Monday, February 25, 2013

What a racket (DW and speed, DW and everything)

This is supplemental to the post below.

During the heyday of the sham with Jessica I tried to connect what fans were saying about the vibe between Jessica and Bryce on the ice 'after Scott' and reality.

To that end, and to supplement my own knowledge (and to road test what I already understood about fans) I watched a ton of D&D (and even D&T). What I saw was Jessica was always Jessica. The face slash didn't change her, the sham (or what fans believed to be "the relationship with Scott and issue with Bryce") didn't change her. Debbi Wilkes, of all authorities, was talking about Jessica's motivational crisis back in the mid-00's.

Jessica was always accident prone, always moody. If fans online had paid attention, they'd have noted how the launch of the sham (spring 2007 - shortly after the face slash) - simultaneously marked the strongest season of D&D's career. In 2007-2008 they had a disappointing Canadians, but whatever accounted for it, it wasn't lack of preparation; their basic skating was gorgeous. They refocused and got bronze at Worlds.

In 2009 Menage a Trois sur la Glace was unleashed and the fandom re-wrote history based on what they decided to take away from that wonderful shot across the bow.

So, I've now been spending time watching DW going back to 2007-2008 season through today. And I think their reputation for speed and power is due every bit as much to the power of suggestion as the supposed Scott-based rift between D&D. DW have something else in common with D&D - the same program with the same elements with the same accents, set to different music.

These comments are going to be rough - as in - I'm setting down observations; they haven't been fully processed and organized. But I think they're worth making anyway. Here are some more or less random takeaways:

The team is not nearly as fast or powerful as VM - not pre-Vancouver, and not now. 

They 'rotate' fast - they appear to turn quickly on their own axis - although not as quickly as it 'appears', and Charlie especially tends to slam in and out of any rotational move with a great flourish of his hair and his arm.

Almost all of the impression of speed and power is down to gratuitous rotation - and not changing edges or holds either - just - throw a quick turn in here and make it look flashy!

Rotation is the bedrock of their impression of speed - when in doubt - rotate! Ignore that almost all of it is stationary and executed independently of the partnership. But they're not covering ice. A comment underneath the post below is exactly right - they are intense, they're rotating, but that second set of twizzles is practically stationary, not just this season, but in past seasons.

Another slow element - the lifts. He might be swinging her around like he's fending off smoke in a room on fire, but he's not covering real estate.

She repeatedly skips with little running steps, he repeatedly lifts her from one side of himself to the other side - or pulls her from one side to the other as they traverse any stretch of ice. This accomplishes two things - they can cover as much ice as possible without stroking and blade run, and Meryl and Charlie don't have to skate together. They don't need to get those edges close to each other's, no unison, no interdependent movement. It keeps them conveniently apart while they're hustling in the same direction.

And the lifts are static. They get into them with her getting flipped onto his back (again, an entrance VM did as teens) - not even a supported cartwheel - or doing a quick turn and jump (VM as teens), and it's one position of hers for each position of his - there's none of her twisting and changing in space. It's all first we'll do this shape then we'll do that shape.

DW are doing a LOT of Belbin Agosto stuff. Difference being, Meryl is smaller and lighter, so her legs don't dangle as close to the ice, and the entire stretch of her body with legs split doesn't equal Charlie's height, so the moves seem less awkward. But they're very similar moves. Tanith, btw, last year said she found it difficult to do Weaver & Poje's lifts (they pitched in with BOTB). Presumably, she had her own down. And these are the lifts DW are doing. Does the math mean DW's lifts aren't as challenging as Weaver & Poje's? 

Belbin Agosto rotational 2006

Samson and Delilah 2009

Tango 2011

Die Fleudermaus 2012

Notre Dame 2013

Tango 2011
Die Fleudermaus 2012

Come on - seriously?
Latin sd 2013
DW had what Rod Black called a spectacular lift in their Phantom program. Charlie is gliding backwards on a flat, free leg extended behind him, Meryl balancing on his back and thigh.
  • Unsaid - it's a flat.
  • He's moving as slowly as Maxim Shabalin moves gliding forward on a flat, free leg semi-bent behind him, toting Oksana.
  • Meryl pops down on two feet and they immediately do knee slides and take a break (music transition).
Conversely, Tessa does the goose in Mahler and immediately she and Scott take off in full flight in their program off her set down.

Other notes - lots of dragging Meryl on the ice, minus only Domnina and Shabalin's straps (it's a BA style drag - he drags Meryl on her blades). I'm not referring to their Olympic program, but all of their programs.

Charlie is always slamming his moves.  However his edges are not gliding across the ice with the power of his energetic from the waist up head and arm flourishes.

There's lots and lots of pumping from both of them.

They rush the hell out of their transitions like - no time to take time - we're going too fast!

The choreography repeatedly cues the audience.

Except again, look at how much ice they're covering (or not).

The 2011 Worlds fd was a whole lot more labored than I remembered.

The dance spin always starts with a back outside edge from both of them, and except for one fd, Meryl always changes positions mid spin using a pirhouette (not edges, changes positions).

Meryl pirhouettes a lot. It's the spin transition, a footwork transition, a lift set down transition.

This is a smoke and mirrors rivalry and Virtue Moir are getting the short end of the stick despite being miles ahead of DW in ability and execution.


  1. "This is a smoke and mirrors rivalry and Virtue Moir are getting the short end of the stick despite being miles ahead of DW in ability and execution."

    That pretty much sums everything up. It's all smoke and mirrors. Fact is, this is a "rivalry" of contrivance that shouldn't exist at all.

  2. Very true. And sadly the record books won't show the true facts on just what great skaters Virtue and Moir really are.

    1. I know. And 3 seasons running a stunning move from VM gets a big 'meh' from the judges - the pivot off Scott's thigh in the original goose (change it!), waiting til freaking WORLDS 2010 to tell Virtue Moir "better not" with the twist lift at the end of the od (they did it in the Olympics no problem), no to the lift where Tessa slides onto Scott's back in the latin fd and od, and no to the choreographic lift near the end of Carmen.

      Meantime DW are doing circa 2006 lifts and getting mega points. It's still a mystery to me how thoroughly they trounced B&A in the 2010 US championship when there was no difference in the skating between the two teams from the year before.

      And it was absolutely obvious that they way DW convey speed is stationery rotation. If there's a moment that needs filling (and with them, every moment must be filled with action, nothing is held) - they twirl or leap. Meryl is pirhouetting (in place) out there like she's at a child's ballet recital - doesn't matter the program - Delilah pivots, the tango girl pivots, the waltz girl pivots. Charlie leaps around and flings his right arm in the air and throws his head back. The programs are loaded with safety nets (such as in Phantom when they get to re-set directly after their big (and slow) lift) while VM are constantly working without any net at all - and getting screwed.

      P.S. - I don't watch a lot of PB - I will in future. It's just been puzzling me for a long time about where these monster scores for DW are coming from when I'm not seeing it on the ice. Even the footwork isn't as fast as VM, and the run of blade is nowhere near.

      oc, not logged in

    2. I know. And 3 seasons running a stunning move from VM gets a big 'meh' from the judges - the pivot off Scott's thigh in the original goose (change it!), waiting til freaking WORLDS 2010 to tell Virtue Moir "better not" with the twist lift at the end of the od (they did it in the Olympics no problem), no to the lift where Tessa slides onto Scott's back in the latin fd and od, and no to the choreographic lift near the end of Carmen.

      Meantime DW are doing circa 2006 lifts and getting mega points. It's still a mystery to me how thoroughly they trounced B&A in the 2010 US championship when there was no difference in the skating between the two teams from the year before.

      And it was absolutely obvious that the way DW convey speed is stationery rotation. If there's a moment that needs filling (and with them, every moment must be filled with action, nothing is held) - they twirl or leap. Meryl is pirhouetting (in place) out there like she's at a child's ballet recital - doesn't matter the program - Delilah pivots, the tango girl pivots, the waltz girl pivots - all independently of her partner. Charlie leaps around and flings his right arm in the air and throws his head back.

      The programs are loaded with safety nets (such as in Phantom when they get to re-set directly after their big (and slow) lift) while VM are constantly working without any net at all, doing it brilliantly and with apparent ease - and getting screwed.

      What's also obvious is that VM aren't just pure dancers - they're pure skaters. Everything they do out there is a skating move. It relies on blade run, edge changes, it relies on mutuality.

      But it's DW getting the pcs. IMO this is a scandal right under everybody's noses. DW are just a club to beat VM with - take out that lift! Change this - change that!

      P.S. - I don't watch a lot of PB - I will in future. It's just been puzzling me for a long time about where these monster scores for DW are coming from when I'm not seeing it on the ice. Even the footwork isn't as fast as VM, and the run of blade is nowhere near.

      oc, not logged in

    3. I understand I may have a bit of a bias. I much prefer to watch VM to DW anytime. I feel such an awkwardness when watching DW. I don't see great skating. There really isn't a flow to the skating. You can tell that they are unable to do what a few of the better skating teams are doing. And I won't even get into their lack of connection. I just feel uncomfortable watching them for whatever reason.
      I really do give teams a chance. But I have never warmed up to DW and truly do not understand how they are beating some of the top teams. And it seems as though everyone(judges,commentators) are eating it up. I keep thinking to myself I am clearly missing something. I really don't see how DW's routines are complex and complicated. Let alone innovative and challenging. Since they do the exact same moves year after year. They don't even change the steps leading into the lifts. I just don't see how they are rewarded for it???

    4. "There really isn't a flow to the skating. You can tell that they are unable to do what a few of the better skating teams are doing."

      This is the core of it - there is no flow. And why is that? Because their programs are not flowing out of their stroking. It is an absolute travesty that this team is outscoring Virtue Moir - and other teams for that matter - on freaking pcs when you look at their stroking. And they are NOT fast. Even if you remove all the sleight of hand taking place between the elements, the elements themselves aren't what they're claimed to be. The twizzles aren't super fast - Charlie and Meryl have solid, tight enough rotation on their own axis but they're not covering a lot of ice. The lifts are pretty basic. The run of blade in the footwork and the rate of speed is nowhere in VM's class. The spin is solid but it is the exact same back outside edge spin they've been doing for five years, same position changes.

