by Alexandra Stevenson
|1||Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV||RUS||66.78||1|
|2||Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD||CAN||62.28||2|
|3||Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG||CHN||59.92||3|
|4||Stefania BERTON / Ondrej HOTAREK||ITA||57.30||4|
|5||Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV||RUS||53.64||5|
|6||Daria POPOVA / Bruno MASSOT||FRA||52.96||6|
|7||Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES||FRA||51.44||7|
|1||Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT||FRA||68.48||1|
|2||Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE||ITA||66.18||2|
|3||Ekaterina RIAZANOVA / Ilia TKACHENKO||RUS||58.23||3|
|4||Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE||USA||56.54||4|
|5||Julia ZLOBINA / Alexei SITNIKOV||AZE||54.76||5|
|6||Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER||CAN||51.99||6|
|7||Ekaterina PUSHKASH / Jonathan GUERREIRO||RUS||49.88||7|
|8||Pernelle CARRON / Lloyd JONES||FRA||48.35||8|
(16 November 2012) Paris, France
The rules for the Grand Prix singles divisions allow for ten entries (down from the original 12). However, lately the ISU has not made exceptional efforts to replace those who withdraw, which is a great shame for those on the reserve list. Johnny Weir, who had been entered for this event, withdrew after his injury the previous week in the Moscow.
1. SP 81.18 (40.35+40.83); Jeremy Abbott, USA, a 27-year-old from Aspen, Colorado, who was ninth in the last Olympic Games and fifth in the 2010 World Championship but only 8th in 2012, trains with Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen at the Detroit FSC. He performed a spectator-friendly routine to "Spy" by Nathan Lanier, which he choreographed himself with Benji Schwimmer. It was an obviously tongue-in-cheek presentation, and he appeared to enjoy himself.
Abbott, who has won the U.S. title in three of the past four years (the exception was 2011 when he was third nationally) was given the position of “honor” in Paris, as the “ranking” competitor, of skating last of the nine entries from six countries. This is his 12th Grand Prix event and he has made the Final three times. However, although he has competed in all five other locations, this is his time taking part in Paris at the Trophee Eric Bompard.
The normally very smooth skater had a very bad Free Skate in the Hilton HHonors Skate America, where he finished only fifth overall and appeared utterly devastated. His clearly superior showing here will surely help rebuild some of that destroyed confidence. He opened with a triple flip to triple toe loop which earned 10.30 points followed by 6.50 for his solid triple Lutz. His change foot camel was Level 3 but he lost -0.21 on the Grade of Execution. His triple Axel, set after the half-way stage to take advantage of the 10% bonus, meant he banked 10.21 points. His Level 4 flying sit spin +0.79 GoE put another 3.79 in his pile of points. His steps were classed “only” Level 2 but with +0.93 extra and his final change foot combination spin got Level 3 with an extra +0.43.
Coach Yuka Sato admitted, “I was very nervous because of what happened at Skate America. I had to push him but I didn’t want to break him. It hasn’t been easy. I just wanted him to get through. I had to keep stressing, ‘Think of one element at a time.’”
Abbott said, “Skate America was a very disappointing time. I didn’t know what to do because of my back. We took a week off after the event and I went to the doctor. It’s been a bit of a struggle with my back, which is why I took the quad out of the program. We had to scale back. But it turned out the back will not be as bad a problem as we had feared.
“It is true, this IS an important event, but the most important one is in March (Worlds) so what we have to do is take what we can learning from each competition.” His component marks ranged from a low of one 7.25 for Transitions up to a high of 9.0 for skating skills.
2. SP 76.65 (41.15+35.50); Takahito Mura, Japan, a 21-year-old from Chiba in Japan, skated to "Malaguena" by Ernesto Lecunona, dressed appropriately in Spanish fashion, in black with red and gold. He was first on in the second group of skaters and gave a clearly superior showing. He has only been to the world championship once, in 2010, after he finished 3rd in the Japanese Senior championship. In that worlds, he finished 15th. He has been fifth in the nationals for the past two seasons.
