Friday, May 6, 2011

Virtue Moir Are Not Yuna Kim -- But Skate Canada Wants Us to Think They Are

The public relations behind Virtue Moir (which is mostly Skate Canada still and, sadly, probably forever) want to brand Virtue Moir as the object of near universal fan obsession throughout Canada. Not internet obsession - i.e., the dozens  of VM fans who cross-post on pages and message boards. Bieber-esque obsession. 

I started thinking about this when Scott and Tessa embarked on this year's SOI tour and bang on schedule, their very first interview was framed precisely like the tour interviews they gave last year.

"Everyone thinks you're together but you're not." If it's not a live piece segue you can set your watch by, it's one of the lead-ins in a written piece (the question with the answer) and then quotes are plugged in. Scott and Tessa spout their patented "turn it around on fans" sound bites -  the audience is confused by their "characters on the ice."

How condescending. Seriously -  somebody thought that was a good one?*

These tactics reek of Skate Canada's trademark holier-than-thou hypocrisy and entitlement.

That Scott and Tessa bald-face lie about their relationship status while pretending fan projection causes fans to wrongly imagine their relationship is romantic is just part of it. They also try to convince fans this fan projection is epidemic. IOW - they're also lying to fans about fans.

I wonder who at Skate Canada decided strategies common among sociopaths were a good Virtue/Moir public relations model.

Edited to add:
Their book - Virtue & Moir: Our Journey From Childhood Dream To Gold  -  is full of lies - from pretending their relationship is platonic to the invention of a "year long rift" stemming from a  blackout of any form of communication during her recovery from 2008 surgery. They avidly promoted this bullshit during the book tour with the expectation nobody would call them out despite archival evidence showing they're full of it.

Tessa/Scott have about reached the point where the more vehemently they assert something, the more we can be sure close to the opposite is happening. This is certainly true about what they were up to during the supposed "rift" - long-held plans being put into action for the utter opposite of estrangement. 

The more they force something upon the public the more they're trying to hide. The 4CCs sadly appears to confirm it too, from Scott's pre-competition vehemence that he and Tessa had every intention of becoming 4CC's champions, to everyone from Carol Moir to Michael Slipchuk's (and Lynn Rutherford's second-hand report on overdone emphasis on the fact that we were going to see TWO programs. Got it? Two. Dudes - no duh!!

The tone was so conspicous, so amateurish, it called attention to itself even before the other shoe dropped. <end of additional>

The thing is, interviews like the ones Scott and Tessa give in each city when they tour pivot off promotional materials provided by their own public relations team. Local media outlets are actually not buried by inquiries about Virtue and Moir's romantic status. Fans don't flood voicemail and e-mail to declare: "I KNOW they're together!"

Entertainment reporters at retail level don't research. They receive talking points from a package (a page or so) emailed or faxed prior to the interview and usually conduct a quick pre-interview with public relations. These are commercials for the tour - trying to sell tickets. 

The relationship topic is where the public relations people want the focus, to reinforce the idea of fans across Canada obsessing over Scott and Tessa. They know they can't convince anyone that fans everywhere are obsessing over Scott and Tessa's brilliant figure skating. But Skate Canada figures it can capitalize on the concept of 'shipping by pretending fans obsess on their chemistry so much they refuse to believe Scott and Tessa aren't together, no matter how many times Scott and Tessa deny it.

Of course Scott and Tessa feign being abashed by all of this, and do their usual chipper lying and blithe truth rearrangement.

The most cursory read around the most active figure skating forums and threads -,, the facebook page addicted to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, ontd_skating, Scott's own facebook fan page, and even the conspiracy-minded Russian livejournal page waytothestars clearly shows most fans insist Tessa and Scott are NOT together. They see no reason Scott and Tessa would lie. To not believe Scott and Tessa would make them bad fans, or delusional. There's lecturing. There's sympathizing with poor Scott and Tessa, reassuring Scott and Tessa.

That's the reality among their uber fans and almost all other fans.

Yet Scott and Tessa's promotional materials work assiduously to convince us nobody believes them, ergo, they're forced to talk about it constantly. Poor Scott and Tessa.

EVERYBODY BELIEVES THEM. Yet before even one fan ever admitted publicly that they DON'T believe them (and/or knew better), Scott and Tessa's pr team pretended NOBODY did. Like just about everything these two do for public consumption, that's a lie.  