      What does sell them is all the hoo ha in between. The leaps and twirls that have nothing to do with ice dancing. The big music that is telling you this is big and exciting. Of course those leaps and twirls give them time out from all that difficult dancing stuff. They do a lot of call and response as a way to avoid working together.

      I wasn't overly surprised when I saw how many of the lifts and carries are based on B&A lifts and carries and haven't been developed so as to be more difficult. I wasn't surprised when I saw how many safety nets were built into some of their supposedly more audacious athletic highlights. I WAS surprised when I rewatched Die Fleudermaus and saw the Shibs lift right in there. Seriously? I am always hearing that the Shibs are fantastic with all the potential in the world but some of their stuff doesn't have the difficulty of the top teams. How come it suddenly becomes top team material when Charlie and Meryl do the exact same damn lift? I think Virtue Moir did a variant of that lift as teen-agers.

      Take away Charlie leaping (not a skating move) and flinging back his head and up his arm, take away Meryl doing neat little stationery pirhouettes as fillers all over the program, and check how many of their program elements grow out of deep, strong edges and long, powerful blade drives that involve changes of hold and changes of edge that are mutually dependant.

      It's no coincidence that DW attempted to address some of this in 2010-2011. It was the only time to do it. They knew Tessa was pregnant. Whether or not Virtue and Moir get back for Worlds was up in the air. This was the time to actually try to grow their, you know, SKATING without harming their reputation or standing vis a vis VM. And, btw, I'm certain Virtue and Moir would have no issue with DW growing their skating - it would be "good for you - and bring it!" However, they were unable to do it, mostly because they were unable to skate TOGETHER, and that's what ice dancing is about. Charlie failed on a little "dip" move that Scott's been doing with Tessa since Valse Triste.

    5. Well until D/W get dinged on choreography, transitions and skating skills - there is absolutely no incentive for them to change anything. Which in my opinion is a shame because they are capable skaters. Another opinion that I have is that Ben Agosto is actually a better skater than Charlie White - not ridiculously better - but if I had to choose a partner - it would be Ben.

    6. I would actually agree with you about Ben Agosto - his career was downright heroic.

      Tanith was gawky and lacked grace and control - she had a lot of athleticism and a lot of flexibility - and a lot of personality. If DW are doing the same stuff as B&A - what does that say? It looks better because Meryl is smaller and neater. Being smaller, she looks as if she's higher off the ice. But it's the same stuff.

      I look at what VM decided to change in their choreographic lift in Carmen - Tessa was standing balanced on Scott's thighs, facing away from him, her back arched, her arms pulled back. It was choreography, not an element - it marked Carmen's escape, her triumph over the messy possession/freedom/obsession drama taking place during the program. But the judges were meh. What's in its place now? Tessa straddles Scott, who is in a position nowhere near as deep, and she spasms and flings herself about a bit.

      The judges like that oh so much better.

      It's bananas.

      It was an eye opener for me when Charlie White FELL DOWN attempting to dip Meryl mid program - something Scott has been doing since 2007. So take it out.

      I don't get how DW have been annointed as contenders for the best in the world when they haven't changed their program elements since 2008. Their fans are all - VM fans have to face it - they are now equal!

      They're NOW equal? How did that happen, exactly? When did the judges decide the team that was nowhere near the podium in 2008 are now a near straight ten team doing mostly the same stuff the same way that they did in 2008 when they couldn't get on the podium? How did DW catch up to VM while staying still while VM kept growing, getting faster, stronger, upping the ante of difficulty, upping the ante technically?

      Where's the new stuff DW introduced to their programs that has kicked them into the the number one spot in the world?

  3. "But it's DW getting the pcs. IMO this is a scandal right under everybody's noses. DW are just a club to beat VM with - take out that lift! Change this - change that!"

    This, a thousand times over. No two ways about it, it's a scandal. There have been a lot of hinky things happen in skating, especially ice dance, over the years, but this one, IMO, is one of the more egregious situations. Virtue and Moir are a very special, very rare kind of team. Teams like V/M don't come along often at all. It shouldn't even be close between V/M and D/W, yet it's in question if V/M will even be able to squeak out a win at worlds in this year of all years, with the programs V/M have and the way they're skating? Something is truly amiss here.

    "Meantime DW are doing circa 2006 lifts and getting mega points. It's still a mystery to me how thoroughly they trounced B&A in the 2010 US championship when there was no difference in the skating between the two teams from the year before."

    IMO, in 2010, B/A were actually better than D/W. Ben was a fantastic skater, quite a bit better than Charlie. I know there were some issues with Tanith's skating, but she did a lot to improve those areas after they made the move to Linichuk. Back in the 2009/2010 season, the D/W fans were quick to list of flaws that Tanith had, ignoring that Meryl had those exact same flaws, except to a worse degree, and more. Tanith was never going to be Tessa, but she did have better lines, extension, toe point, posture, lines, etc. than Meryl does. Together, B/A had better unison and were fantastic in their ability to play off each other, react to each other, make adjustment to each other on the fly, etc., enabling them to really dance together. D/W, as has been discussed, have to have every little thing they do choreographed. There is no ability there to adjust anything in real-time on a per-performance basis.

    "P.S. - I don't watch a lot of PB - I will in future. It's just been puzzling me for a long time about where these monster scores for DW are coming from when I'm not seeing it on the ice. Even the footwork isn't as fast as VM, and the run of blade is nowhere near."

    If you have a chance, just watching what P/B are doing this year alone in comparison to D/W is worth it. I think it should have happened earlier, but definitely at this point in time, P/B should be outscoring D/W. No, they're not V/M, but they have certainly surpassed D/W as well.

    1. I find it so ironic that CoP was supposed to take the bullshit out of ice dance. The joke - actually the reality - is that the placements were decided ahead of time. CoP fixes that - there are scores for everything the skaters put on the ice.

      But CoP fixes nothing if it can give high scores to a team for things they're not actually doing. That's what is up with DW. Just Emporer New Clothes it with CoP, as is happening, and we're back to pre-CoP ice dance where it's all politics, no sport.

      I will look at PB. I have a picture in my head of their skating, and it looks vaguely like the Kerrs, if that makes any sense. I am aware that they play off each other, are musical, can phrase their programs - I'm less familiar with their skating quality as they've shown it in the past couple of years.

    2. Without a shadow of a doubt, COP has fixed nothing. COP hasn't put a stop to anything it was meant to. The politics, the predetermined placements,the deals, etc. are all still clearly alive and well, unfortunately. Between the anonymous judging (and not knowing who's responsible for what number) and the fact that so many individual numbers go into a single score, I actually think it may be easier now to hide score manipulation...

      Fact is, D/W are getting points for things they didn't actually do and V/M are NOT getting points/credit for so much of what they do. It's wrong and it points to there being a major problem right now.

    3. The reasoning behind the anonymous judging was bogus. To stop them being influenced? Give me a break. Non-anonymous judging = transparency and accountability. How does "to stop them being influenced" work with anonymity? If a named judge is "influenced" it will show in a scoring variation and that judge would be called to account. Which is the problem.

      I was thinking again of Sinead Kerr's remark about how Virtue and Moir's stop-and-start "hurts the perception of the sport." Never have I run across a sport as freaking obsessed with perception as figure skating. How about a little reality in the sport - maybe if some is introduced perception will follow suit. Sinead's tweet was 100% sour grapes and THAT hurts the perception of the sport.

      Currently the pre-Worlds propaganda is all opposite day, Orwellian stuff.

      Off the ice, there is shadiness aplenty with Virtue and Moir. ON the ice (with the exception of the 2011 4CCs) there is nothing shady. Yet the figure skating chattering class that supports DW is trying to imply there's manipulation going on, that in a fair world, DW would go into Worlds the favorites and win as long as they skated their skate. I wonder if they are trying to tap into the idea that all is not on the up and up with Virtue Moir OFF ice, and transfer that "off" feeling to on ice.

      It's just ironic that based on NOTHING, this group has decided to throw shade on Virtue and Moir's figure skating. They don't connect! Their unison suffers! Meryl and Charlie's outstanding element in their free is the connection! A ballroom dancer said so! And now they stopped and started - they know DW are better - they were afraid to lose.

      They are working it hard. You'd think VM weren't anywhere near DW's class the way they're carrying on. The 4CCs was the best thing to happen to this crowd - they could posture and throw shade. If VM hadn't withdrawn they'd have won - so spin it that if VM hadn't withdrawn, they'd have lost.

      I must say they apply their lies and distortions, insinuations and manipulations to a whole lot better effect than Scott and Tessa. They save it for where it counts - the game of trying to win.

      I don't blame Meryl and Charlie for this. They have to make their best case for themselves on and off the ice. They can't be who they're not. Before they started the twirling dervish stuff, they weren't getting the scores. When they pasted that stuff on top of their programs, they advanced in the scores. The one time they had the opportunity to address their problems at blade level, at partner-dance level, they took it (when Tessa was pregnant). That tango at least began as a good faith effort to really DO it. Unfortunately - and for me, somewhat surprisingly - it didn't do much for their skating. As 8:29 says, DW have no ability to adjust to each other on a per performance basis, and that's one of the reasons the tango year had no effect. I had envisioned the classic result of DW attempting to stretch, say, a factor of 15, and ending up with 8. Instead they snapped all the way back to square one. And it doesn't matter. Turns out they didn't have to do anything besides what they've done since 2008 to abruptly be declared the rightful king and queen of ice dance and VM illegitimate.

      "Say the opposite" certainly seems the motto this year. Call VM sloppy. Pretend they don't connect through the middle of Carmen (where all the high scoring elements happen). Imply that VM pulled a fast one at this 4CCs (like their previous fast one - this hurts DW how? DW got to win both times). Oh - they're afraid to be shown up by that brilliant Notre Dame program.

      Charlie and Meryl have just given a very vague press conference, where they say that Notre Dame is their most well rounded program, they've really developed their skating. They are completely nonspecific. They have to be. They're doing the same everything they've always done.