“I put my hands down on the ice after the second jump of the quad toe to triple toe,” Mura admitted, “So I wasn’t pleased with that.” The second jump received an arrow for slight under-rotation, but even with the deduction of -1.57, he still banked 11.63 points. His triple Axel was clear and he received an extra +2.00 GoE. His combination spin received the full base value for Level 4 but his triple Lutz got a small -0.10 removed. His other three moves were all Level 3 with +0.21, +0.50 and +0.21 respectively for the change foot combination spin, the step work, and the flying sit.
3. SP 75.46 (38.73+36.73); Brian Joubert, now 28, is the nine-time and current French champion, (2003-2008, 2011, 2012), skated to last year’s routine which he terms “uplifting”. The music is "Genesis" by Justice and "Aerodynamic" by Daft Punk. He wore his usual black with odd shaped chiffon see-through sections.
He managed his opening quad toe but the second jump of the combination was only a double toe. He stepped out of his triple Axel, losing -1.57 from its base value. His flying upright spin was Level 3 with +0.36. His triple Lutz received an extra half point, but his change foot combination spin was only Level 1. The third spin, a change foot sit was the maximum Level 4 with +0.71 and he concluded with his Level 3 straight line steps which were rewarded with an extra +0.86.
The 2007 world champion said he was ready for competition when he went to Cup of China but then got ill and that meant he wasn’t prepared for this event. “The last two weeks have been very difficult. I did not do a perfect performance, but I gave it 100%.”
4. SP 68.90 (36.83+32.07); Jorik Hendrichx, 20, won the Belgian championship in 2010, but was beaten by his teammate, Kevin van der Perren, in his past two nationals. He is finally being recognized as his small country’s top male now that his much older rival has given up ISU competition for the very popular television show “Dancing with the Stars”, skated to two pieces by Michael Buble, "Cry Me a River" and "Spiderman" which were separated by Kenny G’s At Last.
This is his first Grand Prix event. He stepped out of his opening move, a triple Axel, but his triple Lutz to triple toe loop gained an extra half point. His change foot sit spin was Level 4 with +0.21. The other two spins and his footwork were Level 3. His outfit comprised a green short-sleeved skirt with a jumpsuit and gloves.
5. SP 65.77 (34.44+31.33); Jinlin Guan from China is a 23-year-old who was born in Qiqiha but trains in Beijing with coach Ying Lu. He was sent to the world championship in 2010, finishing 17th, and competed in the last three Four Continents Championships, finishing 9th, 6th and 10th. This season, he was 7th in the Cup of China.
Skating first of the seven men from five countries to Camille Saint Saens’ "Dance Macabre," Guan stepped out of his opening Quad toe which was to be his combination, and then doubled instead of tripled his Axel. His first two spins were Level 4 with each getting an extra half point. He brought off his triple Lutz and added to a double toe loop to make the move the combination, and received the base value. His straight line steps and change foot sit spin were both Level 3 with +0.50 and +0.64.
6. SP 65.75 (34.65+32.10 -1); Nan Song, just two weeks after his collision with Adam Rippon in the Cup of China, which gave him a concussion, still has no memory of the accident and his forced night in a hospital. He gamely admits he is still feeling “not 100%” but decided to carry on. Performing to what is listed as, “The Middle East Side from a) 46 Nihavent Longa Album, and b) 47 Double Doom Drum Solo Album”, he collapsed on his quad toe, which received an arrow for slight under-rotation, but the following triple Axel gained an extra +1.29. Next came two spins, a Level 4 change foot sit spin which gained an extra +0.43 and a base value Level 3 flying camel. He then added a double toe to his triple Lutz to take care of the missing combination. His straight line steps were Level 3 with +0.43. But his final move was only a Level 1 spin which still earned an extra +0.57.
The 22-year-old, who was 22nd in his debut in the World Senior Championships in 2011, and rose to 14th this past March, is the current Chinese champion, after taking silver in the previous two years.
7. SP 60.13 (25.87+36.26 -2); Florent Amodio, 22, who was born in Brazil but adopted and brought to France as a baby, is a very excitable skater enjoying his position as his teammate, Brian Joubert’s successor. “We are friends,” he claims. “But, of course, we are trying to beat each other. Otherwise, what is the point?” Amodio was French champion in 2010, but Joubert was not able to compete that year. Joubert also did not compete in 2009 when Yannick Ponsero took the title.
