Thursday, September 15, 2011

The camara loves Debbi Wilkes but is only "in like" with Barb MacDonald

Scott and Tessa, Skate Canada's biggest stars, are interviewed on CBC by P.J. Kwong. Skate Canada knows this interview will get the most hits, and by far. Interview begins:

There's Barb, perfectly framed between Scott and Tessa's heads. Her back is to us,
but her face is turned towards "our camera". Notice the camera angle, and
how from this angle at this moment, with Barb in frame, we can't see Debbi Wilkes.
Barb is chatting, corporate communicating, as one does. Still framed between Scott and Tessa's
heads, not an inch of her lovely profile is blocked. Don't shift or anything, Scott and Tessa!

Barb must say bye bye - she crosses face first into the right of the frame.
She didn't know we were there!  When she sees us, big smile. 

New camera angle. And - oh my - who is now immediately moving into
the position framed between Scott and Tessa's heads?

Someone with important Director business to discuss right there in that spot.

Debbi is in position. Uncanny. Dead center framed by Scott and Tessa's shoulders and faces.
Not an inch cut off. I hope Scott and Tessa don't get stiff necks.
Deb checks the camera position. Normal, natural. What anyone would do.
Just seeing if her stars are conducting themselves as the great representatives they are. 
Nice new hairstyle, Debbi.

Debbi stands tall. She has excellent posture. But, a potential issue has arisen!

Holy shit - Debbi Wilkes is blocked from the camera filming Scott and Tessa!!
Debbi Wilkes is blocked from the camera filming Scott and Tessa!

Clear THAT camera? But I'm not blocking anybody!

But clear she does, walking backwards, yet. The camera guy wonders wtf.
Such a common reaction when Skate Canada/Scott and Tessa are in the mix.

Ponytail lady backs away til she's hidden behind Scott.
Is that side-eye Debbi is giving our camera? Let's make sure
everything is still in position.

Debbi is restored to the prime frame position and waxes vivacious, but not so
vivacious any of her moves off her mark and we can't see her face.

OMG, full body shot, dead center framed by Scott and Tessa!
So random, so convenient, everyone not holding a camera has
their back to the Scott and Tessa camera, except Deb angled 3/4ths towards it!
 Her luck is remarkable.
 The uncanny part is no matter where the camera swings, you can see Debbi full on in the frame:

It swings to - and there she is (and Ponytail now knows her place)

It swings fro.
As PJ's interview with Scott and Tessa opened, Ponytail entered the frame from stage right and crossed down to Barb. I don't know what Barb was doing until Ponytail got her cue to enter, but whatever it was, she was able to give Ponytail her immediate attention. I imagine Barb was busy overseeing, and, seconds after the interview started, she realized things were well in hand and exited the frame  - possibly to check her blackberry to see what it was the USFSA had done days before.

I love that there are quite a few people in the visual field between the camera and Debbi Wilkes, including the guy in the black jacket with his back to the camera.Yet not a single one of these people is blocking any part of the sight line between the Scott and Tessa camera lens and Debbi. *
*Poor Weaver & Poje appear to be getting filmed/interviewed a few paces down the hall, but Debbi and Barb don't seem to give a shit about THOSE sight lines.


  1. LOL. It's like "Where's Waldo?" with Debbi and Barb! Except they're not that hard to spot, since they're doing everything possible to stay in frame. Don't they know the rules? At least Ponytail got the memo (or the evil side-eye).

  2. It's sad and pathetic to see Scott and Tessa used this way.

  3. Is it just the Tessa/Scott video that Barb and Debbie are in the background of? I'm inclined to think that it means nothing.

    On the upside, when I scrolled past this post really fast, it was like one of those cartoon flip books. Someone should make a Tessa and Scott flip book.

  4. ^ You've got to be kidding. That it's the Scott and Tessa interview video is the entire POINT. It means everything. It's because Scott and Tessa are the high-profile ones, the stars, the famous ones. The ones the public is interested in. This is the interview that will get the most views. That is why Barb and Debbi are piggybacking on Scott and Tessa's interview, specifically - not that they won't take what's around if Scott and Tessa aren't - such as Patrick Chan.

    The second anon has it right. Scott and Tessa are being used.

  5. In the area of speculation - I wonder if Debbi hasn't attempted to create not just job security, but a JOB, period, for herself, by using scare tactics with the figure skaters and their families. Bringing on ego cases like David Pelletier to wax on about horror stories about the public, the havoc wreaked by privacy breaches, careers derailed or relationships sundered by pressure. It would certainly kill a couple of birds with one stone - create a need for Debbi, but also flatter the skaters - wow - the public would be THAT interested?

