Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Here's Charlie

After these, we can get to canadablue's Davis White and Virtue Moir gala comparisons.

I got the chance to watch some of the others, namely, Danica McKellar, Candace Bure and Amy Purdy. All were better than either Davis and White by a fair amount. McKellar's spins were stronger than Meryl's - balanced, controlled, in time with the music. Purdy had the best topline, and, of the three, I think was the most natural dancer - damn her for having Derek (I love Derek but I feel 6 trophies would be some kind of wrong). Bure kicked Charlie's ass in contemporary, but Charlie and Sharna had a prettier and, I guess, more audience-grabbing number, and I think Ballas worked a static frame a little too much - they didn't really use the space.

Let's watch Charlie go:

I thought this was leading to a vampire
interpretation, but false alarm. Look at Charlie act!

Has it been pent up inside him all this time?
He's almost hungry.

Right there he's now looked her in the face more
times than his entire career with Meryl.
 Not even waiting for the part specially
choreographed for him to look her in the face.
Just like it's a regular thing.
Sharna phrases very well and is very musical herself. You can't say that about all the pros. They all dance in proper time, but they don't all phrase well, although I won't start airing out my opinions as to who does and doesn't. But the fact that Sharna acts well when she dances (the music affects her rhythm which feeds the emotion in the narrative) gives Charlie a template right on the floor with him that is giving immediate feedback he can feed off and work with.

On the ice, he has to work with a static partner using what becomes a static template created off ice by his very musical coach (Marina), a template that has "set" the rhythm by timing the choreography to certain beats and musical highlights in their program music. Once they take it out on the ice, he's working by rote.

The other thing that gives you a "Hmm, that's different" feeling watching Charlie work with Sharna is we're used to DW re-setting after everything. Here Sharna's movement and the choreography kept evolving after she exited a lift. She didn't stop to wave her arms around, pose, jump in place, or slide on her knees. She could actually enter a lift, execute the lift, exit the lift, and off the exit transition into another choreographic phrase. We don't see this with DW, and suddenly the familiar DW lifts made sense and came alive as choreographic storytelling aids.

This is the part where Charlie showed tempo
variation in his actual movement. I was stunned.
It also reads to me like: "I can dance!
I can dance! I'm doing it."
There's a "Yeah!" kind of vibe going on,
like something is busting out.
"You didn't think I could!"
Look at Charlie, holding the moment after
the actual dance is done.

Sharna kind of stepped all over Charlie's "beat" by hopping in glee the instant she hit her last mark. Come on Sharna, you're the pro. Let Charlie enjoy himself - he never gets to do this in his day job.

BTW, what happened to Charlie's asthma? You'd think between the stress of doing something new (dancing), the challenge to his equilibrium posed by looking at his partner, and adrenalin, he'd be doubled over a bit, but he seems just fine.


Long time no see Tanith and Charlie out and about in
public together. Here they are again, just like
an actual couple.


  1. Ugh, after all that verbal diarrhea Tanith spewed, I cringe every time I see her. It is fine to be Charlie's cheerleader, as long as you are not doing it in your capacity as a sports commentator.

    1. But - when she was cheerleading Charlie, they were just good friends. His real soul-to-soul connection was with Meryl Davis.

    2. lol, that's right. How could I forget?

    3. I'm sort of shoe-horning this in but apparently there are DW fans who not only 'ship Meryl and Charlie, but resent Charlie and Tanith. Now, I know that VM fans who didn't know there was no NEED to 'ship, resented Jessica and somehow thought she was one of "those" girls who had power over hormonal dudes and there was virginal Tessa who couldn't appeal to Scott the same way and he saw her as his sister and oh the woe.

      Now, as a VM fan, and just in the interests of empathetic self-respect, that pissed me off, because that is one pitiful portrait of someone's partner, and full of assumptions. The idea that Meryl is pining on the side or would go for it if Charlie had interest just presumes a really humiliating power imbalance between the two of them.

      Often this is based on looks. Oh the lesser looking partner pines for the better looking one. With Scott and Tessa, much of the fandom felt he wanted her but she had her eyes on older, more sophisticated men. And of course, for people who didn't realize they were together, they saw Scott constantly touching her and googly eye-ing her, and figured it must be her that was keeping them platonic.

      With Meryl and Charlie I don't see what in Meryl would prompt anybody to think that Meryl wanted Charlie. She's not Scott Moir-ing all over him.

    4. The meme about VM switched up to Tessa wants Scott but he's too busy with his hot and heavy love interest switched up with a lot of enabling from Scott and Tessa themselves. It wasn't spontaneous. It was Tessa repeatedly saying she was one of many girls who had a crush on Scott but she's not sure he ever noticed her. They worked hard to plant a role reversal into the minds of fans. Prior to that, fans interpreted what they understood (that VM were platonic) with what they saw (that Scott constantly touched her, mooned after her, couldn't take his eyes off her) and figured the piner was him.

    5. I think (or hope) some of the DW shippers are actually ironic.

      What I don't think is ironic is this need for Meryl to be seen as beautiful by their fans. It's always "Meryl looks beautiful - again - as usual - oh she's so gorgeous" and it's over-compensating. We're supposed to really buy that Fedor Andreev is interested in her, having dated (we're supposed to believe) Tanith and Tessa. Now we're supposed to believe Max is interested in Meryl after being with the traditionally sexy Peta and Karina. Sorry, Meryl has nothing in common with any of these girls. I am not saying Meryl is not beautiful in her way or can't seen as beautiful by anyone. I'm saying she's not beautiful in the way Tessa/Tanith and Peta/Karina are beautiful.

      So in my view, the DW "shipping" is simply another way of making Meryl appear to be a legitimate, viable romantic equal to Tanith. I don't think the DW fans mean to imply that she's pining over Charlie. They're very into fierce Meryl and all that bullshit. They just like their world where the bookish, not conventionally cute girl is also a Disney superheroine whose milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

    6. @3:09
      Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. That's not just a cliche. Many people think Meryl is pretty, what's wrong with that? I don't say this as a DW fan, I hate their skating. But I don't see anything wrong with Meryl's looks and I think all this focus on her appearance is hypocritical. I may personally think she is too skinny, but that is also a separate issue from her face/her looks. We think it's wrong for anyone to talk about Tessa's weight, for example. Well, the same principle applies.

      It's about the skating. Not someone's looks. Tessa and Scott are not better skaters just because they happen to be good looking. I also think it makes VM fans look like assholes to be criticizing someone's looks as if that were a measure of character.

    7. 5:06, I'm really not getting into a looks thing so much as noticing the assumptions behind a lot of shipping. The less conventionally attractive person is presumed to be pining over the more conventionally attractive person. I especially dislike this when it's the woman meant to be pining, and she's pining (in the eyes of fans) for no better reason than she's not as conventionally attractive as he is and his gf is. While this isn't something that could plausibly be pulled off with Tessa/Scott, fans who thought Tessa harbored unrequited love substituted "virginal" for looks. I don't know why fans enjoy looking at their favorite female ice dancers that way.

      In any event, the fans who think Tanith is some type of spoiler aren't doing Meryl any favors.

    8. To 5:06, I am 3:09. I specifically noted that Meryl could be legitimately seen as beautiful by some people, but she is not of the same type of beauty that those guys have dated in the past, so the idea that two conventionally hunky guys who have been linked to conventionally attractive girls are into her is a bit much.

      I agree of course, that VM are better skaters and it has nothing to do with looks. I do see where it looks like a low blow to talk about her looks, but I am interested in the constructs of the fandom and how the fans of DW delude themselves in different ways, and how DW's presentation of things plays into that. For example, right now there is another discussion happening in the comments about Charlie using his asthma as theater, which could also be considered a low blow (I am not sure how you feel about that topic). Meryl dating or "dating" Fedor who used to "date" Tessa is also somewhat relevant to this site and the sham.

      And honestly I don't feel bad about it because the DW fans have done their fair share of using Tessa's injuries against her and calling her fat, while promoting Meryl as fit, muscular, and healthy. I remember some people at the early part of the season saying Meryl was so fit and ready, making it sound like she was a better person because she was the thinnest lady during the Olympic season. While two wrongs don't make a right, of course, the anonymous nature of these comments does allow us to indulge in this type of conversation once in a while.

