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Thread: Why do people prefer World's Aranjuez to National's Aranjuez?

  1. #1

    Default Why do people prefer World's Aranjuez to National's Aranjuez?

    I want to start off by saying how amazing a program I think "Aranjuez" is. When I was watching the 2003 US Nationals at home, I was so nervous that I almost couldn't breathe; but Michelle's confidence and freedom just relaxed me, and when she was done, I couldn't help but jump up and down as well as scream in my condo. The choregraphy just blew me away. Didn't her choregrapher at that time, Moroso (sp.?), say if she skated like that at Worlds, she would be fine?

    Okay, here's my question :

    I've heard a lot of people say they prefer the 2003 Worlds' version of Aranjuez to the 2003 US Nationals' version. Why is that? In my opinion, I think Michelle skated with more abandon at Nationals, plus technically speaking, she was just immaculate - I mean all her jumps were textbook perfect. Moreover, her timing was unbelievable. Her freedom and joy just took your breath away. In short, she was in a zone, like Terry Gannon put it. However at Worlds in Washington, as brilliant as she was, her 3toe-2toe combination was a bit iffy; and she seemed to be more cautious (which was understandable with the pressure to win) and less connected with the audience like she was at Nationals. So, in my books, the winner is obvious.

    I would love to hear different views...

  2. #2
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    Without rewatching my tape. which I'm about to do...my memory is that both were unbelievable, but it was the world's version that had Dick Button reacting so strongly in the booth;I think he said he was clomping or something like that. All I know is that never in my life--in the 48 years I've been watching skating--heard an emotional, totally spontaneous reaction from a comentator like his on that day in Washington DC.

    So, now I'll go rewatch the program one more time...I MISS MICHELLE!
    MICHELLE raises me up!

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    Somehow I think she is more in touch or just feeling the love from the audience at Nats. This is her home ground and where she feels the most love and appreciation. Of course she feels it at international events but not like Nats. So for the most part, I would say Nats is the time when she really wears her heart on her sleeve. I would have to go back and look at both to discern a difference between the Aranjuez performances since they were both on home ground.

    Only Heaven could send us such an angelic skater.

    "If you have nothing in life but a great friend, you're rich."- Michelle Kwan

    I'm looking at the world through Kwan-colored glasses.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by edenlover View Post
    Without rewatching my tape. which I'm about to do...my memory is that both were unbelievable, but it was the world's version that had Dick Button reacting so strongly in the booth;I think he said he was clomping or something like that. All I know is that never in my life--in the 48 years I've been watching skating--heard an emotional, totally spontaneous reaction from a comentator like his on that day in Washington DC.

    So, now I'll go rewatch the program one more time...I MISS MICHELLE!
    edenlover, I think you're right about Uncle Dick's reaction. But didn't he also react quite strongly after Michelle's performance at Nationals? I thought Terry Gannon had made fun of Dick because he too had to stand up and applaud?

    I also remember reading some articles saying Michelle was glorious at Nationals but skated in a vacuum at Worlds...implying that it was like 1998 where she did so well at Nationals but skated with caution in Nagano. Although I do not fully agree with that, but I do think Michelle held back a bit and didn't have the same connection with the audience like she had in Texas.

  5. #5

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    Both performances were great. But like edenlover said, it was Dick Button's comments that made the win emphatic. Was that the one where he stood up at the end and started applauding? (I love him for that)! Since it was performed second, it sticks to my head more than the one from nats (although that one was superb as well). And plus, worlds was at WAshington DC, which is where I live. I really really wanted to attend, but i had school the next day. After I saw that program, i regretted it big time.

  6. #6

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    That program is one of my favorites. I love that music. both programs were skated very well. but Worlds stands out for me, because I was there. Way up in the nosebleed section, you could feel the energy and the roar of the crowd before she was done skating. To this day, I still get chills thinking about that wonderful night. So for me it is Worlds.....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlta View Post
    That program is one of my favorites. I love that music. both programs were skated very well. but Worlds stands out for me, because I was there. Way up in the nosebleed section, you could feel the energy and the roar of the crowd before she was done skating. To this day, I still get chills thinking about that wonderful night. So for me it is Worlds.....
    Likewise for me. I was in a corner up against the ceiling, about as far from the ice as possible, and Michelle still reached out and touched us with her gorgeous presence. I didn't even bother with the binoculars except for part of the "smiral".
    Keith, keeper of The Falling Leaf Special a.k.a. The Diplomat

