Friday, November 30, 2012

Who do they think they are?

That's a real question, not rhetorical.

Their friends, along with the members of the media as fascinated with them as many fans have been, along with their families, declare that Tessa/Scott are great people. Part of it is Virtue Moir's talent, and their willingness to challenge that talent. Partly it's they're gracious and unentitled in person. Some of it is just good showing - poised, patient, always with the game face.

For example, there's the family friend who posted on her facebook that Scott and Tessa are "such good kids and always will be - what you see is what you get" despite the fact that she's a sham contributor and has helped them lie. ("You two are the best couple on earth!" is an example of her captioned enthusiasms under facebook sham spam). But when she says things like "What you see is what you get" - she believes it.

I think it goes to a parochial mindset cut through with immaturity. It's the entitlement and complacency that comes from "We're right because of who we are, not what we do." They're undisciplined, and unwilling to think critically or challenge assumptions they hold about themselves.

Who are the targets of the sham right now? The media? Most of those who interview them know they're together.

It's the public? Just the Canadian public? Is it the fans in front of whom they frequently don't even pretend they're not together?

What about those "dedicated" (™ Scott Moir) skating ladies?

Or the crazies that EVERYBODY in the public eye has?

The internet? Who gives a fuck about under a hundred people on the internet - so much that you  market a years-long program of ridiculous and insulting lies? That's not a problem - that's a nuisance. Stop thinking about it and it's not even a nuisance.

It's all Tessa and Scott self-indulgence and ego. They were anticipating revealing their status long before now, but when they realized they could get away with the pregnancy they decided why not continue to Sochi.

What they do now isn't necessary. It's not important to their mental health, to sustaining their personal life, to protect anything. They do it because they can. If you can treat a group of people you don't respect without respect and get away with it, why not do it? That's them.

If they had revealed their status, there would be no significant fallout. The media ignores what Tessa and Scott want ignored, emphasizing only what Tessa and Scott want emphasized. How often has a media package referred to their dramatic withdrawal at the 4CCs, for example? About never, I believe. That served its purpose and now it's like it never happened. The media would likewise ignore the lies in the book, the lies in their interviews, the anecdotal fables, the gratuitous embellishments and gaslighting.

When has anyone ever decided to notice that Tessa and Scott were in public together during the time they claim to have been completely out of touch, that they appeared on television for an interview, that a close associate of theirs, while commentating at Canadians, told us that both Tessa and Scott were away during her recovery, not just Tessa, because Scott was with her? Again, never.

There would be no can of worms. Fans would know their status, that's all.

It's power. They don't want fans to officially know (unofficially is fine) because Tessa and Scott want to hold onto the power they have to manipulate in petty ways and in what they once may have imagined are important ways.

There are no more important ways. There's no "the power to protect our privacy." Scott's own confused and inane explanations about getting side-eyed from fans (which doesn't bother him) while at the same time, keeping hands-in-pockets so as not to - what? Bump into somebody who also recognizes him but now he has to receive direct eye contact or suffer a greeting? - matched with their habit of baiting and stirring the pot, along with their correct insistence that they can go under the radar whenever - their privacy doesn't hinge on pretending to be platonic on social media. Their control of legit media has never depended on it either. The coy come ons and games they play show that's nonsense.

There's just pathetic and petty left. They like being one up, knowing something the fans don't, pulling fans' strings, reading how wrong fans are about everything, thanks to the lies they push on the fans, thanks to stringing fans along and setting them up to be wrong.*

How can you be convinced Tessa/Scott are wonderful people unless you believe the skating public are nobodies who don't count?

Social media happens mostly outside legit media, certainly broadcast media, so Scott and Tessa can treat fans with their characteristic mean spiritedness without it being held against them. Legit media prefers to ignore it because legit media is generally not a fan of social media either. Legit media prefers to control the narrative, and social media challenges that.

Virtue Moir go out of their way to remind fans of their pariah status. They could throw up a photo on, especially after Scott directed fans there once he left his fan facebook. It's not neglect. They do things like direct fans there and then ignore it on purpose. They don't want fans. They don't like fans.

(ETA - they've now changed the photo on, and lo, is it a new photo like the first two? Of course not. That would be sharing something. It's two stills from a gala performance everybody's seen from every possible angle already. It's Scott's fan facebook all over again.)

Some people have blamed the blog. Oh the blog has harrassed them.

Yes, because they never lied to fans before the blog. And because an ice dance team that wasn't together would let their buttons be pushed by some insane blog claiming they were. The only reason they let themselves react to the blog is they're together and married, have a child, and they're lying.

So let's say they're pissed because how dare some nobody (which is everyone who isn't them, someone they know, or someone of high status) call them out? So what you do is continue to treat countless well-intentioned people like garbage because you think it helps you score points against an anonymous blog.

If it wasn't the blog, they'd find another reason to piss on fans, believe me. They will always find an excuse.

It also makes Scott's friends feel important. So there's that. We all like to feel important by screwing with anonymous nobodies, or with people stupid enough to take us at our word.

Maybe Scott and Tessa are in the category of neurotic insecure people who aren't comfortable unless there's people they can look down on, and in the skating world and among family and friends, they're in a top dog position where this egocentricity is indulged. Maybe having extraordinary talent has made them believe they're extraordinary PEOPLE, superior to common people who have to pay for tickets to skating competitions, who can't skate the way Tessa and Scott can.

I think there's one category of people that don't excuse and rationalize Scott and Tessa, and that category is figure skaters. Figure skaters with more natural humanity and empathy than Scott and Tessa, skaters who don't resent it when they have to breathe the air others breathe. Skaters who are flattered when fans put together a video or some other shout out because these figure skaters are grateful there are people "out there" who notice and appreciate the work they put in. Figure skaters who see Scott and Tessa actively working to alienate a public other skaters would kill to have and don't say anything in public ... right now.

Scott and Tessa don't need the public. They don't care about post-eligible blowback. They're set. The judges will give them the points. They'll have money whether they suck up to the public or not - they're not financially insecure. Since they don't need fans, why bother treating fans with common decency? One of the axioms of good business is to allocate resources where it will generate the best return, and public good will isn't something Scott and Tessa give a shit about.