    But not to worry. Deb is here. Deb will always be right there, protecting you. She will hold your hand. SHE will absorb the hostile gaze of the camera lens. SHE will take the mike and confront the crowds in attendance at an event. It will be her familiar face interviewing you. Just talk to her - forget about that camera. Debbi will cope with that nasty camera. Don't worry about the scary camera and the scary people.

    Would IMG take such personal care of you?

    She'll help you build a house of lies (You didn't know you needed one, you poor dears? Ooo, you do.). And she'll be there to help sustain it and maintain it. She'll always be there to help! What would you do without her?

    Because if that's not it, I don't know what the hell else she does in her "work" day.

    That's an old lesson in marketing, btw, that I think even someone with an undergraduate degree in marketing from the 1970s, like Debbi, learned in marketing class. CREATE a need, then fill it. Invent a problem, then solve it.

    What I think Debbi learned to market when she got her marketing degree is Debbi.

    Not much else.

  6. bahahahaha

    If I had any doubts remaining that SC could be so stupid as to be orchestrating the Scott/Jess thing, this....

    that is the most hilarious and pathetic...Gah there are no words, does she have any clue how incredibly weird this is?? #sideeyes

  7. Going a bit out on the limb here, but is it possible that Skate Canada's "House of Cards" is about to collapse because the Corporate Sponsors have left (BMO, Nabisco, Artistry etc.) and TV contracts have moved to limited coverage and on secondary channels. Maybe somebody behind the scenes at Skate Canada, wants Debbi and Barb to be the fall guys, so they are making sure the two get coverage in the era before the fall? Just a theory.

  8. Last anon, were I to guess, I'd say I doubt it because people who are incompetent at everything but politics and looking out for their own best interests usually have one or more relationships that protect them. If any changes were to happen they would either be purely cosmetic (i.e., an attempt to change how things were done without changing what's done) or they'd work around the officials currently in place.

  9. When the regular media at HPC interviewed Scott and Tessa, Skate Canada was eager to show off the "scrum" format - an intense gaggle of media crowding up on the famous figure skaters, recording devices extended. Such horseshit.

    That's media theatre. That's all Skate Canada seems to do - orchestrate mise en scenes to impress fans on the internet. Who actually DOES anything that's not internal politics or personal promotion in those Skate Canada marketing director jobs?

    Above - Tessa and Scott positioned with the Skate Canada logo board to the side - is Skate Canada's own interview, which is why the camera angles worked out so well for Barb and Debbi.

  10. I can't think of a time when Tessa and Scott haven't been all RahRahSkateCanada. Nothing really wrong with that if V/M's interests were being served, but they're glaringly not being served at all. How is it possible that the Olympic Champions are not fending off endorsement requests, picking and choosing amongst many many possibilities? I hate hate hate what SC has done (or I should say, NOT done) with this beautiful, charming, articulate team.

    All this time after winning the Olympics at home and V/M still sound exactly the same in all their interviews. If it hasn't started already, the public's interest will be waning fast. By now, Tessa Virtue should have had her name on a line of little-girl-princess-ballerina apparel. Both Scott and Tessa could be branding sports-athletic wear. They're naturals. Instead, they're stuck providing photo-ops for the likes of Debbie Wilkes and Barb MacDonald.

    My question is - do Tessa and Scott keep allowing SC so much control because their priority has actually become to stay in their fake little bubble instead of launching themselves into the real world as ADULT Olympic champions and all that implies?

  11. PJ Kwongs column sort of reads like "Miss Manners the Social Butterfly" from 1955. I get the feeling she never left that retro social environment. If indeed Alma Moir is the driving force keeping Debbie and Barb in power, I feel sorry for Patrick Chan. I get the feeling lately that he is trying his best to publicly distance himself from Skate Canada - hence the photo OP of Patrick posing with the 2011 USFSA team, which likely means Patrick has some quality PR advice being passed his way (David R. was that you?). Beware, Shae Lynn is a hardcore supporter and defender of the current Skate Canada management and management style.

  12. Why bring Shae-Lynn into this? I don't see why she would be involved, she has her own professional obligations and is certainly not mediocre which seems to be the hiring requirement here.

  13. I feel so bad for Tessa and Scott. Olympic and World champions. Wonderful, charismatic public personalities. And they're reduced to being a SC mouthpiece and living some kind of weird life where SC gets to pull the strings of the V/M personas (any SC involvement in V/M's personal lives, whether the "private" or the "public" one is unacceptable). And for all of V/M's accomplishments, they're not swimming in endorsements nor much in the public consciousness as far as public-service involvement. Almost everything about V/M is still the "dating" question and periodic in-your-face reminders that Scott has a gf named Jessica Dube.

