Thinking about VM’s FD lifts…
1. The leap of faith jump. I mean, that entry is everything. It’s unexpected and difficult and sharp. Scott starts the rotation himself, and he was so centered here (an important point in this years rules regarding stationary lifts). They change positions seamlessly, and though Tessa’s skate touches the ice to finish the official lift, the choreography continues in that same vein, and makes the lift feel even more substantial (and of course reach a level 4).
2. The Carmen/Latch hybrid. So obviously, the entry is from Carmen - personally I’m excited they’re using it again. It is such a dramatic, audience-gasps! entry - and in an Olympic year, many people watching the Olympics won’t have seen it before. It deserves to be seen. Plus, it is the type of lift that really works with this passionate type of music.
But unlike the Carmen lift, as Tessa drops down from Scott’s shoulders, it is a completely different movement, which means they had to train a new and difficult transition to get from one section of the lift to another. Both lifts are absolutely incredible, but even though this one goes into the Latch position, think about what they have to do, to get her body into that - her legs go from being closest to his head, and when she flips down out of that, they also have to shift so that instead her head is near his. (And like the music, the lift goes from bombastic to tender in a heartbeat, LOL.) (Oh, and like all short lifts, all of this must be accomplished in 7 seconds or less, or they face a deduction. 7 seconds. Plus hit a certain number of rotations to get a level 4, plus never accidently stop the rotation. There is a lot happening here… in 7 seconds.)
3. The Prince lift. Yes, it is repeated, though Tessa has changed the arm movements to fit the theme, and it hits a perfect point of the music for this type of lift. The music soars, and so does she. Look at the improved position she hits, especially from when this lift debuted. Then, they changed the exit completely. Remember, she used to do a kind of flip down onto his shoulder, and then they exited on a synchronized lunge. Here, Scott gently sets her down so her skate touches the ice (and therefore falls under that 7 second rule), but then like the first lift, immediately she is lifted again and onto his thigh for a thematic and tender moment. Again it ‘extends’ the lift for a bigger impact and levels.
a gifset of the first lift: x
a photographic breakdown of the entry to the Carmen lift: x
a comparison gifset of the Carmen/MR lift: x
stupid screenshots but to illustrate my point Prince lift:
(As for the SD lift, yes, it’s an oldie but a goodie, too. My request is that someone gif that thing, for it is a feat of technical prowess. There is not a single moment in that lift that isn’t difficult. The entry is a twist, into an upright position; then she has to swing her free leg up around Scott’s neck, briefly putting her upside down before she and Scott hold hands behind her back (and he actually has a free hand here!); then they let go of hands and he has her at the waist, which is good since he’s guiding her leg back across him so he can set her down – one handed. Yeah, for just a moment, as he’s putting her down on the ice - and not dropping her down, but setting her down, he’s only got one hand on her, and she’s got a single hand on his thigh. But they’re secure enough that she can immediately go into a partnered spin and then into a drop. This is not a lift that should be dismissed. Plus, IIRC, they haven’t used it since the 2011/2012 season, so I think that maybe they had to do some training to get that baby back.)