Monday, July 23, 2012

If Scott/Jessica were, for those who bought it, a WTF, every time Bryce speaks, the awareness that he was with Jessica personally as well as professionally reasserts that love is one of life's biggest mysteries. Bryce is driven, analytical, reflective, straightforward, insightful and generous. I miss his skating.

In this interview he is retired, but there's a feeling he could unretire, or at least that maybe in his heart he hasn't put to rest the possibility. If he never competes again, I'd kill to see him on BOTB and that show better get it done. I bet he'd win.

My points of note from this interview. One, he says he wishes he'd gotten into coaching sooner because it would have helped his skating/competing. Coaching helps you see elements technically, puts your focus on the mechanics and not just on performance.

I don't know what tricks Bryce's memory is playing on him but I recall from numerous media quotes that he always deconstructed the mechanics of his and Jessica's skating, always focused on both components of his job - the technical and the performance. He didn't need experience as a coach for that. It was easy to see that Bryce kept himself ferociously fit, that he'd applied himself to his double axel to keep his left hip under control when landing, and that, as David Pelletier said, even though Bryce was more slightly built than many pairs guys, his lifting technique was flawless and secure. You know he was always as aware of what was going on with the nuances of Jessica's balance and stability as much as his own job, that he was sensitive to how well she was doing hers and compensated when needed. You can see the difference in her face today when she's lifted by Sebastien Wolfe. Bryce had said he's not the biggest guy out there but he uses every bit, and we could see that too.

Hindsight is futile because it wouldn't have changed anything. He wasn't the person who would have benefitted from dispassionate focus on technique. That was Jessica. I remember when she was splatting her salchow in the Olympic season, Bryce deconstructed the mechanics in the media and explained what needed adjusting. It seemed pretty basic for someone like Jessica, who'd been doing the jump for years. Not that it helped. Maybe he really feels if he'd had experience coaching, he'd have been able to help her focus on that stuff.

I just hope he doesn't mean he could have improved his own work. I think he pushed himself as far as he could push HIMSELF. As driven as he is, to literally skate for two is impossible. To push the team further, he needed more cooperation from Jessica.

The second point of interest for me is Bryce refers to the intense financial pressures/stress of a skating career. Bryce comes from a skating family. The Davisons appear to be reasonably comfortable - they have a place in Muskoka where Jessica and her family were guests of the Davisons (the Davison place in Muskoka has had a bunch of skater guests, obviously). But still, finances were a challenge.

There's an annual Jessica Dube golf fundraiser in Drummondville to help defray the cost of her skating. Jessica has worn that red strapless skating costume into the ground - costumes are expensive. She and Bryce had some local sponsors; don't know what she has now. She comes from fairly modest circumstances, perhaps more modest than the Davisons, and even taking into account the combined resources of both families during D&D's career, the financial pressure was there.

Hard to reconcile these realities with the fact that in 2009 the three Dube siblings were able to muster up the money for a 4 star Dominican resort vacation getaway fitting in with Jessica's training break, splashing out for $89-$100 additional excursion fees like ziplining and catamaran trips. Even though the DR is cost-effective for Canadians (there's an invisible pipeline in the air from Canada to DR, no lie, don't even need passports, I believe), it was still interesting how room remained in their budget for vacations with their own friends (Jessica's brother vacationed in the sort of set-up where a bunch of guys bunk in per room in the resort).

Hard to reconcile Jessica's parents being in Paris in 2009 for TEB (an expensive time of year to travel to Paris) then returning to France (Nice) in 2012, and Monte Carlo and Monaco. That money could defray a lot of skating expenses.

Maybe I'm overlooking something but there were no reports of the Davisons at TEB 2009, and I don't think they routinely traveled to see Bryce compete overseas. Hell, neither family was in Colorado when Jessica's face was slashed, but Kate Virtue was, and she was the one who was on the phone to the Davisons to pass the developments to the Dubes. If Jessica needs fundraisers to offset her skating expenses, where did the funds to fly three people to the Dominican, two people to Paris (plus hotel and meals) and at least three people to Nice come from?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shame versus Sex

I've defined for myself why the Scott/Jessica sham made many fans gag. Although the photos purported to show private moments, the atmosphere and wardrobe styling were full on walk of shame.
The walk of shame refers to a situation in which a person must walk past strangers or peers alone for an embarrassing reason before reaching a place of privacy.
Scott's sham experience in a nutshell.

