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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Interpretation, then and now

As most skating fans probably know by now, today Patrick Chan continued his record breaking ways by setting a world record LP and total score at the Trophée Eric Bompard, also becoming the first skater to break 100 on the technical score. His PCS was very high as well, with a fair number of perfect 10s sprinkled in. He was very good.

For whatever reason, though, I wasn't blown away, and decided to look for something more enjoyable. Rewind a few years to a great program that I hadn't seen in while: Stéphane Lambiel's Poeta from the 2007 World Championships. Lambiel received over 160 for this skate - a very high score at the time - despite making some minor errors on his jumps. A friend once told me that this program, performed to its full potential, would have ruined the IJS, since nobody could have ever topped it. It really is special, and Saffron was right to list it in her iconic programs post.

When I see skaters getting average PCS in the 9s and perfect 10s thrown in for good measure, I cannot help but think about how one of the greatest artistic performances of our time did not rate a single 9 from any of the twelve judges on the panel, and in fact earned Lambiel five interpretation scores lower than 8 (!!!). I realize that scores have gone up and judges have been trained to be more generous with the marks, but seriously: only 78.16 in PCS?! Look closely and you will find one mark in the sixes. The mind boggles.

One wonders what it would score now.

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