I think Skate Canada wants us to believe Scott and Tessa are to Canada what Yuna Kim is to Korea. Scott and Tessa would prefer not to be literal whores and sell out their actual private lives together everywhere they go. However, in Skate Canada's eyes, Scott and Tessa represent hitting the jackpot. SC believes Scott and Tessa's relationship is the team's biggest selling point, so here comes the fiction the ever-convenient fans are the ones not believing they're platonic. 

Fans are believing. Believe me, they believe.

Whether Scott and Tessa have achieved Bieber-tude or not (not) Skate Canada wants us to think they come close. To paraphrase Debbi Wilkes, SC thinks Scott and Tessa "have all the makings" and the right propoganda will make it happen.  
Scott and Tessa say they can fly under the radar. As they can. But the way the conversation is framed pretends Scott and Tessa are just being modest and they're really huge stars. Obsessed fans beseige  entertainment affiliates insisting Scott and Tessa are a couple. If the media keeps asking these same questions despite the countless times Scott and Tessa have already served up the same answer, surely the media has independent reason to believe fans are clamoring for Tessa and Scott to be or admit to being a couple, right?

Actually, not right. The media is working off material provided by the skaters themselves.

VM train in Michigan – they’re anonymous.

Plenty of people on the Canadian side of the border know the score.

There is the occasional random tweet spotting them in Toronto or elsewhere but the word is random and the tweet is "hey, saw Virtue and Moir!"

I don’t think Tessa disguises herself in burkas or Virtue Moir move about in SUVs with blacked-out windows. 

They're trying to create something by pretending it already exists - not just among the usual suspects on the internet (where most people not only believe them, but keep alive the story that Tessa is with David Pelletier) - but with the general public. They want to have it both ways, as always.

What's the point? This generation of Skate Canada officials have always been obsessed with creating not just successful skaters, but star skaters. These geniuses decided if people related to skaters' personal stories, a connection would be created and the public would become so invested they'd pull out their wallets. Michael Slipchuk talked about this in 2008-2009. He wanted personal stories (facsimiles of personal stories although naturally he did not cop to that) to be the lynchpin of Skate Canada's public relations initiative.

Back when Frank Sinatra was starting out, his people would hire girls to scream, cry and faint when he came out of the hotel, and pack the front of the stage with bobby soxers instructed, like an American Idol audience, to lose their shit when he opened his mouth.


For figure skaters, this public relations theory is junk. Masses of the public aren't going to buy tickets cause they 'ship. Michelle Kwan didn't sell out venues when she competed or toured because people knew her personal life. Johnny Weir - a celebrity who does transcend figure skating - only admitted to a couple of non-specific intimate personal life details recently.
You don't become a star by obsessively revising and rehashing your personal history and certainly not by incessantly raising the topic of the public's imagined obsession with you (which is just ASININE). You role model the Americans. Engage the public by touting charities, through smart sponsorship and affiliations, through deals with corporations that know what a compelling promotional campaign looks like (boy does Roots suck by making Tessa and Scott  kiss its ass for the duration of an inane promotional video) and through other proven fan outreach strategems. These all brand better and invest more fans than the strategy of figurative streetwalking. Buy a ticket - I have a compelling personal story! Buy a ticket - fans think we're secretly screwing! Come check out why!

Maybe you look at Tessa Virtue and then at the huge, relatively untapped market of skater-and-dance-obsessed girls and tweens, and their devoted parents, and a lightbulb will go on. Or - if you're inept - it won't.

Within the entire distastefully conducted spectrum of Virtue Moir media and social media management, using fans as pretext and scapegoat for Skate Canada's own feeble, and none-too-successful, public relations strategems continues to be one of the most obnoxious ploys in sports.* 
*The tiredest is "characters on the ice". It's off ice demeanor and behavior that prompts speculation, not Tessa and Scott's acting abilities. They know this, yet push "actors" "characters" and "George Clooney" crap onto the fans, Tessa often waxing empathetic that she "understands" because she, too, wants movie characters to get together in real life. Overreaching - these two can't help themselves.

*Scott magnanimously shared that this fan behavior doesn't really "annoy" him. Big of you Scott.

*I sometimes imagine they must sit around thinking up new ways to be dicks. But it actually seems to come naturally. All involved believe they 'get it' more than other people, and their default setting appears to be contempt.


