Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm ready

I've been practicing, and if Tanith, or any other ice dance commentator, is unable to perform, I'm prepared to step in. See below.

Before beginning, be it noted that if Virtue Moir fans question Davis White's high scores, it's whinging desperation. Let V/M beat freaking W/P and every other Davis White uber suddenly finds what a judging panel decides to do open to question and fair game. It's just amazing.

But not as amazing as Meryl and Charlie.

Okay, here goes. They key is to comment on the most ordinary attributes of Davis and White's program as if nobody else in skating has, does, or can do these things.

Wow. And she's wearing a dress.*

This is so difficult. Except for the transitions, they're doing
this entire step sequence one edge at a time.

They're just - that's an incredible lift. Meryl is upside down
and then she changes position in this same lift.*

And Charlie has to rotate while holding onto Meryl at the same time.

Yes.

Incredible.
The core strength!


Those twizzles. They're rotating them in synch.

And side by side.

Yes.

Wow.


What makes this section stand out is their Finnstep
pattern is in time to the music.
Exactly - the music has that bright, lighthearted quality to it, and these two are able to match that in every detail from their costumes to their smiles.

They're smiling now!

It's just ... remarkable. It really is.
_____________________________
*Charlie's in a modified snow plow and Meryl is literally on her boot. Look at the blade.

*This season, we learn that no ice dancer has ever been upside down in a lift before, forget what you've been told by your lying eyes. And if they have, were they able to keep their legs straight up while clinging to their partner for dear life with both arms?

89 comments:

  1. Haha, there certainly does seem to be a common thread with all the D/W commentary I've heard so far this season.

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  2. What's annoying is that when Sochi comes round, the casual, only-during-the-Olympics viewers will be bedazzled by what we know to be lifts with inferior execution, 'skating' with speed (but not control or finesse) and remain ignorant of what true ice dancing is. They'll see the big tricks and won't understand things like edges, flow, partnering, lines, core strength, carriage, connection, posture, chemistry. Not that anyone will bother to inform them, no sir. Can't have them educated what vastly superior skaters/dancers look like, duh.

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    1. 5:12, I recently watched DW's FD from SA with someone who is pretty much an Olympics-only viewer who knows nothing about skating or ice dance. This person could see how slow DW were (because the faked speed is not there this year), and could also pick up on things like posture, lines, etc., even though they didn't know what these things were. The person I watched with most certainly wasn't bedazzled by DW, not in the least.

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    2. You know, I'm not convinced that newbies won't see something that most of those in the incestous overall figure skating fandom refuse to. Many of us discovered V/M at Vancouver, and could totally see that they were better than D/W, even though we didn't know why.

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    3. Ha, I'm 5:24#2 - we posted at the same time :)

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    4. Both anons at 5:24, that's good to hear (I'm 5:12). I suppose I'm just worried. I am not encouraged by what many people consider 'dance' in pop culture today. I find too much theatrics and acrobatics, yet too little soul in the reality dance competitions on TV. Physically impressive (and there are a lot of impressionable people who buy it, I think), but not moving.

      Confession time: I started watching skating back in 2009 thanks to a random click on Youtube (Yu-Na's 2009 Worlds LP), and when Oly season started, I got into ice dance because of D/W's Bollywood OD. I still think Marina a genius for choreographing that program--not romantic, masked the lack of stretch (flexed feet in the dance style), novel concept. It's really the only D/W program I willingly return to nowadays.

      But by Vancouver, I had slowly realized (from watching lots of ice dance vids, including D/W and V/M's past ones) that the Americans were kind of one-note. Limited range of expression. And the lack of connection really, really bothered me (I think Meryl tried somewhat, but Charlie cannot act to save his life). It was when I learned about edges and from watching the CDs that I saw D/W's basic skating was not as good as V/M's and other teams. At Vancouver, D/W's PotO did not convince me at all. It was just spectacle, and work-like spectacle at that.

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  3. Could someone tell me where the Marina quote about the teams swapping programs originated from?

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  4. ok im amazing fd. but but but the ending was better before at finlandia. a milltion times better ending,

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  5. ok why did they switch the ending??? it was amazing at finlandina but the new ending totallly totally sukx

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    1. they didnt switch the ending they just botched the choreo lift.

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  6. Subway on FSU had a great post about the sloppy lifts of DW. Here are some excerpts:

    "Why don't all the ice dancers simply bend over, each partner grabbing around the other's torso with both arms, get hoisted into place very like a moving crate being hoisted up the side of a building by a crane, stick their legs in the air while choke-holding their partner's head and call it spectacular?...Why don't they all just do lifts like monkeys clutching a tree branch and then slide out of them into a two-footed posing sequence? "

    Best. description.ever.

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  7. i meant the next to last lift. it was way better before.

