Morgan Vs. Melanie – Floor Final – What’s the Deal?

@Gymcastic This one is for you Jessica!

So on the Day 2 Apparatus Finals Gymcastic Podcast Jessica asked the question that I think is on so many of our minds. Melanie De Jesus Don Santos does a beautiful routine. Why on earth is her execution so low?

Well, I am not a judge, but I do love a good code dive. So, here are my thoughts based on what I know and have discovered about the expectations of the judges and the meat of the code. I have no knowledge whatsoever of what actual deductions were taken. Just my two cents.

OK, lets take a look…

The difficulty score is made up of the eight most difficult skills in the routine, at least three of those acro and three of those dance.

They must also complete the minimum required skills and that adds up to 2.0 of D score. These include a sweeping dance pass of leaps and hops with one reaching 180 split, a twisting element and a double back element as well as they must tumble forward and back, with an aerial skill no longer counting as a front skill.

2018 Gymnastics World Championships – Doha Qatar

Comparison of Routines from Morgan Hurd and Melanie De Jesus Don Santos in Floor Event Finals

They are actually very close, the floor final was a close one. Melanie had the .3 out of bound for landing both feet out of bounds but also a couple more tenths in execution deductions. Why is this? Short answer…. Artistry.

They have identical value part totals and both perform a very nice routine. Arguably Melanie’s landings, not counting the first out of bounds landing, are cleaner but Morgan’s routine is jaw dropping artistry perfection.

Morgan Hurd – 13.933 (5.5, 8.433)

Double Double – H –
Double Layout – F
Switch Ring – C
Switch leap full – D
Front layout Front full – B+C – front layout was a little archy
Switch Ring with full turn – D – ring questionable head not as far back
Split Jump full – C
Double Pike – D – .1 hop back

HFDDDCCC – .8+.6+.4+.4+.4+.3+.3+.3 = 3.5

All requirements met – 2.0

No Bonus

D Value – 5.5

She doesn’t have a turn in her routine. That’s weird. This is not a requirement or a deduction. You just usually see a turn in a floor routine so caught my eye.


Now remember, I am not a judge just a student of the code. This is what I would have given being very strict in the nature of the international judges. Just my best guess. I have no knowledge of what the actual deductions were.

First Pass – .2 for hop and additional step + .1 crossed feet in the air
Second Pass – .1 hop + .1 chest down on landing + .1 pike down
Switch Ring – .1 for back leg not ring enough + .1 for not arched enough in head release
Switch Full – .1 not full control on landing
Third Pass – .1 for a bit of arch in front layout + .1for lack of amplitude
Switch ring full turn – .1 for head not fully released + .1 for foot at head level
Final Pass – .1 hop back + .1 hip angle + .1 chest down

The thing I noticed is that her routine flows seamlessly. Every hand is perfect, every move orchestrated. She dances in and out of each skill without hesitation and with purpose and artistry. Just stunning. I did not take any artistry or composition deductions throughout the routine.

I told my daughter who is sidelines for a couple of weeks with a minor injury that this is what she needs to be working on. This is exactly what Tammy Biggs was talking about in her talk at National Congress. Close your eyes and see every move, every transition, every hand, every expression. Have deliberate purpose and grace in every piece of choreography.

I encourage you to slow down the speed on the YouTube video (change playback speed in video playback settings) and just watch her. I am not a gusher and tend to judge pretty harshly, but this is just unbelievably beautiful.

Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos – 13.433 (5.5, 8.233, -.3)

I apologize. The only video I could find of Melanie’s floor final routine had the sound removed. Please Please Please if you have found this routine with music please let me know and I will switch it out. I have linked her qualification routine with music at the bottom for reference.

Full Twisting Double Layout – H
Full Twisting Double Back – E
Switch full – D
Double Wolf Turn – D
Front Layout step out roundoff back handspring double back tuck – B+D indirect
Double Pike – D
Switch Ring – C
Tour jete half – C

HEDDDDCC – .8+.5+.4+.4+.4+.4+.3+.3 = 3.5 (actually 3.4 see below)

All requirements met – 2.0

Bonus – Indirect connected pass front layout to double back tuck B+D – .1 bonus

Technically it looks like she should have a 5.6 start value but only got a 5.5. Must not have gotten credit for something. I’m having a hard time figuring out what that would be. Her ring on her switch ring wasn’t awesome but didn’t look bad enough to take away. But this is really the only thing I can think of is that they took the switch ring, which makes it a switch leap (B). Then there are deductions for the bent back leg?

D Value – 5.5


First Pass – both feet land out of bounds (.3 line judge) plus slight hop and an extra step .2

I am going to give her .2 in artistry here as she takes a step back to two feet in the corner which is a no no and then pauses waiting for her music before continuing after her pass. The artistry stuff is no joke and they are serious about the corners. You can see that Morgan is fully dancing into and out of every pass in every corner has creative and deliberate choreography. According to Tammy Biggs this can be the difference of a few tenths in a routine with the deliberately choreographed routine scoring higher every time.

I also notice that before her passes Melanie has one foot bent but still sitting on the floor, this could trigger these types of deductions as well as she is really pausing and resting which they really don’t want them to do. And she does a lot of arm waving. There is actually a deduction for lack of variety and for lack of complexity in these moves. Every move made should be deliberate, graceful, complex (needs to be practiced) and smoothly transitioned from one to the next. Melanie does a great job throughout her routine but I think is getting nailed on a couple of her corners and possibly on some general artistry deductions.

Second Pass – .1 small hop on landing, .1 artistry for waiting for her music to catch up
Switch Full – .1 bounced out of it, .1 flexed swing foot on take off
Double Wolf Turn
Third pass – .1 hop back on landing, .1 chest down on landing, .1 flexed feet in the air, .1 artistry in the corner before pass
Fourth Pass – .1 hop on landing, .1 landed short, .1 artistry in the corner before pass
Switch Ring – swing leg flexed on take off .1, I think they took the ring away so .1 for bent back leg?
Tour Jets half – little hop on landing .1

In comparison, Melanie is beautiful and has a very clean routine but the transitions in and out of her passes and skills were just not as desirable in the artistry department.

If you watch both routines in slow motion you can really see the difference in the corners that I am talking about. I know, I know, routines don’t happen in slow motion. I am just pointing out that the difference in the two routines is stark and obvious when you watch them this way, giving a little perspective.

I always wonder how the judges can see everything when it is all moving so fast but I have to assume that because they watch so many routines for so many years that their eyes and brains must see the routine a little slower than we do.

Here is Melanie’s routine from qualifications with the music for you.

Related Post

Be Part of the Conversation