  4. It's a travesty that no one in VM's camp is out there touting all their incredibly extraordinary skating qualities. Not SC, not any reporter focusing on this, no one except their fans who have been saying all these things for years and now here, the place described by some as crazy. Even VM don't make an effort to talk about the *skating.*

    Instead what do VM and their associates do? Perpetually bring up the "couple" question, and Scott stays busy providing social media posing and crap that has NOTHING to do with all the hard work he and Tessa do every day. No wonder all those around DW are having a field day hyping them. There's no response from the other side, except, here... Have some more of Cassandra and Scott, or get all teary-eyed about not seeing each other when you're done with skating.

    Where are all the skating professionals, and VM's own Federation, with THEIR take on VM's perfections? Nowhere.

    1. I know - you'd think SC had other things to do - like suck up to G&P. Or maybe they don't care any more - maybe a whole slate of them is out the door after Sochi and too busy setting themselves up for a post-figure skating era.

      And as you say, VM and their associates blew it in Canadians when they decided to talk about how the fandom was obsessed with and turned off by the sex in Carmen. Maybe they think the skating speaks for itself. Well, it should, but obviously icenetwork and a lot of DW partisans think that they can sway public opinion by framing the conversation as if VM are mere pretenders out to deprive DW of what they deserve. They are basically claiming black is white and inside is out, and getting away with it, and if DW aren't crowned World Champions as soon as they "roll into" London, the fix is in. They're trying to win it off the ice.

      If other skaters and skating writers are getting into the act (they are all pre-emptively adopting the attitude of "it's time DW were acknowledged as the best) - maybe VM's side of things shouldn't be so complacent about the pr angle when it comes to SKATING.

      I want to go back to a second about the anonymous judging issue. The sport flat out said the judges are anonymous to protect them from 'influence'.

      Set aside that that rationale is exactly opposite reality and look at what they're saying about the sport. Imagine if the refs at football, hockey and basketball, and the umpires in baseball were anonymous and the governing bodies flat out said it was for their own protection. If you need to "protect" your judges from "influence" what the hell are you saying about your sport? That alone does a job on "perception".

      Why don't the skaters get on this one instead of grinding axes on twitter about other figure skaters?

      If VM's off ice games and lies have created an impression in the sport that their reputation as people is vulnerable, it would be incredibly typical for some in the sport to ignore (and not care about) the exclusively off ice areas where Virtue Moir have been double dealing, and instead try to appropriate that impression to work against Virtue Moir on the ice. Such an attempt would be sort of classic for this sport. If it has a perception problem it's earned its perception problem. The perception actually reflects real problems.

  5. You know what? I think everyone around VM got so in the habit of thinking they were such a phenom team (and they are), they figured their own great skating would simply speak for itself and it didn't need explaining or defending. In a perfect, politiks-free world that would be true. But that is not reality. Now VM need credible advocates in the media and VM&Co only trained them all to deflect relationship questions and they themselves seem to think theirPR business should be about social media shammng and/or creating elaborate lies about their relationship.

    Such a waste of PR promotion. For years. This needs to change.

    1. Things do need to change on that front for sure.

      I do think that some of the problem has been Scott being verbal about the scores they have received. And we all know how skating judges love it when skaters speak out or show discontent about the unfair scores they are getting. I have felt that both Tessa and Scott see the writing on the wall sort of speak. They just keep going back to the drawing board and improving their routines believing they will get the scores they should receive. I think World's might be eye opening for them. They want to stay champs. And that's what truly motivates them.

    2. There's also the reality that icenetwork is a real website that can be purposed for things like - let's get this ballroom dancer to talk about how Charlie White is like Baryshnikov and his connection with his partner is second to none - and let's pick apart the Carmen choreography!

      Meantime Skatebuzz looks like some sterile model of a website on some static URL address. Skatebuzz was set up to give Debbi Wilkes an online showcase for Debbi Wilkes. Icenetwork promotes the hell out of its figure skaters, networks like crazy and reaches out like crazy to the public, setting aside some reputedly irritating policies with video stream subscriptions.

      Here's an analogy: Seth MacFarlane was on a talk show, talking about how the other cartoon guys - Matt Groening, and the guys behind South Park - don't take a year to produce an episode, and they take all kinds of potshots at Family Guy in their shows. MacFarlane said they try to hit back, but it's like the other guys are using drones and he's loading a musket.

      That's how it is at Skate Canada and Skatebuzz. They weren't set up to actually do good for its figure skating program. The structure now was set up for the personnel to leach off the stars SC assumed would be produced after Vancouver. There didn't exactly have a contingency plan.

    3. Icenetwork is user friendly, attractive, has tons of photos of skaters (not the USFS executives) and they are continually adding more photos. They stay up to date with all things skating. Yes, they're a propaganda tool for USFS but they've made themselves useful and it's never not an interesting place to visit.

      Skatebuzz, OTOH, is such a joke. You would think out of sheer embarrassment Skate Canada would try doing something with that website to not only bring it into the 21st century but to actually support and promote skating and their skaters.

      What is ironic is all this elevating of DW is about trying to sell something that is not based on the facts of their skating. Yet VM, who actually have the goods, are not getting any decent publicity that informs everyone how superior they are and how they should be expected to win every competition based on their fabulous, intricate, perfect skating and choreography (not the fans' sentimentality or some other such garbage).

      VM may have a stupidly conceived personal PR, but their skating federation should be counted on to politik for them regardless. Instead, Skate Canada is fawning over G/P and not doing a single thing to try and change this current narrative about DW vs VM.

  6. It goes without saying that V/M could be doing a lot better when it comes to PR.

    That said, even if they had the greatest PR team ever assembled and Skate Buzz was like, I still don't think it would make one iota of difference with the current situation they're in. Once again, it would all come down to a double standard between them and D/W. It seems like just about anytime V/M, especially Scott, or the Canadian press have tried to say or point out that V/M are better or the best, they get slammed for it. The mindset seems to be that it's just the Canadians whining again because that's how they get their skating medals. It all goes back to Salt Lake City and S/P being given that gold medal. Of course, the irony is that it was Scott Hamilton and the US media's whining that led to the second OGM being awarded. People tend to forget about that though. Instead, in peoples' heads now, if a Canadian skater wins something, it's all because they whined or found some other way to cheat themselves to a medal. Mark my words, if D/R somehow manage to end up on the pairs podium at Worlds this year, the story will become they did it by cheating, whining, or it was all because Worlds is in Canada.

    Because of all of that, if V/M were saying the same kinds of things about themselves that D/W say about theirselves, someone probably would have called for the public lynching by now. They'd be labled arrogant, presumptious, full of themselves, so on and so forth. It would be the same sort of thing if Skate Buzz was putting out articles like that one that icenetwork had with the SYTYCD guy from Australia criticizing D/W. The internet would have been in an uproar, saying that Skate Canada was trying to cheat and use underhanded tactics to tarnish poor D/W's image.

    I think because V/M are so very good and they're Canadian, they're in a damned if they do/damned if they don't situation. They're going to be attacked no matter what they say or do.

    Of course though, this all ignores the elephant in the room in that if the judging is truly fair, then what happens off ice and who has the better PR machine shouldn't have the first tiny bit of influence on how the skaters and programs are scored. If a figure skating/ice dance competetion can be won off the ice, in the press, through PR, and through other methods of politicking, while what's actually being done on the ice doesn't matter, then this sport has a HUGE problem.

    Beyond that, when it comes to the ice dance world title this year, I think that decision was made long before the first competetion of the season, even before the music was picked and choreography done. It was made at worlds last year when some people had a (completely uncalled for) fit because V/M were less than perfect in the FD and still won (because they were still better than D/W).

  7. Interesting discussion.

    I think one way of looking at this is to assume the ISU needs the Davis/White versus Virtue/Moir rivalry and intends for it to be one of the main figure skating stories in Sochi. It's an ice dance showdown between two North American teams at the top of the sport. Wait…what? NORTH AMERICAN TEAMS?


    Since when has ice dance been considered a premier Olympic event from a North American standpoint? With these two teams coming in for their second Games, it will be. It already sort of was in Vancouver, but even then a Russian team headed in as defending world title holders and was considered a legitimate contender for the gold. In Sochi, the two legitimate contenders for gold will be Tessa and Scott and Meryl and Charlie. And they are praised as "new system skaters" (even though COP is over ten years old now) who legitimize its existence. The ISU needs that legitimacy to maintain the "integrity" of the sport (whatever that's actually supposed to mean). Then there's the networks. This rivalry is right up their alley and they're going to milk it for all its worth because it represents the spirit of what the Olympics is all about - friendly competition and respect for one's competitors. These two teams train together, they're good friends, athletic phenoms, and are representatives of neighboring countries that pride themselves on maintaining a friendly relationship.

    Figure skating is a business and money talks. The rivalry drives and sustains public interest and that's great from a business and public relations perspective. But the entire thing is a catch-22 because it potentially hurts the sport as much as it helps. The scoring system itself (meaning, the actual framework) doesn't unfairly hold Tessa and Scott down. It actually rewards them handsomely. There's a fair argument to be made about its limitations versus what Tessa and Scott are capable of putting out on the ice (because they're doing some things the system either can't or won't apply numerical values to that are equal to the difficulty of the movement), but they challenge it on purpose. Because it's not static but always evolving, the intent is to force the system to expand and move forward, which hopefully it will eventually (though not at a quick enough pace, clearly).

    The problem is the skewed application of the system intended to maintain the rivalry. That is what degrades the sport, because it unfairly rewards Meryl and Charlie for certain things in order to keep them on the scoring level with Tessa and Scott. Ice coverage is a great example of this problem. It's not a subjective issue. It's cut and dry, and it's been correctly pointed out that Tessa and Scott are covering more of it than Meryl and Charlie, with fewer strokes and stronger blade drives. The reality of what's happening isn't showing up in the marks.

    I think fans and followers of the sport have a right to be angry about this, but a lot of them are displacing their anger onto the wrong people. None of it is Meryl/Charlie/Tessa/Scott's fault. I don't think it's Marina's fault either. All of them are doing what they set out to do: create the most difficult programs they can come up with and skate them to the best of their abilities. Why should Tessa and Scott be angry at Meryl and Charlie? Why do people keep assuming there's tension and bitterness between the two teams now that the scores are so much closer? Meryl and Charlie don't give themselves their marks. They work hard, they go out there and do their job as best they can. The onus is on the judges, and I think for people to assume they give out the scores they do because of personal preference probably misses the mark. The rivalry helps sell, sustain, and "legitimize" the sport.