  1. So, at what point do you think they will come clean or change their PR plan? Based on some of your previous blog entries regarding their relationship status and why they sat out most of this season, it sounds like they would't be able to hide things much longer.

  2. Thank you for articulating something that has bothered me for a long time. I am a devoted skating fan and I love Scott and Tessa to pieces but I am sick and tired of being told that the fans are obsessed with their relationship. (Not any that I know of, but then, we're grown-ups.)

    They trot out this "fact" with the same question/answers about their personal relationship in every.freaking.single.interview and article. It's unbelievably patronizing of them to continually treat me, the fan, as if I were no more mature and intelligent than a silly 12-year-old. I have never confused the characters in a movie or an ice show with real life and I doubt anyone sitting in the audience of a SOI show is having a problem distinguishing between fantasy and reality. V/M have been so insistent on this point that I had already come to the conclusion that it was probably the idea of some idiot PR person.

    Haven't these people ever heard about NOT COMMENTING on issues relating to their private lives?

    I wish Scott and Tessa would just stop allowing this to be one of the "talking points" of their interviews. That is, unless they actually have something different to say that's not a put-down to their legions of (supposedly) silly, misguided fans. I don't want to hear any more of the same attempts to "explain" things to the deluded public.
    Just shut up already!

    I absolutely agree with your observations that instead they should be affiliating themselves with some charity organizations and other worthy causes, not to mention some savvy corporate organizations. Then those things should be the topic of conversation, along with talking about the skating, of course.

  3. First anon - some people who know them were confident they wouldn't deny their relationship into this season as the truth would become obvious.

    But they hid the obvious in plain sight. Now they can hide forever if they choose. They're only hiding from the public. The people in their actual lives - hundreds of people - including figure skaters on the international scene, a lot of the media that's covered skating for years in Canada, friends, acquaintances, family - all know. They don't have to hide at all in their actual lives.

    IMO they have so badly overplayed their hand and are painted into a corner. They have not only lied about their relationship - a benign lie as plenty of celebs have done it before them - but the real problem is how they've handled fans, the constant stream of pure shit shoved at fans, always with a sanctimonious tone. It's extremely "mean girls" - the smile in the face, lie through the teeth, lay traps and pull the rug out methods, often coming off as if they do it just because they enjoy the power of it. It doesn't say anything very good about these people for this to be their "go to" management style.

    Whose idea was this overkill? Whose idea was photo spam and a dozen albums instead of a few tasteful photos at a time? Whose idea was conspicuous meant-to-be-overheard public wall conversations setting fans up for a sting? Who holds fans - fans are PEOPLE - in such contempt? They can't keep their mitts off ANYTHING when fans are around, fans must be fed propoganda constantly. There's a photo from Nats 2010 gala practice with skaters by the boards, Jessica placed next to Scott for a moment or two while Bryce and Tessa lie low a number of spots away, all so the fans present can see the proximity and get it on camera. Debbi Wilkes is standing right behind them. Really? This was necessary? Debbi Wilkes is THAT full of herself?

    It reeks of such ugly self-obsession - like VM are Jesus or something and fans are just ... fans. Then in interviews, after lying, Scott and Tessa usually trot out their pageant comments about the wonder that is Canadian fandom. This is all so gross.

    Even when Scott says something now about not being "annoyed" at fan delusions about their relationship, it offends because these fan delusions are something they're making up so they can pretend to be cool about it.

    They couldn't have botched this worse if that was the goal. Fans are treated like animals with wallets. As little respect as I have for Debbi Wilkes, Barb MacDonald and the rest of SC officialdom, in the end responsibility is on Tessa and Scott. They're adults. If they want to let others handle the pr end and just show up to perform their lines or pose for photos so they can focus on their bubble world, nice but ethically, that's not how it works. They are still responsible, and they're horrible cop outs.

  4. Very convenient that you mention they can now "hide forever". Convenient for your delusions, since you can continue to claim they are lying and hiding even if the supposed "truth" never comes out.

  5. As for fans not believing V&M are actually a couple, yes, sane, adult, long-term skating fans are not delusional, but just looking at the reams of V&M fanfiction on LiveJournal and the gushy romantic threads on forums frequented by teenaged girls, like FanForum, will give you an idea of how many hundreds of V&M fans DO believe they are secretly a couple or wish they were. The fact that they are consistently answering the question about whether or not they are an off-ice couple is not strange at all. Even former Canadian skating star teams like Bourne & Kraatz, who rarely seemed couple-y at all, were asked that question in almost every interview they did.

