Friday, January 26, 2007

SKATING IS STILL SUBJECTIVE

Last night the first portion of the US National Figure Skating championships aired. I haven’t got a chance to watch most of it because I was busy playing Katamari with Monica and Tony, oh and watching the OC. HAHAHA. How embarrassing. However, I did catch the short programs of the two top male contenders, Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek. I have to say they are quite an interesting match up. Personally, if they both skated at the top of their game, I would take Weir any day. I know many people wouldn’t agree with me but I have good reason.

When Weir is on he is on and he skates beautifully. His jumps have an awesome rideout (the speed and edge coming out of a jump) and his artistry is more to my taste (most of the time). I think his spin positions are more innovative, although he as has been doing the same ones for years now and I guess they have lost a bit of their WOW factor. Nonetheless, I think he is awesome. Lysacek is also fantastic. He has a passion and intensity on the ice that is contagious. He truly commits to what he is doing and had a lot of power. However, he has skated the same long program for two seasons to the most played out of all music in skating, Carmen. I am so sick of this program that I have a hard time watching it despite his wonderful skating. You know how they retire people’s numbers in some sports; they should retire music in skating. Then again I suppose everyone can interpret music differently and it is hard to reinterpret a number but still, some things have got to go.

Although Weir is the reigning US champ three years running, I would assume Lysacek is the favorite because he has had much more success on the international circuit. Weir has been inconsistent and unreliable and I know how skating works, the judges want the most internationally competitive skater to be the champ. Even with the new judging system, there is room for favoritism, less than before, but skating still remains a subjective sport. After watching their two programs, I felt that Weir should have been ahead because of extra points given to the grade of execution in his jumps. His positioning and landings were far superior in my opinion. I was also more of a fan of his choreography. However, after the judging was said and done Lysacek was ahead both technically and artistically. It baffled me. Although he was only ahead by less than one point, which is nothing, I thought it showed severe preference by the judges. I did just read that Weir was graded higher than Lysacek on his jumps which meant the judges either really hated his artistry (huh?) or really don’t want him to win (likely). We’ll just have to see what happens in the long program but, if they both skate clean, I am guessing that Lysacek will win the title.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the top ladies but reigning World Champion Kimmie Meissner is essentially a shoe in for the title. I do want to make one small comment about the event though. I only watched one skater but was delighted when there was some argument about a statement Dick Button made regarding Ulrich Salchow who he claimed was an excellent champion in the last century. Button had seemed to forget that we are seven years into a century currently so Salchow who skated in the late 18 and early 1900s did not fit in that definition. As someone tried to correct him he got all stickler about his facts and was just wrong. I like to see Dick Button wrong. If you have ever watched a skating event in the past 25+ years you know that Dick Button is like the Simon Cowell of figure skating, or maybe that should be that other way around. He is the original mean commentator. It is really nice to see him look a little stupid for a change.

Here are some new musical options for skaters. You know, you can choose music with words now.

1. Not a lotta bling/ When you do the thing/ Bada boom bada bing. Bada Bing, Dangerdoom. identified by The Doc

2. If you had a choice of colors/ Which one would you choose my brothers

3. Remember when you were young/ You shone like the sun

4. You know I’ve been searching for someone/ Who can share that special love with me/ Your eyes have that glow

5. Tim wish you were born a girl/ Wish you were born a girl/ So I could have been your boyfriend

14 comments:

The Doc said...

I haven't watched figure skating in a long time. When I was a kid, I actually had strong feelings about the different competitors, but now I just watch them skate and don't see a lot of charisma. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

#1 - Bada Bing by DangerDoom. Man, I love that album.

Natalie said...

Doc- I am so incredily excited that someone got that song!!! It is an awesome album. I think some of the charisma is lacking in today's skating because the technical side has grown so fast but I think it is starting to come back.

Anonymous said...

My moon is 651m 27cm 1mm, how big is yours?

Natalie said...

My moon is 689 14cm, so there daddy! Do you have all the presents? I sure don't.

Mom said...

Can't wait to see your thoughts on the Figure Skating Championships. I missed seeing the Ladies, Pairs, and Dance and only caught the last 4 or so of the Men. I hope I can catch a re-broadcast of the Ladies at least...

formerly anonymous said...

Did I say 651m 27cm 1mm? I meant 802m 54cm 8mm, which unlocks Eternal Mode! (no time limit). I'm nowhere near getting all the presents.

The Laughorist said...

Whew. I can barely follow this. You are a decent reviewer/critical writer of this so-called sport. (I think it is an art and not a sport - hence, the point system is almost silly.) And you have now taught me how we got the term "triple Salchow."

Natalie said...

Laughorist- After 10 years of blood sweat and tears on the ice I beg to differ with you. It is one of the most physically grueling activities out there. Of course there is an artistic element but if you don't have the muscles in the legs and back and the endurance for the physical excursion you may as well give up. The mental exhaustion is another story completely. Mostly from people who don’t realize the athleticism required to skate. I know you’re a smart guy. I’m kind of surprised at your take on the sport. It's rather insulting.

ShadowFalcon said...

I used to have such an addiction to ice skating...

R. said...

Skating to Bizet's Carmen should result in an automatic ten point deduction. Even Nintendogs hate Carmen. If you play the Toreador song they get very angry.

CSL said...

I can barely skate myself (just mastered turning around without landing on my rear)m, but ther eis no question in my mind that it is athletic. It strikes me as being both sport AND art, like gymnastics or diving.

it's the little things said...

more power to the skaters...it takes a level of balance i surely have not cultivated!
i see you're a gemini...when is your bday?
mine is june 7.

Julie said...

I love Katamari!!! Isn't that the game where you're a tiny little ball and you have to roll around picking up things to become a larger ball? That game rules!

I used to be a competitive figure skater! All this talk is bringing me back! I wasn't amazing or anything - only competed up to Freestyle 3.

Natalie said...

Dad- You suck balls

Shadow- It can be vey addictive, I obviously need rehab.

R.- AMEN!!!

CSL- It is both sport and art for sure!

Little things- Even though I can stand on ice I can suck on land. Who knew? My b-day is the 5th.

Julie- Great game it is!!! Freestyle 3, salchows, change foot spins, toe loops ahh the memories. I did ISIA through freestyle 6 and then USFSA through Intermediate. Technically I made it to a double axel (that I landed only once) I kind of want to get back into it.