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  8. LMFAO. Someone left this comment on http://www.theskatinglesson.com/tsls-skate-canada-recap/

    "It’s not just Meryl and Charlie’s power and precision, it’s their deftness of touch and the way they respond to every note in the music." lol bye

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    1. Precision. Deftness of touch. Riiight.

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    2. Here's another goodie:http://www.theskatinglesson.com/tsls-skate-canada-recap/

      "D/W skate like they have one brain. It’s amazing how there is never any push or pull between them." lol

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    3. these people are watching something else entirely lololololololol

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    4. its amazing how ignorant v/m's haters are. that one comment complaing about tessa's dress though tessa and scott competed at slc!

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  9. I came across this video by Sylvain Lafortune about lifting in dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTrPv_ogUtg

    His website says he was trained in ballet, danced both classical and contemporary, pursued grad studies in dance (seems like he's quite knowledgeable about partnering). He's worked with Takahashi/Tran and Duhamel/Radford.

    I love this quote from the vid: "Success at lifting depends less on weight and strength than on technique." He's also big on using biomechanical principles. I found his vids interesting, considering all our talk here about V/M's skills.

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    1. Thank you for that video!

      I hope to get around to posting more about base values in CoP and why there is not much more specificity about exit and entrance technique and holds while IN the lift in CoP as there is in pairs. Dance lifts can't be higher than the lifter's shoulder and there are rules about not sitting on the shoulders, neck or head, while pairs lifts mostly go straight up and lock, but even still, the pairs girl can't clamber on up there. Entrance holds, positio holds, and exit mechanics are, I believe, very specific in pairs. Where the partner's hand must be (and must not) on his partner is also specified. With dance it's whatever the fuck, apparently. It's all pose and show and keep it under six seconds and get in the rotations, change the position however you want, and for everything else we'll look the other way, and slop gets the same base value as clean technique. DW have no technique - they climb. She literally belly flops onto Charlie's shoulder after he swings her up there in the backpack lift.

      So thanks for that link.

      I've also noticed some posters on different forums constantly confusing lifting with weight lifting. Carrying (distributing) one's weight, a steady core are much more important in lifting than weight. There have been times that I've wondered if Meryl Davis's extraordinary thinness is, in part, to enable the lifts, because she doesn't distribute her weight, and if she weighed more the lifts would be even clumsier - and off course, Charlie would fall off his blades. (My suspicion is that Meryl Davis is as thin as she is for strategic reasons, not because she's eating disordered, or has disordered eating, as they like to say in the skating world).

      And, in reading round forums I ended up at a Goldenskate post breaking down what figure skating is. What caught my eye was centripetal force. I looked it up and understood this is what creates/perpetuates rotation. And once again it became obvious that the leap into the twizzles is a real world (as opposed to CoP), rotational assist, not an added element of difficulty.

      I actually think there's a lot of this in CoP, and the ISU is unwilling to really go through and make sure appropriate levels of difficulty are assigned moves that actually are difficult. As it is they've assigned high levels of difficulty to some things that actually make a move easier - easier in the sense of physics, not easier because the skater happens to be talented (I don't think a rule should handicap any skater who finds it easy to rotate quickly in a split twist, or who loves the supposedly most difficult triple, the lutz). But something that the principles of physics says is easier for a body on skates to perform shouldn't be getting rated as hard and vice versa.

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    2. You're welcome. Technique really is quite essential in partnering and lifting. I can't find the pertinent interview/article right now, but there was one in which a famous ballet dancer (IIRC, the infamous Tsiskaridze of the Bolshoi) briefly talked about a ballerina being able to 'assemble' herself for a lift. I presume that this is where the core strength comes into play. As far as I know, the great ballerinas don't just rely on their partners to hoist them up. *Partnering*, working together *intelligently. Not scrambling.

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    3. When I watch DW I wonder who decided variations on the piggy back position was Level 4. Just ridiculous.

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  10. "I actually think there's a lot of this in CoP, and the ISU is unwilling to really go through and make sure appropriate levels of difficulty are assigned moves that actually are difficult."

    This is interesting, and it certainly allows D/W to get away with their twizzles. But considering the ISU doesn't even apply what IS already outlined in the rules, I think the chances of them doing this soon are nil.

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    1. A few years back Lori Nichols was complaining about the Bielman being a difficulty feature in a spin. She said there are children that can do a Bielman spin and it's not something that tells anything about someone's skating skills. I'm not sure where the Bielman is now but it was bugging her back then that's for sure (yes, says Nichols thinks S&P - whom she choreographed - ought to have won outright in SLC 2002, so it's not like she's any kind of skating gospel).

