Sunday, January 22, 2012

Was that so hard?

 Tesssa & Scott's interview with P.J.Kwong.
P.J. asked each to define what romance means to them. Tessa can't help herself - at first she thrashed like a fish on dry dock and pretended the question was about the romantic elements of Funny Face. Which, you know, isn't really a romantic program. Audrey & Fred in Paris -come on. Let's look at it techically, from a composition standpoint. I could go on for days:
Romantic? Funny, we don't think of Funny Face as romantic; it's a
man helping a woman to have more fun, take life less seriously, they
rub foreheads and cheeks together like Eskimos, they stroke each other's
faces a little bit and then end up gloriously in love, but is that really romantic?

To be fair, on the scale of what Tessa and Scott usually do on the ice, that's not romantic. I think what she getting at is saying it's not JUST romantic - they actually do other activity besides paw each other between elements. Activity like having fun together, teasing each other, being playful, holding hands and gliding and twirling, fooling around with different dance styles. So, not romantic.

But then Scott takes the ball:

How crushing for Tessa/Scott shippers. Clearly, he was thinking of:

There she is to his left - his other half. And he didn't even have to find her in the world. Skate Canada served her up on a platter.

Then Tessa says her definition of romance is:

"I think the ability to laugh and be completely yourself with
someone is the most romantic thing ever."
That's got to sting. When has Tessa ever said her favorite thing about Scott is that he makes her laugh?

In their own tightly-wound way, they basically said they love each other and romance is each other. They won't admit that's what they said, but they didn't go out of their way to describe something that couldn't possibly be each other - they described what could only be each other.

And they didn't turn into pillars of salt, nobody burst into flames, people's heads didn't swivel as they pointed fingers and made fun. The world didn't stop spinning and Tessa was still breathing when she was done answering. She wasn't spewing pea soup.

Baby steps, for which they will compensate by sham-messaging just as soon as Jessica can unclutch herself from embracing and intertwining fingers with Sebastien.

Have to give Jessica credit - that relationship was turning toxic but I believe Jessica's drive to remain viable in Canadian skating and postpone engagement with the real world - her status as a demi-celebrity and top dog in Quebec skating is so central to what drives her - that she actually focused, and turned the relationship with Sebastien around - and that (relationships where SHE steps up) is not her metier. But she's got willpower when it comes to her agendas, that's for sure. She doesn't want another worlds medal, she doesn't care much about international results, and she's as ecstatic with a mediocre program skated with meh GOES as others are with near-perfection. Going forward is not her agenda but absolutely, her world as it's been since she's been in senior skating is how she wants it to stay.

At the same time, at Canadians, she demonstrated plainly that she's not some insecure nervous-in-the-clutch figure skater who underperforms despite her deep desire to succeed. That's fans being defensive about Jessica - needlessly. The Jessica they protect is a fantasy version.

The real Jessica doesn't get down on herself. The real Jessica thinks she's fine and if there's a problem it's going to be someone else's problem.  She was one of the few pairs women to keep her composure and hit her elements despite more than one wobble (and a de rigeur doubling of the 3 salchow). She's not nervous, self-doubting or insecure. In the past, she didn't put in the work, she was lazy, she has a great deal of strong, natural technique, great balance and stability and gets deep into the ice. Without those assets in combination with her work ethic in the past, she'd have been even worse.  What's happened in the past with her is her resisting her partner, putting more energy into that than in training, resisting going outside her comfort zone, and also using the ice as a passive aggressive venue if, off ice, someone else's will (Bryce's, say) prevailed over hers in any area either professionally or personally. She'd pay them back on the ice.

At this point it does appear as if she's succeeded in simply putting Sebastien in Bryce's place - only a Bryce who is not pushing for higher level of difficulty, more challenging content, and a shake-up in training centers. Just nice, basic, reasonably consistent pairs programs (Skate Canada-speaking) that keep her in the mix.


  1. you know it's funny because as soon as I saw this interview, I tought you would have done a discussion about it. Definitely Tessa's statement is a sort of confession. Scott is ambiguous (as always what he says can be reported to Tessa or Jessica) but Tessa isn't. It's strange because she wasn't forced to say that but she did. Well, for once she didn't lie .

    1. I didn't find Scott ambivalent even - the "other half" is how he's often alluded to Tessa, he's said she's part of him, and he even made that ludicrous statement that any girl he was with would have to love Tessa as much as he did BECAUSE she was part of him. You can't have another half while your side of the half was partly some other girl.

      The only thing irksome about their post-Canadians interviews (not the one with P.J.) was their incessant recital about how Canadians is their favorite competition because it's Canadian in Canada on Canadian ice for Canadian fans from Canada. Considering the absolutely massive amounts of hoaxing they have ramped up in the past specifically for Canadians, with the agenda of hiding from, fending off and making total fools of the home crowds at Skate Canada, Canadians (ESPECIALLY), this last GPF and the Olympics, that has the stench of a husband or wife being extra affectionate and attentive, buying flowers, amping up the pda, paying compliments - to overcompensate for the fact that they're not just cheating on the spouse, but cheating with the spouse's best friend. That kind of bullshit is supposed to allay suspicion but it's also a guilty thing meant to soothe the type of conscience that feels a little bad but knows they're going to keep on doing it. So actually they end up humiliating the target of their lies even more.

  2. Tessa may have felt she became robotic after her twizzle mistake in the SD, but I have to say this is the least robotic I've ever seen her in interviews. Scott is the one that appears to be making an effort to stick to the talking points (because of the GPF?).

