Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skate Canada Presents - A Very Cool Halloween

We thought it would be very fun if Skate Canada paid homage to classic movies this Halloween!

Everyone knows Tessa Virtue loves her skating costumes! She loves Halloween costumes too! She can't decide which of these three movie-themed costumes to wear this Halloween.
Tessa as "Glinda" the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz! The pink bubble is "so Tessa"!
Tessa as Skate Canada Robot a beautiful Stepford Wife
from the remake of The Stepford Wives. Love the apron Tessa!
Tessa as Mary Poppins, the"slightly stern but loving nanny who uses magic
and self
-control to take care of the Banks children"
from the movie Mary Poppins!
Help Tessa decide - tweet @skatecanada and tell her to be a Stepford Wife which costume you like best!

Kirsten thought the retro look of Tessa's Stepford Wife Halloween theme was so fun, we strong-armed her she decided to try it out! We think she looks adorable! If you agree, tell her @skatecanada!

How about a little film noir for Halloween!

Jessica may have blindsided Bryce by dumping him when he was injured Bryce Davison may have officially retired, but he and former partner Jessica Dube remain bff's!

Bryce's buddies at the Hamilton Skating Club insisted Mildred Pierce was perfect!

Thanks to Ice Men for Bryce's costume! He wears it well!

Grand Prix season is keeping our popular Director of Corporate Comunications so busy she almost didn't have a Halloween costume until Debbi Wilkes suggested All About Eve! Barb confesses the fact that the costume was nice and simple helped a lot! When you're as busy as I am Barb there's not a lot of time for costume shopping! Thanks Debbi!

Here is our wonderful CEO of Skate Canada, William Thompson! It's only fitting he is an "Emporer" for Halloween because he is definitely our leader here at Skate Canada! But in fact, Bill chose this costume because he loves new clothes and he's a big fan of Ian Holm, who starred as the Emporer in the movie!
William Thompson as the Emporer in The Emporer's New Clothes
the movie version of Hans Christian Anderson's classic fairy-tale!

We're delighted that Cara Moir will be able to stop by for a moment, too. Cara's had a busy weekend, so you'll excuse her showing up dressed for work.

Halloween is Skate Canada's favorite holiday. Happy halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This is Jessica Dube

Jessica hands Tessa HER bathtub baby ducky.

This is certainly a well groomed and polished-casual
camera-ready young woman, down to the tendrils framing her face and
the scarf framing her lower face. How fortunate she happened to have
pulled herself together this telegencially. So little in common 

with those surrounding her - in age or attire.

I watched Jessica hand two little yellow ducky bathtub toys for a baby's bath to Scott and Tessa after their sd. One for Scott. One for Tessa.  Scott gave Jessica a side hug while Jessica smiled at Tessa and I thought -  ooooo, that must be awkward. Look at Tessa - she's obviously tense.

I also - even at first glance - didn't even know it was Jessica because she looked nothing like herself! Hair and general face shape but body and profile and hands weren't the same, nor was the chin/mouth.  I thought it was a brunette fan approx same age and similar coloring!

But reading what others see, I see I was mistaken. That is Jessica Dube right there.

After this awkward Scott, Jessica, bathtub ducky gift, Tessa moment, Jessica and Scott MADE OUT per usual - in front of fans.

Then Jessica went back to her seat and Scott and Tessa went to get their scores.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Revisiting Rick Mercer

A poster in the comments section in the post below mentioned the Rick Mercer Canadians feature and how Jessica got two featured roles with the Moirs. Technically it was shot with Moirs - her in the stands wearing a red 'Believe' sweatshirt that I'm sure she cherishes to this day. The other was this spontaneous display of togetherness with Scott, below. (Seen at the end of the Mercer feature).

Many have seen this photo series, but let's look again.

Setting up for the Rick Mercer group shot:

Okay, we have Scott with his arm hooked around what I believe is
Craig Buntin's neck; Craig reciprocates, Tessa tucked in Craig's
other side so we barely see her, and Bryce is also in the back.
There's chit chat.
Where is the girlfriend?

Here she is.
 Look at Vanessa and Meagan grab onto each other
for dear life. Craig/Scott
Vanessa/Meagan are like bookended conjoined twins.