There's no incentive for them to be decent, so they're not. I know it's noticed by fellow skaters who'd make different choices even if they found themselves in Scott and Tessa's impossible-to-understand, unique position. You know what it is? Disappointing that they haven't the courage in their public life that they have on the ice, and it's fans who get the fallout from that.
*Callback to Scott saying anyone who thinks Tessa is too sweet and innocent for Carmen doesn't know her at all.

Isn't that what you both want, Scott? Nobody to know either of you at all, not even the basics about your marital status? How can you say something like that, when if people don't know Tessa it's because of her decisions and yours? You're the one whose used "sweet" as the go-to adjective for years whenever you were asked to describe her. Just because this year the promo spin for Carmen is different doesn't mean it makes sense to scoff at people who think of Tessa as sweet, mostly thanks to everything you've said.


It's weird how these are exactly like the last year of Jessica/Scott photos. Face the camera in a public event or at some party/gathering with lots of people, smile and call it a day, minimize the body contact.

Giving Cassandra credit, she doesn't have that needy look in her eyes when she looks at the camera lens, so the ick factor goes way down. The connection factor is still as nil as ever. They don't even sit like they know each other - she could be a fan or friend of a friend.

Scott throws his arm around the shoulders of fans but with fake girlfriends, especially in photos of recent vintage, he's all eh and tentative.

And after posing with a couple of guys:

Wow Tessa, you go out without Mommy?

Tessa snuggles next to a girlfiend while horizontal to send the countermessage that the photos with the guys are OBVIOUSLY platonic because she's cozier with a freaking girl than with them. Who knew Tessa had friends? The way she portrays herself, she skates and studies and hangs with her mom. Has she ever described friends?

This all seems like it should get a Level 2, GOES - 3 for future-hindsight image messaging.

Present day message: Scott and Tessa have significant others off ice! Look!

Future hindsight message: nothing ever happened or went on with any of these fakes. Look, a photo with Cassandra from the time he was supposedly dating Jessica! Look, all of these photos are exactly like regular fan photos! Look, Tessa and her parents and Scott and his parents are all in collusion with it, there were no triangles and nobody was cheating on anybody!

What about protecting yourselves from the future hindsight of people looking at these and realizing just exactly how ridiculously arrogant and self-obsessed you were? How you couldn't stand it when the fans calmed down about your status, so you kept trying to stir the pot? How a blog about the lies you guys tell that was at first a pain in the ass became a last resort showcase for getting attention?

The fact that their kid is completely edited out of their official story for the Sochi Olympics and that they will never see a shout out from the Kiss'N'Cry or their name mentioned in any of the articles to show THEIR kids - who cares. Family scrapbooks are cool enough!

The hardest thing to explain to people about Tessa/Scott's sham? The stupid. People follow along to a certain point and then they get that rotten fish smell expression where it's not even outrageous enough to be funny or - outrageous. It's just - who do these people think they are? What's wrong with them?

Call Capurnicus - he was wrong. The sun revolves around Scott and Tessa.

Cannot WAIT for Canadians to hear that announcer announce at the gala that Tessa and Scott are all that role models should be.

Oh well, let's look at the upside. Since Tessa is now perfectly willing to show herself on the web in a bikini, to pose with buddies on a boat, surely she won't nix the facebook or internet publication of a photo that would show her at the Moirs, or at a party, or with Scott somewhere anymore. She must be growing up. That's a good move for a mom.

Isn't it amazing though, all these off-ice photos of Tessa in one rush, and this is her intimate, private life! But with her professional, platonic partner, she still behaves as if a camera lens will dissolve her. She's the one who says they golf, drive places together, work out together, "are always together" so why does the photo spam try to show them having totally separate social lives?

Yes, let's have more of them. More outing American figure skaters while protecting
 your own (or what you think is protecting), more mocking fans and setting them up for sport,
more double standards depending upon whose skater from what country has won or lost, 
and more bragging on how much more wonderful you are than other people while
lying your faces off. Let's have Moir of that.
What's it called when you're past caring, you were tired/mad but now
you don't even have the energy to feel anything about it at all anymore?
That go ahead and shoot me feeling? Scott looks like that.

I'm having internet issues which is hobbling the "edit" feature, so I'll just do new posts and combine them later.

Here's what I think - Tessa is a stubborn girl but who knew she'd be stubborn about being an asshole. Here she is, the budding businesswoman who fails to understand the difference between and among "lying" "manipulation" and "business", not to mention "our sport" and thinks that the two former are permissible if it's done in the arena of the latter.

I feel sure she doesn't intend to let fans or anyone or anything deter her from what she's decided. She won't be controlled. The thing is though, it is TESSA (and Scott's a big boy, and Skate Canada, and the rest) who is trying to do the controlling. It's Tessa & Co. who make up lies, fuck with people's heads, act out a lie at a major figure skating competition, drop little manipulations into the conversation to make people think they're crazy. SHE's being controlling.  Photos like these? Controlling.

Not controlling would be keeping her mouth shut and refusing to answer whatever questions she doesn't want to answer. Not controlling would be behaving like an adult and not a game playing idiot. Being a strong-minded woman who didn't want people telling her when or what to talk about means not letting people force her when to talk about something she doesn't want to, or insisting she address things when she'd rather say "Next" or "I don't talk about that. While we're skating, we'll talk about skating."

Nobody is trying to control Tessa. The business woman is running little social media games or having them run, that aim to control other people, manipulate them, use them for whatever the hell she thinks her ends are - in this case I'd simply guess the aims are "You can't tell me what to do."

Nobody's trying to. She's the one.

I also think that Scott knows perfectly well how crummy and ridiculous this is. He is, though, married to somebody who claims she was able to reduce her cell phone contacts to just seven people during the Olympic season (I tried to add that up once and either she's not talking to Scott, Marina, Meryl, Charlie or she's not talking to her family, because there's no way that number works).  Somebody like that can cope with criticism by simply tuning it out and refusing to let it into the bubble, whether she's right or whether she's wrong. She's not going to know either way if she is able to not think about it or deal with it.

However, I think standing up for your right to mind fuck people is truly asshole. And these are people doing it because they feel superior to fans. Look at them.


