Monday, April 15, 2013

Oh, look who can turn her own torso in a lift.

 Maia dropped before grabbing Alex. What will she do if they're not glued?

Both legs doing well, Alex's posture and alignment doing well.

Her left arm hooked through his, not around his neck in a headlock. Her alignment is very good. She brought her own leg back in the catch foot - it wasn't already wrangled there for her to grab.

Her chest, shoulders, neck and head reach past the plane of Alex's torso.

As can be seen in the gifs in the post below, there are a number of rotations done in this alignment. Look at Maia's neck and chest. It's not just her control and extension, but she's not bracing her chest, shoulders and head against Alex.

Maia's left arm. Where's the headlock?

Yep. Slam dunk. Davis White have the best pcs in the business.


  1. Again, I just want to beat my head against a desk. How is it that D/W keep "winning" stuff?

    Speaking of lifts, I saw this today: It's from the Kozy Shack Skate With Champions promotion to win a lesson with V/M. This is a no big deal, easy move for V/M. If D/W tried it, Meryl would end up on her head.

    1. Anon 7:22

      Yeah, not just winning, but what makes me want to beat my head against a desk is the overall consensus on skating boards and in the skating media that DW are the *best* technical team in the business, and this year - they've actually surpassed VM in artistry! Imagine that. The year of VM's Carmen masterpiece - DW are better!! What the hell.

      The Emperor's New Clothes analogy isn't only for the judges. It's also the commentators and the idiot experts posting all over places like FSU and GoldenSkate informing everyone how superior DW are.

  2. What makes this such a great example is that (while the blogger is totally correct about what they do well) the Shibutanis’ technique is far from perfect. There is a distinct sack of potatoes feel to the takeoff, which, like DW’s follows one trajectory. Maya only holds her position very very briefly, then gets collapse-y. She has a stronger core than Meryl, but has difficulty controlling her limbs and holding her core at the same time; she can only do it for a hot second before the picture falls away. Her legs are out of alignment during the drop. She looks more like a bride being carried over the threshold than an athlete holding herself in a lift (third pic in this gifset). Again, thinking of that picture from Carmen where Tessa supports herself mid-air – after that, no excuses from anyone!

    These flaws are not as evident when watching in real time, because their speed masks them, but are obvious when broken down in frames like this. They also are using some DW’s tricks, having Alex lock in her leg that way.

    So there’s room for improvement, and yet, their technique is significantly better than that of DW. Significantly. And the Shibutanis’ technique is clearly inferior to that of VM. So, the result is…. VM having a huge gap over DW in GOE? Of course not.

    I hope the blogger continues to show more gifs of other couples for comparison. It is even more illuminating than just the DW vs VM.

    1. Yep, that's why I went with the Shibs.

      What they have over DW is, IMO, the entrance and how it transitions out of their skating in hold, and that while Maia is being swung around Alex, he's continuing on the same tractory as when he and Maia were in hold.

      The "swing around" is definitely sack of potatoes but it sure as well beats what DW do. When Maia is swung around she ends up quasi sitting on Alex's thigh and he flips her over his shoulder, which is a stability and balance challenge as it's all happening on one side. It's inelegantly done - a straight up flip flop (which is how DW do business), but at least they can maintain stability doing it. There's no need for Alex to engirdle her with both arms, for Maia to have him in a complete headlock and to flip cross body.

      Once in position across Alex's shoulders Maia crushes Meryl and Alex crushes Charlie. Maia is supporting her core in space from her hips up. She's got a significant back arch. She's showing far more control. He's got one leg, not both. Charlie lets go of the second leg for a fraction. For the exit, Maia intiates the transition herself by turning her torso in space.

      The immature part of the lift is the slinging her around him in the first place, most of all. Which is precisely how DW get into their lifts - slinging and fucking climbing. Yet Tracy Wilson at one competition used this lift to point out how this is where the Shibs' moves aren't as difficult. Mother of God. What lies they tell when DW skate.

      And at least Alex and Maia can sling around with more security. They're not desperately clutching and clawing.

      Precisely - the speed masks the flaws. I dislike using "speed" when it comes to DW, because often their speed if faked. And people think speed is IT in ice dancing. Which it is not, if the only reason you're able to accelerate is you're doing it with juniorish level of difficulty, which is how DW do it.

      As I've said before, it's one thing to do truly difficult elements with a lot of speed and acceleration, but be a bit sloppy and rough in the refinements - the unison, straight legs, body alignment, smooth edges.

      It's another damn thing to do junior-level elements super rough and theatrical with a lot of acceleration and have everyone call it difficult because you're fast. When the only reason you can even do them at all is you're in your freaking twenties doing junior-ish elements.

      Which is what I call elements even Gilles/Poirier can do, like the twizzles. And other cheap tricks to mask lack of edge control, like swinging up your partner and yanking her into a spin to force rotation without going off an edge, and using a skid stop as your exit of choice.