      I think there's likely quite a few quantity-over-quality element components that help an element reach a higher level when they don't tell a thing about someone's skating skills and are absolutely irrelevant to skating. Just a bunch of stuff that tells about physical fitness, not your blade work, blade control, power, security, etc. In fact it's okay to dispense with bladework altogether to do them. Some of this stuff is biting itself in its own ass. Meantime when Virtue and Moir raise the standard they're raising the degree of skating skills it takes to perform. For some reason the ISU doesn't feel like looking at this, and those who obviously know better simply talk around it. The Eurosport guys, for example, are constantly falling over themselves over feats of strength unrelated to skating. I love Moore-Towers Moscovitch and they skated wonderfully at Skate America. However, they're always exclaiming over the last lift because they're amazed at Dylan's power. Not his skating. His strength. They're like oh boy, end of the program and out of a drag into a lift! What a man!

      Listen boys, why is that relevant? How about explaining why that makes him a good skater? How about explaining the amount of ice that's covered in that lift?

      Nope. They don't care. They think it gets points because it would be tough to do in the gym at the end of a hard workout.

      Also - and I hope it wasn't them - one commentator talked about the second mark - as if the second mark scored performance, and this commentator meant "acting" and 'characterization'. The second mark was never meant to score that as a fundamental. Even under 6.0 it was really another technical score.

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  11. anyone else find it amusing that dave and jenny didnt realize tessa and scott botched the lift? lol

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    1. @3:43: They're not that smart. But we already know that by how they talk about D/W like they're skating royalty...

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    2. Because it looked like a clean DW lift to them. The sort of thing Tessa did to fake it at the end is the sort of thing DW has choreographed.

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  12. Some of these D/W ubers on Golden Skate are so stupid or blind, I don't know whether to laugh or cry!! Apparently, "Charlie is a far better partner than Scott, because aside of showing Meryl off, lifting her etc., he shows himself off as well. I mean, you cannot simply overlook Charlie." I think she goes by mia joy on FSU but posts as SimplyLex on Goldenskate.

    I'd like to see a blog post quoting all the stupid shit D/W ubers come up with from all the various skating boards. Would be a good laugh at the end of the season, hell, anytime during the season.

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    1. Why? There's no need to give their posts additional attention. It's clear a lot of them don't know the first thing about the technical aspects of skating or care to learn. They're more concerned with how programs make them feel and talking up the teams they prefer for mostly non-skating reasons.

      I swear, some people spend more time bitching about D/W ubers than anything else. Who gives a rat's ass what they're saying? It's not like their posts have to be singled out and argued into the ground or else V/M won't win this season. This is silly fan war crap.

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    2. mia joy sure is special

      http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?89517-Davis-amp-White-18-I-Could-ve-Danced-All-1001-Nights&p=4034826&viewfull=1#post4034826

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    3. I cannot believe the body shaming that is going on in these ridiculous threads, actually implying that Tessa is too heavy and their lifts look clunky because of it. Total fucking nonsense. And that Peter Murray idiot that always posts on the TSL page is just moronic beyond words, saying that W/P should have won. Much as I love W/P and I think they have a great FD, they are not in the same league as V/M.

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  13. Today, V/M attended some kind of official reception for their reality show (no Scott, it's NOT a documentary. You say you're not the Kardashians but you may as well be given how scripted/fake the "official story" you sell to the public actually is).

    It never fails that after they light people up with fantastic skating V/M find a way to quickly shift attention back to their faked personal storyline. I'm assuming that if video or articles emerge from today's event we'll get to see/read about Tessa and Scott sitting on stage, spewing out lies, and smiling their asses off while they're doing it. Maybe they'll even mention how sincere they are because, sure, why not?

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    1. 5:04
      Oh, they are always sincere, even misty-eyed about their special journey and unique friendship that isn't romantic. Oh, if people would just stop bothering them about that. They just want their privacy and to be left alone. (*Snort*)

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    2. I'm still on a high from SC. I couldn't care less what crap they want to spew. I'm going to rewatch their SD now... :)

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    3. Anon at 5:04 pm and 5:36 pm - the Ryan Pyette interview is interesting. With their book, it appeared that Tessa was the enthusiastic one. In this Pyette interview, Scott tries to sell the reality series and how this is really them, how Worlds last year was a good experience for the pressure for Sochi and how they are true Londoners. Wow Scott - that's how you compartmentalize the crap eh...Yeah you really want people to get to know you...bs...so why do you look pissed off/annoyed when fancams are filming you at a competition / gala / show but when it comes to Ilderton and your family and friends - them sharing the idiot pictures doesn't hurt you or you don't care...oh right...it's part of the continuous need for them to put you in your place...5:04 - I couldn't have said it better...Anon at 5:53 pm - you have the right idea...hit the ignore button...