    1. "The onus is on the judges, and I think for people to assume they give out the scores they do because of personal preference probably misses the mark. The rivalry helps sell, sustain, and "legitimize" the sport."

      The judging of VM-DW may be great for the ISU to feel legitimized, but that still doesn't explain how it is that none of the reporting surrounding VM has that positive, "they are unbeatable" tone that infuses anything written or said about DW. Somehow the ball got dropped re. VM.

      It can't be because the ISU wishes the ice-dance scoring to be legitimized that the Canadian reporting on their own champions has been mostly reduced to whining about shipper fans and giving out contorted clarifications about the status of VM's personal relationship. Tracy Wilson is the only commentator who has attempted to explain why what VM do is excellent and deserving of the highest marks. Everyone else just defaults to reminding everyone they are Olympic champions (yes, but why? And why do they deserve to continue being the champions? They don't address that) and commiserating with "poor Tessa and Scott" because fans wish they were a couple or fans wish they would only skate sappy love stories. How ridiculous is it that most of what is written about VM is fan-centered like that instead of skating-centered.

      Shouldn't Skatebuzz have been at the forefront of churning out icenetwork-type stuff selling the superiority of their expected World champions? The journalists and commentators, especially in Canada, would have probably followed suit and they could have all moved away from the stupid, shallow kind of reporting they've done on VM up to now.

      I can't decide if it's mostly Skate Canada's fault - are reporters/commentators following their lead? Or are they following VM's lead? Are they the ones directing the reporting to be about their off-ice life that isn't and all the rest of their weird views about fans? We can see how VM feel the stupid fans make their lives so miserable they have to be in fake facebook relationships, maybe that's what drives how they communicate what they expect to be asked in any interview?

      Whatever the reason, it has turned into a bad PR place for VM. They're heading into the next Olympics with all the buzz being about DW. It should have been about the Olympic champions who are still the best and still more than capable of winning again. I don't really hear anyone in media saying that.

    2. Good post. Ultimately, the judging will cause fans to leave the sport and the fans who remain to have doubts. Wouldn't it be great for once if Skate America started out with judges scores being reasonable? I haven't looked at the stats but I would bet money that Skate America over the last 2-3 years actually gives out the highest scores out of the GP series..and I have posted this earlier - anonymity of judges needs to go away. If we know the name of the tech specialists - then we should know which judges gave what score. You want to have the privilege of giving out scores at an Olympics / Worlds etc - then there is no reason to hide. Perhaps we need 3 tech specialists for each event - since the levels are so important.
      Yes in the end the judging is what is creating this rivalry but at the same time why is icenetwork and other bloggers etc making it so personal with V/M in particular. If it's because the USFSA feels they need to continually hit below the belt to get a message across then I am sorry but you can't tell me that Davis/White or Tanith Belbin, Jacquie White don't read the message boards, websites and cannot express in private that perhaps the leveling down of their training mates is a heavy handed. Yes - it's not D/W saying these things but then again coming from the USFSA and their talking heads - it might as well be. I wonder how the Shibs feel at the moment in terms of how V/M are being portrayed? Yes the Shibs are young - but they are not dumb. If V/M were with another coach - I don't think the other coaching team would let the USFSA be so blatant with the icenetwork two might not be Marina's fault but at the same time she is enabling this crap.

    3. I disagree that a rivalry based on score manipulation and perpetuating fallacies about figure skating helps legitimize the sport in any way.

      As to Marina, I'd like to know how she's enabling. Is she supposed to kick one of the teams out of the training center? She does her best for each team, represents each team to her best ability when asked to speak to their respective strengths, then sends them out to compete. It's up to the judges and the system to then evaluate each team honestly. Marina isn't contributing to this problem in any way whatsoever.

    4. "I disagree that a rivalry based on score manipulation and perpetuating fallacies about figure skating helps legitimize the sport in any way."

      I'm not saying it actually *does* help legitimize the sport, just that the Davis/White vs. Virtue/Moir rivalry is supposed to give off the impression that the system (and the sport) is legitimate now. Presumably, casual viewers in Sochi are not going to possess a detailed understanding of the differences between the TES or PCS marks and commentators never do a very good job of explaining it themselves. What they probably will remember is the hubbub surrounding the old, corrupt 6.0 system and that in the past, North American teams struggled to win anything in ice dance (and if they don't remember, the commentators will remind them). But now we see two North American teams battling it out for gold who have helped to energize the sport and validate the existence of the new system (points which I agree with, for the record). Viewers will likely also be told that the teams are absolute equals on the ice and if both skate clean the winner will come down to preference of style. The latter assessment isn't true but it will be presented as such.

    5. A rivalry contrived to make a sport look legitimate is the exact opposite of, well, legitimate.

      I don't think this fake rivalry has done a thing to really energize the sport and to get eyeballs on tv broadcasts (when you can find one) or behinds into seats in the stands. It's just maddening and off-putting if you know what you're looking at in terms of the actual skating.

      Once you add in the fact that not only is the scoring incorrect in that D/W are being overmarked and held up, the commentators are lying that the two teams are equal when they should be explaining why they're not, what you have is yet another sham playing out. Except the sham with scoring and placements is more of an outright scandal with far greater reprecussions. Ice dance was very close to being thrown out of the Olympics. The message to the ISU was to clean it up or it's out. Now, with what's going on, it's definitely not clean. I can imagine a few scenarios of things being manipulated in such a way that if it were found out, ice dance would be eliminated from the Olympics.

    6. I agree in that I think a contrived rivalry fails at even the appearance of legitimacy. And I also agree and believe that, despite how it looks on paper, the whole 'two North American teams battle it out!" is not energizing the sport, getting eyeballs on the figure skating broacasts or getting bums in seats. If that's the agenda, it's failing. There's no there there. With DW the talk is all nonspecific, using bombastic words like "powerhouse". I'm reading and hearing a lot of 'best in the world' as if it's given, but nobody is saying why DW, who aren't even defending World champions, are suddenly supposed to be best in the world and nobody's saying what they do better than VM. It's not like winning at the GPF has reliably determined the best before - in any discipline.

      It's all tell and no show. On the VM side there's no coherent skating story being told - they're too preoccupied with fans and shamming and God knows what other agendas.

      As far as I can tell the battle of the titans is missing a titan. Where's VM's part in this legitimacy bestowing story? The entire narrative is controlled by those selling the idea that if DW don't win in London, ice dance will be back to the bad old days of back room dealing - as if deals need to be struck for VM to legitimately beat them, when the reality is something closer to the opposite is going on.

      "Best" is the message and the USFSA is on it - Tanith declaring their short the best, Scott Hamilton declaring the team the best, the last youtube I saw labeled them the world's best.

      A real rivalry is Savchenko/Szolkowy versus Volosozhar/Trankov. Just speaking personally, most of the time I think I'm foursquare for VT, and when I actually watch the competition and see both teams I think damn, can't take anything away from S&S. There's no games needed there - both teams have their challenges, struggles and set backs, both teams are clearly worthy rivals; nothing needs to be stage managed or hyped.

      What energized the sport, I feel, at least in America, was whatever alchemy created the US figure skating championships in Greensboro a couple of years ago. But since then the Shibs have been demoted even at home - mustn't leave the impression that anything they do is even remotely in DW's league.

      For my part, the more I watch DW, the more troubled I become at the blatant hustle of it all. As other comments have emphasized, it's a mistake to direct anger at the wrong people - D/W themselves or Marina, most particularly. But the scoring situation is egregious. Not only are DW's programs designed to work around actually figure skating much of the time - and in ice dance, yet, the most 'skating' centric discipline of the four, not only are they full of so many tricks and theatrics I hope G&P are taking notes, but there's often small, but repeated instances of lack of control, particularly when the two skaters come together. The timing is off and they half-bump as much as take hold, and there are small stumbles as well. But the USFSA and icenetwork have been having a good time calling VM "sloppy" because as it's set up now, unless one of either Meryl or Charlie face plants on an actual element, they will get top scores in pcs and they've successfully put the pressure on only VM to be perfect. VM are being judged against their best selves, not versus DW, and DW aren't being judged against anyone. Their scores are a given.

  8. At this point I would love to pay Zhulin to do split screen analysis of V/M and D/W...remember I think earlier in 2012 - the ISU had teaching videos out comparing teams, techniques etc and V/M were the better team? Well perhaps it time for Skate Canada to use those tapes to their advantage and REMIND folks that when it comes to TECHNICAL - V/M are the standard...

  9. I love these last two entries! There needs to be a lot more discussion and awareness about the discrepancies in the skating and the scoring when it comes to these two teams.

    I agree with 6:24 that none of this is V-M's nor D-W's personal fault. But that doesn't make any difference in the way things are being perceived and reported.

  10. This blog has made some very interesting points in the last couple years regarding VM's PR or lack thereof. I think the present state of affairs where so much commentary is very favorable toward DW while portraying VM as inferior is just another consequence of VM and SC's inattention to this area and their lack of professionalism.

    And what are VM doing about it? Setting up photos of Scott on social media with the current faux lover and apparently planning a special after-Worlds photo-shoot with this person, just for the fans. Is winning against this blog so much more important than fixing these PR blunders and making sure the narrative out there starts telling the world exactly how/why VM are great skaters and why they are going to win Worlds and the next Olympics.

  11. "If V/M were with another coach - I don't think the other coaching team would let the USFSA be so blatant with the icenetwork two might not be Marina's fault but at the same time she is enabling this crap."

    I disagree here. Just as I think people are displacing their anger onto the wrong individuals, I also think the same thing is done when proposing solutions to the problem.

    How would splitting up/changing coaches be better for either team? Does it change anything as far as the rivalry is concerned? No. Keeping both teams close in the marks drives interest in the sport. That's the ultimate moneymaker. Changing coaches won't make a difference for the skaters. All it will do is give some fans the hope that the Olympics will provide them with some petty reality TV dramatic moments.