  6. To be fair to FanForum, its threads have appeared to me to also contain a number of adult posters who concern themselves first and foremost with V/M's skating. But that point aside, there is a quite an emphasis on romance and shipping across the Internet fan communities dedicated to V/M, apparently out of proportion to that seen for any other contemporary ice dance or pair partnerships -- at least in my experience. It is a central draw, though how much comes from V/M and how much from what PR folks have chosen to stress as a focus of their media coverage, may be a bit of a chicken-and-egg query.

  7. I think this blog makes some sense, but why I remain skeptical is this: if these allegations are true, a lot of people must know the truth, as you just admitted. How are you the only one coming forward with these suspicions? FSU is full of people tripping over each other to reveal what they think they know and yet all we ever hear about along this line is the DP rumour. How does everyone in the know happen to be so classy (depending on the definition) that they will not betray Tessa and Scott no matter how ridiculous it gets?

    And yes, a significant proportion of the posters at fanforum are adults who focus on the skating - but although it's difficult to know exactly what age group each poster belongs to, it appears to be the youngest fans who are the least likely to contemplate that Tessa and Scott *could* be lying. They view it as a betrayal to even discuss it. Oddly enough, this results in more talk about Jess and how Scott *must* love her than there is about a secret Tessa and Scott relationship. I would guess it is more somewhat older posters who can't help but roll their eyes when things coming from the TS camp don't add up - although the degree to which they buy into the "conspiracy" varies.

  8. I agree with the above. The skating world - not just the fans, but the actual inner world of elite skating, with the athletes themselves all the way down to novice and even pre-novice levels, the coaches, the skate parents, etc. - is known to be riddled with backstabbing and gossip. Things don't stay secrets long, especially something this big that is supposedly known by "hundreds of people", as this blogger claims. There is no way it would stay a secret. It is less likely the skating community would keep a secret like this than it is that even journalists would be willing to be complicit in hiding such a story.

  9. Lol,sadly enough it seems that its only the posters on fanforum that are actually silly enough to swallow every word this idiot says.

    The saddest part is that yes, most of those posters are adults that should know better. How anyone could actually believe this nonsense is beyond me.

  10. Great stuff. It continues to blow my mind that Skate Canada is so misguided in their PR directives regarding Tessa and Scott, especially since they're basically working with two of the most dynamic and marketable skaters to grace the sport in decades. But what do they spend all of their time doing with them? Sending them around to talk about how unique their relationship is and how fans think they're together, but they're not. And anyone with half a brain, or who even has rudimentary knowledge about marketing and public relations, can see that's an ass-backward way of sustaining fan interest. Personal stories should be the lynchpin of Skate Canada's public relations initiative? Give me a fucking break. That's not how you sustain long-term interest in the sport among the general public and fill arenas (which remain half empty, even at Nationals).

    I don't have a problem with Tessa and Scott not parading their real relationship around (which they ARE lying to the public about, and which is more well known than a lot of their handful of most ardent "they wouldn't lie, you're delusional!" internet fans realize). That's fine. Everyone is entitled to their privacy. But when Skate Canada and their skaters openly direct fans to believe these lies as part of a marketing iniative to make Tessa and Scott seem even more appealing, and asks for their money, they deserved to be criticized for seriously botching up the situation. Tessa and Scott aren't bad people, but they're actively involved in a terribly run, misguided PR scheme that makes them as culpable as their federation. Targeting fans through social media as a means of drawing attention to the sport by making those fans feel like they have a "close" relationship to those skaters, and then bombarding them with fake photo stings and "same old, same old" interview rhetoric so as to convince them they're being let in on the "real lives" of these skaters as a means of maintaining the "they're not together but don't you wish they WERE???" iniative, is not only assholish, it doesn't work on a larger scale or bring in new fans to the sport, which is what Skate Canada claims to be trying to do.

    And to those arguing that there is no way a lot of people could keep the truth about Tessa and Scott a secret, the figure skating world is a lot smaller than it seems, and lots of people claim there's no way secrets could stay hidden. But that's not the case. Lots of skaters have truths about themselves they don't discuss in the media or make sure don't come out in the public. And their fellow skaters and others in the skating world keep those things on the down low, especially when their federations are also major players in making sure the information that does get out is carefully filtered. And why would journalists, if also in the know, be complicit? They want to keep access to the skaters and their fedrations. It's a pretty basic, market-driven approach to covering sports.

