Monday, August 31, 2015

Looking back to look ahead

My favorite thing after spending part of this week looking at a few of the new programs unveiled in this (nearly) past summer’s competitions:



Predictable favorite, but I can't yet get excited about, say, ice dance until Papadakis Cizeron show us their new stuff. It's sure to be a revelation of general flowy-ness, blowy hair, wavy arms, honey-toned highlights and pretty tans. Can't really assess the potential in the 2015-2016 dance scene until those two show us where the bar is.

Many fans are excited about Ilushechkina/Moscovitch's Led Zeppelin short, but this Rachmaninoff long program has what I like best at the highest level of pairs skating (skating-wise, not placement-wise). The visceral thrill parts, a rolling wave of music and movement that sweeps the audience along until climaxing with the huge triple throw - in this program, it happens on a musically rumbling, low thundering downbeat.* (Blogger won't let me upload any version of the video clip illustration I made. The peak moment I'm talking about starts, in the above video, at 2:26 - 2:52 )

There is also this:



Kill me now.

Meagan and Erik, taking the skating out of pairs skating one quad throw at a time. They’re unabashedly crawling and cautious here, and no matter what the rest of the program looks like, it'll still be slow mo for these two tricks. They stalk that second quad for how long, killing how many seconds? He's doing more throwing her up (as it were) than across. Yet the likelihood is they repeat as World Champs.

Although they need bigger tricks to compete at the highest level, let me not overlook another Canadian pairs team:


Gilles and Poirier


Won’t embed Moore Towers Marinaro, but after writing her off as a Jessica Dube throwback last season, I respect the decision to switch training centers, and, for God’s sake, to get new choreography for all our sakes. With the candor that can make Kirsten Moore Towers endearing, she noted that last season she and Marinaro did end up looking like they cut out Dylan and slotted in Mike. Not that she put it just like that, but they sure didn’t cut out Margaret Purdy and slot in Kirsten. It was Marinaro subbing for Dylan, except for the part where Marinaro was bad. The biggest issue with the partner switch is still her partner – no quick fix for that. How many coaches have made world podium skaters out of journeymen skaters? As a skater, Kirsten isn't a team leader. As a competitor, okay, but from what I’ve seen, she needs a partner better than she is to up her game, and when she doesn’t have one, things get very sloppy. OTOH, I think her new coaches are tougher about the skating than the Wirtzes, who didn’t mind lots of rough edges.

Won’t embed Seguin Bilodeau either. Plenty of fans seem to love their new programs, to me these programs appear to highlight an absence of power and speed. Both are strong skaters with nice edges and soft knees (and more), and that, combined with how they’re built, keeps making me expect more power out of their stroking. Good and consistent as they are, at the moment it's like watching them  skate underwater.

On the sham end of things, I did some scrolling around instagrams, although no digging around instagrams, or other corners of the web, which is where the more buzzworthy stuff is usually found or talked about, so I'll just comment on this and other images like this:


They should have done this all along, where Mommy’s there to make everything kosher. Or maybe gone all 21st century and pretended Tessa is gay. I wonder, though, if down the line anyone might feel a little queasy, wondering how come mommy’s right there with daddy now, bff-ing it up when the woman playing the part is an athletic pal-next-door type "girlfriend", but mommy was a no show, social media wise**, when daddy was trekking around the Internet with a couple of brazen TMI hussies (you know what I mean).***That’s how rumors get started.****

Dance - Paul Islam, new SD, made in Montreal:



I guess after last year everybody got the message. Not that you could have possibly missed it.

I wish I could get a clearer sense of the ice coverage here.

I wonder if Weaver & Poje feel abandoned at the DSC. Hell, I wonder if this coming season Krylova feels abandoned by the ISU. She certainly gave her all to forestall it, what with calling Tessa fat, dissing Virtue and Moir's skating and generally disgracing herself in a disgusting sellout of an episode that was maybe driven by panic. Let’s see how futile her efforts were – or not.

Finally, Hubbell and Donohue:



Maybe I'm not the only one who went here when I saw H&D's costumes:

On the left that's Natalia Mischkutenok and Arthur Dmitriev
at the 1994 European Championships. They would come in second
to Gordeeva and Grinkov in Lillehammer, and I've seen both skates
a billion times.


______________
*It happens in dance, too, most recently in Virtue Moir's Carmen when the audience waited for the moment the lyrical section hushed, and the low roll of the drums began.
**Except for when Tessa pitched in when Moirville was giving Jessica the "Thanks -- bye" tour in 2012.
***Are Scott and Kaitlyn doing any sleep skyping at all?
****Jessica and Cassandra each are taking the longest break ever from the relationship scene. Jessica hasn't been with a guy since Scott, and Cassandra better be practicing her knitting for when she's the only Hilborn kid home for the holidays because everybody else has spouses and kids and rotates Thanksgiving, Christmas, Canada Day and birthdays with the in-laws. She'll still not have found another "the one" after Scott Moir. He really makes an imprint.

