love that ride out edge! I''ve noticed it also with Kirsten Moore-'Towers, and, in US pairs, Haven Denney, just beautiful. It's funny, but I've never missed it with C-G/L. I suppose I pay more attention to the qualities that I like.

  5. #65
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    Ashley and Tim’s work ethic is so impressive to me. They have improved so much in 3 years. I’m excited to see their programs develop. I think their connection is also very genuine.

  6. #66
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    Cain and Leduc might now be usa no 1 for sure and if they get the push and teams liek t and m continue to falter a world medal may be possible. The Knerims better get their act together- quad twist and singles jumps. Remember in 1984 and 1988 USA was on the oly podium It maybe US's moment in 2022???

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    Cain and Leduc might now be usa no 1 for sure and if they get the push and teams liek t and m continue to falter a world medal may be possible. The Knerims better get their act together- quad twist and singles jumps. Remember in 1984 and 1988 USA was on the oly podium It maybe US's moment in 2022???
    Maybe, I like them. However, in terms of pair elements the Knerims are still far better. Their lifts, twist, and throws are close to Russian and Chinese quality. Now, C/L definitely have the Knerims beat on the side by side jumps. The US has two spots at worlds. I think C/L and the Knerims are the two teams most likely to get those spots but we will have to see how this year progresses.

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    Alexa and Chris Knierim are in a close second place after the SP at Nebelhorn! I've already re-watched their skate a couple of times, and I like it better now. I think I can see what their intention is better after a couple of "takes." It's almost soft-shoe, it's gentle, it's dancey. I think I see Jenni's influence with it. I felt it lacked something Ashley and Tim's SP has: fire and intensity. Those qualities win me over every time. But Alexa and Chris are going for something different, and I can see it. Chris's 3T is horrendous, and it kind of puts a damper on the program for me. But Raf's technique changes take time; we'll have to see what evolves. And Alexa and Chris have one of the most gorgeous twists iin the world; also, their lift here is spectacular. The sheer beauty of their skating adds to the impact.

    SP scores:
    71.76 Moore-towers/Marinaro
    70.83 Scimeca Knierim/Knierim
    67.90 Hase/Seegert
    66.91 Ryom/Kim
    66.29 Tang/Yang
    61.23 Denney/Frazier

    .... and five more. I thought it'd be worse for D/F. Their jump was just a disaster. Beautiful twist and lift, though! Nebelhorn pairs FS is today at 1:30 EDT. Good skating to all!

  9. #69
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    Update after the Nebelhorn FS:

    Great news for Denney and Frazier! Although they did come in 6th overall, they raised their performance and came in 3rd in the FS. And had a few personal triumphs along the way. Haven rotated her double axel! but that's only one among several small victories. I love Charlie White's choreography for this program, although I missed the big emotional build-up in the music at the end. I think they can work with it though.

    And congratulations to Alexa and Chris, who won the silver. They're making progress ... and you could tell from their reaction, esp Alexa's, that's the important thing. And yes, they badly wanted that medal too!

  10. #70
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    New Moves and Fun Facts about some of our Pairs, in the wake of US International Classic and Nebelhorn outings:

    Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc. 1. They now have a Reverse Lasso Lift! which is gorgeous - in the FS. 2. They jumped their 3S-2T-2Lo on the accents of the music. Very cool. 3. I like pretty much everyone's Pairs Combination Spins, but Ashley and Tim's is now officially my favorite, it makes such good use of their height and stretch, and I like the crossed arms moment. 4. So far this year, I like their use of (the somewhat overused) "Experience" best. I think it's helped by being combined with the soundtrack of "Moonlight," which gives their program a more dynamic feel and adds drama. 4. A/T skate big and sweeping; they own the ice and the arena.

    Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea. 1. I love the move at the end of their SP. I've noticed the same move at the end of their Pairs Spin for a while, where Danny swoops Tarah upside down. It looks very cool, and there's always sort of a surprising feel to it. Now they've put it, or something very like it, at the end of the SP, and it highlights something quirky and fun about their partnership. 2. They seem to have bequeathed their upside-down transition before a throw3Sal to Kirsten and Michael M.! Just kidding ... but MT/M have it in their SP, and this is the first time in several years K/O didn't have it in their FS. There's a different transition into throw3S that's very attractive too. 3. The 1st section of Les Mis music has a lot of great musical accents, which Tarah and Danny are catching beautifully.