Scott and Jessica often were in a place of privacy while simultaneously under the gaze of all of us strangers. It was difficult to process this apparently shame-based (public) yet private (but not private) experience and know why, if it was so icky for everyone, they insisted on parading private stuff for us.

Scott sported the general mien worn by John Meyer when Meyer had to take Jessica Simpson out:
John Meyer and Jessica Simpson
Scott Moir and Jessica Dube
Meyer was obliged because he was banging Simpson. As a celebrity and media ho, she needs to show she's wanted, and backdoor stuff isn't going to fly with her, not if the guy wants to keep his privileges.

Scott didn't HAVE to "let" "Jessica" constantly parade who he was fucking if he was so mortified, so since he obviously was mortified, why did he? That's why all the Meyer-like theories sprang up.

Sham, Inc. imagined it was delivering something along these lines:
Plausible, innocuous placeholder.
But it was this:
"I felt suffocated, miserable and gross.
I should never have gone down that route."

Ben Affleck
We could tell, Ben.

If what you're doing makes you feel as Scott felt when with Jessica:
I love my girlfriend so much I can't look at her.
("Dad - wtf?"

Scott: Go ask your mother.)
or sitting next to the woman he loves, lying about who they are to each other:

 Not humiliating at all.
You shouldn't be doing it. Nobody should push you to do it, and if you're pushed, no matter how  you love them - no.* All different kinds of integrity took a beating in this mess - the relationship of a partially publicly supported institution and the public is one; Scott's core self, his instincts and values as a man is another. It's not really trivial, even if the latter isn't particularly anyone's business. Still, it was in our face. How could we not notice. It sucked.

The people who love you shouldn't convince you squelch every instinct you own when those instincts have been dead on in the rest of your life. The person you're protecting should figure if you're able to protect what needs protecting in other areas of your shared lives, you're capable of protecting your combined privacy without becoming the face of a desperate-looking and humiliating years-long charade. As fantastic as their professional and private lives have been, that all this is on the record is heartbreaking because it wasn't necessary. It's 100% on them. It's hard to imagine a human being less suited for a sham relationship than Scott Moir, even before you start thinking Jessica Dube is a good idea for him. So naturally, Skate Canada thought it was fab and they glowed with self-congratulation.

While it's not really blog-topic oriented as far as the sham goes (if not as far as how many people who love and know them view Scott) I don't think it's any secret that a lot of people feel this wouldn't be Scott's chosen way of managing things, but he was outgunned. He's the youngest child in his family, the most tempermental, the moodiest, the most hotheaded, the one David Pelletier said should stay quiet and let Tessa do the talking (yes, bot-speak is always better, David), the supposed eternal child, the most aggressive and for sure, the most impatient. Surely all of that should be squashed and he should be squeezed into an ill-fitting sham suit for five years because cooler, wiser heads prevailed. Let the smart, sophisticated people be in charge:

Have everyone you know comment how happy all this looks. Let's have it last forever!

Actually I'm still confused about why, if they actually wanted people to buy the sham, some of these photos were posted. As well as wondering what marketing theory advises that when something is unconvincing, the best defense is overkill.

In public public, Scott was an intense, hyper, goofy, charming guy with a habit of evasion when it came to his romantic life, a guy who clearly had at least a major crush on his gorgeous, charming, talented, intelligent partner and who treated her with undisguised adoration. On facebook it was so bad that even the biggest proponents of the sham couldn't pretend it looked good. They had to make up personal experience of having been in Scott and Jessica's company where, seen in 3D, they were cute, sweet and adorable. It just wasn't photogenic.

