The Boring Beauty

This is the title Bronwyn gave to new US Classic champion Kyla Ross, back in early 2012. She was right.

Kyla gave a typically pretty yet wooden performance to take the title yesterday, despite a brief splat on floor. In doing so, she pretty much guaranteed herself a spot on the worlds team. She’s a leading contender for an AA medal, and indeed if she could manage more than NCAA level difficulty on floor, she might well be the favourite for the title.

Anyway, more pretty and more dull. Lovely bars, if we ignore the fucking awful split leg toe ons.

Its not like she even has the excuse of not being able to hit a full split. She can!

Beam was similarly attractive and lacking in upgrades. Still, why change a winning formula? It got her an Olympic gold medal after all. Actually its quite an achievement to still be doing one’s Olympic level difficulty a year, a gold medal tour and about three inches on.

And floor was, as usual, utterly wooden and pedestrian. The fall, if anything, livened things up a bit.

It’s very odd to see someone with such truly lovely lines have so little expression. She ought to be a wow on this event, and instead its her worst.

Ultimately, Kyla’s gymnastics is much better observed through photographs than in real time. So few gymnasts get through a growth spurt unhindered, especially ones already as (relatively) tall as she is. And she’s just even more attractive to watch with the extra inches- she controls those limbs so beautifully. I’m not normally one to fuss too much over leotards, but her choice was particularly good. The purple was extremely flattering.

With all this in mind, I really can’t understand why the whole package is still so dull. Girl is sorely lacking in presence. And alas, that can’t be taught.

In other news, Maroney probably bought herself a spot on the worlds team. Her vaults aren;t quite what they were, but nobody else on the planet can do them any better at the moment. She made no attempts to stick either of them: probably for the best. And a prize to whoever can convincingly explain what in Prod’s name happened to Biles.



27 responses to “The Boring Beauty

  • Louise

    I really don’t think Kyla’s gymnastics are boring – I really like her.

    And Rien, really? Skinner? And Gowen?

    • Louise

      Actually, Rien – never mind. My comment sounded rude, and I didn’t mean it as such – I would be surprised by your choices, but it would definitely shake things up.

      • Rien

        Are they that out there though?! I don’t think Gowey is competing at nationals but she is amazing on beam and floor. Oh well, we need someone with her lines. Skinner has higher difficulty on vault and floor than Maroney. If she hits, she will outscore her which to me should send her over Maroney. Skinner has a much better chance as a floor medal. But who knows! There is always a random who goes, Kayla Williams, Mattie Larson, Sabrina Vega…You never know!

      • Louise

        I think they’re a bit out there. Skinner has high difficulty but her execution is really poor. Unless something really changes before Nationals, I wouldn’t see her going. Is her vault difficulty higher than Maroney’s? I know her Cheng is higher than the Mustafina, but Maroney has the Amnar and Skinner just did the DTY and hasn’t had luck with the Amnar. But either way, I wouldn’t see Skinner outscoring her. I really don’t know much about Gowey except that she is with Chow (love him!) and that his focus for her wasn’t until 2014. I just think since she has really no competitive experience that they wouldn’t send her. But you do never know! And I always like an unexpected gymnast! Right now, I’d guess Ross, Biles and Maroney with the 4th up in the air… maybe Preissman, Dowell or a total surprise!

      • Rien

        I suppose. Last year she was definitely rusty but from what I have seen this year, she has improved greatly. Perhaps I am insane! I just think, Skinner does not need Maroney skills to win VT at Worlds, even with a rough cheng and Amanar she can win, and she has a great chance on FX. Maroney can only win on VT, so I really think that Skinner has a higher medal potential. Gowey is lovely! But yea I looked it up, she was recently injured, withdrew from classics, blah blah blah. Hopefully next year! I Think its gonna be between Price (assuming she is near 2012 Price), Biles and Priessman for AA. And Ross, Maroney, Skinner for event specialist. I don’t see Dowell on the team. I feel like she doesnt have the execution or difficulty. But that is just based on classics and last year so maybe she will amaze us at national! I hope so! I hate when the predictable happens…

  • emmasrandomthoughts

    If anyone wants to feel better about Kyla’s win, I suggest watching videos of McKayla Skinner. As someone said on Youtube, she makes me long for the beautiful gymnastics of Aly Raisman.


    Brenna and Simone are the ones who’ve been winning the camps leading up to Classics and I’m sure those two are going to be selected to compete all around at worlds with Kyla and Maroney going as event specialist. Kyla for bars and beam and Maroney for Vault and Floor then Priessman for sure will be the traveling alternate. Hopefully Dowell got the arena competition jitters out of her now and can focus on winning Nationals.

  • Robyn

    I think Kyla’s real personality seems quiet and understated, as best I can tell from all the Fierce 5 press and the online presence that the other 4 have, so she sort of blends in and disappears. Same for her gymnastics – not the flashiest, not the hardest, but pretty and reliable.

    While her difficulty may not be high enough to balance her high execution and let her contend for an all around medal on a world stage, her consistency, confidence, and experience seem to make her the US’s rock. I can’t see a world team without her on it.

    • emmasrandomthoughts

      That’s an excellent point. When the team was announced last year, she was the only one who didn’t cry. She’s just a calmer, quieter person than the others. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. She fit in very well in the team last year because she had pretty, dependable, gymnastics. She wasn’t flashy, but it was pleasant enough and low risk.

  • Jordyn Bieber

    Is it just me or did anyone else think the girls are always overscored at Secret’s?

  • Alison Clements

    Whilst I’m sure there are some gymnasts who can do something with that Cirque-style floor music, I’m afraid Kyla is not one of them. That said, I’d be interested to see what she could do with a piece of music sufficiently engaging that it had the audience clapping along.

