I had vague plans to watch Olympic skating this year, but I keep forgetting we have a TV. Then when I do remember we have a TV, I think, "But who wants to watch all the commercials and be beholden to what NBC wants to show? They chack all the interesting skaters anyway. I'll just catch up on YouTube!" Except I forget to do that too, and now it's, like half-over, right? Oh well.
I decided to at least see what the one dance team I actually care about was up to this year by peeking at their programs. It turns out Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi of Germany, they of the amazing zombie free dance
last year, have relatively meh programs this year. Come on! After zombies, surely there are aliens? Werewolves? Vampires? (Oh, wait, they did vampires already
.) Their best quality is their creativity!
I do like that they've made their free dance a direct sequel to their short dance, though. I've always thought more skaters should do that, if only because of the savings on costuming. Anyway, the format is cool, but the story itself is dull.
So, since I found no joy this year, I decided to catch up on their back catalogue. Only to discover that apparently they are goddamn acrobats
in addition to being skaters. Dude. Acrobatting around each other is impressive enough. Acrobatting around each other WITH SHARP OBJECTS ON THEIR FEET is crazy impressive. Or perhaps just crazy. [Check out 3:20 and onward for the really OMG stuff.] If they ever tour here once they turn pro, sign me up to come watch their show, because I bet it will be awesome.
Other interesting things:OD from 2008 or something like that
- "We're Germans! Nelli may be from Russia, but we are soooooooo German!" Sadly, no one gets caught in anyone else's lederhosen."Singin' in the Rain" OD
- Super cute! Especially the little cheek kiss at the end that brings mannequin!Nelli to life.A nice tango.
I'm not linking to a video because IMO the dance is kind of blah, but the costumes
must be seen to be believed. No, they don't even get slack because it was music from Cirque du Soleil. Pompoms are never a wise costume choice. I'm just sayin'. Also, not looking like you were eaten by balloon animals
is a good goal to work toward.These costumes
aren't much better on the attractiveness front, but that said I'm very curious what she plans to do with the collection of knives strapped to her thigh.
Finally, their Facebook page
is kind of awesome. They just seem like such adorably dorky normal people! With their glasses and his receding hairline and their totally normal clothes and their random vacation pictures. (Tangent: Are they a thing off-ice too? I wouldn't have suspected from their interaction in the kiss & cry and such, but the couple-y vacation photos are sending some mixed signals.) Alex is such a goofball
. So is Nelli
. Actually, they both are
Other particularly fun pictures:"OMG, we made it to Worlds! So awesome!"Um, so when I said "normal," I meant "normal except for doing acrobatics on a bus." Obviously.
Tangentially, can I just say that, not having watched skating since 2003 or so, I am baffled and confused by all the changes. Lyrics allowed in the music for the dancers (and other disciplines, for all I know)? Women can wear pants without anyone getting all het up? No more compulsories, but now the poor dancers have to add a compulsory pattern to their
short dance? (P.S. I'm sure they're happy about it, but it just looks weird.) Also, whatever the merits or lack thereof of the new judging system, I think it lacks a certain drama in the kiss & cry to have it just be one number read out rather than nine different values for technical merit and nine more for presentation. Hopes are raised and dreams are crushed so quickly
! Where's the pacing?
Also, WTF is this "team" event? I would understand if the teams had, like, interrelated programs or something. But they're just doing the same short and long programs they're going to do less than a week later. What's the point? (Spoiler: Skating is the one part of the Winter Games that gets decent ratings, so the media and ISU wanted to plaster the two weeks with it, didn't they?)
Also also, if I never see another set of twizzles again, it will be too soon
. Can we go back to ice dance that was not composed of 90% twizzles by volume? (See, Alex Gazsi agrees
that twizzles are sad-making.)