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    4. Scott must have forgotten that we remember he said similar things about their book-- *accurate, genuine, sincere, really us....* Yeah, and the specific parts of the book they heavily marketed were the lies. All the other nice things, the stuff that was real, was basically ignored. It was the b.s. that Scott made sure was labeled as *accurate and sincere.*

      The guy really doesn't when to stop when it comes to laying it on thick. The more he throws around those words, I've learned the more it means they're going to feed us a big helping of fake stories and fake dramas. They've descended to new lows with this. A book was bad enough. Now they're trafficking their lies to a much bigger audience, role-playing the lies with the help of friends and family. I fear some day they will be remembered not for their sublime skating but for the great big fat hoax they played upon the public.



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    5. This isn't even a reality show - it's fiction. It's fiction when a married couple with a child pretends to be single platonic partners with separate love interests.

      The reality show part is when they make up conflicts. For example, the preview is stuff like "Ep. 1, Scott and Tessa struggle with their connection." Or make up what they do in their down time (blow off steam with family and friends). That's reality show.

      The fiction part is who they are. They're pretending to be the opposite of who they are. They're much worse than the Kardashians.

      The Kardashians are drama queens and take every aspect of their real life and amp it up and market it, to where they blur the lines between the cameras filming real life and real life catering to the cameras (well, not blur, actually do flip it like that). But, they actually are siblings - full siblings and half siblings. Kris Jenner is actually their legal mother.

      And that alone is more reality than Virtue and Moir are going to deliver in this show. Scott has no business whatseover acting superior to the Kardashians. He's much worse. As soon as he markets his fake personal life, he sinks below their level because his is much faker than theirs. That gold medal must be some type of magic icon that cleanses everything they do.

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    6. At least with the book - we got some decent pictures...anon at 6:41 - what can I say - Moirville always thinks short-term and this reality show is just a cash grab...as always squeezing everything out of VM for them to be part of the story...oh fun...

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    7. OC - you bring up good points. I never watched Johnny Weir's reality show - but then again I don't think Weir ever really pretended to be something that he is not...

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    8. Tessa will be channeling her Audrey Hepburn and Scott will portray "Norm" - the guy who likes the simple things in life and of course who doesn't have anything in common with Audrey Hepburn or her friends and vice versa...rolls eyes...

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    9. My last comment of the day - with this reality show - VM have officially "jumped the shark"...

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    10. Yeah, the stuff in the reality show is stale and VM look pathetic, but it's a spotlight grab for their connections. Scott's attitude is typical of someone familiar with bullying and belligerence - just get louder and more belligerent when you're wrong and you're cornered. Do it even more.

      They have ever reason - obviously - to be proud of being Olympic champions. But they also seem to believe being Olympic champions sets them above everybody else in every other aspect of life. They're exceptional because they're Olympic athletes. Ordinary good faith rules of engagement are only for people who haven't won the Olympics.

      That does seem to be the message from Moirville, even in remarks made by his mother, if you poke a stick at it. By any means necessary. Do you have the balls. Do you have the stones to stick with it. No matter what. On face value it looks like dedication, on second look it looks like she's saying act like a fucking gorilla if it gets what you want, even if you're in the wrong.

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    11. They're also stomping all over their own rationale with the way they're pitching this reality show. I'm pretty sure their justification is it's all "performance". As long as they're in the public eye, with the "nature of their sport" it's ALL storytelling, including off the ice.

      Now there's a big problem with that pitch. In performance, storytelling, etc., the audience knows they're suspending disbelief. They know it's a performance.

      If the object towards whom the performance is aimed doesn't know it's "marketing" then it's lying. It's not marketing. It's not performance. It's not storytelling. It's lying. It's a hoax. That's what this is. A hoax, including the reality show.

      But okay, if that works for them. How much gall does it take to up the ante and steer the audience into buying the whole thing as genuine? To really really lean on that? Oh, the part where we get misty and make shit up and tell you how real, authentic and genuine it all is - that's storytelling too!

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    12. It was Scott who seemed a bit Stepford in that Ryan Pyette interview.

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    13. Anon at 3:42 pm - totally agree - Scott was totally rehearsed for that interview and it showed. Don't get me wrong in general Scott does well in interviews - and he did okay in this one - but if you know the criticisms about the perception of the reality show from the various boards - Scott's responses was more in line of a politician justifying a decision and that he/she consulted their team and that there would be no negative consequences.

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    14. "I fear some day they will be remembered not for their sublime skating but for the great big fat hoax they played upon the public."

      Doubt it, as the hoax is really not a big deal. At all.

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    15. 7:10, not a big deal? We must have different views as to what constitutes a big deal.

      I would love to know why you think that.

      In my book, lying is a very big deal.

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    16. I think what 7:10 meant is that most people don't know they're hoaxing or refuse to believe they're hoaxing and they have no intention of this ever coming out. That's why it won't, unfortunately, be a big deal.