However, Amodio had a bad day, falling on his initial move, a quad Salchow, and then later on his triple Axel, and executing only a double Lutz which meant that move also received unanimous -3s. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he got no points for his change foot sit spin.
8. SP 58.28 (28.85+29.45); Chafik Besseghier, 23, who was born and raised in Grenoble, the French city which hosted the 1968 Winter Olympics (where Peggy Fleming won gold), skated to Maksim Mrvica’s version of Grieg’s famous "Piano Concerto." Last season, in his sixth appearance in the senior national championship, Besseghier gained the bronze medal and was 12th in the European championship.
Here in Paris, he was trying too hard, which resulted in sloppiness. His opening quad got no where near the required revolution and was given a double arrow. He executed a triple Axel and then added a flawed triple toe to make up for the missed combination. His camel spin was only Level 1 and the step sequence and change foot spin only Level 2. His change foot combination spin did, however, earn Level 3.
9. SP 57.40 (23.01+35.39 -1); Tomas Verner, the 2008 European champion, who is now trained by Robert Emerson in Toronto. has had a checkered career. The 26-year-old has been fourth twice at Worlds, in 2007 and 2009. But in the 2012 Worlds in Nice, he was a lowly 16th. This season didn’t get off to a flying start. He was 6th in the Nebelhorn Trophy, 3rd in Bratislava, and 8th in the Hilton HHonors Skate America. His routine, set to music from the soundtrack of "Dracula," began with a quad toe on which he fell. It got an arrow for slight under-rotation. And then he singled his intended triple Axel. One of his spins was only Level 1 and the steps and his change foot sit spin were only Level 2. His combination of triple Lutz to triple toe got an arrow for under-rotation on the second jump. Just NOT a good day.
The Pairs Short Program opened this Grand Prix. The absence, due to her illness, of the German four-time world champions, Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy, seemed to give Friday morning’s pair practice a palpable sense of tension, with top skaters sensing they had a chance for gold. Despite death spiral error, Kavaguti & Smirnov give superb showing to lead the pair Short Program by a significant margin.
1. SP 66.78 (35.09+31.69) As the “ranking” pair, Yuka Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov, skated last, an honor decided on past ISU standings. Despite a Level 1 and -0.20 Grade of Execution on their back outside death spiral, due to insufficient tension in the arm hold, Kavaguti, who turns 31 on November 20, and Smirnov, who was 28 on October 11, were clearly the best. They progress into tomorrow’s Free Skate with a more than six point lead.
Yavaguti & Smirnov are an unlikely team. Famed coach, Tamara Moskvina, arranged for them to meet in early 2006. Kavaguti was required to give up her Japanese citizenship to represent Russia in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and she did so. It was a pairing arranged by coach Tamara Moskvina, who trains them in in St. Petersburg.
But though they won bronze medals in the 2009 & 2010 world championships, and gained the 2010 European title, they were only fourth in the Vancouver Olympics after their throw quad attempt turned into a disaster. Both have suffered through many injuries and have continued to fight on. Their placing in the last world championship was only seventh.
On Friday, they gave a delightful showing of last season’s routine, set to Johann Strauss’ "Blue Danube," she in a snootily gorgeous white creation, he in muted black tails and bow tie. Their triple twist looked easy and got the maximum Level 4 and their side-by-side triple toe loops were executed as if they were one person. Apart from the death spiral, the other elements looked polished and were accomplished with ease. The throw triple loop went like clockwork and they earned +1.20 over its base value. They other three elements were all the maximum Level 4: the flying change foot combination spin got an extra +0.86; their Group 4 lift was rewarded with an extra +0.93; and their final element, the Straight Line Steps earned a full 1.20 over its base value. The components ranged from a single +7.0 up to a couple of 8.75.
2. SP 62.28 (34.46+28.82 -1 for her fall) Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford skated fifth of the seven pairs from five countries. The current Canadian title holders teamed together only in spring of 2010. They have taken part in two world championships, placing seventh and fifth. They train in Montreal with Richard Gauthier. They performed with feeling, an enjoyably artistic Short Program to poignant music from the Opera "La Boheme." She was in red (sleeveless & backless), he was brown trousers and white suspenders. Their elements were well finished with interesting moves on their entry and exit on the death spiral.