Shouldn't Jessica and Scott start, like making out, instead of totally ignoring each other while Scott clings to Craig like a life preserver? Bryce is there, fans are there, other skaters are there. Don't  Scott and Jessica usually make out - excuse me - kiss and cuddle - when these elements are in place?

Look at Jessica's arm round Scott. Oh wait, it's not.
Scott's entire arm has crawled onto Craig.
Scott also takes a moment to engage the nearly hidden Tessa.
It's been so long since they've talked.

Maybe this is the occasion when Tessa offended Craig Buntin and that's why she wasn't invited to his wedding this past August. If she'd attended, surely Barb would have shared.

The piece de resistance:

Scott's hand (gloved) has landed on Jessica's shoulder.

Meantime Scott's elbow has tightened its vise-hold on Craig's neck. Maybe it's involuntary.

Don't know if this or the one above came first. I think this is a run-through.

His hand is still on her shoulder! They're definitely together! When is the wedding?

 Scott has on gloves. Common skater wear, but he's more often without. Maybe he's feeling ... cold.

Maybe he's got Craig in a headlock because he's hoping if he squeezes hard enough Craig will pop like a balloon and Scott will find himself standing next to Tessa again.

He's so excited Jessica is next to him he can neither talk to nor look at her.
  Okay, that seems to have been dress; here's for keeps:


He let go kind of quick.
  In a "making of" video video I saw, Scott appeared to actually lift Jessica's arm for her, in a sort of Weekend at Bernie's effect. Then he dropped it like it belonged to a rag doll and put his hand on her shoulder.

Jessica can be spacey, and I think Scott is not keen on a lot of takes. Go figure.

Two additional I don't know if came before or after.

Tessa is right there, very close, but she's hiding, so the takeaway is Scott/Jessica.

For sure that can't be how it's worked all along.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I take it back

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize SC and Team Sham wanted the photos, posted below, posted here. The facebooks are officially "restricted", and no other public site routinely hosts sham photos. If you want them out, this is about the only option.

These sham photos were no longer public as soon as this thread went live on the blog. Nothing like these photos has publicly leaked from Scott and Jessica's "private" facebooks til now, late at night, barely a week prior to Skate Canada.

What are the odds.

The fan who created the small sham flickr album that hosted the photos below has commented here on this site, insists Scott and Jessica are real, claims to be on Scott's "private" facebook* by accident but frequently hints what's on it.

She and Scott must have become pm/im buddies despite her accidental friend status and public "slips" about the contents of his "personal" fb.

Seeing as we're all dumb asses.

I think it's a shame Scott and Jessica hid their May 2010 vacation pda in fall 2010 and only showed us separate vacation photos of them separately kissing Mexican dolphins and I'm sure it had nothing to do with Scott and Tessa skipping the GP last year -  just like tonight's gambit has nothing to do with Skate Canada International coming up fast.

Anyhow - here you go. Let's not let such clever go to waste:
Danny, put your hand on your Tessa WHERE WE CAN SEE IT.
Damn. How do we know you're a real couple?

If only two molecules of separate lips make contact, is it still a kiss?
Aw - cheek to cheek just like Jessica/Alex Bilodeu
and Scott/Tessa. Except not, because
Scott's leaning in the wrong direction for that.
^ Is Scott also wearing an apron/chastity belt?

Jesus Barb what did they teach you in Bible school. And Scott, what does that cross around your neck mean to you anyway?

Again with the virtually lipless kiss.

Hi Cara.  
I hope they pay Cara's freight to these events too. She deserves it
cousin's wedding or no cousin's wedding.
How much must they hate Canadian fans to go this OTT whenever it's time to skate in Canada?

Sham photo bombing is not necessary to offset a lack of Scott/Jessica interaction at Canadian competitions, nor to offset Tessa/Scott chemistry. Why are they so obsessed with "offsetting" Scott and Tessa chemistry? To control what people think. It's absurd.

To have a do-it-yourself privacy screen, all that's necessary at this point - the horse having been beaten to death - is for Scott and Tessa to maintain that they're platonic and date other people.