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    17. 7:10 - yes, it is. I don't know what you base that on, but it certainly is. And one that endures. It's going to sit there for the entire duration of Scott and Tessa's public life. I wish them luck with that, or not, because it's always going to be there. It's on them, and it's on Ilderton. They can skate and they can comment on skating. They can't say anything about anything else for as long as they're in public life. If you think that's wrong, you'll learn differently.

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    18. "They can skate and they can comment on skating. They can't say anything about anything else for as long as they're in public life. If you think that's wrong, you'll learn differently."

      Yes. In the world of the entertainment and sports media, chickens always come home to roost. Everyone is out for themselves, and people will turn on each other faster than most might imagine. "Everybody does it" is a nice phrase and means for people to rationalize their behavior, but it doesn't usually save that many people's asses in the long run. And proactively digging oneself deeper into the ground through coercion, bullying, or patronizing behavior usually only makes things worse. Just ask Lance Armstrong how that worked out for him.

      V/M aren't Armstrong, but everything they have put out to the public, both via mainstream media and social media (either themselves or through proxies like friends or family members) will remain in the public domain. They've set themselves up to be fucked with for the rest of their public career if someone decides to go after them (for varying reasons) or take advantage of their obtuseness. And don't think that no one will try or be able to succeed in that endeavor. The odds are very much against Virtue and Moir and they put themselves in that position.

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    19. In my opinion it's going to go to their credibility. I don't know if it sets them up to be fucked with or taken advantage of. But they're not credible. They're established hypocrites. After this how will they be able to establish themselves as genuine in the public eye in ANYTHING, when they spent years summoning tears and making shit up and calling it real while hoaxing the public? Anything out of their mouths can be slapped down.

      They can comment on skating. They're not faking their skating. They've been obtuse about hypocrisy (that time Scott called out "Tessa Virtue"'s fake facebook account). Essentially they've spent years establishing that they'll lie about anything while insisting they're sincere and also while manipulating and gaslighting the public in very obvious ways. They can't say shit about shit, IOW, other than skating.

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  14. So, Ryan Pyette's interview with Scott and Tessa today seems to have a bit of a different tone than the previous media output for the series has had.

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    1. Anon at 8:09 pm - I'd like to say that bullshit - they don't read the messageboards...exactly what fans were concerned about this reality series - in terms of time and commitment etc they tried to convince the public that they consulted their coaches, sport entourage etc and that this reality series would have no negative effect...and then throw that yeah we are going to show you some of our training with Maria Mountain...to cover the sports documentary aspect then as usual Tessa has to throw in that this semester she must be taking at least one course...so yes this interview had a bit of a different tone for the better...but still why does it take the fans to basically call them out on the way the show was promoted in clips before Skate Canada? Don't get me wrong - there are VM fans that can't wait to see this reality show and then there are other VM fans who are predominantly skating fans who care about the skating and then saw the garbage clips and said wtf...I am not going to rehash everything because it's a waste of energy but in the end as usual - their pr is reactionary (cuz they have no real sports management).

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    2. I don't have high hopes for the documentary, but I will say this: I think the skating spoke for itself at SC this past weekend when it comes to VM's readiness. What a difference three weeks made. They skated with good attack and confidence. The SD this season is light years ahead of where Farrucas was at this point in the 09-10 season and the FD seems to be ahead of where Mahler was. The glitches they have all seem to be technical in nature. The choreo lift in the FD seems prone to collapsing and the twizzle problems in the SD seem to be a timing-to-the-music issue. Everything else is just a matter of putting mileage on the programs and polishing.

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    3. Anon at 8:58 pm - anon here at 8:40 pm - you bring valid points about the skating and that's why the majority of fans were relieved at how things went at SC. One of the reasons I think the SD is in good shape is that they worked with Jean Marc Genereux. He is a ballroom specialist and probably due to the limited availability to work with him and judging from a remark which Tessa made about him saying that he is very detailed oriented and voila - you get choreography that is specific and captures the essence of the music. The finnstep is integrated nicely in this routine but its the whole picture that makes it impressive. It is actually one of the few SD routines this quad that actually works. The Yankee Polka last year was just bad in general...their FD this year is still a work in progress but it's definitely heading in the right direction...

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    4. Well, 8:58, I'll say that glitches that are technical in nature are more concerning than glitches that are mileage and muscle memory in nature, and those were the only issues early on with Farrucus. That od needed a ton of power and attack to pull off and it was lacking it in the early outings. Tessa and Scott also skated it holding back a bit. But there were no technical glitches. Even when Tessa nearly wiped out a couple of times at Skate Canada it had nothing to do with their elements - it was in between. Likewise, Mahler didn't have technical glitches. Until the ISU decided Tessa should find a different way out of the goose, she was brushing the ice with her free leg when landing it (by the time it resurfaced as an exhibition move she was one-footing the landing), but I don't think that would have counted against the element in ice dance - only as a jump in pairs or singles. Early Mahler also had a timing in a lift issue at TEB.