    2. And p.s. - I'm going to be comparing to other teams too, including juniors.

    3. I agree that Maia struggles to control her core and her legs at the same time, but that still puts her over Meryl because she at least CAN control her core, and she can control her legs, while Meryl appears unable to do either unless every single part of her body is braced and in lock down, and even then we're talking one leg that she can manage.

      Look at Meryl's "picture" in the lift compared to the Shibs. All that climbing and grabbing for THAT fucking picture. She looks like her upper body has just barely emerged from the tunnel portion of an obstacle course and her head and shoulders are waving that she's made it. What positives that lift demonstrates about the two of them as athletes and skaters beats me.

  3. Another thing to consider with the D/W's vs the Shibutanis lift comparison is their ages and where they're at in their careers. In 2010-2011, the Shibs were in their first season as seniors. In 2012, D/W were Olympic Silver medalists and had one world title at the time. I'm going to expect to still see some juniorish things in a young team like the Shibs. By the time a team as reached the point in their career that D/W has, I expect things to be cleaned up though. D/W just keep getting sloppier.

    1. It's not the sloppy I can't stand, it's the easy technique.

      The Shibs are doing a little laundry flinging because they're not yet seasoned. Charlie and Meryl are as seasoned as it gets.

      I think again that their slop contributes to the illusion that more is going on than they're doing. If they did everything neatly, it would be more obvious that what they're doing is far too primitive for an international podium team - way too easy.

      Lots of times when I watch them in and out of footwork I'm all - what the HELL is that. Have to slow way down and break it up.

      I don't think anyone's looked at their skating in years.

    2. "It's not the sloppy I can't stand, it's the easy technique."

      If they weren't focused on doing things so quickly, do you think they are able to do the easy technique at all? Like you say, they are a seasoned team, they should be proficient in doing the easy stuff perfectly, every single time. No excuses. Now I'm wondering whether they are even capable of doing basic elements without errors and sloppiness. The sloppy bothers me greatly because I think it's such a huge red flag of incompetence in their skating.

      And I'm just loving how the easy and sloppy technique has awarded them elite status. Just teach the young dance teams to go as quickly as possible. Why bother with anything else, right?

      Oh but I forget. The standards for every other dance team are different. Except perhaps for G/P.

    3. Yes, I think they could do the easy technique, but it's not competitive with Virtue Moir and I think they'd struggle with the other top teams. I have watched the iteration of DW from a few years ago. "Solid" is what I'd call them. Also very tough-minded. They had the same approach as now - a bomb could go off on the ice and they'd doggedly continue as if it didn't happen.

      Sometimes I think that's not so great - as when Charlie wiped out about 4 times at Cup of Russia and Meryl kept on exactly as if it wasn't happening, everything as rehearsed. What if she'd been able to connect with Charlie, sync up their breathing and get themselves right again?

      The genius at this is Scott Moir who I think knows and can anticipate when Tessa's going to do ANYTHING, and if she does, he immediately says or acts to course correct. And as well can talk to her and look at her throughout the whole thing.

      Anyhow, digression, but what I saw was a solid team in their first senior year. They executed nice solid basics. They were fairly neat. They did have wobbles and hitches and stuck edges, mostly in transitions and turns - lots of small things. Not especially dynamic. Meryl could do a fairly simple transition with an isolated core (her arms and legs weren't doing much but her body definitely pivoted around her center without an egregious amount of grappling and wrangling from Charlie).

      It's the dust they kick up that has taken them to the top of the podium; it's the dust they kick up that has destroyed their technique because they simply can't do harder elements or complex lifts quickly and dynamically - actually I don't think they can do anything quickly and dynamically because otherwise why not do these more primitive elements neatly?

      It could be hand in glove - the slop actuallly reads "complex" to some people. And slop is turning into another way to skate - the "Wild Spirit" way. The more flail out there, the harder it is to see exactly what they're doing.

      Fast and flailing solves a lot of problems and it works for them. Clean and simple wouldn't. Sloppy and simply does. Sloppy looks like difficulty to a lot of people, apparantly. And again, to keep the distinction between sloppy and easy - they're doing both of those things. Easy things sloppily. If they did them neatly it would be easier to see they were simple.

  4. There's a poll on who is the best female ice dancer for the 12/13 season on FSU and naturally Tessa is winning. There's also a predictions thread over there and someone thought the USFSA still gives more importance to the US ladies than D/W. Some of these fans are delusional. You'd think it'd be obvious the USFSA is backing up D/W in politics.

    1. I'm actually surprised that Tessa's winning by that much. I thought the majority opinion over there was that D/W have tied if not surpassed V/M.

    2. Fsu has enough vm fans. It is golden skate where they wouldn't get a single vote

    3. If you have a fsu account go vote. tessa needs to be higher imo

    4. Some FSU members can't be that blind to think Meryl's better than Tessa. That's why Tessa's winning.

    5. tessa actually DANCES meryl just races around the rink.