Duhamel, who turns 27 on December 8, attributes her success to her eating habits. She has been a vegan for the past four years. She said enthusiastically, “I never have to worry about weight, but I’m strong and very healthy. We are definitely hoping to advance our world standing.” She was pretty upset, however, about her fall on the side-by-side triple Lutzes. “I was very disappointed. It wasn’t really a technique thing. I was maybe too relaxed. I just lost concentration for a moment. In a way, it’s a good thing because now I’m mad and I’ll really be concentrating every second tomorrow.”
Radford, 27, added, “We practice a lot to make sure we don’t mess up. We didn’t expect that. It’s been a long time since we’ve fallen.” They received Level 4 for four of the five elements which receive Levels. Their triple twist was Level 3.
3. SP 59.92 (33.83+26.09) Chen Peng & Hao Zhang, who are taught by Bin Yao and Yu Son, are from Harbin, the birthplace of Chinese pair skating, but train in Beijing. At 15, she is the youngest pair competitor in this event. Her partner is an extremely muscular 28-year-old who towers above her. He previously partnered Dan Zhang (no relative) who has now retired due to repetitive injuries. They were the 2006 Olympic silver medalists and performed quad twists in practice.
The new pairing made their international competitive debut together at the recent Cup of China placing fifth. In Paris, they were first to skate, getting good levels performing to Paul McCartney’s "Live and Let Die," performed by David Garrett.
“We are very surprised to be lying third,” said Zhang, “because we are so new. My previous partners just could not go on because of the injuries.” His new partner wears glasses off the ice. How important is eye sight in focusing coming out of spins and judging where the ice is in jumps? The youngster pooh-poohed the notion that she was in anyway a problem.
“I was really excited when he came to Harbin to try out with me,” she said. “He is really quite famous and I was no one. But it seemed to work and here I am. I can hardly believe it. We haven’t had any time to sightsee but maybe on Sunday, we will see the Eiffel Tower.”
They received the maximum Level 4 for their back outside death spiral, for their step sequence and for their Lift. They gained Level 3 for their triple twist and their spin.
4. SP 57.30 (29.90+27.40) Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek, Italy, performed to "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones. They were attired in black, of course. She had long sleeves and black tights. They began with triple toe loops. Their triple twist was Level 2. Their throw triple loop received its base value. Their lift and the step sequence were Level 4 and their final move, the spin, Level 3. However, their back outside death spiral was only Level 1 with -0.10 Grade of Execution.
Hotarek, who is 28, was born in Brno, in the Czech Republic, but teamed up in early 2009 with the Italian, Berton, 22, had placed 16th in the European Ladies championship but had never previously tried pairs. She decided to do so when Hotarek agreed to skate with her and represent her country.
They have now competed in three world pair championships, placing 11th, 10th and, last March, 11th. Their bronze in their earlier Grand Prix this season, in Canada, was a major step forward for them.
5. SP 53.64 (26.43+27.21) Ksenia Stolbova, 20, & Fedor Klimov, 22, who are trained by Ludmila Velikova in St. Petersburg, skated to Elliot Goldenthal’s music for the soundtrack of "Interview with a Vampire." As Russian Junior champions, they won bronze and silver medals in the 2010 & 2012 World Junior Championships. In their first Russian Senior championship last season, they earned silver, and were sent to the European championship, where they walked off with bronze. They earned another bronze in the recent Cup of China Grand Prix. His mother is a skating coach.
They opened with a Level 1 flawed triple twist, which to -1.30 taken off its base value. Their back outside death spiral received Level 2 with a small 0.20 Grade of Execution. Their straight line steps were Level 4 with +0.60 and their Group 4 lift was Level 4 with +0.79. Their side-by-side triple toe loops were not good and had -1.40 taken off the base value. Their spin was Level 3 with +0.14. Their final move, the throw triple Salchow lost -0.60.