Here's what I love. When Scott bid farewell to facebook, he directed us to for updates, which as we all know was the same as the famous P.T. Barnum trick of having the exit sign in Latin ("Egress"). The people went through the door thinking it was to another attraction but they found themselves shut out of the tent.

Scott didn't have the decency to say hey, I'm not a social media guy, but I do appreciate the support, and your enthusiasm at events is a real boost to Tessa and me.

But it felt socially awkward to do it like that, so to protect his OWN discomfort, he uses the panacea of "check out" which had not been updated in weeks and weeks and has certainly not been updated since. The photo which is a "pic-of-week2.jpg" became a pic-of-month to ease the once-a-week pressure and still there's jackshit.

It's not like they don't have time. Look at that boating, posing, event-attending, hanging-outy collage there. The camera is always clicking. They're Olympians. When they train, when they're at the rink, when they're with family and friends or at Skate Canada stuff, people get out their cameras. But not one of the photos made it up as a photo on their "web page".

But they have priorities. Getting their rocks off by pretending they're such big deals (look - a blog is after them!) they need to hunt up new mind-fucks and lies and make sure tumblr gets it is a priority.  Paying even lip service to a web page that has no agenda but to serve as a reasonable place for fans to see a few current, skating-related photos and event schedule is too much for them.

It's sad because the pattern of the past year isn't that being jerks is a collateral effect of what they're doing. They actually WANT to treat fans badly. So we get the point, they make sure that the only benign means of communication (the web page) is neglected and the facebook (which rapidly became corrupted) is shut down. They resent having to be decent to fans on ANY platform. What's wrong with them? The web page doesn't have to show their personal life? What is WRONG with them? Why do they insist that all of on line media engagement be a set up? What are they proving to themselves about themselves?

Look Daddy has a bf who isn't mommy and mommy has a bf who isn't daddy

Amazing. Tessa can't be photographed off ice with SCOTT, her platonic, professional business partner. Not once on his facebook.  Only once, and shamed into it, on his fan page.

This woman isn''t shy. She's controlling.

Her "bf" with her in a bikini? Bring it on, internet! She's right out there!

This is a married couple with a child taking their spare time to pose for photos of themselves with fake significant others so that a bunch of fans - fans at this point begging to be spared - will find them and know Team Sham isn't bowing down to any fucking blog. Virtue Moir will stop trying to fuck over the fans in THEIR time, not some fucking blog's.

Oh, they're not trying to make people think they're really dating these people. They're self obsessed, but not enough to really care anymore.  This is about the scorecard.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Skate Canada's strenuous Piper & Paul push is relevant to the sham because it helps illuminate the mindset behind the sham and the modus operandi of Skate Canadian public relations.

I wanted to at least try and pull together some more of the reasons the sham has been as ridiculous as it is, and continues to be. And to observe that, while the Paul & Piper overkill stands out as bizarre if you look at it from a figure skating perspective, everything about it fits a familiar Skate Canada's pattern when seen from a Skate Canada's Stooges Think It's About Them perspective.

The Stooges look at their positions from a single perspective - Turn That Spotlight On Myself. Everything comes back to that. But, many of the opportunities Skate Canada's personnel used to have to shove themselves into the spotlight are at least temporarily closed off, and that's because of the blog.

It's not because the blog is all that. But the blog is on point, and not only are fans reading it, but so are skaters, parents, media, folks at Skate Canada and others who know that the premise of the blog is true but maybe haven't looked all that closely at other stuff. These people aren't going to go "wow, what a terrific blog!" They were already aware of a lot of the stuff here.

But with the blog being public and anonymous, and showing this stuff off, it
doesn't make Debbi & Co. look very good. It's too obvious that they're shady, that they push themselves forward in mortifying ways. While personal politics are usually something you just have to suck up, having Debbi et al's mortifying, self-serving shenanigans showcased here in front of everyone who knows them, coupled with Debbi & Co. being the taker types versus the giver types (unless the "giving" is personally advantageous to Debbi) has made Debbi & Co. change up how they play the game a little bit. But the game and its goals haven't changed.

What we've learned is this: originally it appeared that Skate Canada was staffed at the highest level with a bunch of self-important clowns who had no idea how to do their job.

Now it seems that Skate Canada is staffed at the highest level with a bunch of narcissistic clowns who were never expected to do the job.

Debbi's director titles are slippery - they've changed and morphed. Because they don't matter. Call her anything.

But for a couple of years now she's been the Director of Business Development who hasn't done any such thing or even tried. She couldn't even prep Scott and Tessa properly to promote London businesses at an appearance set up for that purpose.

So what's she doing?

She's collecting a salary and getting her face on camera, getting her name checked; she's glomming onto skating events with her huge ass microphone so as to hitch a ride on the medalists' spotlight; in the past she used to dig up a bunch of personnel and throw them on camera so Debbi and they could smarm at each other and she could pad out her video presence on Skatebuzz, and also over on Skatebuzz they'd use screen caps of skaters and events to get fans to click on the video only to find out there was no skater and no event, just Debbi talking about it.

So that's why Debbi can't clean up her act. There's no job for her to do. She's only got the act, and that, plus perks (salary, access) are the only things that interest her. That's why they keep doing stupid things, instead of regrouping, improving their job performance, and maybe doing a better job of pr. Better pr would eliminate Debbi. Piper & Paul are willing to be the means for Debbi & Co. to invent pretexts to get Debbi & Co.'s faces and names in the spotlight on twitter, on skatebuzz, on facebooks, on, etc. Debbi can get all dressed up next to Piper & Paul all dressed up to welcome Thomas Sabo to the Skate Canada sponsor family (isn't Thomas Sabo just about an only child at this point?).  I don't remember before that Skate Canada threw "Welcome to Our Family!" sponsor parties. I don't remember a Kozy Shack Shindig.

The flip side is - why were Piper & Paul chosen as the foils? Skate Canada has a lot of figure skaters.

I don't think they just like Piper & Paul so much more. I think the other skaters are keeping Debbi at arms' length, while Piper & Paul rush into her embrace. That's why they're the chosen, because they're useful to her. She can use them as her platform at London Worlds, her little crack in the door. Debbi can't, can't not be in the spotlight at London Worlds. She'll die. That type of spotlight is oxygen to Debbi.