  2. Anon at 9:20 pm - totally agree with you. I also have to cringe that I don't think I have ever seen anyone denonce their Canadian roots as much as Tanith Belbin with probably the exception of Greg Rudeski (former Canadian tennis player) who then went to the UK. So hmm - I wouldn't exactly call myself a Tanith fan...if I had to guess - she would definitely fit in with the mean girls crowd...

    1. @9:56

      I'm Canadian too, but it never bothers me if people denounce their Canadian roots...I guess cuz I have no attachment to them myself. What does bother me is when the significant other of a competitor acts as a commentator while their significant other is still competing. And when you start blabbering on about stupid shit like 'good ice dance should look hard' or straight up lie to the audience and tell them they are only watching skaters just glide on an edge (which is something more teams should be doing) when they are in fact first gliding while next to each other, then doing three turns in front of their partner who is gliding forward other on one foot in a sequence all on one foot. See 2:48 of this video. Tanith says they are "essentially just gliding on one edge" but they make it look "special".


      hmmm, I wonder what motivated her to overlook everything they are doing there and make a comment that signals to the viewer that they are not doing much?

      Tanith actually has some valid things to say when she is not propping up her S.O. and his partner either directly or indirectly (by trashing their competition).

    2. Tanith's commentary is ass. I can't remember if it was the 2012 SD at 4CC's or Worlds, but she was blathering on about how they showed "such commitment" to the Rhumba pattern, and that's why it was so good. Not because they skated it well, but because they showed "commitment".

      Well, I'm committed to dancing a good Rhumba in my dream world,so give me a World title. Good grief.

    3. I'm anon at 9:56 pm - I am also Canadian - but first generation - so my motto is that I take the best of all the different cultures that I am surrounded by. I tend to be very open-minded and not crazy patriotic either. I am a fan of VM because of their skating - not because their Canadian...and god knows I would be probably be labeled a bad Canadian in terms of figure skating lol since many of my favourites are either Japanese or Russian...
      In terms of Tanith's commentary - overall I really don't care for it...I would rather listen to Ben Agosto...but then again I don't think any of the commentators during the last quad have done anything to educate the public with ice dance..so the bar has been set really low...

    4. "straight up lie to the audience and tell them they are only watching skaters just glide on an edge (which is something more teams should be doing) when they are in fact first gliding while next to each other, then doing three turns in front of their partner who is gliding forward other on one foot in a sequence all on one foot. See 2:48 of this video. Tanith says they are "essentially just gliding on one edge" but they make it look "special".


      hmmm, I wonder what motivated her to overlook everything they are doing there and make a comment that signals to the viewer that they are not doing much?"

      Oh my God. I didn't hear that. I avoided her after listening to her comment on Carmen, when she didn't say one damn thing except when the lyrical part came, to say this was the part that was the best of Scott and Tessa, the comforting part. She basically had nothing to say about the rest of Carmen, waited til the part of the program where VM were being lyrical, and suggested this was the thing they did the best. It was insufferable.

      That she would say "just gliding on one edge" about the sequence you describe is scream-making. Maybe her boyfriend should try it some time, see what "just" there is about it.

      "Make it look special." It is freaking special.

    5. I wanted to scream at the TV, "I have eyes, Tanith! I can see they are doing more than gliding on an edge! And I know enough about skating to know that gliding on an edge is a good thing." I mean, if it is so easy, how come other team just glide on flats or take lots of steps or crosscuts?
      If I didn't know much about skating, I would think gliding on an edge was really easy, that they were pretty much doing nothing the way she described it. But even someone with no skating knowledge can see that they are turning and gliding (although Tanith has told them that section is no big deal). Gosh, these commentators really think skating fans are complete idiots.

      I also want to point out that they are doing that very taxing one-foot sequence in the last section of the program. and they make it look so easy.

    6. Re-watching "Funny Face" makes me appreciate how genius that program was. It pissed me off when one of the Eurosport idiots criticized how "empty" it was in places early in the season. Hello, if FF was "empty", than WTF are DW's programs?

    7. I forgot to add how many other teams only glide on two feet or toe pick around between elements.

      I see how fans can get fooled because VM make everything look so smooth and easy, but commentators should know better, especially a former ice dancer. And a skater of any kind should be able to appreciate what they do with their blades even if they don't understand how much more difficult that is made by the actual dancing. I agree, FF was genius. I go back and watch it all the time.

      DW's busyness ane aggression fools a lot of people, I guess.

    8. What I really want to know is why some names in skating went nuts over Die Fleudermaus. The blog broke it up into gifs some time back just to find out where the hell the skating took place in that masterpiece. Turned out the whole thing was running, two foot posing and waving arms. Do people at the high levels of skating not recognize a distinction between skating and choreography? There was no skating in Die Fleudermaus.

  3. So Meryl is jokingly asked to apologize to Canada for "defeating" V/M in Sochi, and Meryl's response? "Actually, no". I think what she meant is to say is "actually, no, I didn't defeat them, I stole the gold from them:


    1. I was thinking about "the moms" (of Meryl and Charlie). I was remembering how Igor (a few years ago) said that DW really really wanted an Olympic gold. And I especially note Meryl saying, not long ago, how in Vancouver they were happy to look up and see Scott and Tessa at the top of the podium and say you deserve it. She went on to say this time she and Charlie were going for gold but it was constructed more as if she was saying it was her and Charlie's turn. The tone and perspective raised a flag, almost as if she were saying - we gave them their turn, we were gracious and happy, but now it's our turn.

      And skating be damned. I honestly believe most people think they should get out (in medals and placement) what they put in (time, money, emotion), and the best skaters are a minor consideration.

    2. I remember after US nationals this year, Meryl was interviewed, and said something like "we are working hard to earn gold". She emphasized "earn", which I though was a curious choic of words, most athletes would come out and say "I want to win the gold". It's like she knew the fix was in and had to appear falsely modest about it.

    3. I just don't think they believe "deserve" has much to do with skating. It's work hard, present as a unit, tick all of the boxes OFF ice.

    4. When Tara Lipinski was asked about D/W winning an Olympic gold medal, she said she loved V/M's skating but that it was D/W's turn to win.

    5. wow meryl is so entitled.
      lol @ tara tho. an olympic medal is not a toy children take "turns"

    6. ^lemme rephrase
      v/m & d/w arent children, an olympic medal isnt a toy in which people take "turns" in achieving. no one is entitled to olympic gold, especially d/w.

    7. That's funny. Wasn't it Michelle's turn when Tara took the gold? I bet she didn't feel like she should have been forced to skate until 2002 to have a chance.

      Ironically though, DW are older than VM (at least Meryl is older than Tessa). DW were juniors while VM were still novice. The same goes for skaters like WP and CL - they're as old or older than VM, and made their senior debut the same year, 2007. They all had an equal start, and VM were the ones who were able to get it done in 2010. DW have always lagged a step behind VM, despite being older, because they are NOT AS TALENTED. DW's "turn" should have been first because they're older.

      The bottom line is VM won stuff and the establishment eventually just had to retire them on paper and say you aren't getting anything better than a silver because you just hung around too long and we need to give it someone whose TV network is responsible for greater revenue.

      It makes me laugh when sites like FSU are so happy to get rid of VM so the likes of WP can "finally have their turn."

  4. Candace Cameron should have been the leader. She had the best feeling for movement and her lifts were awesome. I particularly like the first lift: beautifully arched back, pointed toes--great overall alignment. I love the play with tension throughout the dance.

    I actually think Meryl and Maks were overscored. It was all very fast and exciting but it completely lacked the Cuban movement that a Cha Cha must embody.

    Here is the video:

    Meryl and Maks do a crossover break at 0:49. Notice the positioning of Meryl's chest and arms--same plane when the chest should be curving forward and the arms behind her each time she comes forward. Also, it lacks the Cuban motion because she just moves the legs back and forth without engaging the hips. They have to work in a coordinated manner. The hips have to rotate forward and backward and be taken side to side.

