Friday, December 7, 2012

The Secret Seven

Both in person at Ilderton's Scott and Tessa's Gold Medal Celebration", and in her dedication to Our Journey From Childhood Dream to Gold, Tessa Virtue told that in the Olympic season, she pared her phone contact list down to just seven people. Her share of the book was dedicated to those seven, who know who they are, "wrote" Tessa.

Based simply upon those with whom Tessa has been publicly connected and those whom she herself declared were important during the Olympic season, those seven had to include:

1. Mommy (her roommate, then, now, forever).
2. Her partner, Scott.
3. Her sister, Jordan.
4. Her physical therapist, Mary Branigan.
5. Her boyfriend, Fedor (unless he used smoke signals to set up that outing at the Inn at St. John's in October 2009).
The Inn at St. John's, posted Oct. 11, 2009
4 days before TEB 2009.
Fedor recommends.
6. Daddy?
7. Brother Kevin?
8. Brother Casey?
9. The marriage counselor she and Scott said they were seeing in hopes of getting their platonic estrangement fixed and their platonic connection back on track?
10. Any one of their 4+ coaches and specialists?
11. Meryl?
12. Jeff Buttle?
13. Her Olympic "roommate" Joanne Rochette?
14. Anybody in her "French family" who attended TEB 2009? I.e. - Flor? Laurent?
15. Tracy Wilson? Scott says she was their psychological touchstone/advisor for Olympic prep.
16. Absolutely no Moirs, right? Aunt Carol, nope, Cara - nope?

Even if one subtracts Meryl (as a nod to drama junkies who think the two women aren't tight) that's still 15 people among those publicly connected to Tessa from whom it would appear to be impractical to isolate herself during the Olympic season.

I think it would be harsh to delete her dad, especially since that cute anecdote from Canadians 2008, when it was reported Tessa texted Jim Virtue just prior to taking the ice with Scott and told Dad to relax and enjoy the skate. But I guess as a member of the Board of Directors of Skate Canada Western Ontario, Jim could stay in the loop even if she'd cut off contact.

You know how it probably worked? Mom is her roommate. Mom had all the people on her phone. When they needed to communicate with Tessa, they called Kate, and Kate handed her phone to Tessa, or, given what Tessa describes as her extreme isolation during Olympic prep, they told Kate what they needed to relay to Tessa and Tessa told Kate what she'd like relayed to them.

Yep, I can see it.

"Tell Daddy I love him."
"Tell Scott I'll be there in five."

There's no possible chance that by seven people Tessa actually meant "Only seven people apart from the 20 people who are fixtures in my life." You know .. apart from.  Apart from, as in: "Scott and I are totally platonic and not a couple apart from being married and having a child together."

I really think they just pull shit out of the air all the time, cute details and charming he said/she saids and all. If it sounds like something they think people would enjoy, like something that hits the points they're emphasizing this month, they just make it up and never notice that it's really stupid.

Remember when Scott and Tessa were asked when they came to the decision to continue on after Vancouver? Scott said it was during SMOI, right before (or just after - can't remember) they skated their program.  He said they looked at each other and were mutually like "We're not done, are we?" and they both knew then, no, they weren't.

Some time later they're asked again, and Scott says it happened in the car when they were talking it over. He painted a nice specific picture of that conversation as well.

You know what's enjoyable - how they don't just lie, but they fill in the color details too. They CREATE. And then if they have a better idea, like a fan fiction writer or someone trying to get an A on an essay, they do a lot of editing and revisions.


  1. You know who else needs to be on that list of phone contacts? Marina!

    Both Tessa and Scott have mentioned how tight they are with their very large families. They also have said that they are part of each others families, which (if they're to be believed) means they're close to two very large, tight-knit families. This does not include any coaches, physical trainers or other skaters with whom they are also presumably "tight."

    Paring this all down to seven seems unfathomable. She would have to leave out many people who are very important to her (according to their own words). If she's telling the truth it's indication of a very small and insulated bubble, but I'm not really getting a sense that their "bubble" has meant being cut off from family and friends (on the contrary). So yeah, seven? Really? Unless Soctt is the one who keeps all those contacts on his phone, if they want to reach Tessa they call Scott. Oh wait, not possible, they live separate lives.

    1. Well, Marina is implicit in #10 - their coaches.

      Call Scott? Impossible! Nobody ever tries to get a message to Tessa via Scott. Never ever ever!