She can pose next to them. Invent outreaches for them that she facilitates. Then once she has that standing, she can look around for further opportunities.

So, while it's disappointing that other ice dance teams (the 800 lbs. gorilla VM aside) are not getting this push, this attention, or perks such as "Here's your bronze medal and trip to worlds, and you don't even have to skate first!", fans of those teams can at least comfort themselves that their favorites have the good sense to keep Debbi at arm's length, whenever it's expedient and possible to do so. The price they pay is - well, they will live in the shadow of Piper & Paul, because Skate Canada has only one publicity/communications department, only one person truly running that show, and that person has a set of requirements that must be met before she'll bestow the spotlight.

There's a corrollary to this that goes to the sham.

You know Charlie White's recent interview where he mentioned the moms go to every single one of their international competitions (there are some very financially fortunate skating teams training in Canton). He said they love having them there, but also "It's a way for them to be part of it." IOW, the parents put in a lot of groundwork, paved the way, made it possible, sacrificed, and this is a way for them to share in the rewards. The figure skating career is a huge part of the parents' lives even though their "kids" are adults. That comes with the territory - a kid in skating is a massive investment in family resources before there's any payback.

(Although I wonder if parents who scrimp and save to put their kid through private school, mortgage the house to put their kid through an elite college, mortgage it again for grad school, then lend them the $$ for a home down payment then want to be part of their kid's medical career. I do think the fact that figure skaters are performers make the parents extra eager to be part of the experience when things start getting good.)

Scott and Tessa hail from a tight knit community. Not only is it a small community Londonwise, over by Ilderton the Moirs are by far the most prominent family and figure skating is an extremely popular pasttime. A lot of the people on Scott's facebook who don't seem like they ever were in figure skating maybe were never part of a Skate Canada national team but they certainly were figure skaters at some point in their young lives. And Scott and Tessa are the ones who hit pay dirt - talent, opportunity, timing, success, gold medals. Everybody feels part of it.

How do they participate now that the home town heroes have hit the big time? All the cousins, the aunts, the family friends, the parents of other skaters not as successful, etc., the ones who pitched in to help in the early days or just showed up in support?

They have to participate! No question about it.

Facebook. Inflate and hype up  a problem (SCOTT AND TESSA NEED PRIVACY), use facebook to solve it, and everybody participates. When the facebook sham is toned down, how do the working stiffs who are Scott's buddies get to participate in their friend's success? How do the rest of their wide circle of acquaintances, friends and family broadcast to the world what great kids and people Scott and Tessa are cause they knew them way back when? And how do they distinguish themselves when there are hometown events or skating competitions close to home? Well, with live action participation, all sham related. To extend the participation, the friends can help set up the bait (drop photos of Scott and Tessa dancing, for instance).

Without a sham, what do we have? We've got a couple of skaters who are financially solid - no fund raisers a la Patrick Chan and Jessica Dube required. We've got a couple of figure skaters who train at an elite, international training center in Detroit, USA, no intention of going anywhere else. We've got a dance team who are in many ways, sufficient unto themselves pyschologically and emotionally, because they're a couple and have been for years and constantly nurture that bond.

Where's the opportunity for participation for all the people who had a part in Scott and Tessa's success when they were coming up? Who want to feel needed and part of it?

I think it's human nature, and I think the sham served that purpose and big time. It maximized the number of people who could be part of it with very little time and attention investment on the part of Scott and Tessa. Throw some photos up and cue the chorus from Scott's hometown and parts beyond jumping on the photos to coo and reinforce the sham for Scott and Tessa. Let them host some photos on THEIR facebooks too, or elsewhere on the web (twitter. Tumblr. etc.).

Look at the enthusiasm over M'ovember. Why is Scott the captain - isn't he a guy too busy to even maintain a sporadic presence on a fan facebook? Why not one of the other guys or girls, and Scott can be on THEIR team (thus using his name to help attract donations, if that's really the goal).
And I think this is another reason the sham ain't ending. There's a second Olympics, and basically a way for Scott and Tessa to pay back their legions of hometown and other supporters, family members and friends is to find a way for them to "help" and participate, and the sham really meets all the requirements.

Just a reminder - Worlds 2013 in London. Scott and Tessa couldn't cough up the names of any businesses to promote when they made that appearance to promote London businesses, but we can bet our asses that Worlds in London will be the opportunity they've waited for to break out side door and back channel set ups and stings the likes of which we haven't seen since Canadian Nationals 2010 and Monaco. Worlds in London, they're from London, a lot of their friends in London will like to share in the experience.


I've also reconsidered this:

Tessa's idea of romance is someone who can make her laugh
with whom you can be completely yourself.
Scott's is being with your other half that everyone has in the World.
I thought this was sweet, a little reality-placeholder peeking through the cracks. Now I think it was bullshit, like the "We're staying an extra day in Paris!" video and the slow dance on the SC gala sidelines. It was a way to get fans to relax, be charmed, think these kids were finally chilling out. Oh God forbid. They will never. Not when there's a game to be won.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Official hinkiness

6th Place at TEB and not French = 2 gala performances.

Updated to mention that Hubbell & Donohue were not invited to skate at TEB's gala but P&I skated twice. TWICE.  No last minute fill in because they packed their gala exhibition costumes with them before leaving for the competition.

Maybe if they hadn't skated the second program the team who finished ahead of G&P might have been able to skate the gala once. What's his name again P.J.? He used to skate with Piper? Name not coming to you?

If this is what Skate Canada requests for TEB, imagine what we'll see at Canadians and then Worlds. (As Piper and Paul are already on the team.)

Piper and Paul are prolific social media participants, yet I didn't see either posting their excitement or gratitude at being unexpectedly asked to take a major part in the gala performances usually reserved for medalists and a host country's local and favorite skaters.

Rather, Piper expressed satisfaction with their TEB experience, and, in the same matter-of-course tone as her "come see us in person at Worlds", mentioned the next day's gala.


Piper and Paul are smiley. A lot of people at Skate Canada are big enthusiasts of this team, and striving to make the enthusiasm contagious on the basis of not much more than that.