    At 0:30 she does the batucadas but they look awkward again because of the lack of weight transfer. She tries to do everything by moving the feet and legs without transferring the weight properly. You are supposed to take a small step back, then quickly transfer the weight to your front foot and back to the back foot. Then you take the opposite foot of the first one you used in the previous back step (if you did the previous step with the right foot stepping back, you begin this next part with your left foot stepping back. Again, left foot back with the weight there, then transfer the weight to the right foot (forward foot) and then back to the left foot (back foot).

    At 1:06 she attempts a Cuban break and the weight transfer is better here but the tension is wrong.

    The grapevines starting at 1:10 lack the proper rhythm.

    And the lock steps weren't bad (back lock steps at 0:32 and forward at 0:34) but the tension is not right in the back leg. It has to absorb the weight transfer and maintain a certain tension, more than the other foot and leg.

    1. I watched the video AFTER I read all the gushing comments. The comments made me think "hmmm maybe oc is being unfairly harsh towards Meryl". Wrong!! It was equally hard, if not harder, to watch her dance as it is to watch her skate. This whole VM vs DW thing just irks me so badly. OGM heist2014.

    2. "Also, it lacks the Cuban motion because she just moves the legs back and forth without engaging the hips. They have to work in a coordinated manner. The hips have to rotate forward and backward and be taken side to side."

      That's never going to happen with Meryl. Her hips are are stiff and brittle, like most of her movement, but her hips especially.

      I agree they were a bit overscored. I think they got the scores because of fast and how much, and not how well.

      Candace Bure was miles better than Charlie. However, these judges also judge for what we may as well call "presentation" and I think maybe Bure was held back by so much side by side front facing choreo. I think Ballas did it that way so we could see how well their movement matched - IOW, we could see just how good she is - but it ended up not using much floor.

      Some on the fan boards say "Meryl and Maks were the only ones where I couldn't tell the celeb from the pro!" How is that a compliment if you know nothing about dance? That says more about what you don't know then it does about Meryl's dancing.

    3. And all of that AFTER Meryl had weeks of practice under her belt. How awful is this going to be when she's on the road with SOI ?

      I always thought Meryl had problems with her legs because she was bad on skates but she can't control them on the floor either. Even when she's just standing she can't keep them together.

  5. The ratings are in ;)

    I'm American and this is the first season I'm ever missing, so I hope I helped in my small way. I guess I should delete the season pass too.


    'Dancing With the Stars' star-free premiere ties lowest ever

    The spring premiere of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars tied its lowest-rated premiere ever Monday night. The low-star-wattage 18th series debut, which also marked the replacement of host Brooke Burke-Charvet with Erin Andrew, delivered an adults 18-49 demo rating that tied the show’s fall 2012 premiere as an all-time low (see Annie Barrett’s recap for more) and was down 22 percent from last year’s opener.

    1. Star free? Star free?

      Did they say that about Kristi Yamaguchi?

    2. I thought this was in reference to this year's contenders, not those in the audience.

      No matter how much DW fans may claim that they are now celebrities with huge fan following, I doubt that DW are famous or overly popular with the majority of Americans. They were invited to many shows just like every OG medalist but that doesn't mean the audience actually wants to see them. Once DWTS is over they'll most likely disappear like most participants.

    3. I AM talking about this year's contenders. When Kristi Yamaguchi competed on DWTs, a U.S. Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, she was considered a star. Why are Meryl and Charlie considered part of a "star free" season with the same credentials?

    4. bc no one cares about them?

    5. Yes. I just think those covering DWTS should be consistent in their spin. Either it's a huge "get" to have DW on the show or they're nobodies and this is a desultory, star-free season. I don't think Yamaguchi would have been described that way even if DWTS had existed back in 1992 and she'd joined the show directly after winning Olympic gold.

    6. Kristy was a different caliber. While she wasn't the most entertaining off ice she still had something about her that people liked and made them root for her. She had ( and still has ) the kind of face and charisma that people actually want to see on a cereal box. Not to mention she was a ladies champion in the 90ies.
      Meryl and Charlie don't have that going for them. They are the questionable winners in a category nobody in America cares about, their personalities are generic and boring, Meryl comes across entitled and mean. They never even had to overcome injuries or personal struggles. Everything just fell into their laps.
      Nobody wants to root for the privileged white kids in times for financial crisis.

  6. they should have gotten virtue and moir to star as well. that "rematch" would have been awesome. I mean actually hilarious. but I loved charlies 15 seconds of actual dancing-I was totally shocked for that brief moment myself. felt very 80s dance off movie. the rest was lifts and posing and one from their shitty FD. meryl did the same thing over and over again. she can move her arms and legs but has she heard of hips? how can this girl never move her hips? toddlers do it all the time. but again, she plays to her strengths. moving very very fast, repeating the same move over and over again, and thus giving the illusion of dance.

    1. Hah, imagine if they'd invited VM and they won over DW, on American television. That would have been awesome. I actually don't think being Canadian would have hurt them, provided the network didn't make it a huge talking point. Brazilian, French, and British stars have done very well on DWTS, and Tessa and Scott have the looks, personalities, and dance abilities that would appeal more to an American audience.

    2. There's no way an American TV show is going to have a Canadian dance couple on the show especially when the Canadians are better looking AND better dancers than the American dance couple they already have competing. That would likely take away the focus of how "good" the current OGM are at dancing ... until you watch and see that they aren't really dancing and are worse than others on the show. Fake it til you make it D/W, especially Meryl would NOT want to be sharing the limelight with V/M.

    3. Meryl particularly would hate VM being on the show, especially Tessa.

    4. v/m dont belong on the show. they are professional dancers with extensive dance training specifically tessa. DWTS is for beginners and celebs who have never danced in their lives.

    5. That's not true, @2:12 PM. I think if they were on the show, V/M would both do very well (Tessa in particular would kill it), but they are not professional dancers. Secondly, there have been past contestants on the show with past dance training. Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley, and Corbin Bleu come to mind, and obviously all of the figure skaters had some kind of dance instruction over the course of their amateur careers.

    6. @2:12 PM -- well if V/M don't belong on DWTs, then neither do D/W. Isn't that why they (D/W) are getting called ringers? Because apparently they have all this extensive dance background that they used while competing? And how hard they have trained to learn the various dances -- didn't you see all that Parisian movement in their FD? and that glorious SD where they were doing waltzing and march movements to music that was *supposed* to be quickstep and finnstep.

      Oh I forgot, D/W don't really know how to dance, do they? HA! Then they definitely belong on the show with the others who are/have been athletes. They can show us how the "Emperor really wasn't wearing any clothes" so to speak, over the last couple seasons of figure skating in spite of the accolades given them. And I do mean given because they sure as hell didn't earn those marks or those medals.

    7. Truthfully, I never thought DW had an advantage. Still, I didn't expect that DWTS would include "regular" performers every bit as fit (so DW aren't slaying people with their fitness, because there are at least three other celebs - Danica McKellar, Candace Bure and Amy Purdy) who can match them in that respect on the floor, and bring to the game strengths DW don't have.

      At this writing I think Charlie has an advantage because he has the better, more insightful pro, and he seems be able to change his settingsl. in response to having a different partner, unlike Meryl.

  7. S. Korea to file complaint over Winter Games figure skating judging

    The Korean Olympic Committee named the judges it questioned, including Yuri Balkov, a Ukranian, who was suspended for trying to fix the 1998 Olympic ice-dance competition. Alla Shekhovtseva, a Russian married to the head of the Russian figure skating federation, was also named. Ms. Shekhovtseva was shown hugging Sotnikova on camera after her performance, the statement said.

    Where is Skate Canada? How come no one is questioning Rettstatt and other officials bring facebook buddies with Charlie's mom? How come no one wants to investigate who the Russian coach was that spoke to L'Equipe and whether the claims had merit?

    1. This is why Skate Canada won't do jackshit:

      "We had to be extremely careful with our action because filing a complaint may adversely affect our relationships with the ISU and international figure skating judges, which could put our athletes at a disadvantage at future competitions," the statement read. "However, after deliberating over what would be the best course of action for our people, we decided to appeal with the ISU."