    Marina is a Canadian citizen and a member of Skate Canada. Whenever she speaks to the media about Tessa and Scott's skating, she's as big of a cheerleader for them as she is for Meryl and Charlie. It's not her fault her federation bungles everything in the PR department and it's not her job to fix that problem. I think both teams are in the best possible place to be, with the best coach, and with the best training mates to have. There's nothing either team needs for their skating they can't get in Canton. It's the most elite training center in the sport. Marina is doing her part.

    If people want to talk about enabling crap, they should open their eyes and look no further than Tessa and Scott’s asinine moves to bait fans into paying attention to their faked separate personal lives and then turning around to whine about or make fun of the fans for doing so. That's what Tessa, Scott, and Skate Canada spend most of their time talking about in the press. If they do talk about Tessa and Scott's skating, it's either done in a very vague manner or once again couched in "we're so misunderstood, people think the way we are on the ice is what we're like off it!" terms. The USFSA, on the other hand, finds people to come around and provide analysis intended to prove Meryl and Charlie are the best skaters in the sport. Neither team may have control over what the ISU wants for the sport (making sure the rivalry stays in the forefront of everyone's mind), but their federations have certainly shown how to successfully (the USFSA) and not so successfully (Skate Canada) play their hands when the opportunity arises.

  12. OP, have you seen either DW or VM skate live recently?

  13. Anon at 8:35 - I wasn't advocating a change in coaching for V/M - I just wanted to point out that hypothetically if V/M had another coaching team - I don't think the other coaching team would be silent on some of the icenetwork articles. My argument is that if icenetwork articles are negative then it kind of gives the green light to so-called independent bloggers to hit below the belt.
    In terms of federations, yes Skate Canada has failed consistently not only with V/M but with Patrick Chan as well. Personally I would love for Skate Canada to have brought in someone like Barbara Underhill - a Canadian pair champion who now is a skating instructor for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I bet you she would be able to break down - skating skills - like nobody's business. Interesting that Barb Underhill for the awhile was a skating commentator and was fair. Hell - have Barbara Underhill have a skating session with Chan and Virtue Moir and demonstrate what makes them great as skaters - rather than a "fluff" personality's not brain surgery folks...honestly if V/M were russian - this would not be an issue...

  14. Another thought after a discussion elsewhere; it's not that V/M are underscored, it's that D/W are being grossly overscored. Given that this overscoring is not just in relation to V/M, but in relation to other teams as well at various points in time in multiple seasons, it's D/W that is the problem here.

    This is the key point to this discussion and why V/M's PR or lack there of has nothing to do with the scoring and placements: It's not just V/M who are being affected by overscoring. Other teams from other countries are being affected as well, notably P/B who started off the season declaring they intended to challenge V/M and D/W for the top spots this season and who were backed up by a fed who last year at worlds said they expected them to contend for gold. (As I recall, there may have been flack for P/B and the French fed making statements that they intended to challenge for the top spots.) If this were just about V/M, I might by that better PR would help, but it's not. It's also teams who are talking themselves up as contenders and talking about how they've improved (after actually having improved at that), etc.

    Another thing to think about with all of this: Given how well V/M score, especially come Worlds/Olympic time and how close they are to the scoring ceiling in ice dance, there's not much they could say (if they could say it and not get a ton of backlash for daring to say how good they are) that would increase their scores beyond what they're getting nor would better skating PR for V/M do anything to change what D/W are getting and end the overscoring.

    To summarize, what V/M say or don't say is irrelevant in all of this. Talking themselves up would do nothing to change the fact that D/W are overscored.

    I do understand that this is a very frustrating situation for fans to sit back and watch--it is for me--and it's easy to say "well, if V/M had better PR", but really, it wouldn't make a difference when it comes to this.

    And while I agree that SC should do more to help their top teams, I'm not even sure they have the power to stop the USFS.

    1. Totally agree that it's D/W scores that are the outliers. We all know that D/W is the USFSA's only medal hope in Sochi...but then again with the team event in Sochi - the Russians will do their damnest not to be below the Americans on their home who knows what the cards may hold...

    2. I'm thinking maybe if VM had better pr, or a higher profile in the media as the best ice dancers out there, the overscoring of DW might end and DW's protocols might become reality-based. There's no push back. I believe more high profile talk about how good VM actually are would, on a practical basis, end up being push back on DW's score inflation.

  15. "Beyond that, when it comes to the ice dance world title this year, I think that decision was made long before the first competetion of the season, even before the music was picked and choreography done. It was made at worlds last year when some people had a (completely uncalled for) fit because V/M were less than perfect in the FD and still won (because they were still better than D/W)."

    See, I don't think the season results are set ahead of time, nor that it's assured Tessa and Scott won't win Worlds this year or the Olympics next year. They may win both. I believe that despite its flaws, the current system has safeguards in place to prevent the same kind of all-out political "they don't even really have to skate to win" maneuvering as the old 6.0 system. To believe otherwise insinuates Tessa and Scott's wins in Vancouver, Torino, and Nice were all political decisions and nothing more.

    What's happening is that Meryl and Charlie and Tessa and Scott are now assumed to be on equal footing ability/quality of movement/skating-wise (which they are not) and Meryl and Charlie are being allowed to get away with things on the ice that Tessa and Scott are pinged for, often by the same panel of judges. When Tessa and Scott skate perfectly, they usually win in the head-to-heads against Meryl and Charlie. The larger problem is that Meryl and Charlie are given more leeway when they don't skate perfectly, whereas Tessa and Scott are being held to a higher standard and that shows in the marks.

    I think it should be noted that Tessa and Scott don't make it easy on themselves by trying to push the parameters of the system. That's not a bad thing. It's awesome and exactly what they've always said they set out to do each season. But in doing so they've also slammed their heads into the ceiling a few times and had to pull back a bit to earn the points they want on certain elements. That's not altogether abnormal for them. In fact, Tessa and Scott are known for always leaving some blood on the floor before their programs are finalized. This season, they upped the ante again by coming out and creating a program that re-writes the standards when it comes to what movement is possible on the ice from a physics standpoint. So, they hold themselves to a higher standard in terms of what they want to present on the ice. But that doesn't account for why Meryl and Charlie are being overmarked.

    I think this might boil down to two problems that may or may not be directly related to one another. One is that the Davis/White vs. Virtue/Moir rivalry is the ISU's current bread and butter and will be one of its biggest storylines for Sochi. In order to maintain that, a full court press effort is being made to sustain the position that both teams are absolute equals and who wins will come down to each judge's individual preference. The second problem is that while Tessa/Scott/Meryl/Charlie have no control over any of this, their federations have had (and will continue to have) the opportunity to make their cases as to why they feel their team is the best of the two. As of now, the USFSA is hitting home runs on this PR front while Skate Canada keeps striking out and is blaming the bat rather than itself for this problem.

    1. I agree that the problem is down to Davis White overscoring although that doesn't quite explain why, two seasons running at their respective championships, as the USFSA has predictably bestowed astronomical scores on Davis/White regardless of the skate they put down while Skate Canada(i.e., judges in Canada) have dinged Virtue Moir for everything it can find while scoring Gilles Poirier for stuff Gilles Poirier arent actually doing on the ice.

      I recently re-watched the 118 free dance of Charlie and Meryl at the US championships. The choreography is full of Charlie pulling Meryl across the ice. They are constantly following each other in some way - he leaps - she turns - he turns she leaps. He just strokes near her while she does something, she strokes and then he does something. Except for footwork, their blades are as far apart from each other's as they can possibly get for a supposed top team and they spend as much time in elementary partner positions as they can possibly get. This separate/parallel choreoraphy is a huge safety net - it's far riskier to stroke as one, to create a choreoraphy move that's mutually interdependent, to cover ice down to stroking, not pulling and leaping - and skipping and running and when compelled to stroke - pumping. The lifts are also ridiculously elementary compared to VM and other teams.

      DW are a case of quantity over quality - do a ton of stuff with a lot of apparent energy (energy, not speed) and nobody will look too closely at the individual merits of each component. There was a part near the middle of the skate where Charlie's blades got sloppy and short-stepped - look at the protocols - you'd think he was John Curry the Ice Dancer.

      Skatebuzz isn't set up a la icenetwork. It was never created to be that - it was a little showcase for talking heads and the most basic - and inane - promotion for Skate Canada itself.

      I wonder how much SC and the rest of the organization is behind Virtue Moir in any heartfelt way, simply because when they won gold, it was supposed to open the coffers for everyone, without much effort by the Federation, and everybody would benefit. Virtue Moir were going to be the best thing to happen to Canadian figure skating in years. Look at the excitement and support they received back then. It was like a turbo-charged 2008 - happy days were here again. Everybody wanted to contribute.

      It didn't end up playing out as people envisioned. Look, for instance, at the spectacle the Moirs and Virtues (and Semple) made of themselves at that Skate Canada watching Dube Skate, a couple of years after Vancouver. How self-important is that? Their ideas about themselves are stale, the sham is stale, and yet they can't stop. If all of this "protection" paid dividends for SC and its skaters it would be one thing, but it's barely paying dividends for Virtue Moir. At some point it's easy to wonder if non-Virtue Moir SC members and others didn't start thinking - what's in it for me again?

    2. The comment above and this is just speculation on why Virtue and Moir's supposed friends at court aren't out there pushing back. Yes, there's Virtue and Moir's own blinkered and myopic idea that all public relations has to be diversionary and enable misdirection about their personal lives vis a vis the fandom. And yes, Skate Canada is incompetent in the public relations arena, but it doesn't really take brilliant public relations to speak to what's self-evident about Virtue and Moir' skating. It takes a bit more public relations to pretend DW are more than they are.

      DW are inclusive. They're out there as "members of the skating community" - not just in Ann Arbor, not just for the USFSA, but internationally.

      Here is Scott at the WTT: "I hate this competition". Well yes, I agree, the WTT is a stupid competition. It's inconvenient.

      However, Eric and Meghean don't hate the competition because they are grateful for the check. Patrick Chan doesn't hate the competition because HE's grateful for the check. The sport isn't all dining with the Queen of England. Who's audibly groaning and bitching? The guy who doesn't need the money, who already has more than anyone else.