Tanith Belbin even tweeted out specifically to Piper Gilles (an ex-American skater) how great it was to see someone SMILING in the Kiss'n'Cry at the otherwise apparently Godforsaken Skate Canada Grand Prix. Tanith - do you have this complaint when watching football and hockey - that more team members should smile, no matter what the score? Is figure skating a pageant? What does smiling have to do with anything? It's sports. Or is this preliminary sour grapes on your part over the success of Virtue and Moir's non-smiley but hugely popular Carmen?

It's great to be natural smilers like Tanith and Piper, so the two fawned over each other a bit, but again it seemed like a random reason to single out Gilles and Poirier. And Tanith is USFSA, not SC. But what the fuck, for real.

There's one topic that's avoided and that's the actual skating.

If, like P.J. Kwong, you so strongly believe that Team X deserved a medal over Team Y that you take to twitter and use your coaching credentials to declare this belief unbiased, in my opinion you ought to be able to come up with specific reasons why if you're asked. A valid example of what Team X did better than Team Y - the elements that drove your opinion in the first place. Not - uh, well, I'll have to go back and look.

Go back and look? You don't know? If going back and looking is going to help you find reasons for an expert opinion you've already shared, then why doesn't going back and looking help you preview Paul/Islam? Kwong said on twitter that she couldn't comment on Paul/Islam's programs because she can only judge skating skills in person. Paul/Islam are on youtube, though. Why not check it out?

She's an SC mouthpiece and an ice dance coach, Paul/Islam are Skate Canada National Team ice dancers. P.J. feels comfortable going back to youtube to watch and compare Hubbell/Donohue to Gilles/Poirier at SC so as to retroactively come up with reasons why she's used her status as an expert to declare Gilles/Poirier the rightful Skate Canada bronze medalists, but she's not interested in watching Paul/Islam until she can see them live?

She can only evaluate Piper and Paul - live, video, neither, both - doesn't matter.

Incidentally Hubbell & Donohue outscored Gilles and Poirier by a fairly whopping amount at TEB.

Also incidentally, how does a team like Gilles and Poirier pull down 63(??) in the short dance at last year's Canadians, and despite experts such as P.J. declaring them improved and despite no visible mistakes, pull down a mere 51.+ in front of an international panel outside Canada this year?

There's no Congeniality segment in CoP. There's no Level 4s or high GOES for fun. Or "this program is more appealing" base value.

It's a competition - GP aren't being scored against previous outings, but against other teams. P.J. tells twitter that as an ice dance expert, she can objectively tell us they should have gotten the bronze medal, but can't can't offer a single relevant example off the top of her head of what G/P did better than the bronze medalists.

Why are Piper & Paul skating at the TEB gala? Is it a special request by Skate Canada because they're the 2013 Canadian bronze medalists and have a bye to the World Team? How does that affect the lower ranked teams who will be battling it out for fourth place at Canadians 2013? I want to hear from them.

Sure, a lot of figure skaters find galas a chore and if Piper & Paul eagerly present themselves as willing to round out an afternoon's closing fun, why not.

Can Skate Canada talk about other things this season that doesn't come off as "We interrupt this 24/7 promotion of Piper and Paul to pay lip service to some other non World medalist team Canada skaters. Hi!

Now - back to your regularly scheduled Piper and Paul!"

For example, how about some follow through on Dube/Wolfe? Last season Skate Canada blatantly hyped and favored Dube/Wolfe - well, the Dube part of that - rewriting the story of how the team got together while promoting Dube's work ethic and championship mentality. True to form as we've experienced it lo these many years, Dube rewarded them by blimping out over this past summer, getting a "late start" (it was said) compounded by an ankle issue (it was said), missed all the summer comps, wasn't ready for HPC, and missed the GPS.

You go girl, you hard working champion, you.

It just cracks me up.

Skate Canada has dropped Dube/Wolfe like a hot rock. The only time they're mentioned is if a fan presses someone on twitter (Skate Canada, P.J., etc.). Otherwise it's Dube Wolfe who?

Where's the follow up? What are their current plans - what is their status?

Instead of 24/7 Gilles/Poirier from Skate Canada and their p.r. mouthpiece, P.J., what if Skate Canada interviewed (not just skyped) W&P about their Grand Prix experience? Based on Kaitlyn Weaver's social media remarks, she and Andrew were shaken by the feedback and the scores they received, were considerably disheartened, but are now re-motivating themselves and revamping. It seems there's a lot to talk about there, and maybe some pumping up, expressions of faith, and overall support is called for from their Federation, considering the team still managed to medal in both GPs despite their disappointment. Where's the Skate Canada drumbeat for them?

They are SC's second ranked ice dance team. Is SC completely uninterested in W&P, preferring to hype a 51 point sd team from TEB?

There's another possibility. Which is that even the lower ranked skaters at Skate Canada are disenchanted with their Federation and prefer minimal engagement. This leaves the Federation looking as if they hardly have access to their own figure skaters.

Sure, during competitions the skaters are compelled to present themselves to be interviewed, but maybe much of the rest of the time maybe they're avoiding Skate Canada's embrace. Piper and Paul step in to fill the void. They don't know the word "no". Their availability gives Skate Canada something to do or to appear to be doing on the daily, as it appears to me that the highest profile directors in Skate Canada's communications and public relations areas have nothing but patronage jobs to begin with (Debbi and Barb).

P.S. - apparently the last-place finishing French place team was unable to participate in the gala due to one of them being under the weather. Perhaps the Canadian Piper and Pal stepped in to replace them.

This is beyond weird, the media whoring and attention seeking. Yes, fan outreach is nice but this is ham-handed and it's self-serving. Are they jostling for a reality show? Is there a voting contest in which they're entered so they're out there trying to drum up brand awareness and support? Where is all this intended to get them in a competitive sport where nobody's crowned homecoming King and Queen? How does Skate Canada envision this translating to success for Gilles/Poirier?

