Sunday, October 20, 2013

A few of my favorite things

Before I start gifing, may I mention that Tanith really needs to write an advice column explaining how one services one's live-in boyfriend from several hundred yards away. That's talent.

Here she is, with thanks to the person who transcribed for me:
These two are never satisfied. We know that about them by now. They are their own worst critics and biggest motivators, they know what they are capable of, and every single day in training, they're trying to find the new limit and break through it and create a new standard. And every single year, we see more and more from them. But this season, with this free dance, I truly believe it is the most detailed, complex choreography we have ever seen from them, and I had an interview with their coach, Marina Zoueva, earlier. She said this is the first time she's really seen them connected in their souls, through and through. It's something people said that Meryl and Charlie would never have, they'd never have the chemistry of a Virtue and Moir, and this program demonstrates that they are absolutely capable of connecting at a very deep level.
*
That's an actual headlock. What happened to Meryl poking her arm free? And what is supposed to be outstanding about this lift? Charlie's rocking blades?

Oh wait, I'm doing it wrong. I should follow Tanith's lead and describe them clutching each other as a feature. Not every partner can skate with the challenge of his partner's arms around his neck like a vise. Very difficult. Many skaters would asphyxiate.

It's probably cheating to show only the front half of this lift and leave out the brilliant rotational back end.  Here's screen caps.
 There's that sophistication the Canadians couldn't match.
It's about the nuances.
These are from the crappy Russian feed on youtube. If subsequently the fd has been uploaded in HD, I think the nuances are still pretty obvious in screen caps from a low quality video.
That's the headlock/rotational lift descent, and the two-footed figure skating clinic DW put on immediately following.
I think the other day someone said it was Meryl who couldn't dance. For God's sake, look at Charlie Giselle-ing it up up there. I didn't realize Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot were Persian. The entire free program is full of elementary inane shit like the above.

My take-away from Skate America is C/L - whom I like a lot - are a lock for the GPF because they're going to be placed ahead of the Shibs at every call during the GPS. The Shibs kicked DW ass in the competition.

P.S. - sort of curious upon what Tanith's "These two are never satisfied - they're their own worst critics" is based.

When have the criticized themselves? Where? How are we supposed to know this about them if they've never done it?
________________________
*Just not with each other.

114 comments:

  1. Ice dance is officially dead. The judges have killed it.

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    1. The ISU, skating federations and judges have killed it. And to think that this is the one discipline that had the potential to grow (the dance aspect). Please tell me what is being judged as dance - twizzles - jesus...I think by the end of the season, Tracey Wilson, the Carmenlengo/Krylova group including Shae Lynn Bourne, the Lauzons, Torvill & Dean and Platov will probably think what the fuck happened to our discipline. Jesus - even Massimo Scali must be wondering wth...

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    2. Christopher Dean has choreographed more than once for Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier. He can't be crying too hard about the sport's current state.

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    3. Well Dean has choreographed for Crone/Poirier. Thus the connection is with Carol Lane. Have we ever seen anything romantic with Paul Poirier - no. A choreographer works with what talent he has. And everyone has to earn a living. I'm not saying that I love Dean's work but I don't think you can totally judge a coach/choreographer just by whom they work with.

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    4. Have you seen the "Stairway to Heaven" program he choreographed for Emily Samuelson and Todd Gilles? It was a nightmare of choreographic pretension, which pretty describes most of Dean's work nowadays. He is a man whose choreography is stuck in the mid-1990s, it doesn't matter what team he's working with.

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    5. Touche anon at 1:48 pm - point well taken. Holycow I forgot about that program. Emily Samuelson - such a graceful skater. You also wonder why the USFSA never pushed hard to find her a partner...not to outshine Meryl Davis perhaps...

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    6. In 2010, people thought that SB would soon be surpassing DW. I know there was an injury, but I still find it awfully convenient that SB ended up splitting.

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    7. A nightmare of choreographic pretension is my opinion of Dean as well. He recycles and recycles and recycles and I don't think the stuff he recycles is worth it.

      Whenever I really get my Dean hate on, and I go look at him skate with Torvill, the hatred abates because that's what he was. A great skater. Deep knees for days, seamless flow, perfect unison with Torvill. I am definitely not totally on point with my ice dance history BUT I think one of the reasons they made a splash was that ironically, ice dance was very ballroom and he took it out of the ballroom and used a lot of genuinely modern movement (low center of gravity), used that movement to create sort of abstract but very theatrical programs, and thus launched the nightmare that ice dance became for a couple of decades in terms of moving away from dance rhythms in the free. Essentially what he does is my least favorite type of ice dance. But, looking back, he was a great skater and skated as one with Torvill in the free, in the pattern dances, in everything. They're iconic because of Bolero, but that was a perfect fit for Dean's talents. Bolero has never translated into Dean being a great choreographer. He has the temperment, charisma and personality for the role of great choreographer but IMO not the skill and talent. I thought Carol Lane's own program for Crone & Poirier in 2010 was better than the Eleanor Rigby the following year done by Dean.

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  2. "The Shibs kicked DW ass in the competition."

    Their SD is heavenly. Great speed, fantastic ice coverage, wonderful flow, deeep edges and strong blade drive. It's like they were made to skate foxtrots and quicksteps.

    I'm not crazy about all their lifts in their FD, but that program will grow and it takes everyone in the arena on a ride. At times I wasn't sure how they could hear their music, the crowd was whooping and cheering so loud. I imagine they'll get an even bigger reaction in Sochi, it could be epic. They both ooze natural musicality and watching them skate is like watching a knife through butter, but I've gotta say that Alex in particular kills it in that program. I agree that if they win gold in 2018 (and they'll have a great shot at it), they will be the first US team that's rightfully earned the Olympic ice dance crown.

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    1. Anon - at 12:59 pm - even though the Shibs may continue to 2018 - they are new upcoming skaters and I doubt that the USFSA will support them as much as DW. They will support Aldredge/Eaton and even then - what are the chances that the US get a second consecutive Olympic gold in ice dance...

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    2. You also have to wonder if the Shibs are going to be shut out of the GP final for C/L, will I/K be given a second Russian push over W/P and even Chock/Bates...let's see how the chess board looks like 3 GPs..