    It all seems rather pathetic.

  14. I don't know if Alma Moir is the driving force behind keeping Debbi in power - I don't know what kind of influence she has, period. Her published anti-gay remarks from the early 0's are an example of a very common mindset among skating parents and back then she was far too insular to realize maybe it wasn't a good idea to say what she did for the record. (Going by the public facebook sour grapes about Worlds 2011, they all still have trouble understanding what's appropriate in what context.)

    Debbi Wilkes has been by Alma's side shamwise - for example at Nationals 2010 gala rehearsal Debbi, volunteer Debbi Mac and Alma Moir are standing together behind the boards when Scott and Jessica briefly hit a sham pose - Jessica sitting beside Scott at the boards, Tessa and Bryce shunted further down the line into the background, eyes straight ahead. Scott's mom, aunt, his cousins by his Aunt Carol, and his brothers are all lifelong Skate Canada members (Danny may be still, as a junior dance coach). They clearly think of it as their store and have trouble respecting the line between personal and professional ethics. Personal ethics are a matter of conscience, professional ethics at Skate Canada are the public's business. Yet the "our crowd" "our building" mentality carried to the Olympics, when Debbi Wilkes used the venue and personnel to stage a bit of live action Jessica/Scott fakery.

    There's the old saying about respecting the office if not the person holding the office - Skate Canada's most prominent members don't seem to understand the distinction at all. In fact, they've got it exactly backwards. It's all personal and that's where corruption happens.

    At least Ilderton seems to be doing well $$-wise. A brand-new rink has been constructed.

  15. Anon a few posts above - I definitely agree that Patrick Chan has matured. I hope he is distancing himself from Skate Canada but you can never tell. He was exceptionally candid in the recent interview he did overseas. Perhaps having solid quads and a coach he trusts has created real self-confidence because his comments were enlightening and he talked comfortably about real stuff, in specificity. Yet none of it was about his personal life or in the arena of "How did this make you feel." It was adult - and very interesting.

    Scott and Tessa, meantime, appear to have been manufactured by Mattel. SC appears to be leaning on MTM to follow in their footsteps, presentation-wise.

  16. "(Going by the public facebook sour grapes about Worlds 2011, they all still have trouble understanding what's appropriate in what context.)"

    I found this very dissapointing and it totally helped me believe the scam could be true. I mean...there is absolutely no other way to take her comments re: meryl and charlie's win, but see it as dumfoundingly classless.

  17. ^ But it was also bad PR! So stupid.

    Alma's remarks on Carol Moir's wall were public to fans. Both of them had their facebook walls set that way for sham conversations and wall albums.

    So fine. Your facebooks are only pseudo-personal - you're entertaining the public on your facebook.

    You don't ignore that, turn around and bitch about who won Worlds, how inferior their skating is, and act sour like you think some fix is in.

    Why? Because this is Meryl and Charlie. Whatever you may privately feel, keep it PRIVATE. Scott and Tessa have been public about the rivalry and friendship going back years. They insist it is sincere. Profiles have been done about it. People believe them - it IS the truth - it is a real friendship. Scott and Tessa have said many times DW deserve anything they get. D/W's parents have never bitched in public about Scott and Tessa. For Alma and Carol to entertain that kind of conversation in full view of fans is incredibly stupid.

    D/W and V/M recognize it's competition - after the Olympics Scott said he's sure D/W would have preferred to have been on top of the podium, but they never showed that to Scott and Tessa - they only showed their happiness for them.

    THIS is really the botch I'm talking about. Family members create facebook settings so fans can see wall conversations. Then they turn around and air out this shit on the same public wall? Who cares if that's what they feel - they're entitled to feel any way they want to - but keep it off your wall where fans can see it!

    They don't understand public relations at ALL, not at all. No common sense.

    That's why I'm curious about what "upping the ante" would look like. How do you become more convincing when you have such a feeble idea about what normal looks like in the regular course? They apparently have no idea what is appropriate for the public whatsoever. Sham photos have been more tasteless than many people's authentic photos. Just in view of what we're supposed to believe about Bryce and Jessica's history - they need to keep all their lies lined up so what they do makes sense - isn't tasteless, and doesn't make them look callous in the context of the stories they've put out before.

    They have no idea about any of this stuff. No context sense, period.

  18. carol moir's photos are all available again....yay?? wtf

  19. I just checked it out - there's nothing visible I haven't been able to see the entire time. "Rebecca's wedding" - the album with "Jess Dube" tagged as Scott's "date" - is still not visible, but everything else I've been able to view all along.

  20. I thought a few months ago there was a full lockdown on her facebook?