Until something else emerges, my working hypothesis is A) the other teams are keeping Skate Canada at arms' length except when required and B) this push is filler because Barb and Debbi don't have enough other things going on to show how busy they are. And they're a bit embarrassed that the figure skaters are trying to disassociate themselves from their federation on the pr end when at all possible. Using that hypothesis, the overhype of Gilles/Poirier is necessary to convince the public they are worth obsessing over, otherwise the public would be - why is Skate Canada all over this new, low-ranked team who have not impressed at their first international? Why them up in Thomas Sabo's grill, why them getting instagrammed, why are they the bff's of P.J. and Skate Canada? Skate Canada is pumping them up so as to justify talking about them a lot, and they're doing that because they don't have enough else to talk about.

If Paul and Piper nominated themselves to fill in for the ailing French team, it would have been nice if Piper had facebooked an acknowledgment that they were under the weather but she and Paul were honored to be skating. It's the "This is just how it is for us - a bye to Worlds, and of course the gala" tone that calls attention to itself.

Scratch the above. Piper and Paul had costumes for their two performances, so they knew ahead of time - the gala costumes were in their luggage prior to the competition. Fun.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who scored much higher than they did, didn't perform in the gala at all.

Past the top three medalists, gala participants at TEB are down to the discretion of the organizers, as it turns out. What do we think happened?

The organizers said - let's invite that fun, colorful, happy pair of sixth place Canadian ice dancers to skate two gala programs and bomb Gao's as well! Hope they have costumes!

Or Skate Canada contacted the organisers in advance of TEB and requested Piper and Paul's participation, so that Piper & Paul would be able to really show themselves to full advantage by packing their gala wear?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wait - have Canadians 2013 already happened?

Have they been cancelled?

This just in. Piper and Paul are fun.
Wow, Piper and Paul are already on the World Team.

Why wouldn't she invite them to watch in person at Canadians?

Reminds me of this from William Thomson's visit to FSU after Nationals. A couple (that's it, a couple) of members were wondering if the scores at Canadians 2012 were cooked for Piper & Paul, and he took offense.
Good morning
To clarify one point. Skate Canada does not in any way pressure or manipulate judging. In fact, we specifically request that they judge what occurs on the evening and not worry about team selection etc. We have selection criteria that allows us to look at more than one event.*

As a former Olympic judge, I find this suggestion completely objectionable and patently untrue. Our first obligation is athletic fairness to the skaters. If judges make errors, it is because they are human and not as a result of pressure from Skate Canada to place skaters in a particular order.

William Thompson CEO Skate Canada
I guess the policy has changed since William Thompson, former-CEO Skate Canada, departed. Or he simply failed to mention there's no need to manipulate anyone. Judges and results are irrelevent. Ask Amelie Lacoste, and ask Paul/Islam and Ralph/Hill.

Gilles and Poirier have made the world team before the competition selecting the team has been been held. They've already met the criteria. They're so fun!

Hold the medal ceremony now - VM, W&P and of course, G&P.

Gee, even Virtue Moir always say "If we qualify."

The lack of respect this team is showing other Canadian dance teams is ridiculous. But where are they getting it? Their own Fed.

Skate Canada is hammering us over the head that the only Canadian ice dance team worth talking about other than Virtue & Moir is Piper & Paul. And they're going to Worlds, even before Canadians are competed. You love them, right? They're so FUN!!!!!

The overkill promotion of this team by Skate Canada is obnoxious , typically unprofessional, and completely disrespectful to the other teams competing for the podium. The federation has made its agenda over obvious, to say the least. This is no surprise - it's consistent with how Debbi Wilkes and other Skate Canada officials behave whenever a non-chosen member of Skate Canada competes, even those on the international track. They are contemptuous of their own figure skaters and make no bones about it in public.

Be sure to check out Piper and Paul's fantabulous new website decorated with photos conveniently and generously donated by all of the professional photographers whose work is on display, blinged out with Thomas Sabo, with links to and from Barb's twitter, Skate Canada's twitter (same difference)  and Skate Canada's website (same difference) and P.J.'s twitter. Be careful when you open the page; you'll get glitter and exclamation points all over your keyboard.**
*Just re-read that part. Why didn't they look at more than one event when it came to sending MTM or Dube/Wolfe to Worlds 2012?

**I haven't even visited the page yet. How off am I?

P.S. I certainly hope that, if there is any reaction from Gilles Poirier, they don't use or imply a "consider the source". Both know that the premise of this blog is true. Any insinuation that the blog's premise is off-base will bury them and Skate Canada in more lies. Those two know Scott and Tessa are together, and Piper (and the rest of the Gilles family) knew it long before she teamed up with Paul.

I"m calling them out for arrogance, and lack of respect, and I'm wondering if Skate Canada has let them know they're going to Worlds no matter what. Again we have a contradiction - if Piper and Paul are so delightful, such fun, such charmers, why are they treating Paul/Islam and Kharis/Ralph like gum off their shoe? That's what "check us out at Worlds!" means. Kharis/Ralph used to be very close to Crone/Poirier, but Paul is moving up in the world now.

I think Piper & Paul are just mirrors of their Federation, and on such a sugar high they're not looking at the implications of their behavior.

Let's give this a beat or two and see how long it takes before Paul/Islam and Kharis/Ralph are instructed to show they're the biggest supporters of Piper & Paul of anyone, think there's no team more deserving, and couldn't be happier with how things stand with G&P and Skate Canada, versus the table scraps they're getting. 

P.P.S. - Kharis & Asher, Alex & Mitch, I apologize if this means you will now get dirt for scores at Canadians.

P.P.P.S. - regardless of their figure skating quality or lack of, the promotional push for Piper & Paul is suffocating. It's a parody. It's the sort of dynamic where some smile monster comes at you and demands you acknowledge no emotion but laughing and clapping. It's ruthless, with no connection to how they're scoring or what's being put on the ice. Once again, a Skate Canada public relations scheme demonstrates their low opinion of the target market. Cretins who can't think for themselves and need a sledgehammer.

Skate Canada continues to behave as if promotion is just putting out the words you want, recruiting an amen chorus, and a mesmerized public will adopt this opinion as its own.

This isn't personal to Piper and Paul, but Skate Canada has taken a new dance team and used them to completely insult pre-existing dance teams and forcefeed this one to the public, and it's obvious the skaters have been told to play it up. What are they getting in return?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boy, does Tessa know what that's like

Today in their long program, this happened to Alex Shibutani.