      God forbid anything get in the way of David Dore's and Benoit Lavoie's ISU ambitions.

    2. Where is Skate Canada? If anybody filed a complaint on behalf of Virtue Moir, Skate Canada would testify for the defense. Everything at Sochi was legit. It's apples and oranges. VM are great but DW brought it.

      Just like the past three seasons. SC is carrying water for the USFSA where DW versus VM are concerned.

    3. Well I have commend the South Korean Olympic Committee for at least trying to see whether there was collusion in the individual's women's event.
      What will be interesting to see if - the South Koreans also believe that due to the team event being first - there was a predetermined outcome set for the individual events....
      Not only do I blame Skate Canada but really the Canadian Olympic Committee doesn't want to rock the boat either - against the Americans...but then again I truly believe that the Canadian Olympic Committee knew that Skate Canada's priorities were with Patrick Chan...and let's face it over Canada did okay in terms of results for these Olympic Games and unfortunately as Canadians - the only medal of importance is really men's hockey.
      And unfortuntely in ice-dance this corruption/collusion started at least 2 years ago...Hell even PB when they saw who would be judging at these Olympics knew that their chances were slim...and folks that speaks volumes...actually the judges should not have been chosen until the week before the Olympics - not 3 months in advance - crap....

    4. @Anon 5:23: "Hell even PB when they saw who would be judging at these Olympics knew that their chances were slim...and folks that speaks volumes...actually the judges should not have been chosen until the week before the Olympics - not 3 months in advance - crap...."

      You have to wonder if all the judges for the snowboard, mogul and other judged events at Sochi were chosen three (!!!) months in advance. I highly doubt it.

    5. Anon at 5:33 pm - yes I doubt the judges for other sports actually were chosen way in advance...speaking of moguls - because of fair judging - Alex Bilodeau won the Olympics. For people who don't follow moguls closely - the last two years, Bilodeau was actually consistently finishing in second place behind his fellow Canadian, Mikael Kingsbury (who won silver at the Olympics). Kingsbury was actually the favourite going into the Olympics but at the same time Bilodeau had won the last event before the Olympics. So for Bilodeau - he actually peaked at the right time and won. This should have been the same for VM by winning the GPF in Japan and then the individual segment at the Olympics...
      Thus VM should have been in the same company as Bilodeau and Kallie Humphries/Heather Moyse as repeat gold medalists from Vancouver. (I don't count the mens or womens hockey team as repeats since it's not the same players...for the most part)...

    6. Anon 5:51pm: not only would V/M should be repeat gold medallists from Vancouver, they would be the first Canadian figure skaters of ANY discipline to successfully defend an Olympic title.THAT is the message that fucking Skate Canada should have gotten behind; historic repeat gold for V/M, and first men's OGM in Patrick.

    7. Well I think the interview with PJ Kwong and Rebecca Babb was such an eye opener prior to the GPF that when PJ asked what Chan would need to do to win gold - she indicated - skate clean. And when asked about VM, Rebecca Babb had a long pause and then said they needed to skate clean, powerful and be passionate (if I remember correctly). But according to her tone - it was obvious that Chan was the priority.
      And if Skate Canada was actually a decent sport's organization - they would have sat down with Patrick Chan and said - going into the Olympic season - you need a technical coach period. And no Mike Slipchuk doesn't count...I want to know if any other Canadian athlete at the Olympics did not have a coach with national credentials...hell if professional athletes like the NHL players understand that for the Olympics - you forgo - your own superstar status - you play the system that the coaching staff wants you to play...well then I can't understand how Skate Canada did not approach Chan about his coaching situation or lack thereof...and to be honest - Chan is lucky that Plushenko did not compete in the individual event because there is a good chance that he would have ended up with a bronze medal....
      With regards to the future, there is talent within Canada but boy did Skate Canada and the Canadian media miss the boat over the last 2-3 years...

    8. That actually makes V/M's answers to Strombo's coaching question all the more full of shit and seems to reiterate that they will throw *anyone* under the bus if they feel it is in their best interest. Not only did they contradict themselves left and right in their answers, they played to what a (presumably) uneducated audience wanted to hear, which was about the coach - who was visible.

      Tessa's "how did we think it was going to work?" was particularly idiotic because give me a fucking break, Strombo even gave her an out by reiterating that he admittedly doesn't understanding figure skating culture and why teams would train together. Then V/M both went on about "not having support" but kept that vague as shit, saying in the last two or three months they didn't even need a coach, then turned around and talked about working with the rest of their coaching team. If they didn't need a coach, why would it have mattered what Marina Zoueva was doing with D/W? What about their federation? Where was it? In their post-FD remarks they couldn't stop praising Skate Canada for what it had done for them. And when asked if they'd do it all over again the same way, they said yes.

      They are so full of it. I swear they just let things spew out of their mouths and most of the time, never give much thought as to whether they make any kind of sense. Just like with their lies about their relationship. The big elephant in the room is the ISU and its reinforcement of corruption, but that gets a pass from Tessa in interviews because she wants the sport to have "credibility" and focusing on a scandal will prevent that from happening. I have news for you Tessa, the sport will never have credibility when its results are predetermined.

    9. Anon 6:42: Agreed: She could have said that many skaters share coaches; heck, Brian Orser coaches two top competitors in Hanyu and Fernandez, and if you could includ Nam Nguyen, he could be coaching three medal contenders in 2018. It's not so unusual.

      I sense that Scott is sincere in saying that they wouldn't have gotten to where they without Marina, I just wish they hadn't said all the other "we didn't need a coach" crap.

    10. 6:42
      I agree.
      Tessa and Scott have always been full of contradictions when it comes to their personal relationship. It's too bad now their b.s. includes their professional lives as well.

      I think they are so accustomed to spinning and lying, that's become the default for everything. Whatever fits the immediate audience and the immediate moment. Being Canada's darlings is all that matters. Genuine answers can take a flying leap. And no Tessa and Scott, your brand of "genuine" does not count.

    11. IMO Rebecca Rabb's tone said "They're not going to win gold no matter how they skate." I believe most people in figure skating knew the fix was in.

    12. Anon at 6:42 pm - I agree with your assessment - I also just watched the available clip from the Strombo show to be aired next week. To be honest - I have issues with Zoueva but she shouldn't be the scapegoat with what happened with VM. Did she help VMs situation? No. But was she the reason that VM lost last year with Carmen...No...But really I would be interested in what happened between her, Arctic Edge, Sphilband and the USFSA....It appears that Tessa is more willing to throw Zoueva under the bus than Scott...
      We all know that the scandal involves the judges and the skating federations period...and in this case - I believe the $$$$ from the DW camp itself...

    13. Anon here at 7:06 pm - am I impressed with VMs answers in this Stromo clip? No...and as others have said - their answers could have been better construed...but in their defense after their loss at the GPF - and the lack of an outcry from anybody - whether Zoueva, Skate Canada or the media was a hard pill to swallow...I still commend them for their fight and dedication to their craft...even after the team event..they could have easily crumbled...but instead they rose to the occasion and should have won both segments...it will take time for them to digest what happened and move on...hell I am still peeved at the judging...so I can't imagine that they are over it either...so I am willing to cut them a little bit of slack here...

    14. I would cut them more slack if Tessa Virtue wasn't reiterating how she wants the sport to have credibility and because of that, she doesn't want people to focus on a judging scandal. She said that not ten seconds after Scott Moir all but admitted the results were probably predetermined. And that was in the same interview where they openly questioned their coach's support for them, before Scott turned around and admitted they wouldn't have ever gotten to where they did in the sport without her.

      If no one was making a stink about the corruption, why is their coach being thrown under the bus but the press itself, and of course their federation, is being given a pass by V/M? Because Zoueva didn't go with them to Nationals? If they're pissed about that or feel it hurt them in this final season, that all but PROVES the entire sport is a farce. Just like how you can't show anyone you're injured or the judges will smack you around even if you skate the cleanest, most precise program of your lives.

