Worlds 2011: Dethronement – Part II

So as I said yesterday, there was another dethronement at Worlds this year, this time a bit more expected. In ice dance, Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history as the first American team to win the ice dance event. Although PJ Kwong has been going on about how missing an entire season only hurts teams not because they haven’t showcased their programs for critique but because they won’t gain as much maturity and experience (and Tessa and Scott are apparently immune to that because they have plenty of both). With that being said, I would care to (strongly) disagree with Kwong.

Neither Tessa & Scott and Meryl & Charlie’s programs this season were as spectacular as their Olympic programs but that is a bit of an understatement. I’m not sure what’s going on with Marina and Igor but Meryl and Charlie had to scrap their Amelie program at the USFSA skating camp at the beginning of the season AND their tango had to undergo a lot of changes. Compare:

Tessa and Scott led by a small margin in the SD purely by their skating skills (they were held up by the TES). Before the World championships even started, I said that Tessa and Scott could win IF they skated cleanly and their program was more spectacular than Meryl and Charlie’s sexless tango. As much as I love Tessa and Scott (and Marina and Igor), I must say that this FD has the worst choreography I’ve ever seen them skate.

The beginning that we saw at 4CC was exciting and the first set of twizzles were really innovative but it just went downhill after that. I have never seen a program so lacking and empty from a World champion team. The entire middle section of the routine did not showcase their skating skills and was simply one lift and some stroking to get the speed and momentum for the second lift. The lifts may have gotten the crowd going but it was not the way to display their speed, power, ability to execute complex choreography and skating skills. The choreography was disjointed and full of posing. I’m glad that the SD next year is the rhumba so they can’t use this program again.

In any case, the point is, if they had the time to showcase this program throughout the season, they could’ve gotten the critique just as Meryl and Charlie did to modify the program for the better. Since Tessa was injured, that was impossible and I feel that silver was the best that they can get and I do agree with their placement after Meryl and Charlie, even despite my love for T&S.

So congrats to Meryl and Charlie for their well-deserved gold medal! And congrats to Tessa and Scott for beating their own world record in the SD!

Now that that is out of the way, I would really like to give a few *honourable mentions* because I think the best parts of the competition came from these two up and coming teams:

A freak fall from Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat in one of the required elements – the circular step sequence – opened some doors of opportunity to some teams that were just a smidgeon behind them. I feel a bit bad for the young French team because they might have to wait a while before they’re this close to the World podium again…

In any case, the first honourable mention goes to Alex and Maia Shibutani who took advantage of Nathalie and Fabian’s fall and snatched the bronze – a fantastic debut at the senior level (I mean, Tessa and Scott were 6th at their first senior Worlds!). These two have such elegance and maturity – to think that everyone was worried about Maia’s height a year ago! Their win also meant… a team Canton podium sweep! The reign of Queen Marina and King Igor is alive and thriving!

The second honourable mention goes to Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje who have grown leaps and bounds. Their SD was the best of the season, hands down. The honourable mention is given because they’ve beaten their Canadian archrivals, Crone and Poirier. I hope Skate Canada takes this result into consideration going into next season. Weaver and Poje are clearly more expressive and fun to watch and they’ve been improving technically with each competition. So my point to drive home to Skate Canada: Kaitlyn and Andrew have star quality, Crone and Poirier do not. I mean, just look at this!

Wasn’t that lovely?

What did you think of the results at Worlds? Posts on the men and pairs competition coming soon!

~The Rinkside Cafe


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vendetta
    May 05, 2011 @ 12:21:29

    Meryl Davis has a weird-looking face. What gives?


  2. ay-sa
    May 09, 2011 @ 07:31:25

    Am I the only one who actually LIKES Crone/Poirier? I mean, sure, they are not the most charismatic or the most expressive or the prettiest ice dancers but I thought their FD was choreographically the best this year! I found it very intellectual and different and MUCH more challenging than something like Weaver/Poje’s (cliched) Moulin Rouge mashup.


    • rinksidecafe
      May 09, 2011 @ 19:28:46

      Their FD wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exciting when you have 2 uncharismatic skaters doing it. Weaver/Poje’s FD was really lame but their SD was seriously the best of the season.


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