It hurt.

But he regrouped and completed the program.When he finished he did most of his weight bearing on his good leg as he went to the boards, and Maia put his skate guard on for him.

Tessa can empathize because in 2011, at the 4CC's, she had to stop a program because of a quad spasm.

Oh the pain.
Tessa didn't rub her leg, didn't wince, skated evenly on both blades as she stroked to the boards, and her facial expression was neutral/placid.
After they (officially) called it off, she and Scott returned to center ice and:
Wow. A deep bow bending and stretching that deep spasm'd quad. Alex, you wimp. 
I find what happened at the 4CC's very "them". A big huge lie, and then super careless with the supporting elements because really, they're gonna get away with it anyway and they've got better things to do than keep their behavior consistent with the lies they're telling. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's harder to get tired people riled up, but not for lack of Scott and Tessa trying.

I think quite a few fans are burned out with Scott and Tessa's reindeer games, and I suspect Team Sham sees this as a problem. The problem wouldn't be that fans are fans possibly burned out from the games as such, because - tough shit. But burned out by the whole shipper cycle doesn't seem to be acceptable to Virtue and Moir.

The shipper stuff is the pivot around which Virtue Moir pr (largely sham-based) orbits.

As I start this post, I'm going to try to pull together a few things that relate to the m'ovember sting.

One. Back when the blog started, a lot of people from the Scott and Tessa fan boards would visit the blog to argue. This includes the fan who was "accidentally" left on Scott's facebook friends list.

Two. I have a stat counter, and make note of shit stirrer IPs that can be matched to comments. Shit-stirrers are people who drag their obsessions from some other site to this one, or their control issues from another site to this one; they're people whom I know are lying, and people who are trying to derail the focus of the blog and focus on the blogger. Those people hardly ever leave comments anymore, but back then they were frequent visitors.

Three. I know that the night the flickr photos were posted on the blog, the "accidental" fan had the blog open on her browser before the photos were posted here, while, simultaneously, her flickr remained visible to anyone with a link. Immediately those sham images went live on this blog, she re-privatized her flickr but stuck around on the blog for awhile (And later commenced her dance of mortification and accusation for other people's benefit.)

I'm not an idiot - she was waiting for the photos to be posted, keeping her flickr open until she was sure I had them.

Why would she want them posted - everyone would know, including Scott, that it was her! It might get her deleted from his facebook.

It didn't, though.

So now she does a hi-and-bye on fanforum and in a matter of no time the entire fandom has the Cassandra fb profile shot. What are the odds?

Excellent. There's no odds - it's a sure thing slam dunk. The Moirs knew it. She knew it.

Sure, some fans may feel foolish that they were speculating about Tessa and Scott's Carmen and post-Carmen body language. That's all that Tessa and Scott accomplished, though, fanwise. Made a few fans feel a little deflated.

I think that deflation isn't about "oh, they're not a couple" disappointed. I think it's a lot of fans feeling disappointed that Scott and Tessa are still such incredible assholes.

Fans were starting to hope that, along with their new Carmen skating moves, Scott and Tessa were classing up their pr game.

Deflated fans don't believe the Cassandra profile picture nor the intended message of the Semple tumblr photo, but were hoping Scott and Tessa were possibly being a little nicer/respectful (especially respectful). 

Maybe Scott and Tessa were saying "Never mind" to the sham, and, while not admitting anything or doing anything incriminating, had decided they wouldn't treat fans anymore as if fans were pieces of meat and Scott and Tessa got a tenderizer for Christmas.

Fans were maybe thinking - okay, Scott and Tessa would say nothing, fans would let bygones be bygones, and everyone would have a great season watching Carmen.

It could happen. Look at Scott - he took the microphone and earnestly thanked fans for attending Skate Canada, specifically mentioning their "hard-earned money." Things are improving. He slow-danced with Tessa on the gala sidelines to My Girl and Tessa didn't turn into a pillar of salt. They are finally starting to humanize this whole thing! Don't spook them!

So naturally, it turns out the slow dance was part of the set up. Of course it was. That's cynical of them, but when do they act any other way? Scott in particular thinks he knows where the buttons are. He thinks he's a step ahead. 

IOW, fan deflation this time isn't about Scott's got a gf or Tessa's with Semple. It's fans feeling disappointed after seeing that despite how Scott and Tessa appeared to conduct themselves recently - more naturally, more openly, declining to be interviewed by Skate Canada's own Jabba the Hutt, appearing to sincerely thank the fans at Skate Canada - they are still complete dicks.

Fans really want to like them. It's difficult not to like them. But Scott and Tessa are doing their best.

That's where I believe many fans are at the moment. Taking another hit and shaking it off. They're not let down that Scott and Tessa aren't a couple. Many fans just roll their eyes at the fb profile shot and the Semple tumblr.

Scott and Tessa WANT people to think they're together and to get excited, the better to shoot fans down, perhaps the better for the media to once again talk about how the fans are obsessed with Virtue and Moir. Can you tell us some of your strategies for hiding from fans, besides that pocket thing you do, Scott? What else do you do to hide from all these fans - especially now that your program is sexy! How do you handle it all.

I feel media profiles can't be the key reason; Virtue Moir are cagey about straight up denying on the record these days. But it's clear they do want to get the fans worked up about them, they want to set things up to appear as if fans are still obsessed. Maybe it's so they can lie to themselves that everything they've done to date was justified?

But, it's getting so they'll have to have sex in public before any fan says out loud they think Scott and Tessa are together. Even then, nah. Forget sex in public. They'll have to say the WORDS. "We're together" before fans will admit on the web they think Scott and Tessa are together.

Meantime, back to our current situation - fans were kind of quietly hanging out different boards and walls, unaware they were being massaged, injected, propped up and reanimated to play the role Scott and Tessa need them to play. Come on fans - one more time!

If you don't want people to think you're together, how about not slow dancing on the ice in semi-darkness to My Girl while fans get out their cameras and you dart your eyes around a bit to confirm they've taken the bait?

Look at us! Aren't you still upset we're not together? Maybe we're getting together! Get excited!