  11. This is all so ridiculous. I know that whoever is writing this blog is delusional - by some kind of accident I'm still friend's with Scott on his REAL facebook page, and he and Jessica are definitely dating. I don't know where these ideas come from, because even if I didn't have access to the evidence this "conspiracy theory" is false, it would still sound asinine and I would never believe it. My suggestion to this author would be to grow up and stop acting so immature - this blog almost makes me feel embarrassed for you, lol.

  12. A comment to poster #9 (seriously this would be simpler if we started posting identies, but sadly I'm not brave enough to at the moment either), have you ever even been on the fanforum thread? Anyone who brings up the issues discussed on this blog gets bullied into silence very quickly. I'm not denying that some there think there's more going on with this whole situation, but it most definitely is not the prevailing opinion on fanforum.

  13. i love this blog ♥ thank you for the juice :)

  14. "As for fans not believing V&M are actually a couple, yes, sane, adult, long-term skating fans are not delusional, but just looking at the reams of V&M fanfiction on LiveJournal and the gushy romantic threads on forums frequented by teenaged girls, like FanForum, will give you an idea of how many hundreds of V&M fans DO believe they are secretly a couple or wish they were." Scott and Tessa claim - or have interviewers claim - that people don't believe them.

    All the teen-age fanfiction writers not only believe them, but think people who might not are rude. There's a difference between what you want to happen and what you believe. They're happy with fan fiction; they get upset if anyone thinks the reality is different from what VM say, and these same teen-age girls are eager to support the "Jessica and Scott" relationship for Scott's sake, no matter what they wish is true.

    DW fans wish very much Davis White were a couple and say so - there's fan fiction about them and discomfort about Tanith but Davis White don't pretend the commonplace internet shipping and fan fiction happening in a niche area like internet figure skating boards is an overwhelming fan concern.

    There are not "reams" of teen-agers - the people on message boards are in the dozens, all cross-posting under different names on the active skating boards. The active online skating fans group is more like hundreds, not thousands, and once you're familiar with the boards that becomes obvious.

    It's not some Canadian-wide phenomonen overwhellming Scott and Tessa everywhere they go. The teens on the message boards have already gotten the message Scott and Tessa put out after the Olympics.

  15. To the anon discussing T&S botched marketing program - you've nailed the problems better than I have. :)

  16. A word about those at "fsu in the know".

    Among the regulars, there's no such animal. None of them saw it coming when Tessa and Scott withdrew from Skate Canada in 2008 for shin surgery, none of them ever know what's going on in Canton. The closest anyone came was to report a "reliable" source told them Tessa had hurt her arm. The fact that fsu loves to push the David Pelletier story is Exhibit A of not being in the know.

  17. To poster #12 - I have seen this topic discussed on Fanforum before. And what I saw was that the people who believed this "theory" were much louder and obnoxious about it than those that disagreed. I believe it was they, and in particular one certain poster (whom I can't help but suspect is the same person writing this blog) that did the "bullying."

    But hey, if the other posters finally put their foot down and told you to knock it off then good for them. Why don't you take your crazy conspiracy theories elsewhere instead of polluting public forums with this crap. Can you really not see how desperate this person is to make you believe it? I'm statrting to think he/she doesn't even believe these lies herself, but rather is just enjoying leading a bunch of people on.

  18. Thank you to the blogger for all the insight. I do not know Tessa and Scott, nor do I know anyone that knows them. However; when you look at them strictly from a PR and Marketing standpoint, you can tell something doesn't add up. Heck, everytime they answer the relationship question in a taped interview, they both start to fidget constantly while giving a round-a-bout answer to the question.

    I would also like to reiterate what other posters have said about interviews. The media outlet is given talking points. Most of these interviews are occurring on local broadcasts/shows. These media outlets will not really stray too much outside of the talking points for two reasons:
    They don't have time to do in-depth research because most of these outlets are running on a tight budget and also because the interview was probably only setup a week or two earlier.
    Secondly, they are just happy to get the opportunity. I am not from Canada, but I would imagine these types of interviews are done the same way, so the media outlet is probably giving away tickets along with the interview, which is a bonus for them.