      Make no mistake, the sport turned on V/M, but it's not as though they were innocent victims who had no recourse. If their feelings were hurt by Zoueva's actions, that is fine. But inferring that somehow had to do with the results at the Olympics? That's what they're doing by keeping their answers vague, either purposefully or not, when the larger problem no one is talking about is the sport's culture of corruption.

    15. Let's not forget V/M both said that after GPF, they went to their coach with their concerns and she was very receptive and worked with them to try and fix whatever problems they were supposedly having, even though none of them could figure out what those problems even were (if they existed at all) or what the judges wanted from them.

      They were all essentially flying blind but now they're talking about their coach not giving them "enough support?" WTF does that even mean? Their own federation was praising D/W's skating out the ass! Those guys get a pass, but the coach who together with V/M put together two incredibly difficult, CoP-centric, gold medal programs gets thrown under the bus?

    16. I just find Tessa's "how did we think it was going to work?" comments ridiculous. We were sharing a coach with our biggest competitors (which we've pretty much always done), how did we think that would work out for us in the end (even though it pretty much always had until last season)?

      Meanwhile, throughout the last quad, their federation is praising D/W's skating as equal to V/M's, as was the Canadian press, and the Canadian television announcers (including Kurt Browning, PJ Kwong, Brenda Irving, etc., even though D/W are practically getting away with murder on the ice. Hey Tessa, maybe when you ask "how did we think it was going to work?" you should question everyone else on that "outside of Canton" Canadian team you so love and praise in the press.

    17. Obviously, we have to consider that a lot of this is Moirville and Ilderton Skating Club based. The ISC is affiliated with SC. More than that, and possibly more significantly than that, the relationships go back years. Maybe the Moirs were set up like shooting ducks, and just have to take it if they intend to continue to thrive as a Scott-and-Tessa flogging, Canada's-the-Best! enterprise.

      Clearly, no question, something is up with Skate Canada and DW's win. The public record evidence is inarguable. DW's Federation kept them as close to 120 as possible for 3 successive Nationals. VM's Federation tried to drag them down as close to 100 as possible for three consecutive Canadians.

      DW's Federatoins portrayed them as mighty warriers. Dominent. Rolling in. Smiting.

      VM's Federaton spent its time encouraging us to accept DW and VM as equal, and who wins dependant upon the day. SC was silent after the GPF, mealy mouthed and indifferent after Sochi. Bottom line, the highest ranking ISU official who knows jackshit about figure skating technique is SC veteran and ISU vice president David Dore, who presided over this quad's WTF elevation of DW, nitpicking and point stripping of VM. Could this have taken place without his - not just okay - but without his instigation? No.

    18. "Clearly, no question, something is up with Skate Canada and DW's win. The public record evidence is inarguable. DW's Federation kept them as close to 120 as possible for 3 successive Nationals. VM's Federation tried to drag them down as close to 100 as possible for three consecutive Canadians."

      I'll give you 12 and 13 nationals, but their scores at this year's nationals were correct and high. If Tessa hadn't messed up that twizzle in the FD, they would have outscored or matched what DW were given at US Nationals. In the SD, watching live in the arena, Tessa did legitimately miss the key point on the one Finnstep sequence, and if she hadn't, they would have outscored what DW were given.

      Obviously, I think the occasions where SC has lowballed VM at nationals compared to what they put on the ice are terrible. However, as far as 2014 Nationals is concerned, when the scores did match what they put on the ice, I don't think ignoring two real errors just because it was VM would have been an answer to anything being done in the US.

    19. yeah i wouldn't consider that as throwing marina under the bus because she is not 100% innocent. it was obvious d/w were her top priority at the expense of not only v/m but of other teams that train in canton.

      and anon 7:59 PM what else could tessa say? if she tells the truth about the sport people especially d/w ubers would whine and accuse tessa of being a "sore loser"

      it seems like whatever answer they give they can never win. whether they tell the truth, a half-truth or a lie.

    20. No matter what they say, someone will accuse them of being a sore loser.

      I don't understand why so many people are willing to forgive or accept V/M's statements but not Marina Zoueva's if that's going to be the logic put forth here.

      I don't think anything was obvious about Zoueva, is my point. I think it's obvious D/W were going to win Olympic gold because that pattern was reflected in the scores for two seasons. But when both she and V/M are saying "it's up to the judges" and "we don't even know what they wanted," I don't know how that becomes "it was obvious D/W were her top priority."

      My issue is this: if V/M are going to go around focusing on their coach only, particularly making statements like "we didn't feel we had enough support from her," that is ridiculous if they don't also say the same thing about their federation and the Canadian press, both of whom played a central role in reinforcing the elevation of D/W to the top. In that sense, they *are* throwing her under the bus while everybody else gets a pass. How is not being a "sore loser" to criticize her "support" but it *is* being a sore loser to criticize their own fed, the media, or the ISU?

    21. you are forgetting that the canadian press also backed them up albeit at the last minute. their fed?? thats a lost cause and has been a lost cause for a long time ago. and technically, they aren't throwing marina under the bus considering being thrown under the bus is defined as "to sacrifice some other person, usually one who is undeserving or at least vulnerable, to make personal gain"

      tell me what do v/m personally gain from "criticizing" their coach? so far they've gain nothing and will gain nothing - marina has won in the end. and really its not like marina is undeserving of this criticism considering she has done some shady shit as well throughout the season..

    22. @1:06 AM, you're forgetting that the Canadian press didn't really "back them up" until *after* the L'Equipe article was released alluding to collusion between the USFSA and the Russian federation. It's not as though there was some great jump to defend V/M and question D/W's win at Worlds 2013. Nobody in Canada really moved on the issue until somebody in France blew it open first, and even then the support was marginal at best. The majority of the Canadian articles focused on the "scandal" continued to argue that D/W's results all season had been fair. It wasn't until after the Olympic team and individual events concluded that suddenly everyone in Canada lost their minds in anger.

      You didn't answer the question asked in my previous post. How is it being a sore loser to call out their fed, or the press, or the ISU, but it *isn't* being one to call out their coach? And why can the "sore loser" logic not be applied to their coach calling out the judges for their marks? You think because she also coached D/W, Zoueva criticizing V/M's marks wouldn't have been attacked? What about the possibility it would have made the situation worse? Have you considered that? Please explain what "done some shady shit" entails, exactly. Not going to Canadian Nationals? Saying positive things about D/W in the press? You might not like those things, but I hardly believe they can be defined as "shady." Unless you have some proof Zoueva was in collusion with the ISU that isn't merely hearsay you picked up on a Russian message board.

      What do V/M "gain" from criticizing their coach? The public believes (correctly) that V/M were robbed of a gold medal. I'm assuming V/M believe that as well, no matter what they say otherwise. Somebody visible has to take the blame for that, you can't be robbed of something by no one. *Someone* had to set the scam in motion. V/M *could* stand up and say that the culture of their sport facilitates the corruption, but they aren't saying that. They could say that their federation is supposed to be their biggest cheerleader and it clearly wasn't, but they aren't saying that either. So they focus on the coach, because she's visible and lo and behold, also coaches their competitors. Focusing on her is also a way of zeroing in on the "problem" as being a superficial one, when the reality is it goes far deeper. But listen to what Tessa says: she wants the sport to have credibility and in her estimation, focusing on scandals takes away from that. She's coming at that completely backward, but that's the logic she's employing.

      In other words, V/M can't say "everything was great, nothing strange happened during the Olympics" because EVERYONE knows something strange *did* happen. But V/M also aren't calling out the system as the ultimate culprit because they mistakenly believe to do so is to remove "credibility" from the sport (they're wrong), or because their families are too tied up in Skate Canada at various levels so they won't go after the fed. Instead, they're letting Zoueva take the fall for what happened - for the strangeness. Except they can't even do that 100%, because halfway through Scott's conscience always seems to kick in and he comes out and admits he and Tessa would not be where they are today without Zoueva as their coach.

    23. Watch the Strombo interview and look at V/M's faces when they're asked the coaching question. They put on their best "fake reaction" faces that come out almost cartoon-like in their overreach. They are hedging hard in that moment while also playing to the audience. They're keeping the attention on the thing everyone can see - that they shared a coach with D/W - and allowing it to be inferred that doing so is why they probably lost the Olympics. Except sharing a coach is not why they lost the Olympics. What happened went much deeper than that.

