The compulsory dance began last night and it was quite the exciting event...there were deep edges, Wendy Williams-sized curves, rhythmic knee bend action and lots and lots of killian holds.
Okay, well maybe that wasn't quite how it went, but it was a most interesting event. I have found myself most intrigued by ice dance this year as I have found that I have matured in my skatenastics fandom.
The draw of Tango Romantica excited me, as it is far much more interesting to judge and write about than the waltz. I mean, look at that girl's waltz hold, what a hooker.
The compulsory dance is most interesting because you really are able to see the strengths and weaknesses of each team up close and personal.
Samuelson and Bates delivered a good compulsory dance technically. Emily's extension and toe point is divine, but there isn't any great sexual tension between them. Their Russian coaches need to do what Russian coaches do with their other couples when they get them wasted on Svedka and encourage them to mate. You can't be just "technicians" in ice dance. They have a tendency to be curlers at times. Their costumes could've been more dramatic as well. There just wasn't be romance.
Delobel and Schoenfelder's return to competition was tentative at best. They have the most curious tango as she appears to be wearing the pants in this team and showed off her Joannie Rochette shoulders. DelSchoes absolutely looked like a middle-aged team returning to competition for the first time in over a year at the Olympic Games. One can't cram Olympic Preparation. It doesn't work like that. Their compulsory dance wasn't smooth, refined, nuanced or emoted nearly as well as the other top teams. There have been many who found them to be even a bit overmarked. This team needed to get out to a strong start to be in the competition and they are well behind.
Marlie actually appeared much sharper with this dance than they have in the past. Given Meryl's lack of height and extension, they didn't appear as mature as the top two teams. Technically, they really delivered. They emoted well and there was that "romantic, sexual quality" between them. One can never tell if Meyrl is really pleased after the dance because of how she exhales and looks with her eyes, but they seemed satisfied with their performance. Meryl gained a few brownie points with me when she was adamant that "Some may see us as being in Tanith and Ben's shadow, but that is NOT how we see it."
Domnina and Shabalin were expected to deliver in the compulsory dance and boy did they ever. This dance is all about Oksana's legs and her statuesque sensual Russian quality. She is almost cougarish with how she seduces the audience in this smooth and sensual tango. They definitely deserved their scores, but this is their strongest portion of the competition and a lead of 1.02 may not keep them on the podium. DomShabs and Linichuk wore blankets from the First Nations in one of the most choreographed Kiss and Cry moments ever. Apparently they are all friends and everything is good now... DomShabs' tango did display the best of their skating qualities, but it is really unclear whether they could've made an noticeable improvements since Europeans. Fusar-Poli expects them to finish around sixth place based on their performances in practice.
Then came Tanith...
We've come a long way together, haven't we? Tanith, you've learned some technique from Gennadi. Ben isn't dragging your boney ass through compulsories anymore. Your footwork was almost Russian. Oh how you have grown since that compulsory at 2008 Worlds. Belgosto's dance was most aggressive, but they skated with the attack of a team that was afraid of not making the podium. They had not competed this dance yet and it was a bit evident. While they certainly play up the tango element, they certainly didn't appear romantic with one another. Tanith and Ben supposedly had a story line where they were fighting during the dance and then made up, but it all appeared rather spastic and forced. This dance lacked the smoothness of the other couples. This is definitely their weakest portion and they are three points out of the lead. There is room to make a move and it should be a good showdown between Belgosto and DomShabs. They need to nail the next two portions and I hope they do. Was that a zit or did Tanith paint on a beauty mark? I couldn't tell.
Tessa and Scott sell the tango well, as he appears to be such a gentle soul and she appears to be the diva. This dance really had smooth deep edges and flowed better than the two Americans. It lacked a bit of the finesse of Domnina and Shablin, but was simply wonderful. They lack a bit of the maturity of DomShabs, but were really magnificent and miles ahead of the other teams. Meryl Davis displayed a bitchtastic eye roll upon seeing the scores which she told friends was out of disgust that Tessa and Scott were placed behind Domnina and Shabalin.
I'm glad we have a day off between the compulsory and original dances, because I need a good smoke.