      So I'm more concerned about technical stuff than I am power and speed. Their power and speed coming off summer break is now greater than it was when they skated the Vancouver Olympics. As with any program, things need more polish - entrances/exits, transitions.

      But last season was when they had consistent technical issues - meaning on elements. With Funny Face the season before, I think they had one - a lift where she transitioned across his shoulders, that they ultimately changed. This season they've had consistent technical issues on the short dance twizzles. That's not something that's plagued them with any consistency in past winning seasons. The choreo lift isn't a problem because it's a choreo lift, they can try to solve it or ditch it and put some other lift in there - that's not a hurdle. The twizzles are actually a hurdle.

      So IOW I see technical issues as problematic, far more than the more natural attributes a program acquires as it's competed over a season.

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    5. I guess we're looking at things differently because I think they'll get that SD twizzle issue fixed.

      I also think that maybe we're all overstating the technical issues from last season. Yes, the SC SD was rough with the botched lift, but they'd had problems with it in training and it was ditched by CoR for a lift that worked. The SD and FD at both CoR and the GPF were fine for when they were skated at in the season. I think, especially at the GPF, they were just skating on ice with trip wires laid every 1/4th of an inch. The SD at nationals was superb, and people in the arena for that FD still don't get the score. The truly WTF thing was the fact that their spin was called wrong. It went from being called a dance spin during the GP and GPF to being called a combination spin. They hadn't changed anything with that spin, so why did the incorrect call happen? SD was superb at 4CC, and until Tessa's leg cramped up in the FD, they were on track for a monster score and were out GOE-ing DW. There's a rumor that Tessa had an ankle injury going into worlds. She did botch the twizzles, and Scott made a slight mistake on the footwork that wasn't get called until the element was called up for review (one wonders if Judy Blumberg was involved with that). The mistake he made was barely perceptible compared to, say, the mistake Scott made on the step sequence in the SD at 4CC in 2012.

      At this point, I think they have a twizzle sequence that may tweaking and a choreographic lift that needs reworking or replacing, and these changes are firmly within VM's capabilities.

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    6. Well, I am definitely leaving out the scoring shenanigans from last season that ended up basically exploiting the glitches and giving the judges an excuse to unfairly lowball (particularly vis a vis DW who have glitches built in). The choreographic lift I'm not worried about at all. It's good to hear that you think they'll get the sd twizzle sequence nailed and your review of last season is convincing. :)

      The feedback on the Levels, the GOE and the pcs from Skate Canada didn't have any tech caller trip wires, and, astoundingly, didn't seek to bury Virtue and Moir if something didn't come off perfectly, but rather awarded what was done well (some GOE for the twizzles in the SD, for example).

      I wasn't intending to overstate my concerns about the tech stuff, but underscore that I see those issues more cautiously, than if last season hadn't unfolded the way it had, even though Skate Canada helps to dispel some of it.

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    7. And in other news, Paul/Islam's 90 on their Skate Canada free dance had barely registered on the scoreboard when Piper Gilles' tweeted Kirsten Moore Towers if they were confirmed as roommates for Russia. Are she and Kirsten traveling to Russia or did Piper mean Sochi? When were she and Paul announced to the team, if so? And it's odd that she didn't announce her Canadian citizenship after all the public agita she made about not yet having it.

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    8. There was also some obnoxious interview with Piper posted at FSU where she said that they needed to get citizenship by Jan 13 to go to Sochi, but if not, they'll definitely be at Worlds.

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    9. "There's a rumor that Tessa had an ankle injury going into worlds."

      Tessa definitely had an injury going into worlds. Whether it was an ankle injury, I'm not sure.

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    10. OC - perhaps both GP and MTM are scheduled for the Cup Of Russia - hence the tweet..but folks let's get real Piper wants to go to Sochi...and isn't it strange that Carol Lane - GPs coach took a job as a CBC commentator for this season...perhaps Ms. Lane is looking out for her own best interests...I think it's pretty presumptious of Piper to assume that they would be at Worlds - even if VM don't skate there...

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    11. Yes, both MTM and G/P are assigned to Cup of Russia. Interesting, it doesn't appear Kirsten ever tweeted back lolol

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    12. Notwithstanding the reference to CoR rather than Sochi, it's still another example of Piper's drawing attention to herself every time P/I make themselves an object of discussion -- CoR isn't even G/P's next event, but it's a way to remind people of their competitions and quickly associate herself with a far more successful and popular Canadian skater. It's a rather amusing pattern by now, when it's Piper-driven rather than Skate Canada-driven.