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    3. If they stay healthy, I see no reason why the Shibs wouldn't continue on to 2018. They're only 19 and 22. They also aren't new skaters by any stretch of the imagination. They have a world bronze medal under their belts and when D/W and V/M leave the Shibs will be the top team in Canton.

      The USFSA isn't going to need to support any of its future teams as much as it supports D/W because its up-and-coming junior teams (and the Shibs) can actually skate.

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    4. Precisely 1:56. There's a school in Maryland - the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy - that teaches its skaters to skate, to dance. www.wisa.us describes Wheaton as a major grass-roots ice dance school in the US. Just the little I've seen of their skaters, they show a sophistication DW would be challenged to duplicate now (barely exagerating).

      DW are going to end up being the outliers, give or take a Gilles/Poirier. A lot of what DW are able to get away with another team won't.

      The Shibs are huge crowd pleasers. The difference in the energy in the audience between the Shibs and DW was clear even watching on video. The campaign for DW seems to argue that audiences love them but I think the audience loves the Shibs. Audiences always love genuine musicality and DW lack it. Audiences loved A&P primarily because of timing (another way I'm saying musicality). They were great skaters too, of course, but nothing - not their taste in costumes, not some of their program concepts - could subdue their musicality. When you have it, the audience skates the program with you.

      It's also futile to forecast the hot skaters of the next quad. I don't think anybody saw a Sochi quad with a Duhamel team and a Moscovitch team among the top five pairs in the world. MTM got together in 09, Duhamel/Radford after Vancouver, when most would have expected Duhamel to hang it up. In Vancouver nobody saw Kaitlyn Osmond coming. In Vancouver the American "It" girl was Mirai Nagasu, not Gracie Gold. Volosozhar & Trankov didn't exist in Vancouver.

      I don't see any rationale whatsoever for the USFSA not to support the Shibs.

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    5. "DW are going to end up being the outliers, give or take a Gilles/Poirier. A lot of what DW are able to get away with another team won't."

      Couldn't agree with this more. I've read several assessments by people upset with D/W's rise to the top in which they've lamented it proves their type of skating is taking over the sport. I think that's incorrect.

      First of all, D/W aren't really skating. Secondly, in addition to the Shibs there are a great deal of up-and-coming teams including Paul/Islam and Edwards/Pang in Canada as well as a bevy of junior US teams (including Hawayek and Baker) who are able to actually dance on ice and are being well rewarded for it by the judges. D/W are definitely the outliers, not the norm.

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    6. How has D/W been allowed to "rise" to the top? I could understand if they hailed from a country where there is no depth in ice dancing, but obviously there is no lack of good ice dancers in the US. What is about D/W that the USFSA basically whored themselves out to when there are legit skaters they could be promoting? It really boggles the mind.

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    7. Anon at 6:32
      Looking back at DW's rise, you could say their undeserved markings began in juniors. Tessa and Scott have always been the true stars, the sublime skaters. DW as their training mates got into the top placements basically by riding VM's coattails. It's never been because they themselves were such great skaters they deserved those marks.

      I've asked your same question. What is going on behind the scenes vis a vis DW? This last quadrennial it's become OTT egregious but it's been there since at least their last year as juniors. Something/someone has been greasing wheels on their behalf for a long time. There is a true scandal of corruption surrounding all of this.

      It's unfortunate VM have created their own scandalous tangle with their handling of their private, personal status. That might be a bigger factor than we realize in the culture around them that cannot call out what's happening and DW's own team/media being able to take advantage of VM's need (which isn't a real need but they've blown it up to be considered a need) for secrecy.

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    8. I've often wondered if their secrets and lies have become a factor. During the Vancouver Olympic quad it was all very romantic, they were very young, they were stars-in-the-making who had the potential to bring gold to North America at a Canadian Olympics. As gross as the sham was back then, I think possibly Scott and Tessa got a lot of the benefit of the doubt as to their intentions.

      So I've speculated before that they've created a climate that can be exploited/repurposed for other agendas, such as promoting DW as the good people and more deserving, better skaters, that Virtue and Moir's reputation is unwarranted, and insinuating there's some type of corruption surrounding VM and their skating. For those who know that Tessa had recently had a child, Scott and Tessa's withdrawal from the 4CC 2011 free might have rubbed people the wrong way or at least planted a seed. Although they didn't really harm anybody, there was an arrogance to how that was set up - all the forceful declarations of intending to win - how in your face they were. That's not the gambit of a couple of starry-eyed kids. That's we hid a pregnancy from the public, now we want to put ourselves back on the scene in the same season we had the baby, and this is how we're going to do it. Maybe nothing wrong in itself but you're not going to think those two are green behind the ears after that. That took a LOT of nerve, in what some may think are a number of meanings of the expression.

      They get very belligerent when they lie, too, so they really were pretty aggressive in their attitude going into Worlds 2011. No, Meryl and Charlie have been great all season or any type of diplomatic nod to the fact that DW had competed all season while VM sat it out. Yes, VM are better and I now believe they deserved to win, but they could have managed the pr of that better, IMO.

      I do think the 4CC's interruption in 2013, and the reaction among some in skating, was very telling of an attitude shift. Anyone who knows Scott and Tessa knows they'd never interrupt a program because they thought they couldn't win. Anyone who knows skating knows that. People knew she didn't have another kid - she'd competed all year. So why was the reaction so hostile? It was as if people channeled hostility or judgment or attitude they'd acquired from other stuff and used the 4CC 2013 withdrawal as a channel to express it.

      Without some of VM's antics and choices in this quad, I think it would be very difficult to paint Meryl and Charlie as the saints and VM as the conniving Slytherin types. Over on ontd_skating, a bunch of participants think VM belong in Slytherin. I don't think that would have been the point of view a few years ago.

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  3. Oh Meryl, honey, you ARE boring...but not as boring as your skating:

    "I feel like I'm getting boring," White joked at the press conference. "I feel like I give the same answer every time: 'We were pleased with our skate today. It's still early in the season.'

    http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2013/10/19/63174368

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    1. I thought Meryl's last name was Davis?

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    2. Opps, typo...but nonetheless, a lame answer from Charlie. They're just gonna phone it in from this point on in the season.