    24. Marian wasn't the only problem but she is hardly innocent.
      That starts with her statements about being sad that DW lost ( which by default means she was sad VM won ) in 2012 while saying she can't be sad for VM in 2013.
      She worked on Schez for three years while VM got a last minute second choice program ( she had a different program in mind but then decided to give it to another team ).
      She called DW perfect every chance she got while downplaying and criticizing VM.
      What kind of coach would do that ? She promoted DW as much as she could but she didn't do the same for VM.

    25. I absolutely agree with you anon 4.15 ! Last year Marina found the way to criticize even Tessa's dress and lack of confidence after 4cc...
      Really...what kind of coach would do that ?

    26. I don’t get why at this site it’s always this zero sum game where you can either blame Marina OR Skate Canada. You can’t agree with VM’s comments here because you had a problem with Marina’s comments at some other time, or you can’t say Marina didn’t support them in this aspect because look what SC did there.

      IMO, SC, Marina, VM, and others ALL contributed to this problem. A BIG part of the problem was that no one was willing to come out and say that VM are the best skaters on the ice today, bar none, with no hesitation better than everyone else. Actually, some did, but they were usually Russian, which is bizarre knowing the history of SC propping skaters like BK. Even VM themselves played into this by saying they learned so much from DW and propping DW in their reality show. SC wouldn’t say it, and Marina couldn’t. When even your own federation and your own coach cannot or will not come out and say you’re the unmitigated best in the sport, its giving the ISU a license to do what they want to you, that nobody is going to defend you, and that they can get away with that.

      To me it’s clear why they only discuss the Marina part of the issue (and they haven’t even said anything bad about her, IMO – for every fan who is frustrated that they’re “selling Marina under the bus” there is one that thinks they are being overly nice about her). They are pretty much stuck with SC if they want to continue. If they wanted to change federations, they’d need to sit out a whole year and possibly re-locate. If they wanted to compete at another Olympics, they would need to obtain citizenship from a new country, which may entail renouncing their Canadian citizenship. It’s no small thing for parents of a young child.

      A coach, OTOH, you can change on a dime. So it makes sense to me that if they’re reflecting back on what they could’ve done, changing coaches is part of that conversation, thinking about how they thought it was going to work with the same coach is part of it, but controlling how SC promoted them and scored them at Nationals isn’t. They also can’t control or speak out against the culture of the sport or the ISU if they intend to compete again.

      And I don’t think they’re sore losers at all. Quite the opposite, they are still contributing to the idea that it was subjective and DW also had their good points.

    27. My problem with your comments and like minded here, 9:53 is it wasn’t “obvious’ DW were Marina's number one priority, nobody has been able to produce her quoted opinion that DW ought to have won in 2012 and she was sad they lost, and nobody's said what shady shit she's supposedly done.

      WHERE is she "downplaying VM and criticizing them every chance she gets?" As people are so convinced, surely they can link to the many examples.

      As to Tessa's confidence and her dress - did we or did we not just conclude a serialized reality show in which Tessa presented herself as lacking confidence on the ice and off? And it doesn't occur to anybody that Marina is parroting what her skaters want her to say?

      Marina never says anything of substance in public. She's always about feelings, impressions and hyperbolic romantic descriptions and keeps technique and scores and everything else out of the public eye, both for DW and for VM. If Marina says Tessa wasn't feeling confident, and Tessa spends an entire reality show clubbing us in the head with her lack of confidence, I think we can safely say Marina is following Tessa's lead and, likely, her explicit instructions. Remember, the non-reality show Tessa is "blunt."

      Did I imagine it, or did Tessa Virtue not say, in her reality show, that DW are perfect in what they do? Is anybody really seizing on the "what they do" part of her remark, instead of hearing "perfect"? In their reality show, VM talked about DW's perfection, their great scores, and never once lifted an eyebrow about how come VMweren't getting better scores. They never said in that reality show why the hell were we scored so low? They said we screwed up. We have to get better. Their own show!

      Shit, they pretended to be worried about Weaver & Poje! They sold their skating down the river in that show, and to a national audience, not just to skating fans.

      As to throwing someone under the bus - that expression does apply to Marina when VM insinuate the coaching situation was an issue as a way of avoiding criticizing the power structure. Marina is a successful coach but she's not the power structure. It seems to me many fans are a whole lot more interested in taking it to Marina than in dealing with the power structure.

      They also seem to think only Marina is reluctant to deal with the power structure, but some other training center would be delighted to do so on VM's behalf if only they had the privilege of coaching VM. That this other coach would be right in there questioning DW's scores and asking how come VM were always getting screwed over, and they'd be doing it loudly and often.

      Right? Even if it's clear the screw job was coming from the ISU itself, with the cooperation of Skate Canada, VM's non-Marina coach would blow right by that and talk truth to power. Virtue and Moir are the best - why aren't they scored as the best? Why aren't they winning against DW when they're better than DW. Here, let me point out step by step, in the blades, how VM are doing it better than DW.

      No. Because this wasn't some little judging favor swap. This was ISU driven. The Big Kahunas were behind it. ANY coach is going to be coaching long after VM has left the building. They're not going to call out the ISU (which is what, essentially, they would be doing by saying VM are the best). The ISU isn't going to say - Oops, caught! Better go back to being legit! VM's coach just pretty much established slam dunk that VM are the best on the planet!

      The ISU wasn't fucking around when it came to DW. There was a big agenda to give them Sochi gold. That agenda isn't going to get derailed because a coach speaks out.

    28. I'd like to mention again that it's VM who were downplaying themselves every chance they got. Their reality show was built around that theme.

      Another problem with the coach speaking out is the media has no idea if the coach is right or not with his or her claims about how good their skaters are, because the media isn't capable of verifying for themselves. They don't know ice dance. Not on the ice, not the rulebook.

      It is, actually, the only real "independent' agents in this whole scenario who fell down on the job this past quad. The sports journalists. And I don't mean those who are credentialed only for figure skating. I mean legit sports journalists with big bylines from a major outlet. They're the only ones who could say "VM are the best" without penalty. They didn't, because they don't know figure skating.

      The power structure at issue here is the ISU and Skate Canada. VM can always make it up with Marina. She's not going to cold shoulder them for questioning her in public. It's safer to make her the scapegoat than to address that the sport is corrupt. His family is in the sport and part of the Fed (as is Tessa's dad part of the Fed). They haven't said if they're retiring or not.

      I agree that there needed to be a voice saying that Virtue and Moir were the best ice dancers out there today, bar none.

      But anybody who became that voice would have put a target on their back.

      So nobody did. Skaters overseas, skaters in North America, the Canadian media, Skate Canada, other coaches - some of the very coaches people wish were coaching VM - NOBODY SAID IT.

      There is a reason, and I don't think it is because Marina coached both teams. Nobody said it. Maybe Tarasova, but she didn't get specific. She didn't go to how it was scored, and that's where the corruption existed.

      The reason is nobody wanted to get in trouble by saying VM were the best. And I think it's obvious that extends to any training center where VM would have gone instead of Arctic Edge. We have people speaking up left, right and center about Slotnikova versus Yuna Kim - other coaches, other skaters, not even from Korea - and there is less validity to those complaints than in the DW versus VM situation. But everybody inside the sport is silent on VM or dismissing complaints about the results.

      When it did come up via L'Equipe, Skate Canada did its best to dismiss it as Russian griping and to shove it back under the rug.

      Do we think all of this is coincidence? If VM only relocated suddenly their training center would be shouting to the world about their superiority?

      How come their Federation didn't? How come the Canadian media didn't? Even P.J. Kwong didn't! She pro-actively worked to tell us VM and DW were equal. After the Olympics she pretty much told us to suck it up and show DW respect. P.J. freaking Kwong.

      ONE person spoke truth to power, belatedly - Beverly Smith.

      This was a systemic situation. When you have all of the players across the board, on the ice and by the boards, all singing from the same hymnal, SOMETHING IS UP.