    6. Meryl hops and skips, trots and walks around the rink, and is often pulled and yanked across the rink.

      This is not to say Charlie's better - his blades rock like a ship in heavy sea.

      I just looked at the first competed version of the 2010-2011 tango program. I wanted to verify my recollection that they were attempting to really do it - refine their technique.

      After looking at the NHK version of the tango, I have to modify that. They were attempting to tidy up and refine their lines, not their skating. The skating is the same. The attempt was ponderous, painful, and labored, particularly in the first part of the program. The only add on they were attempting technically was to try to do two actual skating things in a row - two of the same kind - rather than bracket every.single.thing. with some type of re-set - skipping, posing, leaping, sliding, trotting. IOW, and not with elements but with in betweens - they'd try to, on their actual skates, use their glide to go THIS way, and then change direction THAT way. Such as Meryl knee-sliding and coming to her feet to go in hold with Charlie, turn with Charlie THIS way, then briefly reverse direction and Charlie dips her.

      The dip was where Charlie later stumbled. They can't do it.

      All the parts where they did "this" and then changed to "that" along a different direction, however small, was ditched for their now current and familiar pattern of "skate/skip/skate/trot/skate/stop/skate/leap/skate/two-foot, with each "skate" piece describing only one direction (usually very short, and not even around a curve).

      And, going back to Notre Dame, I realize their big, highlight, "look ma, we're gliding!" showing off moment has them facing each other in a spiral position, gliding down center ice. It's key that they don't go around a curve on a glide, and they don't "glide around" a corner. It's just straight up travelng right to left across the rink, not altering their position (facing each other) and they do an edge change and then back again to create a little flowy move and that's it. It's as elementary as it can get but they show it off as if it's edge control central.

    7. Isn't that gliding move basically just a change edge spiral that many novice/junior/senior ladies of all level do, only not on particularly deep edges? And the ladies do it without holding on to someone else for stability, and with better extension and control. Meryl's position in that spiral would be considered terrible for a senior lady, because her leg is not above her hip. I'm not talking about this from a prettiness perspective - it's much harder to control your edge the further your leg is extended from your center of gravity.

      When I first saw that move, I thought they were both rocking back and forth on their edge. I did not realize that was supposed to be an intentional edge change. It's not smooth at all. Look at Michelle Kwan for how to do a change edge spiral with control. Even Sasha Cohen, who was never known for outstanding edge quality, was better at it than DW. Why are all these singles skaters showing better edge quality than the World Champion ice dancers? I thought ice dancing was supposed to show continuous movement and flow on ice, like one long footwork sequence.

    8. Yes, but it's all in the presentation. They're in the most basic position imaginable. There are not going around a curve or changing direction. They clasp arms, feet and torsos miles apart (I think they each put a hand on the other's head). They transcribe a straight fucking line lengthwise, down the rink like that, and the "highlight" is a tiny sway/change edge portion with an itty bitty curve. They present this - something that would be the choreographic highlight of a middling talented novice team - as the shit. And are rewarded for it.

      I just finished cutting up the first competitive outing of the tango. It's instructive because they're quite slow, due to attempts at line and a couple of quickly abandoned (by the second half of the program) doing more than one thing on an edge.

      Mother of God, no wonder they rush. Meryl stops and waits on Charlie I don't know how often. Meryl gets up from her knee and tip toes to get in hold with Charlie. Some of the non-skating kicking later on is a motherfucker.

      So what I'm going to do is run that, then run the "uh oh" competition (I think Skate Canada) where they weren't able to pull off "line" without tripping and losing it despite the basic skating being horrific, through to Worlds, where it was garbage in/garbage out, but back to the empty frenzy. The first World Champions from the U.S. And they don't, didn't, and apparently can't, skate.


    9. Come to think of it - I think W&P did that little change edge glide in the middle of their "Statue" twizzles as a transition.

      Meryl Charlie clear the decks, present it as a stand alone, make sure we get an eyeful, and it's meant to be the program highlight. Unreal.


  5. apparently, d/w are already mediawhoring it up and are doing olympic photoshoots while v/m slave away working on their SD and exhibitions

  6. V/M are getting trashed in the Russian press now by Elena Vaytsekhovskaya:

    A lot of non-sense about how they've declined technically (bullshit), that judges don't think that V/M can win next year, and they just want to see something "traditional" from them.

    So, yeah, it's all over with for Sochi. Lovely. It's all already been decided.

    1. ETA: In the other three disciplines, a "bad season" doesn't mean crap for the next year. In ice dance though, once they've decided a team is behind, that's it. They're never allowed back on top again. So, yeah, definitely all over with for V/M. I hope everyone really enjoyed that world title from Nice because that's the last major title and victory ever for V/M over D/W.

    2. Who is this Elena Vaytsekhovskaya person and why is her "opinion" important?

    3. She won an OGM in diving in 1976 and is considered to be one of Russia's best sports journalist.

      It sounds like to be the judges have declared that V/M have deteriorated technically. Since that's the line being given now, then V/M have no chance at all next season.

