For Evan, I think his perceived need for an "official" private life had a lot more to do with his show business aspirations, and what he felt would make him an appealing endorsement prospect then with any pandering to the supposed prejudice of the U.S. figure skating audience or the USFSA.
There may have been a little pandering to Scott Hamilton involved as well.
When they became a "couple" they were an "official" couple. They released an account of their relationship to the mainstream media. (They became closer during the tour, they liked a lot of the same things, his family loved her, her family liked him, it was just perfect.) After they broke up, Evan mourned a bit in New York magazine.
It wasn't like this:
|Oh he's just thrilled. And so convincing.|
From the start the thing with Jessica was markedly stupider than the deal with Tanith/Evan, yet the Canadian media all pretended it wasn't.
How does a guy whose girlfriend
- is an Olympic teammate (on a small figure skating team)
- whose youtube video where her face is sliced open has gotten millions of hits and was mentioned in the NY Times,
- who was a figure skating Olympian for Canada at the same time HE was a Canadian Olympian, skating on prime time national network television to The Way We Were with her official "ex" boyfriend who was "ex" because Scott Moir was her "now" boyfriend,
- a girl who is continually interviewed by the same outlets that interview him,
How is it that not once was Scott asked by Tracy, Debbi, P.J. or any of the sports/entertainment media types - "your girlfriend is Jessica Dube. She was the bronze medalist in 2008 with her partner when you and Tessa won silver in dance. 2 years later - you won gold in Vancouver and she and her partner had a disappointing competition."
"Is there jealousy? How is she handling it? Does it have an effect?"
Or Rod Black: "Three nights ago, Jessica Dube and her partner saw their Olympic dream die on this ice. And now - here she is. The moment. Watching her boyfriend Scott Moir. Win the gold medal. Olympic champion."
Seriously? Rod Black never wanted to emote all that?
Scott, I believe, never even said "my girlfriend" on video or podcast. He'd only even say that much in print. Otherwise, it was awkward, hedging, hypothetical, conditional clauses.
Jessica Dube sits right in the middle of his family on national television - placed there to be seen by us - just days after she and her partner skated in front of Canada, on Canadian ice, and were disappointed, and of course the networks that spent millions for the Olympics - and figure skating is the crown jewel of the winter Olympics, and these skaters are Canadian skating in Canada - the major broadcast media worldwide didn't acknowledge her.
Because ... they were respecting the super duper private Scott and Jessica who shied away from discussing their love in nicely packaged mainstream media soundbites? Scott and Jessica preferred to kiss and cuddle and coo and smarm in front of thousands of strangers on social media?
The photo above of Tanith/Evan was taken in 2008 on the red carpet in connection with I believe a Tom Collins party. Tanith Belbin was still competing with Ben Agosto. They were USFSA stars, popular Olympic silver medalists, and aiming for Vancouver. If the whole point of appearing at fashion shows, on red carpets, and other mainstream events is to promote yourself as a brand with your partner (as Scott and Tessa purportedly did the entire year following their win) - then why did Tanith run around appearing at events with Evan? Why didn't she stick with her own platonic partner, Ben, promoting the two of them as a brand and a duo? She and Ben were still mid-career - they were aiming for Vancouver.
But Tanith had no problem making appearances in her own right with her official boyfriend who was also a figure skater and a teammate.
But not Scott.
How come it's okay to roll around in the sand with Jessica on facebook in front of thousands but she can't make it to the Gemini awards as Scott's date (Scott can still present with Tessa on stage)? How come Scott and Tessa are all over Canada appearing together and but Jessica is never there as part of the action (a la Tanith tagging along the time Meryl and Charlie threw out the first pitch at a baseball game)?
How come in between taking care of her chores Cassandra Holbin tweets her head off about Scott Moir and wishing she could go to Japan, but apparently (and I'm ready to be corrected) she doesn't weigh in with support when he and Tessa have to stop the program?
How come Scott only shows up on a three degree of separation facebook album with his girlfriend but the girl doesn't show up with him anywhere else?
And what happened to the whole cuddly, romantic, Dominican '09, Mexico '2010 and Xmas kissy style? Why is it now mostly group poses with Scott's eyes hitting anyplace but his girlfriend's face? What are they ducking? Why do they want to show but not show? Why show at all if you're going to play this game?
Why don't they keep the Cassandra/Scott photos to "secret" facebooks if they're so gun shy? Why does someone whose facebook is publicly visible have to have the photos? Why are so many of Cassandras albums private but she makes sure Scott's presence can be seen by any random creeper?
And why are his "girlfriends" - both of them - so absolutely crazy for showing off their relationship on social media platforms when Scott Moir himself isn't on social media?
We all know the answer. I'm sorry, you have to be willfully not wanting it to be true, invested in some fan way, not to understand that these relationships exist in two dimensions only and even then it's not enough to make Scott comfortable.
The blog has said this before - many times. And a question that keeps coming up, coming up, coming up, is how can people who know him and love him stand to see this year after year?
I get why he does it. He's pleasing other people. That's part of who is he is - the people he's pleasing have emotional power over him.