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  4. "Before I start gifing, may I mention that Tanith really needs to write an advice column explaining how one services one's live-in boyfriend from several hundred yards away. That's talent."

    I had the same thought. That was some serious vocal fellating. It's fairly clear she's using her bully pulpit to try and offset any criticism of D/W she doesn't like rather than actually discussing their skating. Her fluffing has reached absolutely comical levels. She needs to learn how to dial it down to five.

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    1. This is one of the only sports where a commentator can pander to the presumed ignorance of both the public and the media, which is what Tanith does. TELL us they have a connection. TELL us this free dance is intricate and nuanced and complex, and if the audience is all WTF, it looks wide open to me, they'll just figure they don't get skating.

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    2. You've hit the nail on the head. No one know what they're seeing in ice dance, especially at the Olympics, and the ISU and IOC want to keep it that way. If you think Tanith was bad tonight, wait til you see what she does at the Olympics. She's been practicing using tapes of Scott and Sandra at the SLC Games to make sure she's got it right, in case any judges try any funny business.

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    3. @ 2:38, Plenty of people know what they're seeing in ice dance and understand Tanith is exaggerating to the point of absurdity. Also, she doesn't do commentary for NBC, which is the channel on which Americans will watch the Games.

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    4. I wonder if Tracey Wilson will be doing commentary for NBC in Sochi...I'm sure she's practicing biting her tongue.

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    5. On NBC today, Tracy Wilson was pretty complimentary of D/W's FD performance, though she avoided talking about the skating in anything but generalities and used a lot of diversion by taking about things like the program's storyline and theme as well as D/W's attack and attention to detail, etc. She's under contract with a network, like all the rest of them.

      It's clear she knows V/M are the superior team, and she tends to be more truthful about the differences between the two when she commentates during V/M and D/W's head-to-head match ups. But don't expect her not to compliment D/W at the Olympics. She will. What she won't do is sell the bullshit argument that V/M are a lesser team. She will rightfully stand up for their talent and explain to viewers why their skating is sublime.

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    6. As cartoonishly OTT as Tanith managed to be, she's still not in the class of a Scott Hamilton. I don't think the blog wil ever tire of remembering how Hamilton thought - TIMOTHY GOEBEL! - had beaten Alexei Yagudin in the lp at the 2002 Olympics. He thought Yagudin might have been third. This is, mind you, a male singles Olympic gold medalist commenting on men's singles in another Olympics. No excuses. Of course, everyone else calling the skate forecast a string of sixes and a walkover to gold, and they were correct.

      I've just finished watching Volosozhar/Trankov's free skate. If I've understood Eurosport properly, the best point total they ever got was 231 and here they got 237, first GP.

      It's an Olympic year. If DW had scored 6 points ahead of their best ever score the comments section would have rioted.

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    7. Yeah, inflation is going to run across the board. That's why I don't think the "D/W have scored higher than they did at Worlds last season!" holds much water. It was a given they'd be inflated, possibly to an egregious level, from the outset. They're almost near the scoring ceiling already and it's mid-October. There's not much higher they can go. That has the potential to backfire, and I swear I'm reading write-ups about D/W from this competition and not I'm clear if they're supposed to be satirical or not. The "they make winning look so effortless!" one is my favorite.

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    8. They could stop for pizza and still win!

      Why yes - yes. That is true. Ever wonder why?

      That article contained the usual skating-ignoramus example of - OMG, Charlie is in a besti squat while Meryl is UPSIDE DOWN.

      Lawd.

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    9. "@ 2:38, Plenty of people know what they're seeing in ice dance and understand Tanith is exaggerating to the point of absurdity. Also, she doesn't do commentary for NBC, which is the channel on which Americans will watch the Games."

      I will be shocked if Tanith isn't doing commentary at the Olympics. She might be paired with Tracy, if necessary. Tanith is a huge selling point for NBC. She's got just the look they're want to attract viewers and keep them on the screen. I expect Tanith's face to be all over prime time NBC skating coverage.

      As for the "plenty of people know what they're seeing in ice dance," I'd say the majority of them are outside of the US, which is practically the same as saying that they don't exist. The viewers that count, i.e., the ones that will be tuning into NBC's coverage, don't have a clue.

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    10. If she does commentary for NBC at the Olympics, Tracy Wilson will likely be paired with Tom Hammond again, not Tanith. NBC isn't going to hand a primetime Olympic slot to someone who has never commentated at an event of that size and scope.

      Also, there are just as many dumbass skating fans who incorrectly think they understand ice dance living outside of the US as there are in the US, and there are plenty of American ice dance fans who understand the reality of what they're seeing and that V/M are the superior team to D/W. As for non-regular viewers, they are the same the world over. They'll look to the commentators to tell them who is best and who isn't.

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    11. "They're almost near the scoring ceiling already and it's mid-October. There's not much higher they can go. That has the potential to backfire." This. Didn't this sort of happen with Die Fledermaus?

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    12. @ 5:19. Yes. All season long D/W were labeled as invincible and that a second world title was practically guaranteed. Their scores were in the stratosphere from the beginning, which in the end meant they had less room to grow them, and predictably, they went stale despite the best efforts of their pals in the media to prop them up at the end. Tanith and Sandra Bezic's Universal Sports commentary about D/W's Four Continents FD is a great example. As the program ended, both women claimed it looked like D/W hadn't even exerted that much energy and the program had been flawless, despite it having been a battle for them all the way through, Charlie being doubled over struggling to breathe, and Meryl looking to be in a bit of pain herself. It was an obvious attempt by those two in the booth to stop the bleeding. But by then it was clear the chickens were coming home to roost as V/M were on the upswing moving into the final month of the season.

      From the looks of things so far this season, it's possible something like that *could* happen again if the judges keep handing D/W such ridiculously stratospheric scores. Of course it might not, but it could. A lot of variables are always at play.

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    13. The one problem with this scenario is that if they score in the stratosphere all season but lose at the Olympics, the US commentators will scream about corruption just like they did in Salt Lake. No way does the IOC want to go through that again.

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    14. They can scream all they want. If another scandal erupts, the IOC might once again threaten to pull the entire sport out of the Olympics, and nobody wants that. American media bias has the potential to hurt its own skaters as much as it helps them and I'm betting the USFSA is fully aware of that. It has to pick its battles.