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    13. I didn't want to assume she meant Sochi, as she and Paul (more Paul, as it's his quotes) have dialed back to mentioning they'd still have to be named to the team, citizenship or no citizenship. OTOH, Piper urged someone to see her and Paul at Worlds prior to competing at Canadians last season, so she's not the sort who has earned the benefit of the doubt. And yes, it appeared to be a bid for attention as it was directly on the heels of P/I's good free dance at SC, and a definite bit to associate herself with a popular Canadian skater who had just had a terrific showing at SC.

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  15. current discussion at the v/m thread (re: twizzles - tessa and scott should've gotten a lvl four for them at last year because they are still rotated) made me think and go back at the protocols - if d/w got a level 3 for their yp why the fuck do they still have the same GOE as tessa and scott. shouldn't tessa and scott get +3 GOE for the pattern because of the levels?

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    1. Levels and goe are two separate parts of the element score. You don't get +3 goe just for getting a level 4. They measure different things. Levels - the difficulty, GOE - the quality of execution

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    2. If Virtue and Moir win the Olympics it's likely they'll win on GOE and pcs because the program content is rated about the same. The reality is the program content isn't even close because VM's elements are far more difficult. CoP doesn't recognize this. VM have raised the standard. When that happens the rules are mean to adjust. You don't keep assigning a double axel the same base value as a triple flip (and that's a poor analogy because it's really - you don't assign a cheated double axel - where the cheat is built into the technique - the same base value as a clean triple flip).

      The levels DW get are undeserved, but I don't think the sport acknowledged the bungee cord problem after 2010 (at least I read it went unaddressed - at least not immediately). Funny though, nobody's tried the bungee cords since. I think the year after next suddenly a dance leap isn't going to make two sets of twizzles Level 4. What is the type of dance leap DW do into their twizzles, anybody know? Or is it undefined?

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    3. The other thing that bothers me about the twizzles is they were rotated, and Tessa simply put her foot down sooner than Scott after she did exit on a sustained edged. What if you took out a stopwatch and looked at Meryl's non-sustained edge and Tessa's sustained edge, and determined VM completed the rotation, exited on a running edge that was markedly more sustained that DW (who didn't bother with one) and Tessa put a foot down sooner than Scott. On what planet are VM's twizzles dropped lower than DW?

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    4. I'm not the type to quote the rules chapter and verse, but I'm pretty sure they did change the ice dance rules right after the Olympics to say you couldn't lift your partner by grabbing onto their costume, there had to be body contact or something.

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    5. oh ok thanks. i still find it interesting that the isu is willing to stretch its rules so D/W could win.

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  16. Tessa is all muscle! she's an athlete! she is just tall in comparison to scott and 8 year-old meryl who cant eat bc Charlie wont be able to fling her and pick her up like a sack of potatoes!

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    1. I have said that I believe Meryl's weight is strategic, and I do believe that. It de-emphasizes how awkward the entrance, exits and transitions into the lifts are. It de-emphasizes her poor control of her lower limbs when her entire upper body isn't secured/pinned by Charlie. It lessens the challenge to Charlie's stability so he doesn't rock off his skate blades onto his ass. It also lengthens her line. I haven't seen a figure skater this unnaturally thin since Jamie Silverstein, but as I said, I don't think Meryl has an "issue" - she and Charlie are just very driven. For them it's about the package, not the skating. The package prevents people from perceiving just how lacking the skating is, and it really finesses the lifts, which are a huge element. Her weight/size is a crucial component of the package. People on fsu used to bleat on and on about how Canton skaters are underweight because Igor insisted, but I see no sign of that in Canton or Novi. Tanith has copped to 'disordered eating" in the past (denying an eating disorder, just saying "disordered eating"). For me it's interesting that both women had differing degrees of issues with their basic skating and the low weight they maintained helped camoflage that to a degree. If they were better skaters perhaps they wouldn't feel the need to stay as thin.

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    2. Why can't D/W just learn proper technique? Seems like that would be the sensible, more efficient thing to do, rather than go to all this effort to execute shit technique. Even Tanith admitted than once she added 10 pounds in muscle, the quality of their lifts increased because she was able to support herself properly.

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    3. are you saying that charlie is forcing her to be anorexic? poor meryl :(

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    4. Clearly nobody is saying that.

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    5. 10:53 - I think they do know proper technique but it's not competitive with Virtue and Moir's. Ergo, they've fashioned this non-skating way of hitting their elements. The only real skating they do in the entire program is the step sequence and even that is small and lacks powerful run of blade. They use non-skating flash and filler in between elements, the ISU insufficiently holds their elements to account, and by this means they're elevated to on par with Virtue Moir. If they tried to skate their way there they couldn't pull it off.