      Of course Scott can't be the keeper of the phone contacts - they're platonic, and she lives with Mommy, not him. It's anybody's guess if he was even on her phone list of seven - it can't be assumed.

      In fact, we might even guess he didn't make the cut and still isn't among her phone contacts.

      Look at how Tessa answered the fan questions at TEB last year. "Do you ever lie to your coaches about being too sick to come in to practice?" They said no. Scott said it's because Marina would know right away they were lying.

      Ever vigilent for opportunities to reiterate her brand message, Tessa piously added that it would be wrong to fake call in sick, because the other person would be waiting for them at the rink wondering where their partner was.*

      I mean of course. If you fake call in sick, how is your partner going to find out you're not coming in? They'll be stuck at the rink, waiting and waiting in vain. They can't call you at home, they can't call you in your car, they can't call you at the rink, because they don't have your phone number.

      Having someone's phone number is a dead giveaway you're sleeping with them. That's why Tessa emphasized how they try to honor their training schedule so as not to stand up their partner who'd otherwise be at the rink, thinking their partner had just vanished.

      *And also because she doesn't have Marina's phone number.

  2. push so hard blogger is hard not to think there is a deep seeded reason behind it...

    1. I'm not pushing hard at all. What's hard about it? I know that they're together. I know it for a fact.

      As has been said before, once you know that one thing, everything else they do and say is crystal clear (easy, IOW). It's not just what they do and say, but what Skate Canada does, or causes to be done.

  3. "You know what's enjoyable - how they don't just lie, but they fill in the color details too. They CREATE. And then if they have a better idea, like a fan fiction writer or someone trying to get an A on an essay, they do a lot of editing and revisions. "

    Brilliant lol. You reminded me of a question I had - the Joannie "roommate" thing. Surely they didn't sleep apart when they were married, not just bf/gf? So is that story about finding out the horrible news......made up, or at least embellished?

    1. Yes it was, because Tessa had several versions of that - in one she was putting on make-up when Joanne uttered the terrible news, in another Tessa got it by telephone in the early hours

    2. I only heard the makeup one I think. This isn't surprising, but wow, it sure ranks up there in terms of the "manipulating sacred things" theme you've discussed before.

    3. They lie lie lie lie lie. That's why I wonder if it's so second nature to them they did anything like lie to Steve Milton when their book was put together. If you sweep it under the umbrella of business or marketing, they apparently think there's a free pass on ethics. That's a really interesting idea of business that Tessa has there, if so. And maybe she needs to switch her major at Windsor so that when she gets her three year degree in the next ten years or so, she might get an education in what business actually is. Her idea is so 1980s (lie and cheat and exploit). It's not personal! She's gone on a lot about how her mother, Kate, is naturally really good at business and I'm thinking - OMG, this part of it is Kate? Go ahead and lie to the man - it's business! It's YOUR message, it can be whatever you want it to be, and you can label it as the truth even if it's not. It's a book! He's working for YOU.

      They just make up stories about themselves to suit whatever agenda they've got in the immediate moment. Remember when Tessa returned to the ice after missing the 2008 GPS because of shin surgery? All the video of their interviews, Scott all over her? The message was they're closer than ever, have a new, sparkly feeling skating together, that it made them stronger and closer on and off the ice. Scott staring at her the whole time like she'd found the cure for cancer.

      FF to book season 2010 and they re-wrote the whole thing. Sparkly feelings out, alienation in. All the shit they said before was lies so the judges wouldn't perceive that Tessa was struggling. They had to say things were great! Just ignore public evidence all over the place that they were together the entire time. They were on television together, at appearances together, the skating public were told how they'd spent her recovery period. Eh - so what. Listen, we have this really dramatic story we thought up about how two terribly close skating partners found themselves estranged after she had shin surgery. They were completely separated for two months and then barely spoke when she came back. It took a year!

      What I love is they acted this shit out. Reporters who helped them repeat the story during their book promotions described Tessa getting teary when she "remembered" it. It never fucking happened! They were together! We can go to youtube and see them on TV! Reporters described Tessa's eyes shining as she reported during her latest surgery she and Scott talked every day (well fuck YEAH, they live together and were living together the other time too).

      There's that dj who interviewed them and they both look grim talking about their anger and hurt during that time they weren't speaking. You can't tell the difference from the truth. They live the part.

    4. "Eh - so what. Listen, we have this really dramatic story we thought up about how two terribly close skating partners found themselves estranged after she had shin surgery."