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    15. Think of the USFSA like members of the US Congress. They'll bitch and moan about the corruption of opposing party members, but at the end of the day they're as corrupt as those they're attacking and they will only go so far with their attacks. They know if they push too far, their constituents might try and blow the entire thing up. You can't bite the hand that feeds you, and the hands that feed the USFSA are the ISU and the IOC.

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    16. I'll add that SLC wasn't just another big scandal in figure skating. It was THE scandal that had the potential to kill the sport. The creation of the IJS wasn't an attempt to save face, it was an attempt to save the sport from its demise, because it had horribly embarrassed the IOC and hurt the image of the Olympic Games to the point where the message sent was "change or die."

      Everybody in the sport knows the IOC doesn't want another embarrassing brouhaha. Especially over ice dance, which is historically the most problematic discipline and which American figure skating fans care the least about (hardly anyone in the US knows who the hell Meryl and Charlie are, even now).

      If V/M defeat D/W in Sochi, even if they trailed them all year long, they'll be crowned repeat Olympic Champions. Meaning, they'll be earning their second gold. They won't be nobodies who the average Joe off the street will be told have no business standing on top of a podium. Plus, they aren't Russian, so Americans won't even be able to fall back on old Cold War biases to base their anger on.

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    17. Has Ice Network ever officially commented on why the heck they are paying Tanith as a so-called journalist to "critique" her boyfriend? I thought there should be such a thing as journalistic integrity? Being fair and impartial? (Yeah, right.) It would not be allowed in any other sport. And the USFSA wonders why it can't get taken seriously? The whole thing still blows my mind. And that's why I won't subscribe to ice network---I'm not going to pay to support such fraud.

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  5. A particularly stand-out moment for me is as they run, pick, and skid their way across nearly the length of the rink before their diagonal step sequence. They manage to grab hands a couple of times along the way, and at first I thought it was to give nod to the pretense that they are skating together, but on second glance, it also gives me the impression of Charlie hauling Meryl across the ice. Starting at about 3:16 in this version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55fe1e869cA

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  6. The DW ubers will be making their way here soon, they've already started trash talking the VM fans over over on fsu.

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    1. So what. Ignore them. They're trash talking because they want to wind those posters up and people take their bait.

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    2. I think they'll stay away from skating discussion here because the commenting is anon and they'll get their asses handed to them. They'll slink in here when a new sham photo is posted and they can get their rocks off about DW being the better people.

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    3. I've read some posters on the fsu thread bitching how the VM fans don't recognize how DW have improved, all their hard work - but there's never specificity. The swooning over the free dance uses the right words but never attaches them to a specific piece of skating. If the free dance is that difficult, that intricate, that fabulous an example of sublime skating - GIVE AN EXAMPLE. Point to a specific element. A transition. A segment.

      Haven't done it yet, and can do it all day with Virtue and Moir.

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    4. Agreed about the lack of specificity. They don't like it when you break down D/W's skating for them. And their defense is always "But they work so hard! They deserve it more!". If not, they might just go into detail about how Meryl is a princess or Charlie's magical wizard hair.

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    5. There is a group of D&W fans who obsess over everything V&M fans do and are too stupid to differentiate between different people. One person in the V&M thread makes a nasty remark and these particular fans will take that as an example of how V&M fans in general conduct themselves. The V&M fans at FSU give very detailed posts about actual technique and many seem to be very knowledgeable about IJS. But I guess if these particular D&W fans can't argue with the points many of the V&M fans are making, the only thing they can do is call them crazy and nasty with the hope that no one will take what they say seriously.

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    6. There are a couple of asshole V/M fans that post here regularly, so both sides have those who enjoy riling each other up.

      Fan wars. They're so stupid.

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  7. is that lift supposed to be a straighline or a curve lift? i cant tell because charlie's feet are always shaking

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    1. i mean honestly nothing much has improved since slc
      http://oi41.tinypic.com/28r2ssp.jpg

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    2. You could REALLY see his feet shaking.

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    3. its absolutely criminal that they got high lvls and goe for that lift.

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  8. The ice dancer of the Eurotrash commentary team loves the backpack liftt. Good lord.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6EZJxeLATw

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  9. If Davis/White are *still* going to try and use some fake chemistry as a selling point, Tessa and Scott should go out there and just chemistry up the joint. Use what obviously comes naturally to them instead of trying to hide it. Not that that will win them anything but if it shuts up this notion that D/W have comparable chemistry, I'm all for it.

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    1. Trying to hide it? I'm not sure what you are talking about? Tessa and Scott have never skated a program in their life in which their connection and chemistry haven't been crucial components, and that includes both their programs this season. In other words, they cannot separate those two things from their programs. They make up the very basis of what they do out there on the ice.

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    2. I meant more that they try to hide it in their dealings with each other off the ice. They do the polite kiss on the cheek thing in the kiss and cry but usually on camera, they otherwise ignore each other. I'm not saying they need to start making out in the kiss and cry but they could show a bit more emotion toward each other.

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    3. V/M don't try to hide much of anything. They are constantly acting like the married couple they are, believing they can get away with it because their "official storyline" makes the claim they aren't together, and all they have to do is throw that out there via the media and upload a few sham photos and a lot of fans take the bait. Meanwhile, V/M go home to their child each night while some people continue to buy the "Scott has a girlfriend" bill of goods they're being sold.

      I also don't think they "ignore each other" in the K&C. They know when they're on camera, and sometimes they play things up, whereas other times they don't and focus on their scores and discussions with their coaches. Speaking of, whoever shot video of V/M watching the men's FD at Finlandia (which I think is kind of weird, film the skaters on the ice, not in the stands?) - it seemed pretty clear V/M were aware they being filmed. At a couple of points Tessa looked directly at the camera. But even if they hadn't known, they're always aware everyone is watching them when they're at competitions, and they will act accordingly depending on whatever they feel that should mean that particular day.

      Anyway, all of the "D/W have amazing chemistry" is in reference to how they're skating on the ice. I don't see how V/M doing anything off the ice would have any impact on D/W's on-ice storyline.

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    4. 'Amazing chemistry'. *snicker* I had so much secondhand embarrassment when they debuted NDP last season with the lovey-dovey schtick that they couldn't pull off at all.