I don't think Scott was or is a victim - he's a lucky guy with major wonderful things in his life and was an adult when he agreed to this, and he's a full on grown-up and then some now, and still agreeing. However, I don't believe anyone on the planet, including those around Scott and Tessa but not hands on in the sham, believe he's  the one who put on the breaks about coming clean, who shut every window of opportunity each time one opened. The wise heads, the adults, the parents, in Tessa's life and Scott's life apparently all agreed this was a great idea. Skate Canada is a big fan and driving force. The number of people it took to agree, cooperate and engineer this thing is disturbing when you look at the ratio of adult involvement to level of weird and degree of insanity and how Scott and Tessa enable it due to lack of God knows what - looks like lack of courage to me.
*I wonder if there was ever something like: "You don't have to do it - I will if you're too uncomfortable." Considering the size of the posse - Moirs and Virtues AND Scott - when Tessa shammed with Ryan Semple, I'd guess for Scott that alternative would be easier on us, tougher on him. Such a shame there were no third options.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The flip side

While Scott and Jessica frolicked romantically in two dimensions on social networks in front of thousands of strangers, in non-sham, legitimate media situations they observed the discretion described in an earlier post (below). Scott so zealous that if Jessica were a squirrel and he were a car backing out of the driveway, his commitment to discretion would require him to run her over.
Look how much Bryce appears to enjoy Tessa's proximity.
No worries. Scott & Jessica, OTOH, are being private.

Scott is disciplined.  Here, at the 2010 ACGM meeting, he and Jessica have barely toweled themselves off from their romantic visit to the Isla Mujeres aquatic petting zoo swim with dolphins yet you'd swear they hated each other's guts.

Barbara Underhill introduces the skaters, who will present to the awardees. First, a familiar synchro skater whose name I keep forgetting, then Jessica and Bryce:
Jessica sets the tone with her characteristically sunny demeanor.
The skaters are going to line up, so they sightline where they'll be standing and head towards it. Here comes Bryce:
Sightlining on the horizontal, as is logical, he gives  Patrick Chan, 
off stage right, the bro pistol-salute.

And here is Chiddy:*

Straight to the bosom of his teammate.
Here comes Scott and Tessa. This is the exciting part. This is where fans, learning that there's video of Scott, Tessa, Jessica, Bryce all on stage together, bolt for youtube so they can observe Scott/Jessica eye contact, smiles and byplay, as they usually only see Scott and Jessica together in stills, and for some reason those images give off a peculiar vibe. Here's a live action chance to get a handle on the dynamic.

Tessa and Scott are introduced:

Tessa materializes, somehow mid-conversation with P. Chan. She also has nice, wide
shoulders. Anyone to her left would be blocked, and here comes friendly Scott. Let's
see the physical adjustments.

I love Scott. Does a straight upstage entrance, like you do because your back is what everyone will want to see first, and keep those hands in pockets just in case anyone has a reach longer than you'd expect. His whole entrance is executed with that unstudied naturalism that makes him a phenom on the ice.

His suit is tailored very nicely across his back,wouldn't you say?
Now that he's safely comfortably upstage, out of sightline = obligatory greeting range,
Tessa faces front. Jessica has quit fronting entirely.
And so Scott does his about face and we have this lovely portrait.
This also happened, which I don't think Scott even strategized:

It toally happened by itself. Jessica might as well be something from The Sixth Sense and Scott be Toni Collette; it's not even: "Tessa, did you feel that slight breeze?"