    I also agree that charity work would be a great talking point and would create a better long-term relationship with the public. Their website lists charities, but they never talk about them. Let's hear about them, give the charities some good plugs. The general public may donate to those charities because Scott and Tessa endorse them. Win/Win for all parties. (Think about Kimmie Meissner and Cool Kids Campaign - her career was relativley short, but she is still in the news due to the charity) They may already do this, and again we don't hear about it, but get involved with programs aimed at children. Go read at libraries, go to school classes and talk about hardwork and perseverance. There is a lot they can get involved in. As stated above, they may already do this. If they do, there PR team is definitly using the wrong angle.

    On the marketing parternership side, I know this area is hard right now due to the economy. But, where is the Tessa Virtue ballet leotard or skating skirt that she helped designed? This is a big untapped area!

  19. i bet V&M have been doing it for years, but like they have said in interviews "put it off for the time being" well i take that one way, they put off the titles of bf/gf until they are done with the skating life and want to move on...

    they have also said in interviews that the partners have to understand how important their relationship is and that nothing can come between it...this is part of the reason why i think we have never heard Scott talk say he loves her or anything like that its all Jessica that's always preaching her heart will only beat for Scott Moir...and regardless of if he does love her, cuz no doubt he does after all these years, that love wont compair to the one between him and Tessa...
    but ya to sum it up...i think Scott and Tessa have been doing it for years, and that they have an understanding about their relationship and that Jessica and any bf of Tessa's is "filler" until they're done ice dancing...just my personal conspiracy...i also think scott being the nice guy that he is wont break up with Jess cuz they WERE dating when she got her face slashed and how great would you feel if the man you were with when that happened dumped you after?

  20. Ok, so if none of the people at FSU are in the know, (which I can certainly believe), the question still is: where ARE the people in the know?? Are they all super human beings who never gossip and never go online? I find it hard to believe how everyone around Tessa and Scott can be so disciplined, let alone that none of them have motivation (petty or strategic) to spill.

    And if you think there's enough here for the tabloids, why don't you get the payday yourself?

  21. I really enjoy this blog and its cleverly sardonic commentary. Super stuff in this post about the marketing approaches being so backward. And LOL at the commenter above complaining about not talking about this stuff on public forums and taking it elsewhere. This is not a public forum. If you don't like what is being said here, then don't read it. You choose to visit and read this blog all on your own, I'll bet no one is forcing you to do it.

  22. I think the idea of using Tessa Virtue for a "princess-wear" (or figure-skating/dance)marketing campaign aimed at little girls is brilliant. All the little girls I know are obsessed with all things "princess." What better than an Olympic champion figure skater who also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous? She can also have a line for adults, like another person here commented, with Tessa Virtue-inspired dance or exercise wear.

    I am in complete agreement about the stupidity of using the relationship angle as a PR stratagem (are they/aren't they? Who the f**** Cares!!!). It should not be mentioned at all. Instead, like others have said, it should be all about the skating and the worthy causes they are affiliated with. The present emphasis on relationship only ends up looking like self-absorption. I'm sure they don't want to be giving that kind of impression of themselves.

  23. "DW fans wish very much Davis White were a couple and say so - there's fan fiction about them and discomfort about Tanith but Davis White don't pretend the commonplace internet shipping and fan fiction happening in a niche area like internet figure skating boards is an overwhelming fan concern."

    I have never seen any D&W fanfiction. I'm sure some exists, but the number of D/W fans who "ship" the pair are probably less than 10% of the number of fans who ship V/M. The whole idea of partnered romance has never seemed to be an issue in the D/W fandom because D/W are so CLEARLY platonic both on and off the ice. The discomfort about Tanith seems much more about a) her being their rival before she and Ben retired, b) her being an "older woman" and c) D&W fans just not liking Tanith because of the former intense rivalry between B&A and D&W.

    If you really think the "shipping" for D&W is remotely comparable to the V&M "shipping" both on and offline, you really are crazy.

    "There are not 'reams' of teen-agers - the people on message boards are in the dozens, all cross-posting under different names on the active skating boards. The active online skating fans group is more like hundreds, not thousands, and once you're familiar with the boards that becomes obvious."

    First of all, I didn't say there were reams of teenagers. (That's not even grammatically correct!) I said there was reams of V&M fanfic, which is true - if you printed out the pages of all the fanfiction on the V&M LiveJournal communities alone, there would be hundreds of pages of fic, and there are many other skating and Olympic communities which also featured V&M fanfic.