  8. #8

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    I believe that her win at Nationals was expected, but Sarah Hughes delivered a VERY good performance that was worthy as well. I think Michelle's return was a little surprising. I think people were just in awe of how she could put her Olympic disappointment behind her so fast and get back into her zone again. Her performance at Worlds was more special, I believe, and at the end of it her smile was the most rewarding smile she has ever had. It put her on the pedestal again. She was queen again. I think her performance at Nationals was technically superior, but her performance at Worlds, which was on US soil, showed more than ever before her amazing powers of strength, character, and determination. Michelle's greatest gift is mind power. She's the most intelligent skater out there and one of the most intelligent athletes in the world. We all knew how amazing she was in 2001 and in 2002, but when the 2003 season came around she cemeted herself as a brave, mythic woman. It was so brave of her to overcome that incredible disappointment and the fact that age was creeping up and put herself back on top. Winning Nationals is common place for her, winning Worlds after a KILLER season put people back in their place.

  9. #9

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    I like the Nats version better...only because I was there. I'm not biased or anything. I remember after Nats, I thought, "Well, no one can beat The Kween at Worlds". It helped me not worry so much by the time Worlds came around.
    I miss The Kween!

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    I prefered the nationals version as well.
    "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball...This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again."~Field of Dreams

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    I love 'em both!

  12. #12

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    I was at both Nats & Worlds, and I think the Nats version is better, both in technique & presentation. Worlds got a bigger reaction because it was a larger arena and I believe part of it was the fact that it was an international. But she skated with that much fire at Nationals. BTW, TFB was much better at Nats too IMO.

    Also the reaction from the US commentators was better at Worlds. At Nats, they were all being politically correct regarding the commentating for Sarah H. She was the reigning OGM and I think they expected her to do better. Dick even talked like the judges would have a hard time deciding between Michelle & Sarah.....when I watched my tape later I couldn't believe my ears. I don't know what it looked like on TV but Sarah's silver at Nats was a gift. Jenny K should have been placed 2nd in the short & Ann Patrice should have been 2nd in the long. Sarah & Sasha both made a lot of sloppy mistakes. But by Worlds, they had all jumped off the Sarah bandwagon.

  13. #13

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    I guess I can't really be an authority because I only saw the Nationals performance on TV, but I was at the 2003 worlds. IMHO, that performance holds a special place in my heart. One of the TV broadcasts (espn I think) had the sync between the sound and performance totally off, so if you only saw that broadcast, you might get the impression that Michelle was off, but she wasn't. This is one of those situations where people are judging Michelle against Michelle and nobody else. There is not another skater ever who holds that distinction.

    I didn't think she held back anything. I saw Michelle skate with purpose and determination as if she was saying, "I'm going for this and anybody who wants to beat me is going to have to fight for it."

    In fact, IMHO, she had complete disgregard and abandon at the end where she did her final lutz where the ice was wet and melting. Several other skaters were having trouble with the ice conditions and in fact blamed the ice for their inability to win. The wonkiness on Michelle's second combo, if you look, she hit a huge rut in the ice and saved it.

    I loved the 2003 Worlds Aranjuez. And when coaches accuse Michelle of holding the sport back and being safe, I say, poppycock. Michelle doesn't determine what other skaters do on the ice. It's up to them to skate to win and best her in both presentation and technical. She was the very best in both at year at Nationals and Worlds.
    Last edited by vive_la_reine; October 24th, 2006 at 02:36 AM.

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    I Just Miss Her!!!!!!!!!

  15. #15

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    Both Nationals and Worlds brought tears to my eyes that year. She was wonderful at both comps. and I was so happy for her.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by taf View Post
    I was at both Nats & Worlds, and I think the Nats version is better, both in technique & presentation. Worlds got a bigger reaction because it was a larger arena and I believe part of it was the fact that it was an international. But she skated with that much fire at Nationals. BTW, TFB was much better at Nats too IMO.