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  10. In the SA Ladies LP thread, somebody said that Meryl had a "long-limbed, delicate ballerina build" (I think in comparison to Wagner). Lines (or lack thereof) aside, I'd like to see any artistic director of a ballet company say that Davis fit their criteria of 'ballerina build'.

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    1. To be fair, does Tessa have that build? She's certainly longer limbed but she'd probably be considered too heavy. Her overall body shape has changed since she had a baby. She looks fabulous though.

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    2. Tessa too heavy? In person, she's actually very small.

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    3. Every ballet director is different in what s/he considers the proper build, I think. But for the most part, yes. Tessa has what would be considered a ballet build. Broad shoulders, long arms, beautiful neck, a dancer's back, powerful legs, etc.

      I think having a build is different than heavy vs. not heavy, or whatever, though Tessa is in no way heavy. She is in amazing shape, probably better than she's ever been before. She has fantastic muscle tone and carries it very well.

      Meryl and Tessa's bodies are completely different. I think Meryl could stand to gain some weight, but I don't assume she's unhealthy either.

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    4. wtf wagner has prettier lines than meryl. meryl can take any sort of choreo and make it look ugly because she hasn't gotten the proper dance training.

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    5. To echo anon@9:35, yes, every director has his/her own ideas about build. Tessa might not be suitable for a company like, say, the Mariinsky. But other ballet companies which employs dancers with more variations in build/shape would definitely consider her.

      I really don't get why Meryl doesn't have better lines than she does at present. She's been skating with Charlie for, what, a decade or more? Even if she doesn't have natural flexibility or turnout, these things could be worked upon and improved.

      Nevermind. She's probably not bothered because the judges are scoring D/W like crazy . She has no incentive to work harder on lines and actual dance.

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    6. 10:24 Didn't D/W say they don't care for ballet or somewhere along those lines?

      And Tessa also did gymnastics when she was younger. I too love how she carries her body. Her neck and torso are always in position.

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    7. Not long ago I actually googled photos of some high profile ballerinas and the silhouette is not as ethereal as I'd assumed it was. Long limbs, broad shoulders and a more athletic build versus a wraithlike build is more common that I'd pre-supposed. Tessa's build and what appears to be her current weight is in line with these dancers.

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    8. I think the issues about weight/build/diet etc in dance still exist, but I also think that people are more aware of them now. People will try to avoid letting women today face Gelsey Kirkland's fate. More athletic build makes sense, considering the very high technical demands of ballets today. Ballerinas not only dance classical and Romantic roles, they're also expected to dance modern/contemporary. There are still a few companies/directors who prefer the 'ethereal' look, but Tessa would fit right in with most.

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  11. Why can't Tanith tell us exactly how this choreography is difficult?

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    1. And be called out for how actually false that 'difficult' claim is? Not a chance.

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  12. I really like D&W and enjoy parts of this program, but i cannot ignore that they are skating miles apart and are mostly in hand-to-hand holds throughout the program, nor can i ignore the lack of edge use. They rarely hold edges. How can anyone justify the riiculously high score this FD was given?

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    1. They can't, really. It's why everyone is going ape shit gaga over the top about the program in the press. A 112 for this program AT ALL is asinine, but ESPECIALLY SO in October. What are their hardline supporters supposed to do? Question those scores? They can't do that, it will open them up to pressure to explain *why* those scores are too high, doing that would require them to actually scrutinize the program, and they don't want to open that Pandora's Box. So all they can do is congregate in an echo chamber and fluff D/W to the point of insanity. They're so ridiculous right now the jokes are practically writing themselves.

      We'll have to wait and see what scores V/M pull in at SC, of course. I assume everyone will be scored higher, earlier during an Olympic season. But looking at D/W's PCS marks - they are already near the ceiling. And scores like that - especially so early - have the serious potential to backfire down the line. This isn't the pre-SLC scandal era anymore. I think too many people around here assume the game can be easily rigged year-after-year without repercussions, and I don't believe that is the case. Plus, V/M are a lot better at playing the game themselves than a lot of people give them credit for.

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    2. Somehow, the judges have actually managed to box in the American figure skating press, almost all of whom (predictably) would like to see D/W win an Olympic gold medal. The irony is rich. The higher they score D/W, especially early, the more ridiculous the situation becomes. But the press can't challenge those scores, they have to defend them. So they all look like clowns right now, FALLING OVER THEMSELVES to praise D/W and their programs, making claims like "they could have stopped to take a pizza break and still won this competition with ease!" and what not. Tanith is blathering on about Marina saying something about D/W being connected in their souls (who knows what Marina actually said or whether Tanith is taking a quote way out of context and using it anyway she sees fit) and flat out slamming other skaters' work on the ice for no other reason than to further push the assessment that her boyfriend and his partner have met every criticism thrown their way.

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    3. But it is disconcerting when the commentators on CBC and Eurosport are only heaping praise on them, and completely ignore the obvious issues they had in the SD and the deficiencies that are still present in their skating. They looked slow in the middle section and their blades just don't have that run that we are so accustomed to seeing from top teams of the past. They just don't dig in to the ice to deliver those powerful strokes--sadly, I am realizing that this is why they look so light. And they are very stiff when they dance, especially Charlie. This is why people think they have control--they are tight. Don't get me wrong, they are very talented, but these are issues worth noting, especially when other teams do manage to do these things. Look at P&B, for instance. Their edges are so powerful and clean, they skate close together, and are really good dancers. And a number of people have already talked about the many wonderful qualities of the Shibutanis.

      V&M are one of the all-time great teams--I don't know how anyone can dispute that. They should have a cushion but they are being treated as inferior to D&W? In all my years of watching ice dance, I have never seen such ludicrous judging. It is disgusting.

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    4. At this point praise is to be expected from the television commentators, at least to a point. I haven't heard the CBC commentary, but Kurt Browning always makes generic comments about D/W. Today on NBC, Tracy Wilson provided very generic praise of them as well. The Eurosport guys are usually split. One really loves V/M and the other D/W, but they never provide much criticism of either team, choosing to run with the argument that they're equals and what not.