      Here's a thought. Even in good marriages (or close relationships) it's not uncommon to experience periods where things just feel off, where the communication breaks down a little. If it's a relationship where the two parties involved are used to things being very open and intimate, any small break-down could easily feel scary, almost like a short time of estrangement. Tessa and Scott have mentioned going to counseling. It's possible they experienced one of these times -- that are common to all couples -- and decided it was wise to seek professional counsel in how to handle it.

      I wouldn't be surprised there's an element of truth to the "estrangement" stories. Even something as simple as Tessa not being truthful with Scott about all the feelings she was experiencing at that time (not that I'm saying this is what happened, it's just a supposition). Something like that could cause a couple who is usually open about everything to have that sense that things aren't clicking like they normally do. Since they're committed to not sharing that they're already a couple, it's easy to see how this kind of thing would have become the embellished story they told to maintain the fiction of being a non-couple.

      Along with this thought, I wonder if the "new sparkly feeling" they talked about could be connected to having come through a difficult time as a couple -- not just about Tessa's shins -- having gone to counseling and learned some valuable things that brought them closer.

    5. They are very attentive to their relationship and big talkers about it so it wouldn't be surprising if at various points they had third parties helping them understand themselves. I do, though, think their conflicts are just about the opposite of how they've portrayed them. The length, extent, and existence of the sham, for one, and their differing points of view there could have required some reconciling.

      I think Scott waited for relief on that front for a long time before being persuaded that carry on through Sochi it would be.

      It's certainly helpful that that was a public issue, and in private he got everything he ever wanted, so reconciling himself on the topic was likely easier after that.

      But as to the rift and estrangement, that is complete misdirection and a total lie designed to lead the public to believe they were barely communicating at a time they were actually engaged, scheming the wedding details, and planning a family. There's no ifs ands or buts there - they took their reality and sold the exact opposite, every bit the way they were doing in 2010 when Tessa sat there pregnant and married claiming she and Scott were not a couple. Same deal.

      But as to Scott and Tessa during her first shin surgery, they were terribly close, he was utterly devoted, and continued to be so after she came back. They set themselves up in every possible way to compensate for the time they lost and the limited way she was able to skate and train.

      The central story they sell is a lie. The reality is they were close and planning their marriage. So the story they put out is that during this period they were alienated and barely speaking. These are people who came up with a passionate od rather than a folk one because there was no folk dance that would provide the vehicle for the dynamic they wanted in the o.d., and their fd was their reality - they were engaged when it was created and they were married when they won the gold medal.

      So what they basically did was corrupt something private to them in order to scam the public.

      Your scenario is supposing there was a core reality at the time and they just stretched it and used semantics when they wrote it in the book. They didn't. The exact opposite was going on, as always. They were closer than ever and that's why they claimed they were estranged.

    6. You have to understand - if there was reality there (distance, etc.) they would tell us the exact opposite. They don't stretch the truth. They make it up whole. It's generally absolutely opposite what's real.

    7. Here's a (hypothetical) example of what I mean. Suppose you're an ice dancer who loves, adores, respects and trusts his partner/bff/gf/future wife. Who tells her everything. You trust her above anyone else in the world. The joy of it is; it's mutual. Things are great - you've got a fantastic free program for your second year in the senior division and are dreaming of worlds.

      Then it turns out that your partner, who is younger than you are, has been skating like Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid - like knives are going through her legs with every stroke. You, who alerts her when you've got a hangnail, didn't realize.

      How do you feel? Why didn't she tell you? Why did she suck it up and conceal the full extent of her pain? Why didn't she trust you? You can't be there for her? You can't help?

      Of course this is one of those O'Henry story dealies where everyone is at cross-purposes - the girl doesn't want to disappoint the boy, the boy is furious and upset that she kept it to herself - she's his love, not just his partner.

      Would this trust issue (really a pride, stoic issue but which is more important - being open, honest, vulnerable with your partner, or your pride?) require a little work?

      Sure it might. When everything is finally out in the open, do you devote yourself to your beloved on and off the ice, in hospital and out, on the rink and off, praising her to the skies, winning her everlasting adoration and increased respect? Sure!

      Do you go ahead and tell the public all about this?

      You do not, because it's real. Instead we get the very plausible story of Tessa's legs were sliced open but Scott and she didn't speak during the process - he didn't check in on her, didn't take care of her, just sulked cause she wasn't getting better fast enough (it took eight whole weeks before she was back at Arctic Edge - imagine his frustration!).