P.S. -Would like to mention how over on fsu recently one poster critiqued Tessa as dowdy and declared it wouldn't hurt her to show a little skin.  
*Over the past 2 and a half years Patrick Chan has put in some real OT as a utility buffer. He escorted Tessa to the Nationals 2010 banquet while Scott walked in solo even though all the other teams entered together because VM are special like that. Skate Canada skaters past and present have used Chan as their point of focus when there's a need to avoid someone else, or when there's a need to ignore someone without seeming to ignore someone. I've seen that one play out a few times in videos involving Skate Canada skaters. He can be employed as an on-the-spot best friend if you're the one being ignored, so you're not stuck with the camera watching how you have nobody to hang out with. And, in a bridge role, if you're the one doing the ignoring, you can throw him as a block at the person you're ignoring. And wasn't he also one of Rachel Flatt's escorts to her debut? I know this type of guy. Every high school needs one. I don't know if wingman even covers it. He's all-purpose, and the rule seems to be he can't say no.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Re the latest title photo on the blog: The blog's upcoming (use a Scott Moir-type time estimate) photo essay chronicle of Bryce Davison's public journey through the vale of romantic betrayal, anguish and humiliation is a work in progress, and while hunting for a particular screen cap of Jessica Dube, I noticed Tellement Sports' caption beneath its facebook video of Menage a Trois sur la Glace:

Malgré leur rupture amoureuse, Jessica Dubé patine toujours avec Bryce Davison, mais son coeur bat dorénavant pour Scott Moir, l'ancien meilleur ami de Bryce et partenaire de Tessa Virtue. Jessica et Scott sont extrêmement discrets sur leur relation qui n'avait jamais encore été dévoilée publiquement. C'est qu'au-delà du potinage, la situation pose un véritable défi dans un sport où les apparences sont très importantes.

Emphasis mine.

A rudimentary grasp of French will give the gist, but an on-line translation tool produces this:

Despite their break up love, Jessica Dubé always patina with Bryce Davison, but his heart now beats to Scott Moir, Bryce's former best friend and partner Tessa Virtue. Jessica and Scott are extremely secretive about their relationship that had never yet been publicly disclosed. It is that beyond the potinage, the situation is a real challenge in a sport where appearances are very important.

Extremely secretive leaps to mind when recalling Scott and Jessica's discretion during the ultra-appearance conscious run up to the Olympics. Why else would they air dirty triangle laundry nobody knew about until they went to an internet tabloid?

No surprise the fan takeaway from this video exclusive was Bryce was pissed at Scott and a big soap opera was cooking at Skate Canada. It must have sailed over Skate Canada's heads but when a couple of famous figure skaters bellow into a video camera that they're no longer lovers and she's dating another teammate who used to be her partner's best friend, and because of her, her partner/former lover and their teammate/her current lover aren't friends anymore, the 'discretion" message might not stick. The agenda, as observed here before, was so Scott and Jessica would have a rationale for not hanging out with each other at competitions more than necessary, as fans are as always snooping and side-eyeing and might otherwise wonder wtf? That agenda was, understandably, a fail.

But looking at the collage above, which is just a sample of the stuff we were treated to systematically in the lead up to and after the Olympics, remember none of the broadcast networks or print media saw fit to focus on the fact that, at a home Olympics in Canada, the Canadian champion and Olympic gold medalist ice dance male was in a long-standing romantic relationship with his Olympic teammate, the Canadian pairs champion female, who skates with her ex-lover and his former best friend in a very dangerous discipline, and things are notoriously rocky. Would this impact the competition? And what of his win and her disappointment? Anything of interest there?

No. None of that despite Jessica placed dead in the center of Moir-land the night of the free dance, a big ass camera trained on her face.*

The promo for Jess/Bryce was they were best friends who spent all their time together, the promo for Virtue Moir was the usual clusterfuck of they couldn't be closer except that they keep their swimsuit areas to themselves. Sandra Bezic shared that D&D used to be a couple and that's why there was no other lp they could skate to but The Way We Were, as all of us would feel if we'd found ourselves partnered with a sullen ex-boyfriend we'd dumped for someone else on the team thus destroying the friendship between the two men. That would bring out the wistful nostalgia in anyone, especially the dude who was dumped.

I believe we were told Anabelle & Cody were a couple, but nada about Jessica and Scott. When cameras zoomed in on the Moir family after Scott and Tessa skated, Tracy Wilson failed to recognize Jessica, and Tom Hammond ignored her too, choosing to repeatedly identify other Moir family members (and one Zaretsky) as Scott's brother Danny.