      Even DW fans can't seriously believe that nobody with standing, no coach, no skater, no commentator, no journalist - nobody - believes VM are better than VM.

      (Even though that's not the real issue. The real issue is how bad DW are.)

      What happened to Virtue Moir was obviously coming from the ISU. Somebody set the wheels in motion.The blog has shared its suspicion that this somebody is David Dore. It can't have been carried out for as long as it was carried out, as consistently as it was carried out, with simply a few trade-offs among judges or officials. We had Skate Canada on board, and all of its mouthpieces and affiliated wordsmiths and commentators.

      It's because of WHERE the corruption is coming from that people are silent. And that would include any training center where VM relocated. That training center too, would be silent.

    29. It came from the ISU, not low level favor trading, because for years it's been DW consistently, reliably, getting stratospheric scores in defiance of their program content, their missteps, their inferior skating skills and their dumbed down way of doing elements, in flagrant disregard of the sport's own rulebook standards and criteria. It's Virtue and Moir consistently, reliably, getting jerked around on levels in order to keep scores for brilliant skating lower than they deserved. Furthermore, there was the consistent pattern of Virtue and Moir late in the day being informed that a showpiece part of their program should be changed lest it drop their scores further. This was the situation. It came from the top. Some other training center, if they said "VM are the best in the world" and backed it up, would be bucking the power structure to which it belonged. People who don't coach DW haven't spoken up. People who aren't North American haven't spoken up. People who actually prefer VM haven't challenged the results in a meaningful way, the way skating notables all over the world were happy to have shit fits over Slotnikova versus Yuna Kim, and Slotnikova versus Yuna Kim is a whole lot more legit and less problematic than DW versus VM.

      I think the ISU encourages Everybody Against Russia. It's an easy narrative for the sport, an easy rivalry to promote. I sometimes wonder if North American skaters actually do hold any particular suspicion about Russian skaters and the Russian Fed, or if it's simply encouraged in the culture because the media loves it and it's an easy pitch to the skating fans.

    30. And, in fact, I wonder if Marina were a native North American coaching both DW and VM if the "Hmm, we should have looked at our coaching situation." angle would be pursued as it is now. She's from Russia. She has an accent, and this is figure skating in North America. Russia is always The Other in North American figure skating.

    31. @4:15 AM, a judge from the panel who has been suspended in the past by the ISU for engaging in collusion, and is married to a major federation official, running over to hug and celebrate with the gold medalist in ladies figure skating after she won with questionably high scores - is shady.

      I would not define a coach saying she wondered why her team's scores on some elements weren't higher, or praising their skating in general, as shady. You're taking comments about a lift and Zoueva saying she foresaw D/W skating to Shez and turning that into "she worked on that program for three years!" which is your inference, as is "V/M got a last minute, second choice program" which is the result of you conflating more statements and turning them into unsubstantiated facts in your mind. My point is, I don't think there's anything wrong with criticizing Zoueva, but I have yet to see most people be able to do so without resorting to inventing things she's supposedly said or did. Saying you wish both teams could have won, or that you aren't sure about the TES scores of one of their teams, does not equate to saying "I am sad V/M won Worlds 2012!"

      "Even VM themselves played into this by saying they learned so much from DW and propping DW in their reality show. SC wouldn’t say it, and Marina couldn’t. When even your own federation and your own coach cannot or will not come out and say you’re the unmitigated best in the sport, its giving the ISU a license to do what they want to you, that nobody is going to defend you, and that they can get away with that."

      Yes. This is the larger issue. I agree with 7:50 AM that this is not a zero sum game, and I'm not trying to say it is in my posts. The entire fucking system is to blame, and Zoueva is a part of that system just as V/M, SC, and ISU officials are a part. But V/M sitting around in interviews contradicting themselves isn't doing anybody any favors, it's merely reinforcing the problems that plague the sport in the first place. I don't see them as victims powerless against a larger system. They have come up and participated in, and benefitted from that system themselves. They are willing participants who experienced what it feels like to have the sport turn on them. That is what is frustrating because it underscores that the corruption in the sport is so deep, and everyone is so tied into and brought up within its culture, that to call it out is deemed "impossible," and so the circle of corruption remains unbroken.

    32. you are all forgetting that v/m were asked a question on both occasion that strictly focused on their coach. so far, no one has asked them if they felt their fed didn't back them up. and when they say marina wasn't there sometimes they're just stating a fact because she wasn't there at their nationals. people who say "it makes sense for her to be @ u.s. nationals because she has two teams american teams" seem to forget that marina also coaches a canadian sibling team who were at nationals as well. who needs her support the most at nationals? d/w who are number 1 in the world? the shibs who have a bronze medal under their belt? (before people say the shibs were in danger of not making the team, i doubt the usfsa would send H/D especially considering their injury and that they don't have a worlds bronze medal. just look what happened to mirai... even though she beat ashley she wasn't allowed to go because ashley had a more succesful quad than she had.) or v/m who are second and that canadian sibling team who hardly won anything?

      i dont get how some of you who have heavily criticized v/m's show can go on acting like marina is a saint. v/m said that their team gave their seal of approval when they asked them if they can do the show and since marina was on that team, marina must've gave her approval as well. judging by the huge role she played in the show, she probably made a massive profit. she basically capitalized off the sham. that doesn't concern you? her nonchalance regarding v/m's marks (which was shown on their show) doesn't concern you? where was marina when the judges kept on saying tessa was injured? why wasn't she doing her job to reassure them she is healthy like she did in 2010?

      like 4:15 said, marina wasn't the only problem. she played her role in this farce that ended up screwing v/m over just like skate canada did.

      i'm glad though that scott addressed how the media misconstrued their comments though.

    33. "where was marina when the judges kept on saying tessa was injured?"

      Please show us where judges went on the record and said Tessa was injured. Not what you read as hearsay on some Russian message board, but on the record where Zoueva could then come out and, also on the record, refute those statements.

      And who is acting like she is a saint? I don't believe anyone here is doing that. She participated in their show and has, in the past, helped V/M lie. That is not a secret. But if you're taking anything that was actually *said* on the show as an indicator of who Zoueva, or V/M really are or how they feel, you are buying into the bill of goods they sold you. If you agree that the show spread fictionalized lies, why are you so willing to believe that everything Zoueva said or did on there was *not* scripted or part of a larger pre-set narrative.

      "people who say "it makes sense for her to be @ u.s. nationals because she has two teams american teams" seem to forget that marina also coaches a canadian sibling team who were at nationals as well."

      Who had absolutely NO chance of making the senior Canadian Olympic team. Come on, you can do better than that.

    34. "Who had absolutely NO chance of making the senior Canadian Olympic team. Come on, you can do better than that. " So? that doesn't mean they didn't need her support

    35. "So? that doesn't mean they didn't need her support"

      Oh, well sure. Well argued there. Because the Shibs didn't need her support, right @1:05 PM? You're mad at Zoueva for not accompanying V/M to Nationals, fine. Just admit that offended you. Instead you're making a poorly constructed argument that a junior team with no shot at the Olympics needed more support from her than a senior team who would be in a tight race with two other teams to make its first Olympic squad.

    36. Given their history, I can certainly understand why some of you might think VM are lying or exaggerating things with regards to Marina. The thing is, none of us are privy to their day-to-day training situation, none of us know what it's really like. And most of all, none of us know how they felt about it. People who are big fans of Marina will complain they're throwing her under the bus, people who don't like her will be happy they're finally being honest but it's stupid to act like we're experts on this.

    37. "you are all forgetting that v/m were asked a question on both occasion that strictly focused on their coach. so far, no one has asked them if they felt their fed didn't back them up."

      Yes. This means Virtue and Moir don't want to talk about their Fed or the ISU and are shifting focus to Marina because that's easier.

      Or do you really think Virtue and Moir sit down and answer any question the interviewer wants to ask? You don't realize they know what they're going to be asked, and in fact, pretty much are the ones who DECIDE what they want to be asked? Every interview they do is a promotion, it's not a real interview.