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    6. Fuck the ISU for upholding a shit team such as D/W and creating a BS "rivalry".

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  17. im saying that bc she's scary skinny- whatever the reason that's her issue- normal healthy incredibly fit people like Tessa are snidely called "big" or "fat". come on, she's all muscle! nothing more. Tessa used to be scary skinny and then in 2011 she looked like an athlete, healthy role model. noticed the "Tessa is big" thread from Carmen last year and hope it ends asap.

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  18. I've just watched, versus just listened to, the Ryan Pyette interview and Tessa and Scott could be characters in a Christopher Guest movie about lying liars who lie. Tessa would be cast as the cold, ruthless, on message glam-bot, or maybe just a younger spin on "Jan" from The Office, someone who goes into total control freak mode when she's insecure. Scott is a festival of lying tells - the lip biting, anxious facial expressions, audible swallowing, freaky eyes. Supposedly the mouth is a greater tip off to tension/lying than the eyes. Tessa pastes on push button smile with the tight jaw, Scott can't keep his mouth relaxed. I get what he's doing - he's trying to frame his pitch very specifically, assuming that the proposed audience only sees the finished product on the ice and a couple of post-comp interviews, so he's saying here we see some training, so compared to competition broadcasts, this is more "accurate." However, we all know there's more to accurate than that, and so do they, and we all know that this is a delivery system for fraud/hoax, and so do they.

    The rationalization is in how he's trying to contextualize, but he also knows he's full of crap and that people watching this know he's full of it. He talks a lot with his voice trapped in the back of his throat, swallowed words and a lot of sighing, and his pitch varies. And lots of knitted brows from him. I don't know if he ever unknit them. Tessa's face is almost a cartoon liar's face. A ruthless cartoon liar's face. His is an ambivalent liar's face - and voice.

    That said, I liked some of the content, such as Tessa saying that they have the title, so they have nothing to prove (depending on the day). (How on earth did they ever win the Olympic title? Must have been some weird accident. Surely "gold medalist" DW are the rightful Vancouver champions.) I also can see Tessa's perspective that losing last season sets them up as underdogs this season, which is, she believes, a good position to be in. (That's where I see the Slytherin in her, but she's right.)

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    1. I wonder if they ever feel the first second of guilt about all of this lying that they do.

      I've known some people who are world class liars, and even they couldn't top VM in the lying department.

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    2. Scott definitely has obvious tells when he lies, though I suppose Tessa going into robot-mode is also a tell, because during the middle portion of the interview (when the subject was skating) her entire body (and face) seemed to relax a bit and her voice evened out. But ruthless is a really good word to describe her overall demeanor, especially when she talked about how honestly and genuinely this show would portray them.

      Another thing I've noticed is that over the years when they've do a lot of lying in interviews they have a tendency to yuk it up like it's hilarious, but, though they seem to be able to do it with no visible remorse - their faces/body language always reads as "tired" to me.

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    3. Tessa has a lot of tells, too. Sometimes she'll dart her eyes around when she's lying, but much of the time she'll zero in on the interviewer really intensely and overemphasize with head nodding, or do a lot of motioning with her hands and arms when she's spewing out their bullshit lines. She used to wring her hands a lot but she doesn't do that as much anymore.

      The thing is, they are NOT good liars. They're awful. I think they tend to get away with it more because they're both attractive people with younger, kind faces.

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    4. Tessa averts her eyes a lot. She looks out from lowered lids a lot, particularly at Scott. She three quarter turns her head also.

      That's different than when she feels foolish or uncomfortable (which can also happen when she lies, but not only when she lies) such as when she finally chokes out "Clump Crusher Mascara." As cringe-making as these advertorial exercises are, they're not lies, but they're so unnatural and you could see Tessa's face working up to spitting out the name of the product - she FELT fake (in the way it was done - they're just bad actors with this type of thing) and it showed.

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    5. I guess both statements are true of them - they're world class liars in the sense that their lies are ENORMOUS. And this isn't the first time they've actually marketed their lies under the umbrella of a look at the real them behind the scenes, a look at their real lives. Considering the gap between their real lives - married with a child - and the hoax they're marketing with this reality show, the nature and content of their lies rises to the level of world class for sure.

      Their SKILL at lying is piss poor. They're horrible at being convincing when they lie. They have lowest common denominator shiftiness. You could imitate them in a game of charades if you wanted to pantomime "liars". The facial expressions, tone of voice, and of course, how every other word is "honest", "genuine" "real".

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  19. After seeing both Skate America and Skate Canada, i think DW have fallen behind the Shibutanis, WP, H&D, P&I, and C&L.

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  20. Only in your dreams.

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  21. D/W wouldn't be a top 5 team under the 6.0 system, that's for sure.

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