6. SP 52.96 (28.34+24.62) Daria Popova, 19, who was born in Moscow, teamed up with Bruno Massot, 23, in June 2011 with the plan of skating for France. They are the current French champions, who train with Ingo Steuer in Chemnitz in Germany. They were eighth last season in the European championship and fifth this season in both the Nebelhorn Trophy and Skate Canada.
Skating to the soundtrack of "La Belle Histoire," their triple twist received Level 2. Their triple toe loop jumps received +0.50 extra, and their lift was Level 4 with +0.43. However, she jackknifed on the landing of their throw triple loop and their back outside death spiral was only Level 1. Their steps were Level 2 but their spin was Level 3 with +0.24.
7. SP 51.44 (26.04+25.40) Vanessa James, 25, & Morgan Cipres, 21, who were second in the French championship, were sixth in the last European championship but only 16th in the subsequent Worlds. James was the French pair champion with her previous partner, Yannick Bonheur, but Cipres, who was 13th in the World Junior Championship in 2010 in singles, had not done any pairs when he and James teamed up in September 2010.
This season they seem to be making considerable progress. They earned bronze in the Nebelhorn Trophy, she in a fuschia dress, he in black, and were fourth in the Hilton Hhonors Skate America. Performing to "Rhumba D’Amour" and "Safri Duo," they brought off a Level 2 triple twist but she only did a double instead of triple toe, and their throw triple flip was landed with a jackknife movement. Their back outside death spiral received only a “B” for basic. However, their last three elements (the steps, lift and combo spin) all received the maximum Level 4 with positive GoEs.
1. SD 68.48 (33.50+34.98) Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat, of France, who now train at the Detroit Figure Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with Angelika Krylova and Pasquale Camerlengo, and who won bronze in the World Championship earlier this year, were clear favorites to win, and lived up to that elite status.
They skated last of the eight couples from six countries. The opening and closing sections of their routine were set to Offenbach’s wonderfully, positively energizingly fun "Gaiete Parisienne Can Can" with the central part, a romantic Waltz, "Under the Paris Sky" sung in French by the French legend, Yves Montand. It was performed with a bubbly wholesomeness. Their third element, the straight line lift and the second section of their Yankee Polka gained the maximum Level 4, while their other three elements were Level 3.
They were fresh from their win in Cup of China. Pechalat, who turns 29 on December 12, agreed that finding the right music is paramount in ice dance. “You are always looking, and you want to get the decision made. It’s a big part of the sport and more so because next season is the Olympic one. Sometimes, what you think is right, doesn’t work out when you get it and play it in the rink, and, sometimes, something just falls into your lap – not as often as you wished it did though.”
In the past, Bourzat, who will be 32 three days before his partner’s birth date, has had trouble with twizzles, and has said some pretty aggressive words about them. But he finally appears to have come to terms with this requirement. He said, “You have to do them. Eventually, I’m proof of it, if you work hard enough, they start to come and then you don’t understand why it took you so long to get to that stage.
“It’s easier that you have the key points rather than judging the compulsories the way they used to. I think it’s better now. And you can ask questions about what it takes to get Level 4 and why you didn’t get it.”
2. SD 66.18 (33.07+33.11) Anna Cappellini, 25, & Luca Lanotte, 27, Italy, also presented a fun routine set to the Barn Dance from the classic movie, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," for their beginning and final parts of their energetic showing, which had a mid-section Waltz to "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" from the same movie. Both partners wore red jackets, Cappellini over a white dress and Lanotte with grey pants.
Their initial two elements, the twizzles and first section of their Yankee Polka plus their final element, the rotational lift, received the maximum Level 4. The other two elements, the second section of the Yankee Polka and their non-touching circular steps, were Level 3.
Cappellini said, “The Polka is demanding, and exhausting but it makes you laugh and smile.” Lanotte agreed. “We are working very hard on it, and that becomes easier the more time you spend on it. We can definitely see that we are improving.”
For some of the entrants, this event is déjà vu. They are repeating the Skate Canada event with competitors who placed second (Cappellini & Lanotte) through sixth (Zlobina & Sitnikov) in that earlier Grand Prix coming up against each other for the second time this season.