    I really think that coaches and choreographers need to be more savvy when it comes to picking out music that suits the gymnast and engages the judges/audience, it has the power to make or break a routine. It isn’t THAT difficult to find a good piece – I’d wager I could find two or three just listening to Classic FM for an hour.

  • Rien

    I was surprised to hear that Kyla is “the one to beat” going into worlds. After all, had Priessman done all four events and thrown her amanar, she would have beaten Kyla by just about a full point. I think Kyla is going to have much lower scorea come Worlds, especially on bars, she didnt even break a 15 at the olympics. I dont think theres anyway she can beat Musty and Komova, even if one of them fall. Her difficulty is so low and her execution is decent but I see no scores above low 15’s in her Worlds if ahe even goes. Id love to see a team of Skinner, Priessman, Price depending on her nationals, and Gowey if she can rock nationals.

    • John

      Kya’s SV on bars is a 6.4, similar to Grishinas and 0.1 higher than Musty’s routine this year. I’m not sure what Komova has in store for us this year, but with the changes in the code, her London routine will now be worth a 6.8 (6.7 for Musty). Kyla has improved quite alot on bars this year. She has scored 15.4 + on 3 occasions (twice in europe).

      On Vault, she and Musty are pretty much even.

      On BB: Technically, her new BB routine is worth a 6.3 – 6.4, if she does all her upgrades (Side Aerial + LOSO; 0.2 CV) (Front Tuck + wolf jump; 0.1 CV). That’s only 0.2-0.3 lower than Musty’s BB routine, but Kyla has better execution.

      Over on FX, her SV is a 5.8, that’s 0.1 less than Mustafinas.

      She said in the interview after Classics that she didn’t perform her full difficulty, so we just have to wait and see what she does at Nationals. But for you to say that she won’t be able to beat Musty and Komova even if one or both of them fall is a bit of a stretch.

      • Rien

        I see what you are saying but I do not think they is going to hit her highest difficulty and execution. People assume that Kyla is going to be perfect and Musty is going to be super scrappy. But Musty has no problem with hitting. She has hit a 15.2 on vault, 15.5 on bars, 15.4 on beam, and 14.5 on floor. Those are not Kyla capable. Remember that she scores in the 13’s on floor. I really do think that unless she becomes amazing in the next two months, Musty/Komova, assuming she is 100% will have an easy time beating her. I think Priessman/Biles/Price have a much better shot.

    • Tmoney

      Last I checked a musty only has beaten kyla once at ub this year. By .5 . Lets not get into the injury card.. Kyla was battling injuries the first half of the year. I believe Kyla’s ub has looked a lot better than her this year. Haters will hate

      • Rien

        You’d have to be insane to think Kyla is going to score anywhere near a 15.5 at worlds….And as I said, she scores in the 13’s on floor, so even if she does outscore the olympic gold medalist on bars (HIGHLY unlikely), she will still lose. I do not hate her, she is just the most mediocre, boring, painful to watch gymnast to ever walk the planet. Fact

  • Stoi!

    Hard to say JordynBieber. Mustafina clearly isn’t 100% on either beam or floor yet, so it depends how much she has improved by worlds. I don’t pay too much attention to her Universiade performance, but looking at Euros I think Kyla at 4 for 4 could’ve possibly beaten Aliya’s AA set. Komova= anyone’s guess.

  • Jordyn Beiber

    Do you honestly think Kyla could beat Mustafina on a good day? I hope somewhere in the depths of Russia Komova is training her flat butt off.

  • calicocharlotte

    Agreed about Kyla being boring as hell. She’s the next Gina Gogean in terms of difficulty and expression, and probably equals her in level of overscoring too. Maroney’s vaults have deteriorated quite a bit, but are still much better than the sorry attempts others are throwing. No TTY for her this year apparently. And I’m not sure even the gym gods can explain what happened to Biles. I imagine the Russians watching the livestream and cackling with glee.

  • kaleykitty87

    I actually really enjoy Kyla’s bar routine. Her bail and handstands are usually great. I do hope she adds her bars and beam upgrades. The side aerial-LOSO cnnection was lovely. I don’t enjoy her floor though. Her choreography isn’t terrible, but her presentation isn’t the best. I do hope she upgrades to at least 6.0 on floor and keeps her execution as clean as it is now.

  • Christiane

    She doesn’t have much of a personality, and it shows.

  • emmasrandomthoughts

    Kyla Ross’ bars also seemed sluggish, for lack of a better word.

    • jayjay

      It really is I thought I was the only one who noticed that.

      • emmasrandomthoughts

        Yeah. I’m watching a few other videos, other gymnasts do look sluggish. They probably aren’t in peak shape yet, and don’t want to be at this point. But yeah, sluggish bars. I’ve never seen her bars look that labored. It was like watching Jordyn Weiber.

    • John

      She grew 3 1/2 inches in less than a year, she’s still growing and adjusting to her growth spurt (her father is 6’5). She said that Bars is the most difficult apparatus for her now because of her height, particularly in the low bar. Her added length has obviously affected her endurance. Let’s give her time to settle into her new body.

      • Andy

        Agreed. So what is she (Ross), 5’4 or 5’5? She looks so tall compared to the other gymnasts. Of course, that’s also why she has such nice lines. I don’t think she lacks a personality as some have said, she is just a little shy and more reserved. She doesn’t try to dominate interviews. But when it comes to the floor there needs to be a little element of seductiveness in there. She’s a pretty girl and if she put a little extra Alicia Sacramone in there she’d be great 🙂

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