    4. I would pay serious money to know exactly what Krylova and Carmenlengo are thinking right now and what strategy they come up for their teams. As for this latest article,if the author is stating that the judges don't think they can win next year without even seeing the programs yet - well that says it all doesn't it. It's really too bad that the skating community is allowing this storyline of how V/M have declined technically...naturally Skate Canada should be all over this but of course Mr. Chan is their main concern and as usual there will be no push-back...
      Speaking of Chan - I still can't believe that he hasn't found a technical coach and personally in the end I think that he will suck the life out of the Detroit Skating Club. Yes don't get me wrong - he is a nice guy etc but I am not sure if Jeremy Abbott, Nathalie Pechelat, Fabien and some of the other skaters will like having Chan around if his start of the GP season is not strong. The Detroit Skating Club has been relatively low profile and now you add Chan to the two cents

    5. Another example of piss-poor journalism. She doesn't explain why they've supposedly deteriorated technically with concrete examples. Interestingly, she doesn't even mention D/W and how they've leap-frogged technically.

      She praises V/M artistically, whereas we were led to believe all season that D/W closed the gap artistically.

      And which "judging circles" is she referring to specifically? Worlds? COR? GPF? Again, no specifics.

    6. Just read it. She's actually not saying Tessa and Scott have declined technically. She says they lost the World Championship competition because they made some mistakes in that competition but that's basically a technicality. But she then brushes that aside to say that everybody knows Carmen was the program of the season and that VM's artistry, expression and everything else about them was out of this world - there are no questions. Let's all admit Carmen was of the gods.

      But what would really be nice is if people applied some actual scrutiny to what DW are doing on the ice and how they're getting their scores.

      I've said I was going to compare their technique to other skaters besides DW, and I will, but first I have to run their tango again - the first competitive outing of it at NHK, and line it up with one of the mid-season performances, and then worlds (which has already been gifed here, but some comparisons to NHK are in order).

      Their programs are junkyards. It is, IMO, absolutely scandalous how little skating they do. They can't sustain anything without falling down. And fine, if they had big, clean elements,but the elements are cheated and not a genuinely high level of difficulty.

      I'm reworking my hypothesis that they can skate and sustain solidly, just not at the frenzied pitch that allows them to get inflated scores. After looking at the early outing of the tango, where they're much more deliberate, all of their deficiencies are present. It is absolute junk.

      When they kick and flail around out there, apparently nobody, including the judges, actually knows what it is they're doing. IOW, I no longer think that the cheated technique and sloppiness and easier elements is the trade-off for speed. They have all of the above when they're skating slower.


    7. "naturally Skate Canada should be all over this but of course Mr. Chan is their main concern and as usual there will be no push-back..."

      I think Skate Canada does no push back to this kind of article because they're inherently incompetent. All of their top teams should be their "main concern." They can only focus on one skater at a time? That's BS. I think SC doesn't know how to push back efficiently, they don't know how to give equal and professional treatment to all top skaters simultaneously and they also don't really give a damn about VM like they did in the run-up to the Olympics. In keeping with their unprofessional and corrupt management, VM have been dumped in favor of other agendas.

      Isn't it interesting how Debbi is not all over VM now that Jessica is out of the picture. Not that this particular scheme was her only reason for fawning all over VM, but it was clearly part of the adhesive that kept her up their grill. And what do you know, Scott went and got himself a gf that can't be Debbi-controlled. Someone with no connection to SC, from home, and under the management of "the buddies." It turns out they can continue the same narrative after all without Debbi's help or interference. She can't even work at arranging a "reconciliation" with Jessica because of course, there's now a new romance for Scott. Idk, sometimes I think in this specific story-line, VM right now are more about making sure Debbi/SC can't control them than about sticking it to the fans. When the Jessica scheme was first introduced, I do think they thought it was protection from the fans. Now the driving motivation looks like it's coming from a different place. I'm very intrigued with how SC (or more specifically, Debbi) has thrown them under the bus while at the same time VM no longer need her services to aid and abet a sham.

      Unless some other credible source picks up the role of push-back on behalf of VM, these kinds of articles will continue making the rounds with no opposition.

    8. "She praises V/M artistically, whereas we were led to believe all season that D/W closed the gap artistically."

      Ikr. Even when an article praises VM's artistry, there's that underlying message that they're not all that anymore in technique (DW are better) and artistically, well, DW are so close, it's no wonder they were able to win.

      I want to see pushback on all of it. Not only the articles that are OTT biased (like the icenetwork propaganda articles for DW, using a dance 'expert' to say VM had bad lines and bad connection. Please). Even these articles that say good things about VM - some pushback on these assumptions re DW's mastery of technique is essential.

      The narratives have to be changed!!

      (Not that I know how to make that happen)

    9. She didn't say VM had declined technically. She said they "lost technically" - meaning, the reason they lost at Worlds 2013 were some technical mistakes. She seems to shrug that off in her praise for what they achieved with Carmen - the program itself and how it was skated.