      It's not necessarily the praise that's so outlandish coming from TV commentators (though Tanith is hitting new levels of ridiculousness), it's the cutting down of V/M in the written press and via social media. That's where they've been attacked and incorrectly said to have regressed in their skating, which is ludicrous. It's completely made up and passed off as true.

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    5. Tracy's comments may have been generic, but they were the most OTT out of sync with what was happening comments I've ever heard from her. She said less praise of D/W at Worlds then she did here, and this was a much weaker skate (relative to them) with an equal score.

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    6. She used a lot of diversionary comments throughout as well, though. But yes, her voice had a more excitable tone at points during the performance, though she still only spoke in large generalities.

      I don't think people should expect to hear anything less from television commentators this season. It's an Olympic year and especially on NBC yesterday, there were fluff pieces and lots of little drop-ins of skaters talking about their desires to compete in Sochi and everything that meant to them. The intent is to try and get viewers as excited as possible about the skaters heading into the Games. All of it was overkill in comparison to their coverage of that GP in past seasons, Tracy's commentary included.

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    7. 10:54, can you elaborate about V&M being better at the game than we give them credit for? I want to believe you're correct about the rigging, but I can't remember any judging scandal ever being perceived where an American won. People were unhappy about Lipinski and Lysacek, but the validity of those wins wasn't really questioned. What usually happened was some quiet after the fact rule changing. They set an age limit for senior ladies to prevent another Lipinski (Hughes was grandfathered in) and made the quad worth more points.

      If DW win I don't think it will be recognized as the scandal it would be (the scandal that already exists with their being two time world champions). There will be some sotto voce whispering about changes. They'll probably remove the "dance" hop as a criteria for level 4 twizzles and encourage the judges to begin marking based on skating skills again. Maybe start giving bonuses for changing your elements once in a while. It will be too late by then of course.

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    8. >>I really like D&W and enjoy parts of this program, but i cannot ignore that they are skating miles apart and are mostly in hand-to-hand holds throughout the program, nor can i ignore the lack of edge use. They rarely hold edges. How can anyone justify the riiculously high score this FD was given?
      <<

      Because they nail the elements, supposedly, so let's look at the elements.

      The twizzles barely cover ice and the second slows markedly. They certainly don't earn GOE for an exit on a sustained edge and for doing the twizzles in the style of the music - or do they?

      In the lifts Meryl is slung onto Charlie or he literally bends over, they grab each other around each other's torsos and he hoists her up. Even the Shibutanis are progressing from entrance where the woman is simply flipped over the guy's back. Meryl glides up to Charlie, they bend over and clutch each other's torsos and shoulders. Once in position the clutching and torso pasting continues. Meryl is unable to control her lower body when she exits, and they immediately commence two-footing it when they're down from the lift. How are either of these class of the field elements or class of the field element execution?

      In addition, there is a great deal of choreographed two-footed gliding and dragging.

      I also expect things like the dance hop to be removed, and maybe some modifications as to what constitutes a difficult entrance and exit from a lift - more specificity about how the two are sustaining position in the lift. But not til after DW are retired.

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  13. if d/w win the olympics they will be as hated as lysachek. imo we should create a petition if they do win

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  14. TESSA AND SCOTT. http://stream1.corusent.com/TV/wnetwork/Tessa&Scott%20_WNetwork_Trailer.mov

    If Tessa had a boyfriend?

    I don't know why I expected them not to be 100% gross.

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    1. Can't see it now - got the idea it was awful though. What is the context and what does the trailer say?

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    2. P.S. - perhaps fans should never have gone "pfft - this is going to be another Ice, Sweat and Tears." anything like that is like daring Moirville to be disgusting and they always come through.

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    3. The standard "unique relationship" and my favorite from Scott, Tessa's husband and father of their wee toddler daughter: "If Tessa had a boyfriend, the guy better be really good to her or else he's in trouble."

      It's accompanied by scenes of Tessa and Scott at carnival, in a pool, and Tessa crying on the phone.

      There's also this press release: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1245887/w-network-launches-highly-anticipated-series-tessa-scott-following-canada-s-figure-skating-sweethearts

      The following bit is included: " Audiences will meet Tessa and Scott's close friends and family and witness the thrilling highs and devastating lows of their incredible journey as they strive to fulfill their dream."

      "P.S. - perhaps fans should never have gone "pfft - this is going to be another Ice, Sweat and Tears." anything like that is like daring Moirville to be disgusting and they always come through."

      BWAH! So very true. This documentary is going to be a disaster. Nothing like hoaxing the public, denying your child's existence, and setting said child up for years of therapy and mistrust in one fell swoop.

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    4. Trainwreck and contrived drama - great...

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    5. What a wonderful bunch of wannabe oligarchs that family has become. They're like the mob. I wonder how their reputation is doing in London and Ilderton. This sort of thing hits a whole lot of buttons. The fact that they share a child and this is a record they're leaving is one. Yes, people will judge that, and rightly, IMO, and a component is, they'll judge the egocentricity of people who want to play lying games at this level to where the child's best interest is subordinate or rationalized in an insular environment that deliberately ignores any possible blowback on the kid down the line. That sort of self-serving isn't every day. There's the fact that the Moirs run the ISC and are the biggest name in town, and this sort of shows their opinion of themselves and that status - not too much humility. And there's flat out hoaxing the public, which on its own, child or no child, is appalling at this level and not something everybody will get on board with. They're representing themselves as the best of Canada, as examples of small town values, as what Ilderton is about, and this is how they're doing it, and I can imagine that gold medal or no gold medal, there's a low hum there that might get louder after Sochi about exactly how the Moirs took it upon themselves to trash Ilderton's image.

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    6. You know what bugs is that Worlds was given to London, Ontario based on V/M. The Moirs got their name out there and played host. That should have been enough. Now this...as we said before..yes you supported VM but you are not the story...sorry for the rant but there are plenty of families/communities that have supported local talent...

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    7. But a lot of those communities/families aren't in the skating business. It's been more than obvious that Scott and Tessa's family and community intends to ride that pony til it collapses underneath them - and last season it very nearly did. That didn't stop Moirville or cause them to pull back, and it didn't stop Scott. The two of them can't put together two clean programs last season or this season so far in an environment looking for an excuse to keep them second, but they can spare the time to hustle the public that only wants them to skate well and win. They're great skaters but this agenda shows so much hubris it's setting up to blow up on them in the rink.