Scott's 28 this week. I wonder if Tessa will say happy birthday on twitter!

84 comments:

  1. Not that it matters but Cassandra actually has apparently found love after Scott. I can't say the same for poor Jessica however.

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    1. I need to check out Cassandra's facebook more thoroughly I guess, although it's probably easier to take your word for it. :) It takes Scott a matter of an instant after "connecting" to pierce the souls of these women and getting them to pour hosannas to their love for him consistently on their social media, get all their friends excited about it and hinting about it, and then it's over and in the blink of an eye Scott's traveling thousands of miles just to spend a couple days with someone he's only been with for a matter of weeks. You'd think he'd learn to slow down. Must have been ego bruising for Jessica and Cassandra, especially the public parade of the next one.

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    2. Cassandra informed her public about the new love via instagram. Facebook is so yesterday. Apparently now it's all instagram and twitter.

      VM's fake love lives follow the social media trends. The reign of Kaitlyn Lawes has been through instagram and twitter. She did eventually post the requisite facebook profile picture with Scott Moir but I think hardly anyone noticed. It doesn't have the same effect the Cassandra and Dube profile pictures used to have.

      BTW. Dube's public social media has been wiped clean of Scott Moir. Cassandra, however, still has Moir as a prominent feature of her public facebook pictures. Not only that, these pictures are regularly rotated to showcase a variety of Scott Moir-the-boyfriend pictures. New love not withstanding, Cassandra still wants the world to know how lucky she was to have dated Scott Moir.

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    3. Cassandra was Miss Universe Canada London, and on the big stage when Miss Canada (for the big comp) was crowned. I was always curious what she'd be after - she wasn't a world class athlete with her own high profile partner and rocky history, like Jessica, she's not a gold medalist with whatever the fuck the reasons are Kaitlyn Lawes is doing this (and it would be horrible if they were hypocritical, chickenshit and quisling), she's a private citizen, well off. Then came the modeling pictures and how obvious it was she and her brother were jockeying for the spotlight, and you have to figure the connections she made with the W network didn't hurt her cause.

      Not many people do twitter well and this crowd isn't one of them. It's the same blah blah blah NAME CHECK (a/k/a Brand check) stuff that's done without imagination. Even the sham is promoted that way.

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    4. I did some scrolling through Jessica's instagram, and am pretty sure none of the scrubbing she's done was without direction from Moirville. Was amused at a couple of images from Monaco 2010 with Scott cut out or Moirville's presence cut out. The only Virtue Moir on her instagram is an old shot of her from the mid-0's posing with her former roommate and with Tessa Virtue.

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    5. Maybe you didn't know Cassandra was in a relationship because she's not pimping this one out like she did with Scott. Hm I wonder why..

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    6. 10:46
      Right? And no boisterous group of friends egging things on and proclaiming their friends' love on their own social media.

      Hm. I wonder why.

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    7. There are comments from her friends and even her mom on Facebook and Instagram about what a lovely and gorgeous and cute couple Cass and her new man are. This isn't any different than what we saw with Scott. Is Cass fake dating yet again or is this just how that crew operates. Honestly, the rationale for proving Scott and Tessa are married around this place is ridiculous.

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    8. 12:05. Is that right? Then you must be friends with Cassandra's facebook because what is available for public view has *zero* mentions of a new boyfriend. The instagram photo has a total of about 5 comments.

      This is nothing compared to how she and her friends promoted her relationship with Scott Moir.

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    9. 12:47, I see zero on facebook - but am not a friend - and only one on instagram. It sits there as the first picture in the line-up still. The real thing or not, this new bf situation has an odd odor to it as well. Usually if you start including your SO in your social media, there's a certain consistency. A consistency that's not "Let me tell you how in love I am with my BOYFRIEND" and also not "I'm pretending to be posting about something else I've never bothered to post about before - please notice SCOTT MOIR is in this shot although I shall not mention him. Comments on this image shall, of course, fawn." I mean the sort of integration into one's social media that occurs when you share a good bit of your life and experiences. Hilborn just announces she's celebrating love with some guy and The End, and his social media is sort of odd.

      Maybe her gig with Scott has elevated her to the "B" list of the crowd that considers Virtue Moir "A" list, so she's in demand as a social media SO for those in need.

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  2. It irks me that Paul & Islam, whose skating I love and have always thought was undermarked/undervalued because of political shenanigans, will get high marks and placements this season, not because of any "improvement" in their skating under D/L, but purely because of political association of training under D/L. If the judging was fair, they should be World medalists already, if not World Champions.