    Audrey Lu/Misha Mitrofanov. 1. Fun Fact: they're the first US pair to have a 3Sal-Euler-3Sal in their program. (I read they first landed it at 2018 Jr. Worlds.) Further Fun Fact: That combination has a base value of a whopping 9.10 points! 2. In the FS, they have a lovely transition (new, I think) out of their Pairs Combo Spin, where he lifts her twice in a falling-leaf position (not high) while skating in a circle. 3. In their FS, they were behind the music and ended their DS an entire revolution too early. Then they got a time violation deduction anyway! So there's potential for a few more points when they have that ironed out. 4. I'm looking forward to Audrey matching Misha's facial expressiveness, and I think I see some progress this year.

    Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson. 1. Their mistakes at IC were very uncharacteristic. She doesn't miss jumps that often. I'm sure this will improve over the season, but ... 2. Watching it again today, I feel their whole FS shows a new symmetry in their artistry together. Last year I noticed her artistry; this year his is showing signs of becoming more intertwined and interactive with hers. Lovely! 3. They make good use of musical accents in their FS. 4. I love Jessica's pink dress for the FS! 4. Great ending in their SP.

    Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier. 1. I said above, but it's well worth repeating: Haven landed a double axel! (in combined with euler and 2S). I feel like it's been such a nemesis for her since her calamitous knee (or ankle?) injury that it's worth repeating and celebrating! 2. I'm so glad Charlie White works with them as choreographer, but ... 3. I miss the emotional build-up at the end of their previous Lion King program. The music does swell here, some, but I feel like it's not enough, not as much of a goosebumps moment. Also, I feel the series of lifting, etc. at the end doesn't highlight their actual pairs elements and beautiful smooth skating as much as I'd like. 4. Their Reverse Lasso Lift has no equal; it's just stunning, and it's made more heavenly by Haven's face, which looks like she's flying and loving it. So I'd like seeing it nearer the end too.

    Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim. 1. The big news is that Chris didn't fall on the FS jumps; and I feel like that's an emotional hurdle that bodes well for the future. Alexa and Chris are so closely bound that it's probably an emotional hurdle for her as well ... she smiled at him so happily and lovingly afterward. 2. Alexa did one of those beautiful ride-outs from a throw jump in their FS. I think it's such a great feature partly because it's beautiful but also because it shows such confidence and sure-footedness. Very effective indeed. It's not a new feature, but it's great. 3. Lifts were exquisite, full stop. And a p.s. Someone noted years ago that Dalilah's work in acrobatics helps her teach such great technique for the 3twist. And double p.s. It looks like Jr. Pair Kate Finster/ Balasz Nagl have a great twist too!

    Any thoughts, additions, reflections?

  11. #71
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    It is going to be a battle between the Knerims and Cain and Leduc. I was a bit surprised the Canadians held off the Americans but I give them full credit.

  12. #72
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    The vibe I got from the Canadians was that they were also perhaps a bit nervous about holding off the Knierims. I give them full credit for what they did ... I can see much improvement in M-T/M since they paired together 5 years ago, steady along the way. They're like Cain and Leduc that way ... who've only been paired for 3 years.

    I agree with you that it's a battle between C-G/L and K/K, although Denney/Frazier and Kayne/O'Shea are right up there fighting for it. I think Ashley and Tim have the edge in belief in themselves at this moment in time, and since skating is a mental game, it could be important. That belief is something I love and admire about them, because they've built it from the ground up, with attention to it, and love.

    C/L and K/K are such an interesting contrast, not just in styles. When Alexa/Chris teamed up 7 years ago, you could see immediately that they had qualities that could make them great. One thing I respond to is that their skating together seems magical and effortless, though of course it's not. In many ways the two teams are opposites. That's great for fans .... they give us completely different experiences when we watch them.

  13. #73
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    This fanzone article about Calalang and Johnson is a couple weeks old, but it does talk about SA, and it presents a fun dynamic to C/J relationship.