But it keeps coming. Privacy protection - still? Nonsense. Doesn't stand up.

Someone is getting their rocks off with this. Or feels their job would be obsolete if they didn't push this.

All that's driving this sham spew anymore is immaturity and lack of balls. They're deluded if they think that's not the takeaway.

The poses!

This has gotten to be like that episode of Friends where each side (fans and VM) knows the other knows they know they know. Whatever utility the photos may have once had, now they just exist to make fans feel sick and to purposefully sour fan outreach from Scott and Tessa, because there's always a sham kicker. There's been a bad taste in people's mouths with these two that will linger.

An icky juxtaposition of hideous ill at ease and pseudo intimacy is in every Scott/Jessica photo and the revulsion from fans is normal. It's not fair to keep shoving these cynical, sour photo spams at people.

I think it's a shame, the timing. Pretty much poisoning Scott's one genuine-seeming outreach on his fan facebook days ago. So much for that and Finlandia good feelings.

ETA: he does that outreach and Carol Moir ("Can't wait to see Scott and Tessa skate their two programs Taipei!") and some others who are not regulars on his fan page came along to verify its sincerity by "liking it". Fans feel really happy and good about it.

And what was it? A sucker trap. Making an unusually big show of opening up and sharing, maybe feeling bad for letting people anticipate a Tessa/Scott photo - and it's a set-up. That's how they've worked from the start. Bait. Tease. Then - BAM.

It's who they are. Brats and asses who don't see the fun of a sham if they can't jerk people's chains.

When Tanith and Evan Lysacek dated, they went on the record. They didn't scam facebook and turn around and play "no names" with the media. They had balls. They gave quotes, they stood behind what they were doing. Because of that, they didn't have to jerk people around.

Fedor and Tanith I don't know if they were ever "official" but as good friends they displayed consistency whatever the platform.

This Scott/Jessica thing - they do all this garbage for a social media audience and then zip up for the mainstream media. So they're a little cautious around the mainstream media, but have no problem treating online fans like a garbage dump. They load up the truck and back it up.

It's just a little bit interesting how INTO garbage creation they are. The gusto, the sheer volume.  It's definitely not necessary and it's not what any real couple does, nor what an effective sham does. It's got wardrobe and scenery and a budget. It goes on location, it does couple poses that real couples would think are stupid. So, again, it circles round to this: that this sham management doesn't exist because the sham is important, but the sham itself exists because it gets somebody - or somebodies - off. The sham persists in its current form because someone really really enjoys working this way.

Several posts below, someone objected to the idea that a baby would be used as a prop for this, thought that suggestion was out of line. Give me a break. Nothing sacred is their watchword. They exploit their own stuff because they know fans don't believe they'd corrupt family weddings, babies, the Olympics, Tessa's surgery, the Christmas holidays, birthdays - all real things - as production elements in a sham. Yes, they would and have and will continue to do all of that. They don't respect those things. They exploit fans' respect for those things and the fact that fans don't believe they'd stoop so low. That's how they get over.

P.S. I certainly hope the fan who posted these photos on her flickr knows the score. To use her without her knowing this stuff is fake would be fucked up, but this crowd definitely feels entitled to make fools of people. The press won't expose anything. Look at how the so-called skating press played along with the scrum stagecraft so Barb could get that out on the web. Their acting faces!

To them, the sham is pest control, and it shows all the maturity and respect with which pests get treated. They're not satisfied with just managing fan relations like professionals, like grown-ups. If they knew what that was, and signs are, they don't.

The "nice, kind, sweet kids" b.s. to fans' faces, and on fb posts, while simultaneously maintaining a policy of setting fans up, looking for excuses to play them for suckers BECAUSE they're fans and everyone in public life knows fans are predictable.

It's like the spouse who cheats, and because they're making fools of their spouse at home and feel guilty, they compensate by being super affectionate, laying on the compliments and the affection. Except that doesn't really compensate, does it?

The analogy is strained but the ethics are the same - the idea is that if I'm the nicest person in the world to someone's face, laying on the patience, gratitude, courtesy and sweet, it's okay if I demean them behind their back. It doesn't count if they don't realize it! It just makes me smart.