    Dreading this season already.

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    1. I was dreading even mentioning Paul Islam in the post. We all know that ice dance judging continues to be a farce. At the risk of sounding like an fsu-er, I'm not a fan of the DL center's choreography (I hate when ice dance discussions becomes all music and choreographic discussion divorced from the actual skating. The skating shouldn't be a COMPONENT of the whole thing, it IS the whole damn thing.)

      At least with Paul Islam in Montreal, the judges might stop themselves from saying "Oh, look - Alexandra Paul in a tutu - here's sixth place" in the GPS and worse at Worlds.

      The Duhamel Radford 2 quad vieo gets on my nerves because there's nothing they did on that ice that proves anything but Meagan Duhamel can rotate 4 times in the air and stick the landing, albeit rocked forward or in a crouch. It's no different than if they'd done it on the floor. Duhamel gets no run-out on her landing. She actually does just stick it. The lead in to the second quad is simply a glacially slo-mo glide across half the rink while Megan stands rigidly in her take-off position. Ridiculous.

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    2. I attended the event in Montreal, and Paul/Islam's ice coverage was good. Can't speak to what the free dance will look like and I'm pretty worried given that school's past work, but the short is decent and they don't appear right now to have suffered as skaters for the move. Hubbell/Donohue, on the other hand, looked a little rough & I don't know if these are the best coaches for their qualities.

      I'm so beyond over D/R and their obsession with the quad throw and videos of themselves doing the quad throw. Apparently it's all they've done the whole summer. What a joy, that's all that pairs skating should be.

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    3. It looks awful. That second quad is absurd. If they can't skate into it and out of it don't do it. It's not as if they're Savchenko/Szolkowy with lots of other stuff going on in their programs. Meagan sticks her lutz landings as well; there's no flow. The point should be skating. As we know. It just pisses me off. Pairs has always been a favorite discipline; at times between Olympics the World Champions have been a cut below, but I've never seen an assemblage like this team with the title and it's just compounding.

      I admit that when I myself saw Alexandra Paul in a tutu I wanted to scream, but she's in Montreal now so everybody will see new qualities and appreciate them - qualities that ought to have been appreciated earlier in their careers. I look forward to Tanith Belbin's comments - among the remarks that still rankle from last season is Tanith, who touted Piper Gilles at every turn, remarking that Alexandra Paul had poor skating skills.

      Cassandra's current guy is a hockey pro, so who knows the deal with that. If it's real, look how low key her instagram caption was - where's the smarm? Where's the overcompensation?

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    4. ^ what I meant by "compounding" is Duhamel Radford doubling down on the crap part of their skating. They have "A" quad that should get whatever base value it deserves for being rotated/landed, and 0 GOE (but we all know how GOE is actually awarded). Maybe a -1 or -2 GOE considering how vertical it is. Everybody knows they have these un-skating tricks, it's the skating part that's called into question. Maybe Guathier was right - once you get the pcs, you HAVE the pcs and going forward they're there for you no matter how you skate - or fail to skate.

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    5. It's not just the quad, all of their GOEs are inflated. He has excellent ice coverage on the lifts but otherwise everything is OK at best. You'd never know it from the scores.

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    6. I know. And it has nothing to do with the supposed aesthetic of Meaghan being short and not matching Erik Radford, except where that disparity leads to crap technique, which it does in the throw part of their throws, and in that assified jump combination landing on her part and sometimes his (no glide on the landing).

      I wonder if this season we'll hear Paul Islam say they're glad to be in Montreal at the same training center as Papadakis and Cizeron; have a lot to learn from them.

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    7. So far it's only H/D to have grovelled, fingers crossed that P/I stay above it.

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    8. I missed H/D doing that - how incredibly depressing.

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    9. http://www.ice-dance.com/main/articles/2084-detroit-s-paul-islam-hubbell-donohue-join-montreal-ranks

      "While the couple can anticipate another busy fall, with their top-ten placement at Worlds assuring two Grand Prix spots and August’s Champs Camp meaning intense program review from federation officials, their mindset for now is one of concentrating on the moment. Both draw inspiration from the trajectory of new training mates and 2015 World champions Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron.

      “Work your butt off, focus on the present, and see where it leads you,” Hubbell said. “We have dreams for our future, and we believe we are now in the right place to make those become reality.”"

      They also really threw the DSC under the bus here.
      http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2015/08/20/144282388

      (And I mean, P/I co-featured in an Icenetwork article. Behold the power of Montreal.)

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    10. What makes D/R's scores extra depressing is that last quad it was mainly ice dance that rewarded crap skating. Yes there were things here and there that were questionable, like Adelina's win, but the other three disciplines weren't ridiculous. Are singles next?