Okay, I see you guys are a little gun shy. Let's amp this baby up and have Marina run around telling everyone Tessa was in a nun's story but when her legs got better she jumped over the wall and now she's a woman. She has those feelings. Those womanly feelings! She's experienced those womanly feelings!

That routine came off like Marina wanted us to think that compartment syndrome had somehow prolonged Tessa's virginity, but after Tessa had shin surgery Tessa unlocked the gate to her secret garden and gave Scott the key. Whatever, Marina is laying it on thick. What were fans supposed to get out of that. Was it - finally! Maybe compartment syndrome-induced virginity was the reason they weren't together! Now she's free to be a woman!

Let's not even deal with, while they have Marina going on like Tessa has been skating in a chastity belt but has gotten rid of it on and off the ice, Tessa is seeing to it that tumblr is posting photos of her with Semple. So Semple is the guy you delivered your purity to, Mrs. Moir, mother of Scott's child?

Pitching in, Scott, who for the past five years has described Tessa as "so sweet, she's the way you see her on TV - she's so sweet" announces that anyone who thinks Tessa is too sweet and innocent for Carmen doesn't know her at all.

Are you getting it yet? Come on - we feel like you're smiling and enjoying it, but it's not the frenzy we expected. It's Scott and Tessa and SEX!

Actually, the fans were more excited by the program and the skating. They're actually obsessed with the program itself this time. It's that good. You'd think that would make Scott and Tessa happy, but I feel like they wanted that George Clooney element and weren't getting it.

Maybe there are folks asking questions and Scott and Tessa need some examples of the extreme fan scrutiny they're under in order to make the case for all their lying and hoaxing (and profiteering, chain jerking and manipulation).

Also, it's family fun for them. It's a way the Virtues, Moirs and Scott's friends can feel part of Scott and Tessa's big deal - by helping Scott and Tessa jerk fans around and treat them like shit.  Just look at their web behavior - they're having a great time with this.

Rosie DiManno (of course) did a little article with that hot-on-ice/buddies-off spin, but fans had their hands up like - "Whatever, we get it. We're tired, okay? Uncle."

Then fans went back to: "Now, do you think D/W have a chance of beating that Carmen? I just can't see it happening!"

This sham has circled in on itself - it's a perversion of what it set out to be. Scott and Tessa were going to become huge stars, and they needed a zone to focus in - and everyone - families, SC - was excited about them becoming huge stars and wanted them to be big stars. It was the biggest thing ever.

And so let's do this sham, cause that's the kind of geniuses running Skate Canada.

Scott and Tessa became popular - people love to see them skate. I think, though, that the post-Olympic manipulation has left a lot of fans weary from the shipper angle. Together - not together - can we stop talking about it - I'm tired. No matter how shrill and OTT the sham became, people got weary.

Of course, the blog did come along and call Scott and Tessa out.

I think that pissed off Team Sham, but Team Sham also was - cover the trail, batten down the hatches, re-group and when we think we're clear, find some back channels.

Over the past almost two years, I think the blog has desensitized a lot of internet fans to the idea of the sham and to the reality that Scott and Tessa are together. Not everyone, but I think quite a few figure - okay, they probably are. But they're still great skaters and I like to see them skate.

And that has disappointed Team Sham, because the lies have lost their rationale. Now they're just lies. They're lies for sport. They're lies of self-importance and feeling special.

They're not lies that are necesssary. The recent shut up and skate and leave well enough alone thing was working really, really well.

You'd think Scott and Tessa wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. A settled down fandom that was really excited about ... their skating program. A fandom that was willing to look the other way on the whole sham thing - let's move on and say no more about it! We won't ask you anything!

Instead, VM have just finished doing their level best to get fans worked up so as to disappoint them, deliver a punch in the gut, keep them off-balance, and make them feel stupid. Oh how familiar.

Cue the hub bub about Virtue and Moir! Everybody's talking.

Is it working anywhere but on the blog? Are fans getting together and consoling each other about Tessa and Scott still not being a couple? Or did fans just ice the sting and move on? Do they even need ice?

So - apart from Scott and Tessa and their family having sport - what's the point? What role are fans supposed to be playing in this scam right now?

Are there people questioning why Virtue Moir have lied so much, profiteered, been such dicks - so they need fans to get worked up NOW so they can point to that and say - that's why? Are they trying to keep the retroactive justification going?

Whatever the reason, they created this one. There was no OMG - they must be together! going on in the fandom, no matter how hard Scott and Tessa were working it, slow dancing on ice and all. Hell, the fan who posted the slow dance photos couldn't have been more respectful, sweet, and normal about it, reporting that Scott and Tessa "danced to My Girl in hold." 

Even the blog was mostly talking about Debbi. But experience tells me that when things are quiet and nothing is happening, just wait. VM will make sure there's something for the fandom to fret itself about for weeks. Always, always. They don't want to be left alone. The idea that they do want their privacy might be their biggest scam of all. They have all the privacy they want. If they came out tomorrow, they'd still have it.  They drop out of sight and stay out of touch like pros even now, fans not knowing where they are or what they're doing.

The blog is the only platform for a Virtue Moir fan where people can say what they want without dealing with peer pressure and politics. They want the blog to talk about them now. Enough talking about Debbi. Get back to stirring the fans up!

The easiest way to get fans interested enough to have a sham justification is to act like a couple until the fans have their guard down, and then blow it up in their face.

I hope it blows back in Team Sham's face, and I think it's going to.
*Isn't it interesting that they have to go out of their way to get fans' attention before they can even sham? Some superstars they are. Hey - over here! Wonder about us!

Scott once said he's not a classy guy. I don't think he was saying "I'm really a jerk." I think he was saying he's not polished, he's (Tessa's favorite word) raw sometimes, he can be goofy and weird.  But that's not really what "not classy" means. Classy in action is how you handle yourself with other people. It's consideration, respect, thinking of the other person. Maturity. Don't be a narcissist and make other people the victims of your selfish needs.* Don't do that.

An example of immaturity is to get into what you think is a pissing contest with a blog and use fans who care about you as weapons. So no, not classy.

                *Selfish needs would be - need to win, need to have something to do that makes you feel important, need to feel important by setting up and making fun of less important people and getting your yucks from it. Those are selfish needs.