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23 February 2010 @ 12:08 am
Olympics: Ice Dancing Free Dance  
And the results are ...

As much as I want to say that Belbin & Agosto should have placed bronze, I get why they didn't. As much as I adore them, as graceful as they are, as wonderful as they are, these were NOT strong programs this season. It wouldn't have been so obvious if the other top teams didn't have such strong programs, but they all did. And Tanith and Ben simply did not. *sigh* Still, I loved their exit interview, their grace and good sportsmanship is such a wonderful thing to see. Still love them, and selfishly, I hope they aren't done. I love watching them.

As for the medalists ... With regards to Domnina & Shabalin, I'm sorry, but I'm still frustrated that they were in third place going into tonight because their component scores should have been much lower for the original dance; they really should have. So based on that dance? Yeah, I don't think they should have medaled because they should have had to make up much more ground. Period. But as third place, the strength of their Free Dance gave them an understandable Bronze. *sigh*

White & Davis, well, they ARE great ice dancers. I can not deny that. Doesn't change the fact that I simply do not like them. I just do not like them. I actively did not want them to get the gold. I know that's awful, but if my beloved Belbin & Agosto were unfairly robbed of the gold in Torino, I didn't want to see W&D get it when B&A were there in the games. Silly, I know, but there it is. I was expecting their win, though, because they had two incredibly strong programs. Still, at the end of the night, yeah, I'm glad they didn't get the gold. And part of that is because Meryl does something so annoying to me when she skates. She randomly flails her arms around, it doesn't connect with beats of music and isn't particularly graceful, it looks like ... flailing.

As for the Olympic Champions? MAN! Virtue & Moir are definitely my second favorite ice dance pair now, and truly deserved to win. They were SENSATIONAL! And unlike Meryl, when Tessa floats her arms through the air, it's on beat with the music and beautifully graceful. Their moves, their elegance, their lifts, their oneness was just fantastic. Well, well deserved.
hell is other peopleworkswithwords on February 23rd, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)
WHEE! i am SO SO SO happy right now! I really wanted it to be all North America on the podium, but there is still Sochi in 2014!!
Arabian: KaleyCuoco01arabian on February 23rd, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I would have been VERY happy had Belbin & Agosto gotten the Bronze (at least), but ah well. Still, Virtue and Moir were OUTSTANDING!! Seriously.
kaffyr: Glee!kaffyr on February 23rd, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
I'm so pleased they won (Hey, I'm an ex-pat Canadian) — and so unhappy that I'm actually covering a meeting right now, and wasn't able to be home to watch the performance. You don't happen to know whether NBC or any of its cable affiliates will be replaying the performance?

Also, I wanted to tell you how much I've appreciated reading your figure skating-related posts. You really seem to know your stuff, and you have a definite point of view, and it's truly a joy to read what you've posted.
Arabian: Dr Who (Nine)arabian on February 23rd, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)
I don't know if they'll be replaying it, but NBC.com should have the top six performances up later and you can watch it there. Virtue and Moir were WOW!!!

Also, I wanted to tell you how much I've appreciated reading your figure skating-related posts. You really seem to know your stuff, and you have a definite point of view, and it's truly a joy to read what you've posted.

Oh, thank you so much. I sorta know my stuff, if you're interested in real indepth knowledge from someone who skated before, check out mosca's skating posts. I just discovered her lj right before the mens skating and she just so has it covered. But, really, I thank you for saying what you did about my posts; I really appreciate it. :D
gowdiegowdie on February 23rd, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
I thought the top two performances were both amazing. After White and Davis I was worried, because I so wanted Virtue and Moir to take it, but man, White and Davis were so good. Then White and Davis skated and okay, THAT was also really good. I was nail biting. Both were beautiful to watch - and I'm glad I just get to be a spectator.

I was saying to a real life friend earlier in the evening, in other the other disciplines is so much easier to see the differences, especially the mistakes. Whereas in ice dance, it's all about the footwork, and the tiny details. Which makes it so much harder as a laymen. And the commentators tonight weren't helping! They were absolutely silent as Virtue and Moir skated - like they were holding their breath, which they probably were.

I think what I like about these two pairs the most, is how much they like each other. Don't know if you saw it, but while Virtue and Moir were being interviewed just prior to the medal ceremony, they were literally glomped mid-interview by White and Davis, and there was much hugging and crying. After all the drama of the men's singles, this was a great competition. Two pairs who were both amazing, and who both appreciate the ability of the other and push each other further.
Arabian: Virtue & Moirarabian on February 23rd, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
As much as I am not a fan of White/Davis, I agree that their routine was amazing, but as I said yesterday, I was rooting for Belbin & Agosto, and Virtue & Moir. Unfortunately, I knew that with Ben's injuries and their weak programs this season, that they didn't have much of a shot of overtaking W/D unless they made a mistake. (Which I didn't expect.) So was so very much hoping that Virtue & Moir would be amazing and they so, so, soooooooooo were.

I am glad that there is camaraderie among those teams, but W/D have said some things that edged a bit over the line for me with regards to Belbin & Agosto, and I've never heard anything but positivity and good sportsmanship from Ben and Tanith. So for that reason, and something about Meryl sets me off (and, as mentioned above, those slightly flailing arms!), I'm just not their fans.

But Virtue & Moir completely captured my attention and heart these Olympic games. They were OUTSTANDING. I was just WOWED! by them. I can easily say that their long is now officially my third favorite ice dancing free dance ever!!