      The problem with pushback is people don't bother to learn about skating. The reason DW can win in the media is the media doesn't know about skating. It's been going on for years.

      I recently read a 1999 article on well-to-do American parents sponsoring Russian guys to partner their daughters in ice dance. The reporter described a twizzle as "a step maneuver during a waltz."

      Look at Lynn Rutherford. She was conscripted to write glowing reports (second hand, I believe) of Tessa and Scott's 4CC's free dance practices at 4CCs. I think at the time ice network must have collaborated from time to time with Barb MacDonald. Rutherford didn't write like a skating reporter. She wrote like a tabloid journalist.

      Why? She doesn't know skating. She obviously loves a lot about the sport, but doesn't know the sport itself. She's thrilled Phil Vescey writes about figure skating because he's a mainstream sports reporter who likes figure skating well enough to insist his paper cover figure skating. But he doesn't like figure skating well enough to LEARN ANYTHING about figure skating or what is actually in the rulebook, and compare that to how something is executed, and whether the rulebook is being applied fairly.

      The way figure skating "journalists" write about figure skating is they rub elbows with a skater or coach at a bar or at the event, the coach or skater spews opinion and the journalist takes it as fact because they don't know anything. And haven't bothered.

      All the journalists who dismiss CoP as incomprehensible - why do they do that? So they don't have to read it!

      How can they report on a sport when they haven't bothered to learn the rules on the one hand, or understand what well-executed skating and skating elements look like, and why?

      Because this is a sport that has a lot of parasites, a lot of leaches, a lot of people who love the up close and personal access they get that isn't possible in other sports, you get tons of people thrilled to write about it but they write about it tabloid-style, not sports style.

      The narrative can't change if you don't know anything. The people writing the narrative are skating-ignorant. Skaters and coaches themselves act skating-ignorant - or put on a good show of it when they comment on skating for public consumption. It attracts THE WORST. The histrionic, the drama queens, the attention seekers, none of whom can get attention writing about any other sport but figure skating. Figure skating is the sport where you can make shit up and nobody cares.

      Skate Canada will not push back. First of all, incompetent. Second, arrogant. Third, who is minding the store at the moment?

      One has to wonder why suddenly Virtue and Moir won't allow themselves to be interviewed by Debbi Wilkes anymore - good for them but that's not going to motivate Debbi to push back, although what's shutting up Mike Slipchuk God only knows. He's always been able to explain why Chan is superior.

    10. Should be Phil "Hersch" - don't know why I keep giving him a new last name.

  7. Tessa and Scott are more than capable of getting the message out there that they're (still) not dating and Scott's now banging Cassandra, so I'm just not understanding why it's so difficult for them to control the narrative about their actual skating career.

    1. We can really see that it's much easier to get out a message about your personal life via select social media platforms then to blanket the media with claims of your sports superiority. They have Skate Canada. DW have the USFSA. They have whatever their management partners or agent set up is - DW have IMG. They have the Canadian media which includes Steve Milton and Rosie DiManno and Ryan Pyette, DW have Sports Illustrated and Phil Vescey - people who don't know figure skating either, but are taken as credible because they're credible in other sports.

      It's US versus Canada. That's the problem. In a media battle, the US is always going to win.

      Re the sham - when I saw a clip of the Moirs applauding, and Cassandra in the back, I saw someone who appeared to be Cassandra's mother standing next to Cassandra (Cassandra smoothed her hair as soon as she saw herself on the jumbotron). How the hell does Mom think this is going to get Cassandra out of the house and embarked on her dreams of being ... what?

      And I'm sorry, for those who know that Scott and Tessa are parents, to a real person with their own personality - to pretend Daddy has a girlfriend and to deny in public mommy and daddy are together remains vile. How likely is it that any child of theirs will NOT be sensitive? Is not already sensitive?

    2. The Canadian media and other SC officials (Slipchuk) seem able to get behind Chan and plaster the media with how he's the best. Even Scott was pushed to say how amazing Patrick Chan is in that radio interview he did just after Worlds. What the hell was that all about? Why can't anything similar be done for VM?

      The majority of the Hilborn clan seems...idk, fame hungry. Connor has certainly latched himself onto whatever stardom Cassandra has. Those two seem very eager to embark on a modeling career, of some variety. I don't think Mom cares one bit, as long as her babies are getting the attention they deserve.

      For Tessa and Scott to be the parents of a child who is now over two year old, all of this is beyond vile. Little Toddler Moir is going to be becoming more and more aware of what is going on around him/her. Even if on the off-chance Scott isn't the father of Tessa's child, Tessa comes across as a very disinterested mother. She's all about fashion and business and school and who even has time for child rearing these days?

      I'm sure they love their little one, I just seriously question the choices that they've made.

