Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pic of the Week

A Pre Disclaimer: I don't have any ill will against Brian Joubert and I wish him the best this season.

Let's rewind (once more) to Brian Joubert's remarks at the conclusion of the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships in Sweden when he blew off some steam in Jeffrey Buttle's direction after losing to a skater who didn't attempt a quad.

He did it again in L.A. this year at World's, complaining about Lysacek and Chan's unwillingness to put it in their free skates. This time, Chan fired back and brought attention to the need for complex choreography as well. Chan didn't say Joubert's choreography sucked...but it's 'kind of implied.'

This quad debate wont dissapear!

Just watched his French Masters Free Skate. It's exactly the type of program any of us would imagine Joubert would skate too in an Olympic Season. Powerful music, very Joubert type music.

I don't want to be the choreo police (actually I can't lie...I'd love that job!) but the program (you can see it below) doesn't cut it. We've seen a lot of this years top competitors in pre season competition and he's is going to have to step it up to compete for Olympic Gold. All the triples and quads in the world wont make up for the deficit he'll have on the component score. Even his own countryman, young upstart Florent Amodio, has better choreography than Joubert.

Joubert must stop pushing this idea that quads should win a competition and instead focus on improving his choreography. Better choreo coupled with amazing jumps should be his focus or he'll face the same fate this season that he's had the last two seasons.


jumping clapping man said...

he's either lazy, or he and his team just don't have the knowledge needed to elevate him in this system...OR pride and ego are getting in the way. those are the things holding him back...not ability! he may not innately be the artist or dancer than Chan or Lambiel are, but he's shown flashes of having that potential. so, GET TO WORK BRIAN!!!

Kate said...

wow we have such contrasting ideas about this program....and this is what I LOVE about skating. It's so subjective! My thoughts on it...well it's all in my post!

Anonymous said...

Lots of people are saying that the choreography is improved, including international judges at the Masters. Plus I am somehow glad that not everyone skates as if they are looking for a needle on the ice all the time.

And Chan's POTO wasn't a masterpiece either at it's first showing.

By the way, last Worlds Joubert didn't say a thing before Chan started to hurl insults at him. He especially didn't say anything against Lysacek, he actually praised him - check your facts. And Chan didn't imply anything, he mocked Joubert openly, calling him a bad sportsman, insulting him not just because of choreography, but personally.

Elizabeth said...

I was disappointed with the free. It was choreographed by Denkova & Staviski, so I was really looking forward to the end product of the program they created. It doesn't remind of Denkova & Staviski at all, just a mix match of Joubert's greatest hits pulled from the Matrix. Sigh.

I do have hope for this, particularly if he succeeds in the quad. It would pump energy into the arena and his performance if if a quad is landed. How exciting!

I do agree with Joubert's argument that executing the quad takes great skill and stamina during a program.

I agree more with Patrick Chan, however, that skaters need to be strong in multiple areas and have a complete package and not one big trick. I think fostering multiple strengths and a full bag of small tricks is a better strategy for success in all facets of life.

Aaron said...

"You know, I think like the other skaters, I don’t like to lose. Nobody likes to lose. But I am not a sore loser. I respect the other skaters. But I prefer when they beat me with a quad jump."

If that's not blowing a little steam at both Chan and Lysacek (the two guys that 'beat' him sans quad), don't know what is?

Nobody's program is a masterpiece at this point. And I really hope that all of the skaters, Joubert included, can make masterpieces by the time the Olympics roll around.

My point is, knowing the capability of not only skaters like Chan and Abbott...but also Lambiel, Takahashi, Oda, Weir, Kozuka, Ponsero and so many others...I feel he has to step it up choreographically. Not because I feel the program is bad, but I feel it's to simple.

He has to get more inventive with transitions, edges, and overall use of the ice. I think he'll need those things to win in Vancouver or he'll have to rely heavily on the jumps. Maybe that's the position he wants to be in but I don't think it's a comfortable position.

In the end, it's all opinion. Just like Kate said it's so subjective! What I feel may be totally different from what someone else feels. I'm trying to look at it from a strictly point earning point-of-view...and I see lots of opportunity for Joubert's competitors to score big time points on him on the component side of things.

Kate said...

It is subjective! But I think the Joubert comments that you quoted Aaron aren't as much of a jab as you see them. I think Joubert just wants the world champion to be someone with the highest technical ability e.g. the quad and it wasn't a personal comment to either Chan or Lysacek. However, Chan's comments were purposefully and clearly referencing Joubert and were not respectful or necessary to namecheck Joubert. But that'd just what I think, and of course I'm biased!

Aaron said...

Oh totally...I think Joubert made a tiny little 'feint' and Chan returned with a (excuse my French?)'bitch slap!'

But slap int he face or not...he might have had a point...just went about expressing it terribly.

And bias is part of the equation...I don't know who to biased for yet!

Kate said...

I exactly agree Aaron! I support the idea, just not the way he said it! And I have a Brian bias, but clearly it's not as strong as other peoples' judging by your Tweet about irate hardcore fans.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I am no die-hard-Joubert-Fan. I would call me a die-hard Lambiel-Fan, I am probably also more a Kozuka, Abbott, Verner Fan than a Joubert-fan. I am a fan of diversity though. I just don't get why suddenly all the male skaters should skate the same. Is this an attempt to make male skating as bland as the ladies?

When I watch movies and TV, I love to watch different kind of movies / shows. I like the quirky French movie (= Amodio, Préaubert), I love the sophisticated literature drama (= Abbott, Chan, Dennis Ten, Weir), I love the calm artsy movie from Scandinavia (= Kozuka), I love the slapstick comedy (= Berntsson, Contesti) - and, yeah, I love the James Bond movies (obviously Joubert).

I wouldn't be pleased with watching only sophisticated literature drama for the rest of my life. There is nothing wrong with a good old James Bond movie, solid technique, charming, thrilling...

Aaron said...

I agree %1000 and I think its where subjectivity comes into play.

I think I should clarify again...I find no fault in Joubert's program...I just question if it can pull in the same component score of more intricate programs that his chief competitors will be using.

Perhaps it can...perhaps it can't.

This debate brings forward one of the biggest flaws in the judging system. Should we count every deep edge, twizzle, counter-turn, dip, arm movement, wiggle on the entrance to a jump, etc. towards a competitors score? Or should we take the program as a whole, no mater the level of intricacy of the choreography and judge it as a single piece and how it impacted an audience? If the judges go with option one (and it would seem they are) Joubert is at a disadvantage. If they go with option two, Joubert looks like the clear front runner.

Am I making sense?