But why do they LET him? Why does the older generation support it? Why don't they give up their self-interest and say - live your life, that's much more important than how we can capitalize on yours and Tessa's success, or from associating ourselves with you, or promoting ourselves with you. You've helped us out four years now, live for yourself. You've repaid us.
He's 25 for God's sake - it's horrific and utterly mortifying that a man would spend most of his twenties living like this for public consumption. It's horrific that a husband and dad would be pretending to boyfriend a gal whose mother tweets her if she's taken out the garbage.
There is no way this is okay, healthy, or doesn't cause a psychological wound. I honestly think the reverb on this will last a long time.
I don't think it really registers as what it is with the hometown group because of their deficient maturity level.
Why don't they say we don't need it from you - and we'll respect who Tessa is and the time you need for yourselves?
THIS, by the way. Does not support "Scott and Tessa". It supports the Ilderton Skating Club, which is the Moir skating business. Scott and Tessa's names are used to sell the shirts.
Of course you can cheer them at London Worlds without wearing retina-blistering yellow. You aren't a bigger fan because you're wearing the sweatshirt.
I have nothing against the Ilderton Skating Club (run better than Skate Canada at large, as far as the skating part is concerned, IMO) or the Moir family per se. But I do have issues with their priorities.
I look at that photo and all I think is that THAT is what too many people in Ilderton have been spending their energy thinking about instead of what their beloved Scott Moir is compelled to be doing.
He never looks as uncomfortable and/or OTT among his Michigan friends and connections as he does when he's among his nearest and dearest in Canada. In Michigan, he looks like an adult. A man who can be respected, a peer. But when touching base with his roots, they seem to need him to revert and regress. Or maybe that's his coping mechanism.
It might actually make them happy that he has to live a lie in public - it makes him belong to them more and it also restricts what he does in the larger world to an extent (ROOTs, for example) leaving more of him for them. It makes them more important - they're the "official" Scott Moir headquarters.
It consolidates their proprietary interest in Scott and Tessa. It makes them special - Scott and Tessa belong to them even more when others don't really know the truth about Scott and Tessa.
There must not be all that much to do in London or Ilderton (I kind of believe it considering how at a loss for ideas Scott and Tessa were when they were out there "promoting London"), so the sham is VERY entertaining. And Scott is just "Scotty" - he's always been moody. Easy to rationalize especially if he doesn't press the point.
I sometimes can't believe ANYONE would encourage someone they love in the toxic idea that it's not just for his own benefit, but for the circle of people he loves. They, IMO, could make it easier - let him off the hook - but don't want to sacrifice what they're getting out of it. They're just unwilling to look at his interests as possibly separate from theirs.
Not only is he shamming, he's participating in the most low rent, humiliating scheme of lies and petty tricks ever cooked up by a set of people with an unearned complacency triple their brainpower (not just that he has to deny Tessa like Peter denies Christ, but he has to treat fans like shit when clearly it made him extremely uncomfortable to do so) .
And yet such is the apparent power of Ilderton that when it comes to making a choice - treating well-meaning fans like shit it is.
My opinion of the Ilderton crowd is they have a juvenile, chip on the shoulder sensibility that has some sharp edges and we all know that a juvenile sensibility is often also selfish.
The blog started because I knew Scott and Tessa were married. Because I knew this, I understood that everything they put out to the public, everything they were selling about themselves off ice, was performance. Ironically, it's on the ice where they're who they really are. Exactly the opposite of what Tessa pretends.
It wasn't just defensive lying, it was proactive lying with a set of instructions about how we were to think, and it was also announced what we already thought. All lies.
Added to that, Jessica spam had become offensive and meanspirited. It was clearly sport for those most involved.
Because it was performance, that makes us the audience. An audience is entitled to critique a performance put on for its benefit. And that is what the blog has been doing.
Performances also reveal things about the performer. In the case of the sham, it revealed an attitude towards the public and a sense of entitlement on the part of the performer (Sell a book, REALLY? Tout lies as never before told truth and charge for it? Make up a rift when the evidence it's a lie is everywhere?). A lot of it seemed just an excess of zeal. Everybody had so much adrenalin from the Olympics, everyone around Tessa and Scott was on such a high from Virtue and Moir's win that the sham became a way to channel some of that adrenalin.
But lately, with the launch of the Cassandra sham, you kind of have to think. Of course they'll treat the public this way.
These are adults, all happy to encourage a man they actually love (who is clearly unhappy doing it) to represent himself to the world as much less than the man he is, with much of how he represents himself the absolute opposite of who he is and how he behaves and what he values - and who he wants to be. No wonder he doesn't care about anything but him and Tessa. What else is there? He's not Scott anywhere else - he's serving a million masters.
This bunch aren't protecting Scott and Tessa. They're protecting themselves.
P.S. "Believe" is an ironic slogan for a crowd of professional liars, hoaxers and scam artists.
P.P.S. I also find it ironic that this group is good at the sloganeering part of embracing values, to where they turn meaning absolutely inside out - like "what you see is what you get" but they don't get the part about living them.