      You KNOW VM do interview prep. You know they are in a vulnerable position if the interviewer can ask whatever they want based on the interviewer's research. "So, some people say you're married with a daughter. How do you react to that?" They are not in a vulnerable position when they are "interviewed". They know what they're going to be asked, in most cases how they'll be asked (For instance, the couple question is constantly framed this way: "You're not a couple but fans really want you to be." That is no coincidence.)

      The fact that the interviewers ask Virtue and Moir about Marina and not the ISU or Skate Canada means Virtue and Moir want to be asked about their coach, not about their Fed.

      >>>@4:15 AM, a judge from the panel who has been suspended in the past by the ISU for engaging in collusion, and is married to a major federation official, running over to hug and celebrate with the gold medalist in ladies figure skating after she won with questionably high scores - is shady.<<<<

      It is, and be it noted that the shadiness of the ladies judging panel was immediately made public but nobody wants to talk about Shawn Restatt (for example) or what's up with the tech callers or the judges in ice dance. Everybody assumes every ice dance panel giving DW massive scores is, on faith, incorruptible. Every dance panel that drops a level or gives mediocre GOE to VM is just calling it as they see it. It's amazing that the media and public are able to find out things immediately about "this" set of judges and nothing about "that" set of judges.

    38. They might give interviewers a list of topics they don't want to talk about (if any) but I don't think they dictate the questions asked in an interview like Stombo's. The general public finds it strange that they're sharing the same coach and have no idea of Skate Canada's failings: t's not exactly a mystery why they'd be asked about one thing and not the other. And complaining about the ISU is not a good idea if you want to be accepted in the FS community, especially if you might want to compete again. They've complained indirectly and that's more than I would have expected, to be honest.

    39. I don't know where you get the idea they don't pre-interview with Strombo.

    40. 7:38 - you know, most of this stuff is available on the web if you just use the search function. I don't know how some people arrive at their opinions without first getting a good overview about how something works, runs or operates. It's there.

      Of course they pre-interview for Strombo. First of all, look at Strombo's background:


      Let me sum up. That boils down to entertainment media and public relations (hand-in-hand) - entertainment media is built on what the guests are promoting. Wrapped in an interview, sure, but the interview is just the delivery system for the promotion.

      Strombo has a lot of irons in the fire besides his show, and he interviews a range of celebrity guests - sports, show business, politicians, musicians, etc. etc. HE IS NOT FOLLOWING ICE DANCE CONTROVERSY. Nor does he know what's up with each of the guests booked on his show by following it personally. He does not have the time. He knows Scott and Tessa via meeting them interviewing them, but, like every entertainment media figure on the planet, his "research" team gets together with the interview subjects or the interview subjects' people, and together the range and scope and even the presentation of the interview is agreed upon in advance, including restrictions and conditions. A "research" team in entertainment media isn't going out into the field, getting stuff first hand. A "research" team follows up on the booker's job (the booker books the guest) and liaisons with the interview subject to find out in more detail what's being promoted and what's going to be discussed and how. The format can be looser or tighter depending on the host's style and the allotted time, but everybody, including Strombo, stays on the reservation and the focus is driven by what the subjects, not what Strombo, are there to talk about.

  8. Again, amazing how the reality show is now forgotten. In the reality show, Scott and Tessa lifted a narrative directly from fan message boards and started voice overing and talking heading to us about Marina - is she on their side as much? Is she giving more to DW?

    Remember how full of shit the entire reality show is and go ahead and believe these Marina parts are nothing but straight up and not diversionary and pandering. Go ahead and believe that Virtue and Moir don't set an agenda in pre-interview and the interviewer is simply asking questions the interviewer wants answered, not delivering questions given to him/her by Virtue and Moir based on what Virtue and Moir want to be asked and the message they want to put out.

    1. And that should be obvious from the fact that every interviewer, without fail, has couched the question in exactly the same way...."So, explain this to me..." "I don't understand how..." "I can't get my head round....." "People can't understand...." So either there are some very lazy journalists out there, lifting their questions from the very last interview V/M did, or....they're handed their talking points.

    2. No, it's not about lazy journalism. It's about certain topics being off the table going in. Scott and Tessa can't count on interviewers being "lazy" and simply lifting questions from some other interview the "journalist" saw, because what if the journalist decided to be lazy in another way and base questions from stuff that's on the internet?

      Scott and Tessa are not exposing themselves to an unrestricted, unconditional interview situation. It's completely restricted and conditional going in. Someone may frame the question more or less aggressively than before, push a little harder than is comfortable, but remain totally clear of no go areas. No go areas are Skate Canada, the ISU, and the widespread fan discussion of their marital status and their daughter. It's not just here. What the blog says has been reported on twitter and in discussion communities. It's completely normal to bring up rumors or stories or hot topics, if only so the interview subject can dismiss them. Scott and Tessa have that off limits. They'll make up rumors to debunk, but they won't let this be addressed.

  9. Aussie Willy outdoes herself yet again: "The level on elements is not determined by the difficulty. It is determined by meeting certain criteria. It D&W meet the criteria then they get the levels."

    1. They get the levels even if they don't meet the criteria, AW. See "flats on key points."

    2. I know, but I love how she implies that it's not "difficulty" that merits the level, just "criteria." For what exactly? Since the inception of the IJS, it has been stated that the technical panel determines the level of the element (how difficult it is), while the judges determine how well it was executed. So when someone notes how much easier DW's twizzles are, the answer shouldn't be "it met the criteria, therefore it is level 4" although as you point out, they don't even do that much of the time. It's just part of this endemic "let's look at what the protocols say and what the criteria say and trust it." The question is (and your blog is one that brought this up), why are dance hops the criteria for a level 4, when it's easier to do it that way? Why don't other teams do it that way? It can't be that it's too difficult for others, since Andreev, Gilles, and juniors do it DW's way, and most teams stop when they want to be taken seriously.

  10. I'm not sure if this is mentioned somewhere but WHY was there an agenda for DW to win?

    1. I have no idea. One guess - the USFSA wanted it (versus the ISU wanting it) and worked it out as a "team" with the ISU. Under this hypothesis, the deal was between the USFSA and the ISU and David Dore was positioned to get Skate Canada on board or at least silent, and the ISU made sure the international judging community/tech callers were on board.

      Skate Canada was more than silent - they enabled all of this. And while I know it's been pointed out Scott and Tessa got decent scores at the last Canadians, if Davis White had made any type of error at their own Nationals the judging panel would have ignored it and credited them anyway. Not for VM at Skate Canada.

      Remember when Marina said the USFSA wanted to know why Marina gave Davis White "Phantom of the Opera" while giving Virtue Moir Mahler - wanting to know if Davis White weren't getting her best. She and Charlie had to make the case for Phantom.

      Sure, some skating fans may scoff at the idea that such a widespread, systemic agenda could be put in place and carried out, but certainly the South Korean Federation thinks it's possible that the entire ISU could enact an agenda against its skaters in response to its complaint, and they got the idea from somewhere.

    2. And seminars pointing out how Davis White were better - mysteriously not connecting it with the standards for superior skating skills set down in the rules - helped promote this. And possibly judging panels for ice dance were populated with a combination of the incredibly stupid and/or compliant, and the powerful who were on board with the agenda, such as Shawn Rettstatt.

      Here's an idea - it could have been something like Rettstatt's own deal with Dore.

      Shawn Rettstatt - an EXTREMELY influential person in USFSA and figure skating overall - could, by being in place on many VM panels and at the Olympics, ensure via his presence alone, that the rest of them score according to agenda.

      Another guess - if there were true transparency and we could see how each judge, by name, scored, we'd see some judge scored ridiculously low for VM every time, so that the next lowest score would be kept in, while for Davis White, it was thrown out. And I bet on panels where Rettstatt was judging, that always happened, but not necessarily on his card - but SOMEONE always mysteriously did it when he was on the panel.

      This is a hypothesis of how it happened. THAT it happened is, I think, unquestionable

  11. I think part of it is that VM were considered to have had their turn and they wanted to reward another team. Combine that with the USFSA's rising power in ice dance, some clever choreography choices from DW and some strategic and PR mistakes from VM and voilà.