A random girl's random gymnastics ramblings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the key is to use your curling iron in the bathtub to keep you from being burnt.

SCAM: Part Two.  If you'll recall, we had the score at 1-1.  Wieber took the first event with a clean, tight vault, while Mustafina won uneven bars with a hit, innovative routine.

On to beam.  Despite Mustafina having a .3 lead in start value, this wasn't much of a contest.  Musty had a couple of sizable errors, while Jordyn hit the routine of her life.  Again, I don't see much a debate here, but just for clarity-

If I may, please direct your attention to the three leaps.  Many, many people have tried their hand at couchside judging these routines.  Some people seem to think that Jordyn should be deducted heavily for each leap, as they are nowhere near 180.  Aside from the weird gray dot I seem to have included, I see NOTHING wrong with these leaps. 

The next complaint is inevitably the low chest on her full.  To which I say: it's a full.  I understand it's a deduction, so by all means, take it.  Personally, I love the skill, so a low chest doesn't bother me much.  If you're picking your teeth with your knees, ala Shawn Johnson, then maybe.  This doesn't seem so bad. 

I know a lot of people were wondering what was up when Jordyn downgraded her double pike to the 2.5, but after seeing this meet, I absolutely agree with the decision.  Lovely twist, as Jordyn does, and a nice landing.  Hey, it worked for Nastia.  Maybe easier and cleaner is the way to go. 

Just to reiterate, Jordyn nailed the crap out of this set, with nary a wobble.  Keep this in mind.

Mustafina, when she hits, can have a decent beam set.  It is a rare occasion that she hits her connections, but when she does, they are well worth the wait.  What's baffling is that she only seems to pull them out when it absolutely counts.  I remember watching world team finals, and thinking to myself

"Oh, it's just Musty.  She'll beef her connections, just like she always does..." 

Imagine my surprise.  Since then, I have accepted that when it counts, Musty will nail the shit out of her connections.  She is nothing if not a total baller.

However, the rest of the routine was not so good.  She created her own little scale after her double turn, and then helicoptered the crap out of her dismount.  Girl needs to ditch her triple full, like yesterday.  She needs to twist as little as possible.  It's not getting around, it's terrifying, and I fear she will break her ankles on live television. 

2-1, Jordyn Wieber.

True to the NBC wet dream, it all came down to the final event.

Why did Jordyn get to go after Aliya?  That's kind of scammy, but all the same, Mustafina hit the floor first.  Things did not go so well.  Despite debuting a new routine, which I happen to like much more than her previous one, Aliya just did not have that confident spark that she always seems to have.  The whole routine was flat.  A hot topic was her new 3.5.  To which I reply: yikes yikes.  It was not a pretty skill.  I am of the opinion that until you can do the easier skill cleanly, you probably shouldn't upgrade. 

Both girls had similar crappy turns.  Aliya fell out of her triple, which she usually hits well.  It boggles my mind every time someone reports that she is trying to add another turn to her Memmel.  Again, master one skill before you move on. 

This is where the scandal returns.  Mustafina lost her legs a bit, and crashed on her arms during her barani.  Obvious fall, right?  Not if you're Tim Daggett, who seems to think it "might" be considered a fall.  Bitch, it's a fall.  The tricky question is, which part fell first?  Feet first, and it's just a fall.  However, if her hands hit first, which they did, then that negates the skill, leaving Musty without a required pass.  That's an additional .5 off of her start score. 

The judges gave Aliya the benefit of the doubt, and did not dock her start value. 

The final routine belonged to Jordyn Wieber.  Despite a shaky start, Jordyn calmed down and nailed her final two passes, scoring well enough to overtake Mustafina, crushing artistry trolls all over the world.

The first two passes were not great.  She bounced out of bounds, but despite what Tim Daggett says, with only one foot and not two.  The triple was off-kilter, and she took a Khorkina-esque cover up step.  As mentioned before, she hopped right out of her turn. 