    Also the reaction from the US commentators was better at Worlds. At Nats, they were all being politically correct regarding the commentating for Sarah H. She was the reigning OGM and I think they expected her to do better. Dick even talked like the judges would have a hard time deciding between Michelle & Sarah.....when I watched my tape later I couldn't believe my ears. I don't know what it looked like on TV but Sarah's silver at Nats was a gift. Jenny K should have been placed 2nd in the short & Ann Patrice should have been 2nd in the long. Sarah & Sasha both made a lot of sloppy mistakes. But by Worlds, they had all jumped off the Sarah bandwagon.
    Diddo, taf!

    I too was a bit puzzled when Uncle Dick said Sarah's performance was worthy of the gold medal as well because correct me if I'm wrong - Sarah only executed 5 triples in that program, and even though she delivered it beautifully, in my opinion, she didn't have the same magic Michelle had. Also, I think Ann Patrice should have received higher marks for a 7-triple well-round program. She was robbed big time. I guess the judges felt Sarah and Sasha stood a better chance of medalling at Worlds, which I kind of understand their thinking.

    However, taf, I like TFB at Worlds than the version at Nationals. Michelle just seemed to skate with more fire and determination, and every element was perfectly executed. Oh mine...

  17. #17

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    Sorry taf, I meant "Ditto" but I typed "Diddo"!

    *Blush*

  18. #18

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    I loved both. But for me my favorite was Worlds. When she did her final pose and looked up at the cheering crowd I was cheering right along with them. That performance was brilliant and should be in a museum. I still get goosebumps when I watch it.

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    taf and Ginny...good points.


    I saw them both on TV

    For me, her nationals Aranjuez was skated perfect....just perfect, but the commentary during and after the fact was just good. Her worlds Aranjuez was skated almost as perfect, but the commentary both during and after the performance had me so emotional, it made that program stick out more to me.

    That said, the 3toe/2toe combo was mentioned earlier.

    True, she did have a slight swing around in the worlds version, but to me, that added to both the drama and magic of that performance. Most skaters would have fallen...or abandoned the 2/toe. Michelle showed us her heart by pulling that out.

    In the end, I think it all comes down to the ending 3 lutz and footwork with the audience screaming, it was like a matador at an arena...which went with the theme...it was magical. Both Nationals and Worlds had that effect, but the difference in the commentary for the last 30 seconds of both programs makes the worlds version much more special for me.


    It was, and forever will be the gift season.
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    Hm...I preferred Nationals on a more sentimental level. The look in Michelle's eyes as she hit her ending pose and the crowd rose-was such an incredulous look, like,"Wow, they still LOVE me!" I just thought Nationals seemed crisper and more passionate, while Worlds was more professional. She was fabulous at Worlds (I actually thought her SP was overall a better showing than the LP), but IMO, more emotional at Nationals.

  21. #21
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    I agree that she had more abandon and effervesence at Nats, that's the version I like to watch over and over again (except for the part where Dick says her spiral is not the best--what was he watching?).

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    i prefer Worlds. just struck me differently. i also think having such a strong showing at Worlds after such a strong showing at Nationals was something Michelle hadn't done since Salome (Taj & SOTBS were both skated better at Worlds, but the Nationals' performances were just "ok" for her). it said a lot IMO~
    "forgive me for rude. my english is, .......not so good"

  23. #23

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    I absolutely adore World's Aranjuez because I was there and I have never in my life felt that energy, passion, and excitement in an arena than at the end of Michelle's performance. I was also in the nosebleeds and every single person was just in complete awe. Michelle gave everything in the last 30 seconds, and everytime I watch a part of that performance, or just think about it, I get chills. I remember going back to the hotel that night, truly amazed, as was everyone taking the subway back!

    I watched Nationals on TV, and I remember the few months before Worlds, I rewatched that tape a lot. So while it did make an impression on me, seeing Worlds live is probably the reason when I think "Aranjuez" I think about Worlds.
    "Perfection is always a worthy opponent."
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  24. Default

    I like Worlds best. It was a "happening!" For a lot of reasons - most of which have already been stated.

    What some describe as "holding back" - Dick described as a "calmness" - I experienced it as a "mastery." After the first minute, I lost all my nervousness and just KNEW that she was going to win, and it would be explosive. For me, her footwork at Worlds was superior to nationals because of its abandon, its joy, its energy. She skated it like a victory lap! I loved it. I love it every time I watch. And for me, it is clearly superior to nationals as a piece of work. God, I love it.

  25. #25

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    I like Nationals better. I didn't know what to expect or how she would skate after '02 and she blew me away.

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