Someone might point me to the ends justifies the means speech Jesus made. I know Barb must have it memorized - maybe Scott does too.

They're hypocrites and two-faced, not because of the barrier between the phony public life and the private real one, but because of the difference between how full of shit they are, how they treat people to their face and how they make fools of them in reality.
*What a shock that the fans remaining on Scott's fb upload his sham photos onto a flickr account that became public. These are fans he "knows personally" and trusts. I'm sure he never expected that would happen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When uncool is very cool

Video from the USFSA introducing itself to the public as part of a membership outreach. There is so much about this straightforward video that is done just right.

They know we know what figure skating is, so let's move along. The focus is on us, the public, not them or even their stars. The goal is to be inclusive, so they show that.

They know what "inclusive" looks like.

They're not trying to impress.

The regular people figure skaters are treated with the same (even more) attention /respect as high performance athletes.

No officials - all skaters and the public. Skating's fun whether skating or attending.

They make skating look like fun recreation, unintimidating, a great family activity and lots of options.

Our time is valuable so the note on the youtube video tells us what this is - a brief introduction. It has real content, to the point, in just over a minute.

Great tag line.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good job

Color me gobsmacked this was Scott Moir's fan facebook page today. I'm just very excited he put that photo up and added more from Finlandia. The fans on his page have fallen over backwards supporting anything he does, I think he and Tessa skated fantastically in Finlandia and, as a commentator noted on the post below this, their short dance on youtube got 13,000 and counting hits.

If they weren't incredible skaters who entertained and thrilled fans with their programs, nobody would care how much chemistry they had or about their romantic status.

That's just a great picture, as is the bus candid he uploaded, and for such a small thing I know it thrills fans to pieces. It's very cool of him, for real.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Does Barb MacDonald work for Skate Canada or does Skate Canada work for Barb MacDonald?

This post is about priorities and focus. The first part is about how lazy Skatebuzz and Skate Canada appear to be when it comes to effectively promoting their skaters and following through on that promotion, how absent with giving shout outs to what sponsors they've got, and the next part is about how industriously Barb MacDonald uses Skate Canada to upsell Barb MacDonald.

Skatebuzz's coverage to date of Tessa and Scott's win in Finlandia. Love the quotes from Scott and Tessa! This piece creates excitement for a new season about to start and demonstrates Skate Canada's commitment to keeping us connected.

Skatebuzz's ad for the upcoming Skate Canada Grand Prix:
Oh, my bad. Now it's promoting the GPF in Quebec. I guess Skate Canada is sold out. No sense continuing to promote it - you might boost television ratings and get sponsors interested.

If I were a figure skater or figure skating parent with Skate Canada, I'd be getting pissed. I'll explain why further down.

Meantime - that very "now" Mahler photo in Skatebuzz's Finlandia report is rotating on Skatebuzz's front page with other very cool things like the thrilling HPC Backstage Pass and exciting photos of synchro teams.

(That "promotion" logo on Skatebuzz looks like adsense. Is it selling Zoloft or the GPF?)

Finlandia is only a senior B. But the Canadian Olympic medalists and 2010 World Champions competed for the first time this season, earlier than usual. Finnish fans and media provided tons of fresh on and off-ice photos that are winging round the web.
To dress up the post.
Photo source: @eelinpaas

As competitors, Virtue and Moir were cat-and-mouse last season. Now they appear early, with two programs already on near-full blast, Scott hinting they may even do Finlandia again next season. They seemed to be a hit with Finnish fans, so how about some reports on that - a little local color?

The programs appear to have gotten a fantastic reception and Virtue Moir compete at Skate Canada in a couple of weeks. Come see it! Or watch on television! It will be even better then!

Or, you know, check out our album of 44 Skate Canada logos.* You can do that too. Hey - did you see Barb's scrum?

It is just to wonder. At HPC, Barb kept us up to date on "what's been keeping me busy" via her twitter. She also devoted focus to retired figure skater Craig Buntin's wedding guests via two different platforms (icenetwork and above the crowd).**

At HPC, we got a lot of stage .... craft (is that really the word?) a ton of logo promotion and of course, a lot of Debbi/Barb sneaking their names and faces in.