      Do they give back just to Ilderton, or do they give back some of what they've received elsewhere?

      It's a little OT, but I think on the Canadian side - and this is one of the most immature organizations around - there may be less incentive to go out of one's way to advocate for VM - they're an organization of personalities on a very small scale. The USFSA is actually a functional organization in its own right that is not as subject to the vagaries of relationships.

    3. To be fair OC - with regards to WTT last year, Patrick Chan looked out of it and let's face it V/M had Stars on Ice right after. If V/M don't show-up for WTT an ISU event - then I don't think they are sanctioned to do shows right after. This was not an issue for Meaghan, Eric or Patrick. V/T didn't show up last year. D/W had no shows immediately after (they showed up at least 1-1.5 week after Stars on Ice in Canada started and were not part of the group numbers etc - so easy for them). That Scott comment was unfortunate but last year V/M showed up for every event. As for fan reach - I don't think they are that bad - I mean they did the Orange team interview last year at TEB (although ironically now the Orange Team hates V/M - a very hypocritical bunch) and this year they sat down with Russian fans at the Cup of Russia. So it's not that they are not accessible or approachable - it's just seems like it because in the day of the internet - they don't have twitter accounts and Skate Canada does a horrible job of providing pictures at ISU events (ie, galas, banquets) let alone at the high performance camp.

    4. "I wonder how much SC and the rest of the organization is behind Virtue Moir in any heartfelt way, simply because when they won gold, it was supposed to open the coffers for everyone, without much effort by the Federation, and everybody would benefit. Virtue Moir were going to be the best thing to happen to Canadian figure skating in years. Look at the excitement and support they received back then. It was like a turbo-charged 2008 - happy days were here again. Everybody wanted to contribute."

      I'm not sure that it's really that (or at least, it's not the only factor at play)--Patrick Chan also doesn't seem to get a lot of support from SC.

      To state the obvious, Debbi's number one priority is Debbi and doing what's best for herself. It's not V/M, Chan, D/R, Osmond, any other skaters, the SC organization, funding, etc. It's her.

      She (along with others) are not big picture people; they don't see how one action affects other things. I think her number 1 priority is continuing to get to do what she wants to do and put herself out front and in the middle of everything in a post-Sochi world where V/M and possibly Chan have both retired. Osmond doesn't seem to have any use for her, but like any mutual parasites, G/P and Debbi have latched on to each other. If G/P becomes the stars, then Debbi gets to keep her place in the spotlight. All of Debbi's focus and energy are going to spent making sure she's taken care of first, even if that means throwing V/M, Chan, a slew of other skaters, the SC organization, and whatever else under a bus.

      She doesn't have time to see that V/M, Chan, et al., have the full support of their fed heading off into worlds this year and the Olympic season; she's too busy securing her own future.

    5. Your description of the relationship between G&P and Debbi is not just dead on, but beyond obvious. But obvious is what both parties - the team and Debbi - are all about.

      I completely agree with your take on Debbi - to say the least. The blog has chronicled the self-evident in that regard for a long time, and she publicly confirmed everyone's worst suspicions about her with the Manley/Debbi narrate Skate Canada stunt at Skate Canada.

      And I don't necessarily think that VM would be getting more effective public relations support from Skate Canada in terms of making the case for them being miles better than DW if VM were better suck ups or did more for Skate Canada, the institution.

      But I do wonder if they wouldn't get more people volunteering to make the case in the membership or community at large if they were better team players.

      For example. When Carol and Alma Moir began hyping the sweatshirt sale in connection with London Worlds, it really turned me off immediately. And yet trying to earn some money for a skating club's bursary fund is a legitimate enterprise - skating clubs always need money. But upon reflection I think the turn off was how narrow and self-interested it was to piggyback their own skating club's interest onto Scott and Tessa's quest for gold at London Worlds, instead of taking the opportunity to give back to London. Instead of looking for what you can get from this event and your association with Scott and Tessa - how about using it as an opportunity to do good for others.

      I feel this is something the Moirs and Ilderton overlook all the time and it might make people sit on their hands a bit when it comes to outsiders helping to make the case for VM.

      After production costs for the sweatshirts and at $20 per, how much money would sweatshirt sales at Worlds reap for the bursary fund? $120.00? (figuring they might sell 200 to attendees at Worlds - the shirts are available to anyone, but the promo pitch "sea of yellow" was aimed at those with Worlds tickets). As well, it's a bid for attention - most of all, that was the turn off.

    6. London is really overwhelmed by these Worlds (from at least a fan perspective) but here the Moirs are in there using their big connection with Scott and Tessa to try and squeeze a little out for themselves. And how little it is - a few hundred at the most. So - seriously? This is a good idea? Or is all this self-aggrandizement not about the bursary fund but about publicity for the Ilderton Club.

      Instead of jumping aboard Worlds to try and put their own interests forward, what if the Moirs and Virtues took it upon themselves to be surrogates for Scott and Tessa when it comes to promoting London? London put VM in the Hall of Fame, London has bent over backwards for Scott and Tessa - how about the families use their profile not for their own skating club but to highlight what's good about London and do their bit do bang the drums for civic welfare? What Scott and Tessa have done and are doing seems so disingenuous. "Welcome to our home - London." (goes a recent promo video).

      Since fucking when - all they talk about is Ilderton. I don't remember Scott thumping his heart in the Kiss'N'Cry for London.

      They did the little Instagram bits and of course Scott's thing was pushing Shoeless Joe's. Shoeless Joe's gets pushed enough - do something for somebody else.

      Jim Virtue is part of a thriving London law practice and he's on the Western Ontario board - surely he can organize something.

      The Ilderton skating club is thriving already. Yes, skating clubs always need money but what are Ilderton's ambitions? Wasn't Alma posing in a hard hat at a new site a couple of years ago? How about reciprocating?

      It's this type of thing that makes me wonder if those who could have been advocating for VM are now sitting on their hands, leaving them to the hapless efforts of total stooges like Steve Milton, and the idiot who thinks Scott does a triple loop in his free dance, letting the USFSA make its bombastic case for the bombastic figure skating of DW, and not pushing back.

    7. And to go back to WTT - I have no problems with Scott feeling the way he feels, but VM might want to exercise some consideration of other people in different circumstances than their own. Hell, let's start with simply recognizing that other people are in different circumstances, period. IOW - feel what you feel Scott, but don't broadcast it (literally) when a) you're team captain and b) the reason you are more tired than everyone else there is you're more successful than everyone else there.

      There are other skaters who are exhausted or stressed for reasons other than having a full, lucrative touring schedule ahead, who are tired and/or out of it but are still appreciative of the pay day. Scott and Tessa deserve and have earned their opportunities; I'm just saying exercise awareness while feeling your feelings.

      As for sitting down with the Russian fans or sitting down with the orange team - in both cases that strikes me as ostentatious martyrdom - a ritual submission they put themselves through to demonstrate the burdens of fan attention. It might be overly harsh to look at it that way, but there was no need to go through the whole deal with the Russian fans - it could have been easily finessed to make the fans happy without enduring that for nearly an hour in real time.

    8. "What's happening is that Meryl and Charlie and Tessa and Scott are now assumed to be on equal footing ability/quality of movement/skating-wise (which they are not) and Meryl and Charlie are being allowed to get away with things on the ice that Tessa and Scott are pinged for, often by the same panel of judges. When Tessa and Scott skate perfectly, they usually win in the head-to-heads against Meryl and Charlie. The larger problem is that Meryl and Charlie are given more leeway when they don't skate perfectly, whereas Tessa and Scott are being held to a higher standard and that shows in the marks. "

      Yes and this impacts the discussions in the fandom as well. On the Meryl/Charlie side, they are all about picking apart Virtue Moir, versus making the case for D/W. Those are now the operating dynamics. If Virtue Moir have any issue at all in their skate - give the gold to DW - that's how it's supposed to go. We're not supposed to look at how DW are skating and the fans are only following the judges (and the US commentators) in that respect.

      It's also quite easy to "pick apart" Virtue and Moir because they're very specific out there. Everything they do is grounded in pure skating and pure dance, so it's hanging out for all to see.

      What are people going to pick apart in DW? I read an argument on two message boards that fast always = best blade quality. Setting aside - well, stupid - nobody is even looking to see if D/W actually are that fast (versus "energetic"). Their choreography is working its ass off to cover their shorter blade run, their lack of unison, their inability to work with each other's timing (or the music's timing) unless it's been rehearsed unto exhaustion. So everything they do out there ends up looking intentional, even if what's really going on is choreography making virtues of shortcomings. But they are still shortcomings. The choreography can do its job, but it is still on the judges (and on fans who care to) to look at the skating skills the choreography is showcasing. If it's full of jumping, leaping, pulling, gratuitous individual rotations and safety nets, DW ought not to be getting level tens all over the place in program components.

    9. P.S. - alright $1,500 + if they sold 200 t-shirts (I just re-read my comment and saw what I did there) - better, but it's hard to believe this is the most efficient way to raise that relatively small amount for the Ilderton bursary.

    10. "I feel this is something the Moirs and Ilderton overlook all the time and it might make people sit on their hands a bit when it comes to outsiders helping to make the case for VM."

      Very interesting observations regarding any role VM play as public figures in their own city, and by extension in their country. I can't help thinking how leading up to Worlds had been such a perfect opportunity for them and their families to give back and for once NOT make it specifically about Scott and Tessa.

      Instead, as you mention, what stands out is the endorsements for Everyday Joe's and for the Ilderton skating arena. Nothing wrong with that, it's just too bad there's not enough publicity given to other things VM have done in and around London, like their association with Special Olympics. And Scott giving the impression of running around on the eve of Worlds hanging out with "buddies" and the new gf just makes him look like an idiot. It's all about him - and his friends - and not about being a premier citizen in a city that will soon host a huge international event.

      As so many have mentioned here, there should be a whole bunch of people advocating for VM's skating and pushing back on all the grandiose stuff being said about DW. But Scott and Tessa haven't extended themselves enough, except to talk about how they are so not a real couple in real life and to make sure Scott and his GF du jour are easy to find on social media. But anything easy to find showing London's Olympic champions engaging in civic events? Nah - that's not important to make available on social media.