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    8. I also wonder how the non-Moirville residents of Ilderton and London feel about all of this. I certainly wouldn't want my town to be known for this sort of public hoax.

      "The two of them can't put together two clean programs last season or this season so far in an environment looking for an excuse to keep them second, but they can spare the time to hustle the public that only wants them to skate well and win. They're great skaters but this agenda shows so much hubris it's setting up to blow up on them in the rink."

      This. This is yet another thing I get terribly angry about with them when it comes to all of this with the sham. This is now bleeding over into the rink and their skating. This is taking their focus off their skating and as a fan of their skating, it's aggravating to no end. It's like at this point, everything--including their skating and their child--have been thrown under a bus for Moirville. It's disgusting.

      The fact that they can't seem to focus properly on skating and competing for this sort of makes me want to pull for PB to have some sort of DelSchoes type miracle competition in Sochi. They seem plenty dedicated to and focused on their Olympic effort rather than promoting their gross set of family and friends.

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    9. 1:23 again.

      Seriously, what kind of values exist in Moirville that they think it's ok to push a little kid out of the way for 15 minutes of fame?

      I also wonder how that child is going to feel once she's old enough to really get that this documentary was touted as a look at a special time in her parents lives, and she's not included in that? How is she going to feel when it's her similar-aged cousins who had the public recognition, not her? Is she going to think Daddy didn't love her as much as her cousins or didn't think she was beautiful? I'm sure she'll be told otherwise, but how is that kid going to know what to trust and believe?

      When it comes to the public, it's one thing to keep things private. It's another thing altogether to outright lie and make up crap and then put it on national tv for everyone to see.

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    10. OC - this wouldn't be so bad if it was aired after the Olympics - but to have it air during the month of January/February - wow - why would you want more attention focused on meeting the family/friends rather the actual skating itself. It's kind of like when a boxer prepares for a big fight - focus on the training and less on the trash talk...this documentary is not for VMs personal memories or family...this is for $$$ and Ilderton...and I have a hard time believing that the filming of this so-called documentary is not at all interfering in their training...We know VM know when they are being filmed in an arena and Scott in particular is aware and looks annoyed...Scott said that he felt overwhelmed at having to basically greet everyone at least year's Worlds...no pictures of them off-ice from CSOI - until the end - and just of Tessa...and Tessa has always played it close to the vest...so when this thing airs and Nationals come around - will the questions from reporters be about the skating or let us guess the documentary...again it's about the skating that we care about...dammit

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    11. Well, in several of their public appearances Scott and Tessa have each carried themselves as if they have a stick up their back ends (in the stands at Finlandia, a bit in the Kiss'n'Cry in Quebec) - neither one is a good actor off ice or even a decent actor off ice. They both get stiff. So that's another great element to add to this season. ACT you guys. They used to just carry on as they pleased, network cameras or no, fans or no, but now they are acting for their own cameras, and as they suck at it, we get stick up the back end Scott and Tessa. Why not. They're magical godlike types. They can up the ante and up it and up it and it will never ever come back and get them.

      Lying as in denial or mildly shamming is one thing, making an industry out of your lies and hoaxing is different. Going out there to seek and audience for your lying product is different.

      Furthermore, nobody elected the Moirs to anything in Ilderton, even if the politicians are their boot lickers, so for them to be the self-annointed representatives of Ilderton and the skating part of London, and to do it THIS way, corrupting the impression outsiders will have of the character of the place, is arrogant in the extreme but what else is new.

      It was obvious to anyone that Worlds in London last year, no matter how much cheese Scott and Tessa eat on camera, was pressure. That's the fishbowl - not the public. The community, the venue and everywhere else crawling with people who want a piece of them and think they know them and put their expectations on them - oh you're going to win! You're champions!

      There was already obvious tremendous pressure to retain their world title, especially considering some of the trash talk in the media about 2012. And big pressure to win in London.

      What do the Moirs do? Big foot stomp all of that and prioritize their yellow sweatshirts. That's where they flexed their muscle. Buy the sweatshirts!

      So tone deaf - deliberately so. Then when things went badly in the sd and the fd, cry. Of course. Cry. Tremble those lower lips and dab the eyes.

      They come off like a bunch of grandiose alcoholics who are big talkers and bullies after four drinks and sobbing sloppy messes after seven.

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    12. Me again at 1:43 pm - I am wondering has there been a precedence of an athlete displaying their personal lives before an Olympic Games...did HBO or Espn ask Michael Phelps / Ryan Lochte hey let's follow you 24/7 before London....and air it before the games..no...this so called documentary is purely for entertainment purposes and takes away from the skating...

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    13. The skating is simply the vehicle to feed the ravenous maws in Moirville. They're not doing this to share anything with us. This isn't about the skating - obviously. It's not about sharing something with us. It's almost ironic that Moirville is this desperate for attention from a public they spit on every day.

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    14. Torvill & Dean did a documentary going into Lillehammar. They did not end up with their second OGM, just like V&M won't.

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    15. Torvill and Dean were also in their mid-30's and 10-years-removed from their last competition. What TD did would be like VM coming back for the 2026 games.

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    16. Yes - we are the crazyfans...insert sarcasm...no folks we are being played...again and again...even if there is no sham...the way this is being promoted just cheapens the product (ie VM)...I don't even want to think what Paul McIntosh is going to think...this is almost as bad as Patrick Chan not having a technical coach...Barbara Ann Scott would be so rolling her eyes at this...

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    17. And let me guess after the Olympics and/or Worlds - will there be a special round table aka the TSN/CTV post 2010 Olympic victory with family to discuss what happened.....so once again before a competition instead of talking about skating...this little preview comes out...pr fail..So Scott and Tessa didn't do summer shows because they wanted more preparation time cuz you win the Olympics in the spring and summer months...but yet we have time to film this..it's just sends the wrong message...

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  15. So I'm guessing no interviews of previous coaches, trainers, choreographers etc...so this is the angle the producers have gone with...well alrighty...

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    1. Me, I'm looking forward to the sobbing parts. They're such a bunch of control freaks. It's really a turn off when people who share a genuine bond, like Scott and Tessa do, simultaneously are acutely aware of it as a commodity and try to figure out how to work people over with it.