      They are ridiculous. Keep that shit to yourselves instead of making up stupid melodrama that doesn't make any psychological sense at all.

  4. Didn't Tessa say her brother Casey called because he wasn't able to be there for the whole Olympics and she said they'd wait for him to get the gold, or something like that? If so, I guess he was one of the seven. Unless she was talking to him on Mommy or Daddy's phone. Certainly not Scott's.

  5. The rooms at the Olympics were like suites with two bedrooms. I wonder if Tessa and Scott were in one bedroom and Joannie in the other. There is also the vid Patrick Chan posted, showing a bed that was allegedly Scott's, but didn't look like it had been slept in ever.

  6. Patrick Chan roomed with Bryce Davison. Scott roomed with the other Canadian male single skater - Vaughn Chipeur...

    1. But all four guys were allegedly in the same 2 bedroom condo together, 2 guys per bedroom. There is a video on youtube that Patrick Chan uploaded showing the whole place--including Scott's untouched bed.

  7. I'm thinking back to Scott shutting down his fan facebook. It's pretty clear now he did it because he knew the Cassandra/Semple crap was in the hopper ready to be fired our way, and he just didn't want to be around for it.

    Imagine if he'd had his fan facebook while setting up shop on the m'ovember page and luring fans in there. He probably didn't want to be on facebook ignoring congratuulations or the most basic well wishes when over on the m'ovember page he was merrily chatting up a storm with local friends and family, in public, right under the noses of the fans he was ignoring.

    So - growth! Bravo Scott!

    Also there would be the awkward where fans would use his facebook to remark about the m'ovember page, God - even offer to donate.

  8. I know this is off-topic a bit but is anyone surprised that we haven't had any news regarding Dube/Wolfe? You would have thought that if all was going to plan for them that they would have participated in the Skate Challenge in Saskatchewan?

    1. Funny you should mention it - he appears to have been detagged from Annie Barabe's Contre Coeur Familia album. His photos are still there but he's not tagged anymore. It could be because he's taking a facebook break, as it wasn't searchable anymore last time I looked.

      If they did split, that's just amazing. Last season they got a silver medal at Nationals and so went to Worlds, which was far and above what Jessica could have hoped for even after she got the rest of what she wanted - international assignments and on the podium at Canadians. I never did get why she was pouting up a storm in the K'nCry at Nice - just being at Worlds was a gift and she and Wolfe had a long way to go. Yes, her skate was a disaster, but if you just maintenance train for every competition but Canadians, what do you expect? And for months now, her facebook photos have looked like camoflage. In one profile picture she was bundled up to her chin and after that had neck bangs, in the current one she's only visible from the shoulders up.

      When you look at how she let things slide despite having a new partner, a decent season, and support from Skate Canada painting her in the best light, it sort of makes you wonder anew exactly how much work it was for Bryce to keep her on any sort of track and pumping out even the underachieving, below potential performances they habitually put on the ice. Last time he gave an interview I felt there were worlds he wasn't saying about the struggle to actually treat training the way Olympic athletes need to train.

    2. Yes what a difference a year makes. Last year not only was Jessica to compete in pairs at Nationals but also entered the singles competition. I guess we'll just wait and see...I am hoping that they do compete at Nationals even though I am not Jessica's biggest skating fan - I wouldn't want to see her career end like this.

    3. She'll end it if it ends. She sets herself up as this hard done by, misunderstood (yet rebellious, deep person) but the bottom line is she's never done the work that supports her talent. Her talent is for skating. She's not the most expressive or musical figure skater but she's a natural athlete on the ice with amazing smooth power when she's at her peak (which was, IMO, 2008 because even at Canadians that year, when they had some bad performances, the fundamentals were eye-catching - the basic stroking and the run of blade) and she's got really good balance.

      She's never put the work in that would help her career go long. More than anything she has been helped by Canada not having other pairs with anything like her natural talent that would allow them to capitalize on her underachieving habits. A lot of the other skaters have to work their ass off to nail stuff (and then, sometimes barely) that she can do easily any time she allows her brain to get in the game (her throws and her jumps - despite her crap performance at Nationals).

      She always starts hedging her bets when there's the slightest miscue in a performance. She's the most self-protective skater EVER, the most risk averse.