    3. Well, what's also gross is on twitter these conversations crop up about VM's personal lives. For example, just recently a couple of people - not usual suspects - were talking about how ironic it was that Tessa was also a homewrecker, that David cheated on Jamie with Tessa, and then Jamie retaliated with Craig, and married Craig. There were several repeats of Tessa homewrecking Sale & Pelletier and David's affair with her.

      These are people who heard rumors and filled in the blanks themselves, thinking they're being unsentimental and mature/sophisticated about things.

      Then on fsu one of the on-and-off regulars declared that if Tessa WAS pregnant, the father was David Pelletier and not Scott. This person, like everyone on fsu who claimed to know or have seen David/Tessa - is lying their ass off and being a dick. Likes to push buttons and bother VM ubers (although that is fading, people still like to think of VM fans as relationship obsessed and enjoy puncturing what they think is the balloon).

      I know from checking for things myself that the fsu archives go back many many many years. MANY years. So this person's "David is the father of Tessa's baby if she had one" is out there forever on the web. People casually discuss it on twitter like Pelletier/Tessa happened. And this rumor coincided precisely with her becoming a mom and being married to Scott.

      I personally believe that Tessa and Scott both decided to leave that rumor alone for awhile because it served their purposes. I don't think it came from them but it was like - voila, a sham we didn't even have to create ourselves!

      However, there was a very dogged, very very obsessed fan who to this day seems to believe it's true, who started plastering mainstream media with her claims about Pelletier and Virtue, and made a big showy deal of it everywhere on social media, even outside the skating conversation. She went to entertainment media as well as sports media. She was too loud.

      When somebody imposes themselves on a conversation in "legit" media the way this fan did, and it creates noise, the media has to investigate the noise. Behind that noise is the reality that Tessa and Scott are married. So before the mainstream et media had to acknowledge the rumors among fans that Tessa and David were having an affair - and how do they do that without busting open the fact many in the media already knew - that VM were married - Virtue and Moir came up with an elliptical way of saying that it wasn't true. So they did. But it was in response to the rumor threatening to go mainstream, and once it became part of the mainstream conversation, they risked exposure of their real status.

      Prior to that, I think the rumor served their purposes because Pelletier could have shown up anywhere, any time, with a woman not related to him, in roughly his age bracket or younger, and people would have jumped on her as his girlfriend - end of rumor. All it would have taken was a one off.

      There is no "off chance" that Scott isn't the father of Tessa's child. He IS the father of her child. There is no other man. He's her husband. They're parents together.

      And yes, it's extremely unsettling to listen to Tessa describe her life as skating and school. Nobody else you spend time with Tessa? Nothing else exciting in your life?

      I see the other Moir babies held up in the front row so the camera can see them at competitions. So the recognition of their existence in public means something. How do they have a different standard for their own kid, so as to edit their child out of the public record?

    4. I remember the Pelletier rumour being addressed only as a lead-in to an interview that happened, of course, during Tessa's pregnancy. Nothing was even said about it during the interview. It was weirdly thrown out there and then forgotten about.

      Charlotte was the real star of Worlds, being featured by PJ Kwong in a twitpic but Quinn got herself in there too. Shout-out from Uncle Scott and there they are, along with the girlfriend, on television after both dances. I think it's entirely possible that Scott and Tessa have been able to acknowledge their child in other ways but there's a huge part missing.

    5. "Even if on the off-chance Scott isn't the father of Tessa's child..."

      Not a chance that there's this "off chance." I've been following this story for years and either Scott and Tessa are indeed a couple off-ice with a child, or there's nothing and in that case Tessa's observed weight gain during 2010 is not related to pregnancy. I don't think there's any possibility of mixing up the elements of the two points of view. It's all or nothing. (I personally hold the view of couple with child. To me it's the only thing that makes sense.)

      "The majority of the Hilborn clan seems...idk, fame hungry. Connor has certainly latched himself onto whatever stardom Cassandra has. Those two seem very eager to embark on a modeling career, of some variety."

      This. I'm so not impressed with how Cassandra and her brother come across. But then again, Scott and Co. have proven they're geniuses at choosing these fake girlfriends for Scott. They went and did it again - a winner (Not!).

      Something I noticed in those clips of Cassandra sitting with the Moirs at Worlds. It's the same as when Jessica was placed there - a body language from the Moirs that definitely does not include her in their group. It's like some stranger that happened to sit next to some Moirs. Lol

      "We can really see that it's much easier to get out a message about your personal life via select social media platforms then to blanket the media with claims of your sports superiority"

      It is beyond annoying how easily they can promote anything they want about their personal lives, but the skating issues cannot be promoted.

    6. I wonder what the deal is with the body language.

      I think they're trying to straddle the line - she's the "girlfriend" but we don't want to play it up because it's on camera. We don't want us hugging and kissing her on camera because down the road, in this video she'll just be another face in the group. The video won't blow back at us that way.

      But then of course there's no consistency with how they observe the line. Photos are photos. If you want to do image messaging with photos and put them on the web, they are going to blow back at you.