(Skate Canada is soon, so heads up for sham sneaks, photo ops and profile pic rotation. They are ever on the job with that stuff.) 

Skate Canada didn't send the usual Skate Canada suspects to Finlandia. No Thompson. No Slipchuk. No Barb or Deb. Is that why such cursory coverage? It was only skaters!

They suck a lot.

I wonder about the priorities of the Skate Canada marketing infrastructure. If I were a Skate Canada skater or skating parent, I'd ask in whose interests Debbi and Barb are actually working.

As part of what appears to have been a recent "panel discussion" featuring Barb MacDonald, media-involvee Kelly Rusk uses the Olympics, Virtue/Moir and Joannie Rochette's dead mother to promote Barb MacDonald on twitter:

Per this twitter, the death of Joanne Rochette's mom credentialed Barb as a crisis communications consultant.  

Rusk's twitter enumerates the ways Joanne's loss of her mom showcased Barb MacDonald. 

On Joanne's behalf, Barb (or "Barb's team") had to turn down calls from Wayne Gretsky. And Celine Dion!

Joanne's mom and Virtue Moir's Olympic gold created media interest!


It's not your every figure skating press attache assigned to the Olympics who could handle such a trial by fire.

I hope someone invents the press release, because addressing all those thousands of unanticipated media requests during an Olympics could be overwhelming.

Barb was also able to tally normative Olympic figure skating media statistics and break them up into incremental units of Barb MacDonald promotional elements.

So, to the late Mrs. Rochette - thanks for the opportunity!

I feel as if Barb's expertise is in trying to create the impression there's a crisis that she can be seen to oversee, versus being effective in promoting Canadian figure skating during an economic down-turn and fall-off in public interest.

(And how are we defining crisis? Does a parent's death, though tragic, during an Olympics, constitute crisis? Is it really kosher to go using that to pad your resume? How about an HPC? Is that a crisis?)

It's also striking how here, Barb completely understands promotional synergistics - how A ties to B and how to integrate public relations platforms when it comes to promoting Barb MacDonald.

Yet I feel like before you start upselling, you should first produce for your primary employer. You don't land in a very cool job and leverage it while functioning half-assed and fake in the job itself.

Joannie Rochette's dead mom = Barb Opportunity.
Don't let this resume-enhancement opportunity go to waste.

"Barb has a rich background in
Olympic sports communications."

Hmm. She's been to one Olympics as a Skate Canada "press attache'" for figure skating, was not yet Director of Corporate Communications and was still working for One Way Ministries. What are the components of "rich" background? What, in particularity, are the levels of responsibility and time on the job that merit that designation?

Oh "levels of responsibility" is too broad. I'm just opening the door with that.

I think Barb should apply what communications experience she has towards promoting figure skaters, not converting figure skater family tragedies and what-every-press-attache' does tasks into a platform promoting Barb.

And Debbi spent more time sticking her mug on Skatebuzz last season at this time than Skatebuzz spent on Virtue and Moir this season at HPC and Finlandia.

No, a skating competition like Finlandia, with Scott and Tessa mingling in the audience, posing off-ice (gasp!), being charming, accessible and reducing onlookers to mush is not as exciting as watching Barb and Debbi meander in the background of canned interviews at HPC, or splicing together a fake scrum-centric HPC video clip. 

But girls. Get off your ass!

Finlandia feels like - eh - only one set of figure skaters were there and no officials. So what's in it for Barb and Debbi?

Over on icenetwork, they don't pretend this is a Grand Prix. But icenetwork did ask Evan Bates to write a blog. It's not icenetwork's fault Evan is a slacker (one entry last I checked). But when you go to his blog, there's a nice link to his and Madison's page, and a nice recent photo.

You know why this icenetwork blog feature and other outreach is good apart from getting the public interested in figure skaters and figure skating? It gives individual skaters publicity - even skaters who are not medaling at GPs and Worlds. This could - GOD FORBID - garner the individual skater a new sponsor or two. 

Skate Canada's skaters have no need of any of that. _________________________________________________ 

 *Shout out to anon on post below this commenting on this special Skatebuzz attraction.