How did we facebook fans get so lucky?

And on a different topic, here's an isolate of Scott smooching Jessica (full photo above) as a companion to Jessica's cut-a-bitch isolate a few posts below.

This is a level 4 cheek kiss - "kiss" your "gf" on the cheek without any part of your nose making contact with her face. +3, Scott.

BTW, here's Charlie White:

Charlie & Tanith:

*ETA:Post-Olympics there was even a print interview with Jessica and Bryce, focusing specifically on the difference between their Olympic outcome and Virtue Moir's. The subject was the likelihood of Virtue Moir retiring versus Dube Davison retiring, the discussion pointed out that Virtue Moir had achieved the ultimate goal while D&D still felt their best was yet to come, and it's always more fulfilling to retire once you'd shown your best. So they were likely to continue, they explained, versus Virtue Moir, whose future was then up in the air. "We didn't win the Olympics, so..." was Jessica's contribution comparing the two teams. It was Bryce who spoke as the person familiar with Tessa and Scott, saying that if you have other goals ("and I know they both do") and have achieved your sport's highest level, it might be tempting to leave at the top. Amazing. The article's focus was VM versus DD, interviewing DD, and never did the journalist tag Jessica as Scott's girlfriend, it was Bryce who offered more of the insider's perspective, and Jessica referring to them only as teammates who'd done better than she and Bryce had done, not that there were sour grapes or anything.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I swear to Christ, Barb

"As exciting as all of this is, you will lose your shit
when I tell you about the light show."
Barb again leads the way with timely and compelling skating federation tweets and twitpics. Here she's conveying: "I, Barb MacDonald, am in media. Here is a media happening, which is what I, on my job, do, often under crisis conditions, as can be seen by the scrum. Please find this photo in future among the sample materials submitted with my cv.  I am not in the photo, but it does convey the exotic nature of my responsibilities, which, did I mention, is media."

Certainly what the figure skating faniverse is dying to see is a photo of an event director explaining basic tech eight months in advance of an event Russia managed to produce in four weeks. It's no wonder the media above is on their toes, drinking in every word. They're as mesmerized by the whole process as we are, as Barb is. Barb's enthusiasm is always endearing. I'm in media! Look - it's real! Lighting equipment! Wiring stuff! Clip-on mikes*. Recording devices! Real reporters - they've got sunglasses on their heads and "breaking news' facial expressions! They're wearing windbreakers and everything!

And that's not all from Skate Canada:
Did you know that 25+ tv cameras** will be installed @JLC for the #FSWorlds13 the event will be broadcast to over 160million ppl worldwide!
gif credit: Its-Delovely                                                                  
Worlds is gonna be televised? I haven't been this excited since Debbi Wilkes told me figure skates were sharp.

The fact that a Communications Director finds television cameras pr-worthy suggests she's every bit as good at media as Debbi is at business development and William Thompson at diplomacy. The only shortcoming is she keeps [attempting to] communicating that Skate Canada is this exciting, high level type enterprise managing urgent business without actually keeping in the forefront the organization's purpose, which is figure skating and figure skaters. Perhaps she and Debbi & Co. are under the impression the public cares as little about that part as they do.

*Wait, no, in Canada they like those big phallic things that say "important media personality."

**That number feels low to me.

Lost in Translation

July 13, 2012

Scott and Tessa require translation to interpret most of what they say. For example, 'platonic and date other people' means 'together and married', "literally not seeing each other or speaking for two months" means 'living together and closer than ever', "first time our lips ever brushed' means "we've kissed on the lips and a whole lot more eighty bajillion times", "Xmas!' means "photo shoot" and "any suggestions?" means "I'm a dick."

Add "soon". It means "a year."

The website update is very nice - not just the photos, but the tone. The bio is their bio as a skating team  - specific and concise. The basic layout and information make sense. The thank you's to fans and sponsors (in that order) are nicely and appropriately worded. It only took a year. I have my doubts that creating this page took a year; it's hard not to wonder what went on behind the scenes (besides not caring) to account for the delay.