      Twitter posts may expire but screen capture captures twitter posts for hard drives just as easily as it captures photos on the web.

    7. "Twitter posts may expire but screen capture captures twitter posts for hard drives just as easily as it captures photos on the web."

      Yep. And screen capture has kept all the years of idiotic sham posts, photos or otherwise, on hard drives forever. Including anything on the supposed restricted social media pages. What, they thought "private" friends wouldn't be capturing everything for posterity? Although of course, they do want the "private" stuff to get out there. It just looks like they totally ignored the "kept forever" aspect. When these things continue to show up years down the line I don't see how it is not damaging to their child.

      What was the purpose of including Cassandra's Mom this time? Does that sanitize or legitimize?

    8. "And yes, it's extremely unsettling to listen to Tessa describe her life as skating and school. Nobody else you spend time with Tessa? Nothing else exciting in your life?"

      Well, according to Worlds' articles, Tessa was such great friends with the Knights 2005 (?) team (but not Scott, only Tessa), that to this day she hangs out with these very dear friends. Of course, it was given to understand there might be one team member in particular she hangs with (or bangs). So I guess that's what else she is doing with her time. Motherhood? What's that?

      Just one more lovely tidbit about their personal lives that their child can look back on with great pride - when he/she was around 2 yrs old, mommy and daddy were screwing around with other people and they made sure the public knew all about it.

    9. I meant mommy and daddy were pretending to screw around. I don't at all believe they're actually with different SO's. But that's the public message that the child will encounter re this time in their competitive careers.

    10. I don't think there has been follow up on Pyette doing the drop on the Knights yet. We haven't had the follow up that she's friends with them to this day.

      Last year, Scott and Tessa pseudo-skyped with fans to talk about their planned extra day in Paris visiting sites that connected to their Funny Face program. They put the adorable on blast and somewhat uncharacteristically went on at such length about something that could have been summed up in a couple of sentences that you could see it was a sales job. You'd have to be an imbecile not to see we were being set up, shamwise, so of course the blog called it out and somehow those photos they wanted to tell us about were never shown to us.

      But a year later a photo of Scott "photographing" Jessica Dube in front of the Louvre surfaced. It's just wanting to win. Okay, they couldn't dump the spam on us as planned, because that would make the blog right. But they didn't want to act like they were admitting the blog or fans were right about the sham being a crappy thing to do either. So they waited a year and then dumped the photo. I guess figuring the "blog called it!" would be forgotten.

      So the Knights will pop up. But for the record, there has been no follow up so far to Pyette salting his puff pieces with the Tessa/Knights friendship as yet.

      This is the stuff they focus on instead of talking to people who might know figure skating and might be interested in explaining to the public that Virtue Moir actually are the best ice dancers out there by several leagues.

    11. "So the Knights will pop up. But for the record, there has been no follow up so far to Pyette salting his puff pieces with the Tessa/Knights friendship as yet."

      There will be follow up.

      When it comes to this sham,these people are the most determined, conniving liars. Thank you for that reminder of the pretense of adorable couple pictures around Paris. What a disgustingly malicious act they put on, and all to dump crap on the fans. They don't deserve all the love the fans pour on them.

      Meanwhile, there's a desperate need for the public to be educated as to why VM's skating is better than any other ice-dance team on the planet. And I say this as a fan who loves their skating but is done with all their moronic deceptiveness on social media and interviews.

    12. "Charlotte was the real star of Worlds, being featured by PJ Kwong in a twitpic but Quinn got herself in there too. Shout-out from Uncle Scott and there they are, along with the girlfriend, on television after both dances. I think it's entirely possible that Scott and Tessa have been able to acknowledge their child in other ways but there's a huge part missing."

      If one of my hunches is correct, they have been able to acknowledge their kid in some other ways, but it is true that there's a huge part missing. The covert acknoweldgement is better than nothing, but it's not the same as what everyone else is getting. The shout outs are about publically acknowledging someone as being part of things. It's that person's little piece of the bigger history. "Hey, there I was!" "There's mom and dad calling out to me on tv!"

      I just find there's something unsettling about not acknowledging your child's existance to the world. Private doesn't mean hidden or secret. I can't imagine how I'd feel if my parents had gone on record when I was a baby/small toddler and acted like they weren't married and I didn't exist.

      I know the child is small now and not aware of what's going on. But, the internet is forever and other kids can be cruel. As millions and millions of parents over the year will attest, you can't control what your child thinks or feels. Someday, that little one is going to be bigger and will go looking up things online, or its friends will. That child will someday see all the sham pics, and read and see the articles where mommy and daddy claim they're just friends. It's going to hurt. It's going to be unsettling. That sort of crap damages a kid.

    13. Even Downton Abbey knows the difference between "private" and "secret". It's basic. Scott, Tessa et al do not.

    14. The Moir family in particular appears to be very eager to time line "we were there!" for the public record. The two little girls are on camera. I don't think that's fame whoring- it's just so they can look back and see themselves.