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    2. So is Scott now going on legit-media record as having a girlfriend?

      In the last Olympic season, 2009-2010, it was difficult to imagine they could be more dishonest and inappropriate when it came to how they presented themselves on social media. Incredibly, they will be worse because now it's an official documentation of all their lies and really gross behaviour.

      I can't believe they will actually get away with this level of hoaxing the public.

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    3. "So is Scott now going on legit-media record as having a girlfriend?"

      That's one of my big questions as well. In the past, I never thought they'd go that far, but I have to reconsider my position on that. I wouldn't put anything past them as this seems to be more important than anything else in the world to them, child included.

      I'd hoped that all of this would come out post-Sochi, but I'm now sharing your disbelief that they're going to get away with this sort of hoax. It's disgusting.

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    4. The way they've been upping the ante, you think they're going to turn around and reveal? They've had every opportunity, including times some of those around them understood they'd reveal, and they punked out every time. This is their comfort zone. As this is the Olympic season, and their final Olympic season, it seems they're going to use it to show just how above the law, so to speak, they consider themselves, and take it to levels they shied away from before when they still had to live amongst common people in the skating world and occasionally encounter the public without a filter. Now they can go for broke and show what they're really made of.

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    5. P.S. - as to the "hoax" being exposed, figure skating is a marginal sport. Those in the skating media have known about Scott and Tessa for years and have enabled it - they'll make up shit and spin it like they make up shit and spin it about the skating. Regular media will just write what its told, like they do when it's skating. There's no reality principle in this sport, on or off the ice.

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    6. 1:37 again.

      Well, I'll put it this way. I had thought at one time that they'd reveal after Sochi. I fully admit that it's not a thought that's crossed my mind in quite awhile though. Hoping for them to do the right thing is clearly futile.

      Maybe the kid will be resistant to programming attempts from her parents and Moirville and grow up to write a tell-all.

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    7. "So is Scott now going on legit-media record as having a girlfriend?"

      He had to, unless he wants everyone to think he's gay.

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  16. Very progressive of Scott to let Tessa have a boyfriend/open marriage! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Will we get some crotch grabbing shots? LOL.

    Good think every time I feel down about their chances they put out shit like this to make me not feel so bad for them.

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    1. "Good think every time I feel down about their chances they put out shit like this to make me not feel so bad for them."

      I totally agree...thanks Scott and Tessa !

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    2. Skate Canada is here, the fans have been very busy discussing the skating and looking forward to the skating. And what do VM do on the eve of their first GP event?

      First, have Cassandra post as her profile picture the most disgusting grotesque picture they have shown so far. The fans ignored it and continued talking about the skating.

      Hmm - the sham picture didn't work in derailing the conversation. Because really, who wants the fans focused on skating when it's a skating event. Lame. There's a fake private life to promote. Brilliant idea! Release a trailer of their upcoming documentary they're working on for the sake of posterity. Really make sure the fans turn their attention away from the skating and give them a sampling of the ugly coming their way.

      Thanks Tessa and Scott.

      I keep losing respect for you. You've done your job well.

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    3. I hear with you with the losing respect for VM.

      The funny thing is about this promo is that there were only maybe 6-7 posts on the subject then everyone went back to discussing the skating. I think the fans are more focused on skating than VM right now.

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    4. I hate to say it but I agree. I bet their preparations for Skate Canada have more to do with concern about where to hide their child and where Cassandra is going to sit, from what angle they'll take her and Scott's picture, and how provocative their pose will be. And given Scott's comment about Tessa's potential boyfriend I wouldn't be too surprised if they started throwing hints about a new guy in her life.

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    5. It's like the facebook photo switch - Ohhhh, Skate Canada is coming so we have to facebook it up and let's use the bad picture!

      They're a great advertisement for life in London and Ilderton. Even if you have money and are in your mid-twenties - let alone your fucking fifites - your lives are useless. This is what they do for entertainment. It's like a fix for them.

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  17. Re: Scott's verbal gymnastics - Tessa doesn't have a boyfriend. She has a husband.

    When are we going to get another promised Photo of the Month? Last updated: November 2012. It's weird that their website almost buries the fact that they are Olympic Gold Medalists. It's nowhere on the home page. If you stumbled across their page, you would never know that they are Olympic Champions. Look at any other champion skater's website, and their Olympic accolades are prominently displayed. This is just bad marketing.

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    1. They are so far up their own asses they have rectal blindness, that's the only explanation.

      Scott does try to equivocate so when you parse what he's said, he's said nothing or snuck something in there, but it's usually a fail. Trade places to have a beautiful daughter. If I'm ever in a relationship I usually - that doesn't even scan. It should be WHEN I'm in a relationship or when I have been in one, not if ever I am (which is hypothetical or some day-ing it), followed by what he usually does - but you don't usually do something in a hypothetical situation or a situation that hasn't yet occurred.

      Same here. He's not the partner threatening - if she HAS a boyfriend (unbeknownst to me, if Tessa has a boyfriend, he better treat her right!). He's saying if Tessa had a boyfriend (hypothetical), the guy better be good to her (present tense). He's a train wreck. But they look pretty comfortable lying here. It's second nature. They're not as attractive as they used to be, IMO, as personalities, because that tends to happen when you full of shit it years on end to where it's sort of, yep, that's us and we don't care.

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    2. But I mean - the web page. We're pretty past that one aren't we? Wasn't it a year ago Scott told us on his fan page to keep an eye on his web page because the new season was right around the corner and it would have the latest? What comes out of their mouths - it's got no connection to meaning at all. They say what they want. The only point is it's lies. Then they also turn around and brag how we don't know them.

      Dudes, we know you. Seriously, we do. We know plenty. You've shown us for years.

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  18. LOL. One of D&W's fans said that "there's no way A&P even at their best could compete with any of the top teams today, much less Meryl & Charlie." I swear it's new levels of delusion every time I read that thread. The funniest thing is that the person used this in trying to prove D&W fans were the more respectful ones (the person thought it was incredibly insulting to D&W that anyone would compare them to A&P). LOL, that thread is always good for a laugh.

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    1. OC, I would love it if you could devote an entire post to the crazy shit in that thread--we could use the comic relief.

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