    I agree that probably now Tessa and Scott will run to ruin these nice interview moments with sham-messaging. But for myself, I'm glad I can roll my eyes/laugh at all that Scott-Jessica stuff. I just keep hoping, as another comment said, that the wheels will fall off soon. Very soon, please.

    1. I had the same take - this was the least robotic I've seen Tessa in a long time - what she said felt genuine, made sense, was less pat, more relaxed. Still articulate and intelligent. And I'm sure nobody made fun, nobody judged. What's to judge? She was normal. It was unremarkable, but because it was her, it was refreshing.

      Scott came off as if he was over-correcting from the GPF remarks. I actually am kind of getting the feeling - and that's all it is - that in this season's judging Scott and Tessa are being held to a higher standard than Meryl and Charlie, that they come out on the losing end of the benefit-of-the-doubt while Meryl and Charlie benefit from having the benefit of the doubt - a couple of times there have been performances of Meryl and Charlie's where my reaction was - really - that's the scores for THAT performance? What if the little glitches weren't there - what would you have given them - 118? Meantime despite sublime skating, if there's a little glitch in VM the judges come down too severely. It's almost reverse politics - VM are legends or said to be legends in the making, so the judges are over correcting, not wanting to seem as if they're giving reputation marks. The problem is I think they're using DW to accomplish this and they're not being fair to what VM are putting out there. They are that good.

  3. The interview with PJ Kwong was pretty light-hearted and is enjoyable. Nationals for ice dance was interesting to say the least. The tech panel was particularly harsh but ended up being very generous to Gilles/Poirier - can you say POLITIKING - I mean there FD cracked 100 points...just 6 points behind Weaver/Poje...I am pretty sure Shae-Lynn Bourne, Krylova and Carmenlego will be having an interesting conversation next week. As for V/M - I agree that their scores have been good but D/Ws have definitely been slightly inflated. There is definitely mind games this year with the judging...4CCs and Worlds should be a great competition..and even though the Russians may not have an automatic podium contender in ice dance for Sochi...they are watching...I don't think this is an automatic win for D/W....and I like D/W but the judges and media are giving them a push this year...

  4. M/C are overmarked. No doubt about it. Judges are pretending to say that M/C has the best latin feel in the whole world, so good that their SD deserves a ton of 10 in INTERPRETATION. WTF?!? I mean, judges, do you know what a latin rhythm is?!? It's not a freaking competition that's all about speed and energy. It's about dance, shit, DANCE!! But let's give them a 76 for GPF, destroying psychically the other cuple with a deep gap of 5 points. Nonsense. Agreed also with the fact that when T/S fall, judges come down with the marks, but when is M/C's turn it isn't the same thing. What a shame.

  5. Oh the Gilles Poirier thing was unbelieveable. CoP has for the most part been seen as a way to take the politics out of figure skating but you know sooner or later it was going to come back in. M/C get generous judging, lots of leeway, VM none. it's like judges look for an excuse to ding them because "Oh, we're not reputation marking!" M/C, it's like let's overlook the dance part of ice-dance - exactly as you said. The 76 was absurd.

    Musicality isn't all that common, all the training in the world can't give it to you, and I believe some of the judges are judging style and conviction, not proper dance rhythm with the music.

    1. completely agreed. And since there are couples who can capture the real feeling of the dance (movements, musicality, expressions, sensuality, footworks, as you want - and I'm not only talking about T/S but for example also about A/L) I think these couples should be rewarded. If not, well, there's something wrong going out there.
      I'm frightened by what M/C will receive at nationals, if they skate without mistakes.

  6. I thought of you when I first saw this interview....I was pretty sure they both described each other. Glad to see this post!

    On a different note would love your take on Scott wearing his ring for competition? Normally we only seen him wearing it once he is off the ice....and to me, it looks different then from previous photos. Do you have any history on his ring? Thx

  7. To the anon above - I saw the SD live on TV as I live in Canada and Scott was not wearing a ring on his right hand. He had taped it up presumably from a cut...

  8. Thanks...that explains the reason it looks different.....interesting though....

  9. What do you think about SC pushing for G/P? It seems that they really support Paul. No way was their FD worth 100 points & just behind W/P & V/M! Something fishy is going on.

  10. I don't know why the G/P push, but it's fishy from the beginning. I just agree with what I've read from other fans - the program is gimmicky. Piper isn't as strong a skater as Paul - or Vanessa. As a team they're not within six points of W&P. That skate was about a 90 or high 80s. It's so glaring because of how conservatively the skating panel scored VM on home ice - great scores, but not the scores Meryl/Charlie will get on home ice. Their judges won't look for things to ding them for, and be more "severe" rather than less. I've read well it's a strict tech panel - the judges approved. If it was a strict tech panel, what happened with G/P. A great team gets ungenerous judging and a rough team gets gifted? Something's up.

  11. "And they didn't turn into pillars of salt, nobody burst into flames, people's heads didn't swivel as they pointed fingers and made fun. The world didn't stop spinning and Tessa was still breathing when she was done answering. She wasn't spewing pea soup."

    LOL. I hope they didn't go spew pea soup after this from the nervous tension of being asked this question. And Gasp! Giving what sounds like sincere answers.

  12. I agree that this is the least robotic and most relaxed, save the "interview" with Debbi, Tessa has seemed off ice/in interviews in the last several years. I was pleasantly suprised to see both of them give an honest answer to PJ's romance question.

    I wonder if there was any reason for loosening up, if only a touch. Maybe it's getting too much?

    On another note, this may just be me and a bit of wishful thinking, but did it seem that Tessa and Scott were perhaps a little annoyed with Debbi when she was "interviewing" them?