      Scott and Tessa's kid ISN'T Scott and Tessa. Even though the child is being protected, this isn't their experience. It's Scott and Tessa's experience. It's not their achievement - it's Scott and Tessa's achievement. The way to connect your child is to acknowledge them and enable their participation. They're doing that for everyone else in the family - because everyone else in the family WANTS it.

      Even the Virtues, who keep a far lower profile, have had their time in the sun. This child of Scott and Tessa's is exiled.

      The child knows they're not the celebrity - or grows up knowing. The child knows it's the parents who are the famous ones. Just being their child isn't a counterweight to everything they're excluded from.

    15. "The child knows they're not the celebrity - or grows up knowing. The child knows it's the parents who are the famous ones. Just being their child isn't a counterweight to everything they're excluded from."

      Exactly. Just being Tessa and Scott's child doesn't make up for everything else. IMO, everything else, when it comes to their child, doesn't stop with just participation and acknowledgement as it applies to everyone else. It's the fundamental, universal act of a parent acknowledging their child's very existence. It's about a parent saying, "Yes, this one is mine."

      I know this child is known and acknowledged within their circle of family and friends, but there's still the matter of denying this child's existence in other venues. Children can be very sensitive. They have their own thoughts and feelings. V/M probably think they'll tell the little one that they did it to protect them, but kids have a way... Sure, the kid may buy it, but the kid may also be wondering all of the reasons why mommy and daddy pretended it didn't exist. Was there something wrong with me? Did they not love me? Were they not proud of me? Why did they talk about my cousins and not me? Did they like them better?

    16. Think of the amount of video of V/M that exists. Over how many years. What child has that? And not just of a parent, but both parents, TOGETHER. There may not be a child on the face of this earth with that kind and sheer volume of footage. Daria G-G perhaps. And then when the kid finally comes into existence....nothing.

    17. I don't think even Daria has that much footage just due to the time at which her parents where skating and the fact that fewer people had VCR's, etc.

      What Daria does have though is acknowledgement of her existance after her birth. I remember one fluff piece from one of the pro events when she was just a baby, showing Katia and Sergei at home with her. Another clip when she was a young toddler, showing Sergei carefully holding her and skimming her feet over the ice. A short snippet of video from CBS's coverage of the 1994 games showing young Daria watching along with her grandparents as G/G won their second OGM. These aren't long drawn out clips of her either--just brief little glimpses. Nonetheless, they mark that she was part of G/G's world when these things were happening. Toddler Moir has nothing like that on the public record. Sure, there's probably private video, but it's not the same.

  8. Meanwhile, DW are making sure to post cute, breezy pics of themselves on the town...

    Connection: It's all about where you go for lunch.

    1. they are trying too hard and its obvious lol

  9. "The immature part of the lift is the slinging her around him in the first place, most of all. Which is precisely how DW get into their lifts - slinging and fucking climbing. Yet Tracy Wilson at one competition used this lift to point out how this is where the Shibs' moves aren't as difficult. Mother of God. What lies they tell when DW skate."

    This is very interesting. So then this seems to put to rest any idea that the judges have been so blinded by DW's speed and waving hair and positive media that they truly thought they were seeing great skating.

    Doesn't this prove it's been based on politiks. A respected commentator has felt obligated to treat DW differently and call their skating good even when she knows she's seeing easy and sloppy execution.

    I think it's important to highlight this because I've seen comments assuming the judges have been just as blown away as DW's fans. No one should think the judges really don't know what good ice-dancing looks like or what the rule book says. It's been a cold and calculated move to keep VM down while at the same time affording DW every possible advantage in order for the scores to put them in first place.

    We know only the USFSA cares that DW are first, which makes me wonder what kinds of favors are being exchanged that will benefit the other federations that could care less about an American team. It's absolutely shameful that the commentators don't feel they have the freedom to call it like it is. And they call this a sport? I don't think so.

    1. Bringing this over from the poll at FSU, because this is all kinds of wrong.

      "And it goes back to my point (and others) that everyone is going to have a different opinion on what is best or what standards to use when determining who is the best dancer."

      NO, there is a standard, it's the many many pages of print the ISU puts out each year outlining the rules and scoring guidelines. It's like the sport thing never even cross half of these people's minds. (Oh, and this person's argument for Meryl can basically summed up as "she's as bad of a dancer as I am and I really like that, plus she looks like she's at a rave!"

    2. oops, sorry, meant to tack this on the end of the fsu-poll discussion

    3. I know. The part that this is a sport is ignored. The fucking standard is in the rules and scoring guidelines. That's how it works.

      And the remark is straight up stupid even if we're talking about dansesport. For fuck's sake, go out and LEARN. There actually is something called technique. There's a proper way to use your body based on how our bodies work. There are standards for dance.

      This fan, like many fans, refuses to understand the difference between the concept of "what I, personally, enjoy" and the existence of a standard. It's not the same.