      I suspect one of the problems with the partnership with Sebastien is she was Queen B in that team and the whole thing unraveled. He didn't have influence over her and even though she was passive resistent with Bryce, she's simply not going to sustain a career while governing her own training habits. I remember her telling Debbi Wilkes prior to her last competition at Challenge that it was the most she'd ever trained for a singles competition and usually she just put in two weeks.

      There's no reason she and Sebastien couldn't have had a better season last season or gone throught the Grand Prix this season except that she doesn't train or work like an elite athlete. She likes the image and the standing but not the drudgery of it, and it's a shame she finds that stuff drudgery. That's her own fault too. If she wasn't so married to the same old same old program and elements, doing them the same way, keeping them sharp and being competition fit wouldn't feel like work.

      I remember how struck I was that she didn't take off an ounce all during the Olympic season. She was in perfectly fine shape when she started; she wasn't in the shape she's in now. But when you're a pairs skater getting yourself in condition for a season where you're skating both Olympics and Worlds, your body changes over the season. Everybody gets leaner and tighter for a couple of months - that's how it works. She stayed exactly the same - not an ounce came off, nothing slimmed down. Meantime Bryce is running and working out and doing his own supplementary training and she's - what?

      As much as I disparage her, I actually am quite surprised the whole thing has apparently unraveled after just one season. She pulled it off - she didn't have to keep the candle in the window for Bryce and stand by him (boring), or change coaches. She made a lateral move over to Sebastien and immediately got the same schedule she'd always had with Bryce, plus extra promotion from Skate Canada. she pulled her usual (tendonitis, flu) to cover her half-assed training. The chips fall her way and she's the silver medalist at Canadians and goes to Worlds. Seems like triumph to me - she stuck it in the faces of critics who were mad she unloaded Bryce. Nothing better than success.

      I just don't think she's the sort of person that can take charge of anything. She's the sort who needs a rule to set herself against and break. She's not proactive. She's 100% reactive - someone pushes, she roots herself in place or here comes drama to divert everyone's energies and focus. IT's still amazing to see how weirdly to character it played out after just one season.

    4. P.S. - about self-protection - she was self-protective prior to the face slash and also incident prone prior to the face slash. There had been a bunch of other accidents and mishaps that took her out for which only she was to blame - two driving accidents and a foot stuck in the boards comes to mind. And although they both traveled when her face was slashed, Jessica is the one who calls the cues in the sbs spins, and she was doing it then. Milliseconds before his blade struck her Bryce tried to pull out of the spin - meantime she, who was supposedly running the element, had no idea. She's lucky worse hasn't happened to her. IOW, her self-protection, auto-pilot, checking out habits have gotten her into trouble on the ice. They're not a reaction to trouble.

  9. When Jessica & Bryce split she did say she intended to go to school. When she hooked up so quicky with Sebastien I figured the school idea was just so much cover-up talk to make the split with Bryce look less like she was flat-out dumping him. Maybe she's decided to try school after all?

    It's baffling Skate Canada hasn't officially said anything. This is not normal protocol when it involves a former elite, Olympic athlete.

    1. I think they're hoping people don't ask.

      I think the school idea was a complete scam. She had another plan in the works and was just waiting to reveal it. She went on and on and on about how she was splitting from Bryce and doing singles because she was making tons of changes in her life and liked it that way. Bryce's comment on all of it was he thought they needed to make changes and her response was she didn't want to make any changes and thought a better idea was not skating with him.

      It's kind of typical of her that she takes Bryce's ideas - which is change - and appropriates it for her excuse as to why she was ending the partnership. The fact that it was the opposite of what she was doing - what she was doing was staying the same and had no interest in doing things differently - is no matter. I've noticed with her that she often cites someone else to explain why she's doing something. It used to be Bryce. Why was she using UoC in her singles program? "Bryce thought it would be good for me." Why was she skating singles while he was injured? "It was Bryce's idea."

      Funny that the one time she claims to have her own ideas about a new direction it turns out not to be new at all, but her insistence on keeping everything the same. She just dressed it up with Bryce's terminology because something in her brain new that "change" sounded good. She was doing the opposite - refusing to change. Without Bryce, we see what refusing to change does.

    2. For public consumption, Jessica always appears to borrow bits and pieces from everyone else without projecting a really solid sense of self. Her "style" and music selection on ice and her hairstyles have often seemed to "me too" Tessa Virtue. Her "philosophy" and singles skating choices are Bryce. And when she claimed to have registered for a communications program, she was simply name checking the same school attended by a few of her friends.

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