I would like to, again, point out the leaps.  THE LEAPS. 

The second is a bit cheated, but is there any question as to whether or not they're 180?

Just to be fair.

Regarding the last picture, this proves that one can do a turning leap without T-Rex arms.  NASTIA. 

People will debate this, but floor obviously goes to Wieber.  She didn't fall.  She didn't miss a requirement. 

Final score: Aliya Mustafina-1.  Jordyn Wieber- 3.

In conclusion, despite an American winning in a last minute upset, there was no SCAM this year.  If judges threw anyone favors, they were given to the world champion.  All she needed to do was not fall, and the title was hers.  She failed this mission, so Jordyn swiped it. 

For the record, this is the first SCAM in probably ten years that I have watched more than once.  Despite it being messy and full of scandal, this meet was super exciting.  It's great to have some competition, and to not know who the winner will be a month before the meet.


  1. Go Navy. Beat Army. Loved that you said baller. But then loved the rest of the post as well. Some fun stuff mixed in, but also some analysis. Kudos frozen girl.

  2. Thanks for the breakdown. I am a huge Mustafina fan, but you have convinced me. Obviously the 9.0 execution on Wieber's floor was wrong-but Wieber still should have won. It was the judges' screwy judging on the previous events that led to the outcry that Musty had been cheated. Wieber shouldn't have needed to have a 9.0 execution score in order to beat her.

  3. I don't get the fuss about Wieber's leaps. They look fine to me. Not spectacular, but the judging would have to be pretty damned draconian to find a significant deduction. Except for the bent wrists (floor), which are 1.0 off. Kung fu arms (floor) are 0.1 and the grey dot is 0.3. But other than that her leaps are fine.

    I think you're being a bit stingy in your assessment of Mustafina's beam. The dismount and the turn were bad, but the rest of the routine was fine. Not spectacular, but good. The three-element connection was a significant improvement for her and a nice change from the usual front-back combo. The dismount really is horrific though. Why can't she just do a mediocre double pike like all the other cool kids?

  4. However, I have to point out that you chose a still frame of the very beginning of Mustafina's Memmel turn-while her leg is still swinging up. The best spot for the frame would have been 3/4-1 3/4 of the way through the turn.

  5. In regards to why Jordyn was last (she wasn't btw, whoever was in 4th was actually last) according to Am. Cup rules or something, they draw for the first 3 events then the last event's order is determined by the standings. it went: 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th/ next group gets one touch/ 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 4th.

    It was similar for the men as well.

  6. Wieber's hips on the leaps are problematic. Additionally, that Amanar ain't round.

  7. I agree that Jordyn should have won, but don't think your '3-1' scoring system is very fair to Aliya. This isn't basketball. It's not about who wins the most routines out of four, but about who is consistently the best over the whole competition. If Jordyn had scored slightly higher than Aliya on vault, beam and floor, but had fallen four times on bars, she would not have deserved to win even though she had 'outscored Aliya 3-1'. I think it needs to be recognised that it was a really close competition and that both gymnasts deserve a lot of credit.

  8. I also meant to say I love that you use "Glee-isms" to title your posts. Epic.

  9. You left out Mustafina's most photogenic event (and I don't mean beam on heels)!
    Anyway, I'm convinced. Like Lauren C said, the Scamminess was from that last 14.9, which was rubbish. Otherwise, Wieber was probably better on the day.

  10. I kind of wanted Musty to win just to make the Scam aspect of the cup go away. But once she fell, and actually touched HANDS first it was done. Jordyn's leaps are nice leg-wise but her shoulders are high and that is where Musty kid of gets her - the overALL presentation of the leap.
    My main gripe about the whole things is - why is it that the top gymnasts had a fall and still were top 2? Can't someone win top 3 in a meet and hit 4 for 4? That drives me batty.

  11. Great recap and breakdown, Spanny. I agree on all counts.