    11. " And Scott giving the impression of running around on the eve of Worlds hanging out with "buddies" and the new gf just makes him look like an idiot. It's all about him - and his friends - and not about being a premier citizen in a city that will soon host a huge international event."

      So true. Even if Cassandra WAS a real girlfriend, he's too OLD for this. What kind of 25 year old would make it more about running around with his pals, than representing his home region in a professional manner?

    12. Anon 7:19 - That's a problem, they are not represented by a professional entity and those nearest & dearest to them also act unprofessionally and in fact don't have a clue. I really can't get over how Scott's presence on social media revolves around a fake girlfriend and a group of friends whose purpose in life seems to be getting drunk at every opportunity. This is Scott? Is there anyone who still buys the story that Cassandra is real and/or that his life consists in hanging out and drinking, as if he were a frat guy? He's an adult living an adult life with adult responsibilities. All the social media crap just makes him look like he's got a screw missing, especially since so many fans are just laughing at all this. It just becomes a waste of his time. He and the gf and company all look like buffoons.

      Meanwhile, the USFSA is busy churning out articles predicting he and Tessa will lose any future major competitions, and he can't be arsed to make sure there are an equal number of rebuttal articles and commentaries coming from people who supposedly represent Skate Canada. Yes, SC has a documentary coming out. Sorry - too little too late. And from the clips that have been released, it looks like VM still want to make the focus about "relationship". Yeah -- the lack of prfofessional advice is so evident.

    13. The point I was trying to make earlier is - the Ilderton Skating Club is already doing well. I'm haven't researched the details of the shiny new venue showcased on their facebook a couple of years ago, featuring Alma in a hard hat, but that looks like success to me. They're good at their jobs. They've devoted to figure skating, good with kids, generous with showcasing the skating kids on the facebook.

      Worlds is bigger than Scott and Tessa. It's bigger than the Ilderton Skating Club. I know VM have ties to London as much as Ilderton, I know London is as proud of them as Ilderton, and I know London hasn't had the greatest past year/months. As we all saw, when Tessa and Scott sat down to 'promote London' they seemed to believe the reporter was trying to catch them out about their personal life. When he kept saying "Anything else?" or "What about?" they shifted around like he was trying to get them to spill where they bought baby food. No. He was desperately trying to get a few sound bites about great stuff in London - stuff people who attended Worlds would find in London, and Scott and Tessa seemed untrained in any frame of reference outside themselves. Their families! Their conditioning facility!

      Did nobody explain to them what this junket was about? Debbi - hello?

      Part of my issue is I don't think this stuff should TAKE prep or training. It's obvious. Think of what's needed here - think of what someone else needs. It's not about YOU.

      But look where they get it from. Here comes Carol and Alma seeking to give the Ilderton Skating Club a boo$t. Hey, how about acting like good citizens and giving London a boost. It's London that has a lot on the line, it's London that put your kids in the Hall of Fame. Worlds isn't in London just so the ISC can add an extra fifteen hundred to the bursary. Give freaking back, for God's sake.

    14. It's hard to think of others when you're busy getting drunk with the buddies. Not that I actually think Scott is doing that, but he and his family are more than happy to let it be known that's what life is about with their famous son-cousin-friend. Who has time or interest to think about giving back? Not them.

      And of course, Tessa and her equally large family of Virtues are invisible. They are just as busy with the sham, but on the side pretending not to exist. So they are equally unable to give back. First, because Tessa cannot and must not be around Scott or any Moir or Moir associate, lest people think she and Scott are doing it (the Moirs and Tessa hate each other, don't you know). Second, well, they don't exist. Can't give back when you're busy hiding and protecting Tessa from that horrible Scott Moir.

    15. About the 'too old for this' - Scott (and Tessa) seem hell bent on projecting the arrested development image, presumably because that's the furthest image away from married-with-toddler, and if fans started suspecting THAT, well - well, nothing.

      Keep forgetting this isn't about fans but about creating pretexts for nearest and dearest to have a Scott/Tessa occupation.

      In any event, in times past both Scott and Tessa have expressed admiration for Jeff Buttle, who has never struck me as a stick in the mud. But Jeff Buttle at 25 and how Scott & Co. seem bent on presenting Scott? The comparison is pathetic.

      Even Johnny Weir at 24 said he was old for a figure skater.

    16. 9:14 pm - ikr. Lol, the arrested develpoment image. Scott with his bimbo gf and group of frat buddies. Roots made a good decision getting away from them. Scott is not projecting any kind of mature image. Pathetic sums it up very well.

    17. Hmmm - I haven't seen the pictures but if Scott is going for the Charlie Sheen image - that wouldn't impress me before Worlds. People do get drunk at 25 and 30 etc but it's a matter of timing and image. I remember Scott saying that he would have to re-think Tiger Woods as his favourite athlete (at the time when the cheating rumours just started).. So Scott is aware of image. This year alone - we have Lance Armstrong and then Oscar (track athlete) allegedly murdering his girlfriend...Scott is nowhere near the radar - but considering that worlds are around the corner and he knows that people are looking for pictures etc - why represent yourself like that? Did we get drunk Scott pictures at Cody Hay's wedding -no...I don't think...then why this now?

    18. Scott doesn't have a bimbo gf and he's not spending most of his time drinking with frat buddies - and 'frat' is not something with which most of these guys are experienced. They've been working men since after high school or tech school after that.

      Scott is a married father. His wife is Tessa.

      I don't know why Roots went away. I suspect though, based on what others knew at the time, that Roots knew they were married, and, like others, had the understanding that they would shortly reveal their true status. When Tessa and Scott opted out, it seems likely to me that Roots opted out of the partnership. Roots is a high profile, national brand with a very "roots"y image - all about supporting grass roots and community endeavors, all about identifying with the citizen. It was no longer a good match between Roots and VM with Roots aware that VM were married and pregnant, but faced with four years of marketing them as a platonic couple. What shadow would that cast on Roots' home grown image when it came out they'd enabled a hoax like that?

      The arrested development image is an image. They are so dedicated to portraying Scott as this party type with successive incredibly immature girlfriends because this is the furthest thing away from his real life and for some reason, that's the goal. Does it actually serve any purpose to portray him as miles away from his real life? Could they even maintain the platonic image but upgrade him to a position of responsible citizenry a la Dylan Moscovitch? Sure. But they don't.

      oc not logged in

    19. Remember that Q-CBC interview and one of the hosts' questions to both Scott and Tessa was along the lines of do you regret not being able to do things with your friends during your teenage years because of your dedication to skating and the rigid schedule? Scott's answer was pretty direct in saying that he had no regrets and that skating has given him the opportunity to see the world. I don't think he has regrets about leaving home at an early age and skating....he also indicated that his friends back home were already working and had their life figured yeah OC - the arrested development image is a bit much...just let the guy be...hmmm at this rate - perhaps Scott Moir would prefer to give the Team Captain position to Eric Radford or Dylan Moscovitch...

    20. The people around Scott are truly buffoons when it comes to public relations and Scott enables the hell out of it, needless to say, as does Tessa. It must be the buffoons who love the sham, and the tone of the sham, and again, it's icky because it's not accomplishing anything real.

      One of the things that galls is how Polly Pure and sanctimonious Scott gets when telling legit media he and Tessa aren't on social media, when both are on social media through the back door, pulling strings like Gepetto. And one of the most embarrassing and uncomfortable aspect of the whole thing is that by restricting their Cassandra and Jessica manipulations to social media, they're defeating the purpose of such a scam. All they're doing is conning the same usual suspects on the message boards. The public at large that follows this duo in any way just reads the generic denials and non-specific references to separate lives. The mainstream media either ignores or lies about social media, so it's not as if without the social media side of the scam, the message board speculation about Scott and Tessa would leak into the mainstream.

      IOW, what we see is a guy very eager to be seen snuggling up to women not his wife all over social media, very eager to have this woman (whether Jessica or Cassandra) devote twitter and facebook to TMI about how much she needs wants and can't wait to see him and how she is so crazy for him every other thought has fled her head.

      And as it's for no purpose, they're doing it cause they like this stuff. And that's the icky part. I don't need or want to know this about them (that they're doing this for themselves, and this is how they like to do it), but it's impossible not to.

  16. Anon at 6:46 - I agree that Debbi Wilkes is just one of many problems with Skate Canada. The problem with Debbi is that unfortunately she is one of the faces of this organization. I also think that Chan has distanced himself from Skate Canada. You have to wonder why we haven't see Pelletier's face in a while (not that I miss it)...ideally I would love for Buttle to have an official position within Skate Canada or even if the coaching doesn't work out - Patrice Lauzon would be a good choice as well. It's too bad that the changing of the guard might happen after Sochi - who knows..

  17. I disagree on the Russian fan meeting. I thought V/M seemed to honestly appreciate the fans gifts and seemed to be relaxed and enjoying themselves through the whole thing. For the most part, they both seemed far less guarded than they typically do. Scott, particularly, didn't seem like he was trying to be anyone else but himself--more calm and settled.

    I would imagine it's a lot more peaceful and less stressful to spend an hour with a group of fans who want nothing more than to express their appreciation for their skating than 5 minutes with the various residents of Moirville who all seem to have an agenda and want something out of Tessa and Scott (especially) all of the time. The Russian fans made it all about V/M; Moirville makes it all about what V/M can do for them.

    1. I don't think either situation is comfortable and I don't think one situation (the encounter with Russian fans) is very different from the other (the experience at home with people wanting a piece of their time and their lives to satisfy their own needs).

      I don't think either Scott or Tessa are particularly comfortable in a situation where "it's all about them" means they sit while a whole group of strangers stand and stare at them and videotape everything with the intention of putting it on the internet and it goes on for 45 minutes. Tedious as hell comes to mind - and that's the least of it. It's just unnatural.

      It's not the end of the world but it's overdone. There's really nothing Scott and Tessa can do in a situation like that but be gracious.

      I'm not victimizing them for that - that is the choice they made. I just question the choice of making themselves available for a videotaped encounter in real time for nearly an hour with a bunch of fans who are standing around watching them do things like read (and of course they cannot react naturally - there's only one reaction that's permissible).