At the end of the night, though, you're right. It was so nice seeing such good sports among the medalists as opposed to the mens' and the controversy that followed.

I was saying to a real life friend earlier in the evening, in other the other disciplines is so much easier to see the differences, especially the mistakes. Whereas in ice dance, it's all about the footwork, and the tiny details. Which makes it so much harder as a laymen. And the commentators tonight weren't helping!

I know! I've been trying to watch what Tracy Wilson has pointed out (the deep knees, the circular step sequences, etc.) but it's such minute, little details. All we can do is sit back and enjoy the beauty. Which we do!
hiddeneloisehiddeneloise on February 23rd, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
Okay, so I actually liked Belbin and Agosto tonight. I didn't much the previous two nights. Correction, I didn't dislike them in any way, I just didn't see anything special. But tonight, even with what was clearly not their strongest routine, they sparkled for me. Too bad about the injuries.

Domnina and Shabalin. I liked their free dance. It was strong, and powerful, and it worked well for them. I knew they weren't going to win, not with that weird original dance, and not with the injuries, but I don't have a problem with them getting the bronze. They are a very good dance team.

Also, I see what you mean about White and Davis. They are a strong pair. They do everything right. They perform.... And they belabor that performance. They look to me like a training video. Everything very hight quality, very good technique, great choreography, and all the right points hit at all the right times ... And it leaves me cold. I know nothing about them, and this is not a judgement or a slam. I was just kind of uninspired by them. They scored high deservedly, they got their medals deservedly, and I already forgot what they were dancing.

And this brings me to Virtue and Moir. I don't know if they are spectacular. Or sensational. Or any of the superlatives thrown at them. But they are memorable. And they are so, so good. They have speed, but they are the only couple who doesn't hammer that speed into the ice and the audience. They SKATE. They caress the ice. That's flawless technique. It's something that sets them apart for sure. And they make the music seem to flow out of them, not mimic the music with their arm movements.

All in all, this was a wonderful evening of skating.
Arabian: Feelings Journalarabian on February 23rd, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
Yay, you saw some of Belbin & Agosto's spark. Awesome. They are wonderful, wonderful ice dancers, but yeah, their routines this year, unfortunately, were not very strong.

Dominina & Shabalin so clearly don't get it. They were pissing and moaning because they didn't get gold, saying that Virtue & Moir aren't really ice dancers, they're just technicians. What the hell ever. D&S would have had their chance did they not have such an offensive original dance which pretty much ran them out of contention unless the other top performers mucked up royally.

Yup, that's it with White/Davis. I actually saw both of those routines at the Nationals in January, and yet the only thing I remembered about either one is that the free dance was skated to "Phantom of the Opera." They leave me cold, you nailed it.

Oh, Virtue and Moir were spectacular, sensational, etc. They hit the technical aspects perfectly, had effortless, amazing lifts, skated close together, and flowed in and out of each movement and from each other's body and that is what an ice dancer is supposed to do. Fantastic. I loved them so.

All in all, this was a wonderful evening of skating.

Agreed. :

Edited at 2010-02-23 04:07 pm (UTC)
hiddeneloisehiddeneloise on February 23rd, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
I still shy away from all the superlatives. Not to be stingy, but too many over-the-top adjectives are too me akin to that arm flailing and mugging with facial expressions too much. lol. Sorry, but every time I hear "spectacular" or "sensational" applied to anyone, that's what I see.

Devalued words. How about just good. Solid, good, the best on that given night, with a smartly and beautifully choreographed program. Better than the rest, which is why they won.

I adore Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband. Here's another word that gets thrown about a lot and means absolutely nothing these days: "innovators." They aren't that. In fact, the last real innovators in the sport of ice dancing were Torvill and Dean. But what Marina and Igor do so well is they create programs that are ideally suited to their pairs. To each couple individually. All without sacrificing creativity, difficulty, and artistry. And at this level? It's a damn near impossible task. Plus, they are really good people. And they carry on the true meaning of the Russian school of ice dancing: it's a dance first and foremost for them.

On a purely shallow note from last night: Scott Moir was about the only guy in the final group that didn't make me want to scream "Get a damn haircut!" What the hell is it with the Hair-club for Men in the ice dancing? Never, ever looks good. Not on anyone.

Arabian: Virtue & Moirarabian on February 23rd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
Sorry, not devalued to me. When someone does an outstanding job they deserve the superlatives, and last night Tessa and Scott did a spectacular, fantastic job. They did better than good. They were outstanding in my book.
Sarah :)sarah_p on February 23rd, 2010 07:59 am (UTC)
This is so funny, because you've absolutely hit ALL of my ice dancing points--Domnina & Shabalin (who in no way should have been in third--yikes!), my super dislike of White & Davis (I think it's her VOICE, but, man, I shudder when they're interviewed), and the Belbin & Agosto love. If anyone else had to win gold, I'm glad it was Virtue & Moir--that moment when the anthem played at the award ceremony and the whole crowd sang and they were just so HAPPY was magical. :)
Arabian: Deanarabian on February 23rd, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm frustrated about D&S -- not based on their free dance, but that original dance. The fact that their component scores were so high just infuriates me. That was an offensive, offensive dance and that they weren't dinged more in the subjective scoring, to quote Penny on TBBT, creams my corn!

I would have LOVED to see Tanith and Ben medal, but at least Virtue and Moir got that well-deserved gold. Three excellent programs, culminating with the magic of that free dance. They did their home country proud. :)