    Other parts of the article feature Alexei Krasnozhon and Amber Glenn.


    https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/n...e-america.aspx

  14. #74
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    Olivia Serafini and Mervin Tran are 4th after the SP at Finlandia.

    I'm very impressed with their improvement since nationals. Further, I've never seen so much passion and intensity from Mervin, with any of his previous partners. I think this is a very promising team for the future.

    Good skating Olivia and Mervin.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by readernick View Post
    Maybe, I like them. However, in terms of pair elements the Knerims are still far better. Their lifts, twist, and throws are close to Russian and Chinese quality. Now, C/L definitely have the Knerims beat on the side by side jumps. The US has two spots at worlds. I think C/L and the Knerims are the two teams most likely to get those spots but we will have to see how this year progresses.
    But you know ... side by side jumps ARE pairs elements; side by side spins are pairs elements, step sequences are pairs elements.

    All of those elements done in pairs programs are quite different things than when they're done as an individual skater. Both partners have to adjust their rhythm to each other, be sure they're in sync with the music and with each other, jump or spin in close proximity to the other, make their step sequences a choreographically harmonious endeavor. I've heard a number of singles skaters say they really don't know how pairs skaters do it, particularly the sbs jumps.

    These things make sense when you think about what a challenge the sbs jumps are for so many pairs skaters. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of heart to synchronize what they all originally learned to do individually.

  16. #76
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    Does anyone know what's going on with the pair that won the junior title last year? I really loved their Alicia Keys short and was wondering why they haven't been sent out anywhere.

  17. #77
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    Do you mean Laiken Lockley & Keenan Prochnow? Sorry for the delay in answering. I looked them up when you asked, but I haven't heard anything about them this year. I'm glad you mentioned them, because I remember that I really enjoyed their skating last year. The only thing I've found out about them this year is from the Programs thread. Which is below.

    SP: "Seven Nation Army" by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
    FS: "I Can't Go On Without You” by KALEO

    I don't know why we haven't seen them anywhere, unless they became Seniors and chose not to do any Challengers, at least not yet. But I'm not good at finding out this stuff. Maybe someone else has some information?

  18. #78
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    Laiken had an injury over the summer -- she was on crutches and in a boot.

    She now is back on the ice , but I think Keenan and she unfortunately lost a significant amount of training time.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylark View Post
    But you know ... side by side jumps ARE pairs elements; side by side spins are pairs elements, step sequences are pairs elements.

    All of those elements done in pairs programs are quite different things than when they're done as an individual skater. Both partners have to adjust their rhythm to each other, be sure they're in sync with the music and with each other, jump or spin in close proximity to the other, make their step sequences a choreographically harmonious endeavor. I've heard a number of singles skaters say they really don't know how pairs skaters do it, particularly the sbs jumps.

    These things make sense when you think about what a challenge the sbs jumps are for so many pairs skaters. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of heart to synchronize what they all originally learned to do individually.
    Definitely true in regard to pairs jumps. They are extremely hard. It is admirable if any team manages to land them consistently. However, I don't think the side by side jumps are the most important pair elements in terms of international results. Two of the top pairs in the world T/M and Sui/ Han inconsistent side by side jumps. Lifts, twists, throws are far more important point wise in pairs.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by readernick View Post
    Definitely true in regard to pairs jumps. They are extremely hard. It is admirable if any team manages to land them consistently. However, I don't think the side by side jumps are the most important pair elements in terms of international results. Two of the top pairs in the world T/M and Sui/ Han inconsistent side by side jumps. Lifts, twists, throws are far more important point wise in pairs.
    It's true that lifts, twists and throws are the biggest point getters. I guess my point was that all the elements contribute points, and it's all about what they add up to. I'm also coming to think the judges think rather differently about pairs elements than many fans do. It's true that I have a different idea than many fans do about the effect of SBS jumps. I've been at 2 events (2016 nationals and 2019 nationals) where all but 1 (2016) or 2 (2019) couples fell on their jumps. When that happens for the whole session, it's truly thrilling when a pair does them all without falling, and in beautiful unison, and with some relationship to the music; it's very effective. But that's me ... I'm as impressed by unison and emotion as I am by lifts and throws, although I love all the pairs elements.

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