      I'm not bashing the fans or Scott and Tessa, although I feel that Scott and Tessa did exactly what I describe them as doing - sort of very conspicuously submitting themselves to an oversized request for an extremely oversized segment of their time in order to kind of publicly martyr/submit themselves to the burdens of fame. It's not "peaceful" to have a bunch of fans be "all about you". They're strangers. That amount of time is actually selfish for fans to request of strangers in a competitive situation and Scott and Tessa are enabling (I think it serves their purposes to sort of have on the internet this particular type of example of what fans "expect" from them - it justifies themselves) that selfishness.

      If people want to be really nice to celebrities one of the nicest things to do is leave them alone and not request individual time with them, but enjoy the performance part of it. That's the reality. Otherwise the celebrity is enduring a somewhat overly personal encounter with people who are complete strangers to them (but who feel THEY'RE familiar friends) and it's not peaceful at all.

      This exercise was for the fans, not for Scott and Tessa. You can reasonably see how unnatural the entire experience is and it went on forever.

      It's not an either/or situation. The fan exercise doesn't make what happens at home any better, and what happens at home doesn't improve the experience of this type of display.

    2. P.S. - if the fans were not as self-interested as, say, the folks at home, then they see that the gifts are delivered. The intermediary later passes on the thanks. That is respectful, IMO, in passing on gifts to people who don't know you - if you must give gifts and letters to people who don't know you.

      Instead there was meeting set up so the fans could have the satisfaction of seeing Scott and Tessa open the gifts and read the letter, so they could tape it and then upload it so the world could see their 45 minutes with Scott and Tessa.

      It would surely have been fine with Scott and Tessa to receive the gift and letter in their own time but it would not have been fine for the fans. The whole thing was set up to facilitate these fans getting their "piece" of them, and Scott and Tessa decided to give it to them.

      A "piece" of someone famous, btw, is almost always time and attention and having that famous person hear the other person's thoughts and opinions, getting asked questions, etc. IOW, it's always all about Scott and Tessa - that's the problem for Scott and Tessa.

      Scott and Tessa have challenges in their lives but they're not so devoid of real support and friendship that they need strangers to provide them a peaceful and disinterested respite. The reality of the situation was Scott and Tessa were giving the fans what the fans wanted, it wasn't fans giving Scott and Tessa anything they needed.

      I don't want to overplay this - everybody in Scott and Tessa's position - and even some less famous - deal with this in one way or another.

  18. On a completely different note -- We should start taking bets (no real money involved, of course) as to how Cassandra and/or Tessa's current facebook BF (whoever they have decided he should be...and wouldn't it just be easier all around if he was someone from Scott's group of home town friends? They're all so obliging with any sham activity...) -- will be showcased at Worlds. For example, is Scott's cousin Cara still a player? Will she sit between VM's love interests during the FD? Or maybe Debbi will stage another "loving embrace" between Scott and his GF right after the medal ceremony.

    It's Worlds in their own backyard! The sham possibilities are endless. I can't wait to get a chance to pick them apart and have a good time laughing at them. I'm sure they won't disappoint.

  19. How do you know Scott was out partying with his buddies so close to worlds?

    1. Scott isn't out partying with his buddies but they'd like us to believe that he is.

    2. I feel like if this "filters out" to Scott and Tessa they'll add some sound bites to their legit media about how surprisingly serious and full of purpose Scott is in real life. It would be typical. And, it makes no sense, because what does a "correction" in legit media have to do with the embarrassment they spew on social media?

      To restate something about Tanith/Evan - they led with mainstream media. That's where they wanted the dating message. It covered all the bases. Then for the sake of consistency they backed it up (but no more than necessary) on social media.

      It's the split that makes the whole thing gross, because without a genuine purpose to the social media piece of it - and there's not - it's really about THEM and that's really skeevy. I don't need to know this much about what they think is cool to do.

  20. Anon 3:49 - No one said Scott has been out partying but that he deliberately works to give that impression of himself. He refuses to publicly acknowledge his responsible life with Tessa, so he pretends to have a bimbo gf and a party mentality.

    1. I don't know about bimbo but "little girl" would describe the social media persona of both. Cassandra may as well instagram a photo of herself dreaming over a notebook or scrawling "Mrs. Scott Moir" in the margins of some text. Match that up with the OMG, I love him I need him I want him all I think of is him shit and it's pretty disgusting.

      It's buys his and Tessa's kid a lot of leeway though. That child will never have to apologize for spilling anything down their shirt front, for example. Not that I think that child is going to be raised in an environment where that isn't outright encouraged.

  21. Re the main subject of this entry - I have been upset for a long time about the scoring discrepancies between VM and DW. And then on top of that to see such a huge amount of chatter praising DW and making as if VM's skating is not as superb as anyone withe eyes can see. It's so transparently political. It angers me that no one from Skate Canada, nor any Canadian media, is pushing back. And like others have pointed out, it's easy to find all sorts of media - both legitimate and social - talking about VM's couple status. Where the hell is the pushback to all the stuff about DW?

    1. Well, Tracy Wilson is sort of up a creek because she's contracted to an American network as well as doing commentary in Canada.

      As for everybody else, there's a lot of discussion and speculation about why no pushback in the comments section to this post.

      For me, the overscoring issue has bugged for a long time. I thought the Olympic programs for both teams were very strong, although IMO VM were easily better by the point differential by which they won - plus.

      This year the overscoring reached critical mass for me. Not just the 118 at the US championships - versus the actual skate - but the hard sell.

      Tanith - Charlie's girlfriend - declaring that the short was the best in the world. Her approach implied - I am the girlfriend, and for that reason I strive for balance. But the superiority of this short is SO OBVIOUS I have no problem declaring what is self-evident to anyone with eyes - this is the best short program in the world.

      Meryl and Charlie's programs are always great programs - they're not always great free dances or examples of superior figure skating. They're entertaining. They strenuously project their energy outward to the audience (their programs always seek occasions to be as open as possible). But Tanith's message was clearly that the program was unbeatable.

      Then there's the propaganda. VM are sloppy. Carmen has choreography problems. What distinguishes Davis/White is their connection. The D/W camp (as well as the ballroom dancer) were redefining connection as a performance attribute, when that's not what connection means. It the ability to work as a single unit).

      Not to mention that as a performance attribute, VM have it and DW don't.

      There's the rot about - White is like Baryishnikov. IOW, it's DW who are the dancers here.

      That icenetwork article used the other teams the dancer critiqued as camoflage - the entire purpose was to critique VM versus D/W and to call the core of the Carmen program problematic choreographically, and extoll DW's connection and dance qualities.

      Davis White aren't even the defending World or Olympic champions and Scott Hamilton is declaring them the best in the world, as if it should be undisputed.

      I was appalled when Virtue Moir came into Canadians with that message about fan backlash to Carmen and Tessa all hurt cause people thought she was like Carmen and whatever they were going on about, and then - Steve Milton's what-the-hell-was-that article. It was appalling enough that these two people who have been abusing fans on the internet for years on the down low, had the gall to come into Canadians whinging that they were being sold short by fans on the internet. I couldn't believe with a program like Carmen they weren't talking about how that program was built, how it was skated. They pissed that away, and, as is now new tradition, waltzed into their championship and got fucked by the judges so Gilles & Poirier could look good.

      I watch DW lifts and see Meryl hauled around like a piece of meat in (Notre Dame), and nothing they do in terms of lifts come near the audacity and breathtaking mechanics of Virtue and Moir's lifts this season.

      Nobody's calling this out because Skate Canada is some type of combo of complacent and incompetent, on top of that key personnel are too busy protecting their own asses, and the most organized media is the US media. When the Canadian figure skating media talks about VM; they sound more fanlike than fans, and most of what they say of the skating itself is idiotic or irrelevant.

  22. I wonder iF Scott & Miss Cassandra will be spoted or posting pics from eith Cowboys Ranch or The Thirsty Frog Tonight?

  23. Or????? Just Having a quiet Night Home @ The Corner of Dundas & Richmond???

    1. Huh? What's at the corner of Dundas & Richmond? If the message for Worlds is to be that Scott and Tessa hate each other off the ice, then I won't be surprised if Scott is spotted out and about tonight.

    2. nm, I just googled that. LOL

    3. 11:01
      So what is it? Why is it significant?

    4. I don't know for sure but 10:27 might be joking. Dundas & Richmond is a notoriously seedy, low rent intersection in London, underdeveloped in large part because all the buses come through that intersection, it's a big transfer point, and the intersection isn't up to handling the exhaust and congestion and traffic, which serves as a deterrant to capital improvement, new business, etc.

      So I think 10:27 was sugggesting that's home base - hang out on that corner and ply their trade.

      Isn't the Frog Bar the Barking Frog?

  24. Previous patterns with lover Dube would indicate that yes, there are photos and "reports" specifically planned for the big competitions. And the new lover changed the profile picture just as expected, according to schedule. These guys are ridiculously predictable and obviously fake. But they apparently think they are fooling the fans. (*rolleyes*)

  25. What is this even?

    1. Holycow - Meryl has more Canadian roots than either Kaitlyn Waever and Piper Gilles combined, LOL...who knew - heck judging by this article - she is more Canadian than Tanith Belbin...

    2. Yes, my god, I didn't know any of that!

    3. What Maryl/Charlie did ( selling out to a news outlet taht covered Tessa & Scott since theywere kidss) is realy insulting to Tessa and Scott,.

    4. 6:06

      No, it isn't.
      Meryl and Charlie are not the enemy.

    5. I agree. In fact I suspect VM hooked Meryl up with Pyette. Pyette's been writing his mash notes to VM for years and years - they would be his in to Meryl Davis.

  26. Just wondering??? By Pure investigative work. I believe that one of them live @ the Corner of Dundas & Richmond. That is all...I'm expecting a new pic tomorrow though of Scott & Cass...You know how the storey goes. 1 week before comp...

  27. Tessa & Scott should have worn PINK Today. Especially Scott. I Hope He comes Out after the 2014 Olympics. He would set such an example... Figure Skaters can be straight-acting...

    1. Oh come on. I don't think anyone who frequents this blog thinks Scott is gay. That's even more outrageous than the premise of this blog. LOL.