Jessica Dube, Scott Moir

P.S. and OT:  One wonders if either Scott or Tessa plotzed for a moment when in the Finlandia press conference an interviewer refererenced the forbidden word: "facebook".  For a second, worlds collided like George Costanza's.

P.P.S.: I don't think Skate Canada's budget is an excuse. It doesn't look like the Russian Fed has a budget, or a marketing scheme apart from trying to tell us some of their ice dancers are in love just like Virtue/Moir. But their figure skaters are getting out there and creating buzz anyway. Volosozhar and Trankov have a blog they update regularly and they share colorful reports from each competition. They went to NYC for choreo and some dance training and uploaded their own photos. They shared what seemed to be a do-it-yourself photo shoot including some shots in what could have been a furniture store (there were price tags attached to stuff). So what? It's direct communication with fans, they didn't dwell on their personal lives, but we're getting to hang out with them as they prepare for and start their season. I bet Russian fans are getting interested.

Russia also has a slate of wunderkinds in its ladies divisions. Fans across message boards are spitting on their hands and flexing up for an upcoming Tara/Michelle/Sarah/Sasha-style nuclear throwdown, Russian style. Their coaches have talked, the girls talk -  it's very entertaining and informative and the girls are great skaters to boot.

No idea what Russia's logo looks like.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Skate Canada Presents: "Best Guests".


When I thought up the spoof letter, I also figured this had to be a thing somewhere and googled.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Correction - Five Hours, 28 minutes and change

If it goes 8 hours, there's an idea of how productively SC headquarters spends its work day.

They've already demonstrated their internet savvy and foresight.

I figure Skate Canada computer screen windows look like this (in no order):

"Jess Dube" facebook
"Scott Moir" fan page and facebook

You know what I bet we don't see on their computer screens?
Dear [Potential Sponsor]:

It was a pleasure speaking with you this morning. I very much look forward to our upcoming lunch to discuss a potential partnership between Moneybucks, Inc. and Skate Canada. I strongly believe that Moneybucks, Inc., Skate Canada and our wonderful skaters, combined with the growing skating public, can develop into a natural fit with an expanding matrix of mutual beneficiality for both organizations.


Bozo the Clown
Debbi Wilkes, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

bcc:  Dolores Umbridge Barb MacDonald, Director of Corporate Communications

This is Skate Canada headquarters.

Thanks for your interest, Rogers Communications (13 hours 49 minutes)

Rogers Communications Headquarters in Toronto.  They probably forgot to log out.

I'm super excited someone at a huge IT company shows such an interest.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Promises Promises

 October 2, 2011, a week before Finlandia Trophy:

October 2, 2011
This last example is probably be overdoing the criticism. It's only been 5 days. Unlikely to drag on. If he's too busy prepping for Finlandia and doing TSN photoshoots to switch out the profile pic, he [or whomever] wouldn't have posted the 'suggestions'? question on the fb wall in the first place. So he's [or whomever] got the time and the intention.

It takes no time to switch out a profile pic - we know from following everybody in question that neither rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night nor births, holidays, Olympics, training, vacations, travel, surgeries, birthdays, weddings - can deter a swift and timely change of one's profile picture.

I'm actually quite excited to see what it's going to be.

I was amused at the suggestion of pics Scott might use until Finlandia photos are available. This supposes two pieces of (presumably, fingers crossed) disinterested* attention to his fan facebook inside a month, and I think that's asking a lot.

Voila: Few hours after the above - a new profile pic:

They're asses.

This would be cute were there a track record of being genuine with the fans, if he hadn't asked for input and tricked fans into thinking he'd given them a chance to get a real Tessa/Scott photo.

It also traps fans. Who can bitch about a Funny Face still?

Funny how Scott/Jessica pseudo candid stuff is slapped in our face, free. Nobody's asking.

One of  the nastiest facets of the sham is its history baiting fans, setting them up- then the gotcha -  while maintaining technical cover. Yet fans know they've been had.

They brag about Canadian values, but malice seems to come naturally to them. To me, this reinforces how uninterested they are in genuine fan outreach.
*by disinterested I mean = no agenda.