    As for the online skating fandom, there are at LEAST a thousand posters at FSU alone (even if you count people who have three, four or even more user names) and there are others at GoldenSkate and other forums as well. Yes, you are right that there are probably only a few hundred really ACTIVE posters, but if you count up all the skating fans on the interwebs that post casually on a forum, LJ community, or blog, there are definitely over a thousand and probably well into the thousands. I am VERY familiar with the boards, having been reading the skating forums since before some of the V&M/D&W 'shipper fans were probably born. I was there when the skatefans mailing list and RSSIF newsgroup were the only places to discuss skating online. How many people who are part of the skating fandom online today can claim to remember those? So I really do think you need to rethink much of what you say, because your expertise seems very minimal, if existent at all.

  24. Hahahahahaha, way to censor/delete comments you are unable to argue against!

  25. Last anon - the people who write ff and ship them BELIEVE Scott and Tessa version of their real life status, and repeatedly say so.

    About Tessa and little girls - it's not simply about marketing sponsorships with dance-wear labels - although a sweet, Disney-princess-faced, fashion-obsessed ice dancer is a no brainer for that - but SC marketing Tessa to an obvious segment of the public that might actually purchase tickets to Skate Canada competitions. Little and not-so little girls and their parents. Little girls are mesmeried by Tessa Virtue. Little girls love figure skating and dancing. I think kids in general love Tessa and Scott.

    But no, round and round goes the uncomfortable and assbackwards (thanks anon!) marketing pitch about we're not a couple but you wish we were. Coupled with creepy social media bullshit on facebook underscoring Scott and Jessica's fakery. Which gets nobody anywhere and creeps people the hell out.

    It's worth a mention that the USFSA put on a smashing 2011 US Nationals absent their male Olympic gold medalist, and featuring the flagrantly platonic Davis White and the sibling Shibutani team. A fine time had by all.

  26. Anon who said this:

    "The present emphasis on relationship only ends up looking like self-absorption. I'm sure they don't want to be giving that kind of impression of themselves."

    Agreed. As perfectly "nice" as they actually are, the pr strategy makes them appear obsessed with themselves. They attempt to spin it as the fans' obsession that they're forced to address, but that doesn't stand up to scrutiny, or any kind of logical deconstruction.

    They seem obsessed with micro-managing what people even think about them, let alone say and post about them. That's a little creepy too, and not adult. Skate Canada could use some mature influences in its upper echelons.

  27. Something I don't get about the relationship theory put forth by this blog is simply - Why?
    There have been plenty of skating teams who are also together off-ice (G/G, D/L, for example) with no problems regarding the public perception of them as people or skaters. Granted, there are also some who were linked off-ice and it ended up harming the skating relationship. The way these things work out is so dependent on the individual people involved, I don't think anyone can lay down a hard and fast rule about whether it's ok or not to date the skating partner.

    All that being said, if V/M have supposedly been in a long-term relationship, where's the benefit of hiding it? I don't understand how anything is gained by it and in fact, it can only add huge complications to their lives. I could see, for example, where those surrounding a very young teen-age team would strongly discourage any involvement and might even work together to hide one, if there were a "relationship" at that age. However, that is not the case here. These are two adults who also acknowledge a deep and close friendship. What is supposed to be the motivation for these elaborate lies in order to hide something that's most natural? I need to see some rational, compelling reason for it.

  28. Is it possible for the the entire Skate Canada, a slew of reporters, both Virtue/Moir families, and their coaches/teammates to lie consistently for years about Virtue/Moir relationship? It is common among celebrities to hide their personal lives but what you are describing sounds too far-fetched. Hundreds of people lying for years just to cover up a relationship between two adults? Are there other examples of similar stories? Your blog looks more like a mix of circumstantial evidence and opinion, rather than something believable.

  29. who's said hundreds of people are in the know of their relationship?
    i personally think it is a very personal thing between the two of them...that no one knows just how close they yea...THAT would explain why its never come out, cuz its between the two of them!

  30. To the "who says" anon - I actually sez hundreds of people know, as it's true.

    As to questions about how hundreds of people keep it a secret, the explanation was pretty straightforward from another anon on this page. Everybody has the choice to accept or reject it for themselves.

  31. It's hard to imagine that anyone actually cares about whether these two are together or not; it's pretty typical of Canadian politics...LOL