3. SD 58.23 (28.08+30.15) Ekaterina Riazanova, 21, & Ilya Tkachenko, who turns 26 the day after Christmas, Russians who were third in Skate Canada, are again lying third. They are trained by both Alexander Gorshkov in Moscow and Igor Shpilband in Novi, Michigan. They presented an elegant performance using music from "My Fair Lady," including "With a Little Bit of Luck." In the past three years, they have earned fourth, second and third place nationally and in their debut World championship, in March, they were ninth. Although their twizzles and rotational lift were Level 4, there other three elements were only Level 2.
4. SD 56.54 (27.85+28.69) Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue, the 2012 U.S. championship bronze medalists, who are both 21 and were fifth in Skate Canada, have a delightful story for their routine for this section. He plays the gallant, doomed love interest from the relatively recent movie Titanic, and she the heroine, who survives. They train alongside Pechalat and Bourzat in Detroit.
They received Level 4 for their first two elements, the twizzles and their straight line lift. The first part of their Yankee Polka and their non-touching steps were Level 3, but the second part of the Yankee Polka was only Level 1. They were fifth in Skate Canada.
5. SD 51.99 (25.50+26.49) Julia Zlobina & Alexei Sitnikov represent Azebaijan, although both were born in Kirov in Russia, and train with Alexander Zhulin in Moscow. They presented a routine to Valse "Violente" performed by Caravan Palace and "Dolly Song" by Holly Dolly. The 23 (she) and 26-year old were sixth at Skate Canada. Their first and last elements, the twizzles and their rotational lift were Level 4. The first part of their Yankee Polka was Level 3 and the other two elements gained Level 2.
6. SD 51.99 (25.50+26.49) Piper Gilles, who formerly represented the United States, teamed up with Canadian Paul Poirier, and they finished fourth in Windsor in Skate Canada, ahead of the Americans but that has been reversed here. They have a Waltz from the Overture to the Mary Poppins soundtrack by Robert Sherman March. They execute their Yankee Polka to "A Step in Time" from the same movie.
Their relative lack of ISU point standings meant they were first to skate. Gilles, 20, an American born in Rockford, IL, changed countries, joining up with Poirier in 2011. She explained she is enjoying the experience. “My mother’s mother came from Canada, so I’m really just going back to my roots.” Poirier, who turned 21 earlier this month, was national champion in 2010 with Vanessa Crone.
Their coach, Carol Lane, said, that she felt they were coming along fine. “You are going to get differing results. The judging of ice dancing has some variations. You just keep working to get better and that was only Level 1, work ethic pays off in the end.” They got Level 4 for their final element, a rotational lift and three of the other four elements were Level 3 but they had trouble with the second part of the Yankee Polka and that was awarded only Level 1 with a negative Grade of Execution (-0.29).
7. SD 49.88 (24.28+26.60 -1) Ekaterina Pushkash, 20, & Jonathan Guerreiro, 21, who represent Russia although he was born in Sydney, Australia, are trained by Nikolai Morozov in Danbury, CT, and Denis Samokhin, in Novogorsk in Russia. They teamed up in 2009 after skating with previous partners. Last year, they competed in both Skate Canada and the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, finishing sixth and seventh, but this is their only Grand Prix this season. The lost a point for running overtime on their lift.
In Paris, they skated fourth to music from Cirque du Soleil’s "Quidam," with her in mostly pink, and him in some blue, attired in amusing and rather complicated outfits which suited the off-beat piece. Their rotational lift was Level 4 and three other moves were Level 3 but the second part of their Yankee Polka was only Level 1.
8. SD 48.35 (20.99+27.36) Pernell Carron & Lloyd Jones, France, are now trained in Britain at the Deeside rink by former British champion Marika Humphreys Baranov. Jones, 24, was born in Cardiff in Wales but became a French citizen to compete with Carron, who is 26. Although they were 12th in the 2010 & 2011 world championships, they suffered a huge blow, placing only 21st last March in Nice, and were a disappointed seventh in the recent Skate Canada.
They executed a Polka to "Cotton Eyed Joe" with a central section to "The Tennessee Waltz." In Paris, they got Level 4 for their twizzles and their straight line lift but the first part of their Yankee Polka was Level 2 and their second part, along with their non-touching steps, were only Level 1. Even worse, the steps got a -0.79 removed from that low base.