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    11. My favorite quote from the 8/20/2015 Klaus-Reinhold Kany icenetwork article:

      "The Montreal ice dance center's reputation has grown since France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron rose to world champions after finishing 13th the year before. Haguenauer brought them from Lyon, France, to Montreal when he joined his former students, Dubreuil and Lauzon, last summer."

      Well yes indeed. That's some amazing outcome right there.

      "I think "draw inspiration"'s subtext has nothing to do with skating, and is more like, "if a thirteenth place team suddenly finds itself world champion simply by moving to Montreal, we can hope simply moving to Montreal can improve our results as well. We're already much better skaters than those people, not that skating is a factor."

      Also this, from the above-linked Jacquelyn Thayer article on ice-dance.com:

      “No one was more disappointed, I think, than we were in the way that things went last year,” Islam said. “We really loved everything about DSC—we achieved one of our biggest dreams there and we’re very appreciative of all the coaching staff and the staff there and all of our friends that we made there. It was an incredible three years, but after last year, we knew it was time to move on and we couldn’t be happier, honestly, to be in Montréal.”

      Translation - "the DSC gave us everything we needed for our skating but as our skating progressed, our results went backwards, and we came to the realization that there was nothing we could do on the ice to improve our scores. Politically, we were at the wrong training center."

      “It’s really injected a passion for skating again,” Islam added. “Something that, for me, I know kind of waned last year a little bit, just with how the results were going.”

      With how the results were going is the whole thing. I'm sure they felt a sense of futility that had nothing to do with the actual training or the skating they put down.

      Yes, 7:17pm, D/R's scores are extra depressing because of that, and because the current Olympic champions are the exact opposite skaters to D/R. They became Olympic champions because of their superb skating skills and (mostly) justifiably stratosphereic pcs.

      Adelina's win might have been questionable, but IMO it was supportable. I see no reason why it won't extend to singles - the ISU knows it can be as blatant as it wants and there's nothing to stop it. Who knows, they can all be going "Why didn't we do this before?" Certainly the trends have shown up the historical North American sanctimony vis a vis supposed eastern European/Russian corruption. Nobody has been as flagrantly corrupt, nobody has embraced the separation of skating from scoring as much as North America - all the while pointing at Russia.

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    12. I think papadakis and cizeron are actually worse than davis/white. it's almost insane what's happening bc did they even politik like davis/white??

      but I will say I really loved Dubreuil and Lauzon. They danced close, fast, and had some interesting choreo and lifts.

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    13. I think it's apples and oranges. Davis White were non-skaters/non-dancers who put together a rearranged Rube Goldberg contraption of a program every season, a program that a comment here once described (paraphrasing, will look it up another time) as an exercise in weight lifting, human shot-putting and running along a frozen surface with blades on your feet, but definitely not figure skating.

      Papadakis/Cizeron, at skating level, are small. Ice coverage, run of blade, interdependance, etc. Completely unremarkable, nowhere near podium quality. They do actually skate, as much as any mediocre team skates while cheating stuff they don't do so well.

      I was not the biggest fan of Dubreuil and Lauzon, although I'm not familiar with their greatest hits. They're another team that lacked power.

      Checked into a youtube of the SOI tango group number featuring Davis/White, Gordeeva/Chan, and Belbin/Agosto, with Belbin/Agosto carrying most of the skating. I realize the weird thing about Belgin is she's incredibly stiff from the ankles up - stiff/wobbly knees and hips, rigid back (for an ice dancer) - but her edges are not the worst. Meryl Davis is just doing her usual "skate from the neck up." Gordeeva's skating - as little skating as was asked of her in this program - doesn't require her skating to be in fighting form, and it doesn't appear to be, but she's the strongest of the three women, not an ice dancer, and 44 years old.

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    14. ^Belbin. And I guess what I'm saying is with the gawky/awkward of how she carries her body, I'd expect her to hit her flats more than she does.

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  3. I've also followed with a certain amount of depression Scott and Tessa's answers to the question of will they return to competition. They say if they did, it would be to be Olympic champions. That's something they can't do anything about, even if they train their asses off and skate everybody else out of the rink. The longer they hem and haw, the more I think they're told not to return.

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    1. Tessa's pregnant right now, not sure if that's a sign they're done. Maybe not.

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    2. I did notice Tessa had warped the hell out of her arm in a her "Thanks @jennanaumovich for nominating me to take the #LoveThySelfiePledge benefitting @kids.now Canadian after school programs."

      I will give Kaitlyn Lawes this - not so much from her with styling herself within an inch of her life for every shot that's on social media, with photoshop overuse set on default. Most women, including Tessa, end up looking how Tina Fey described the goal of photoshop - a woman with a face like a paper plate with features drawn on.

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    3. I'm also pretty sure Tessa is pregnant again...which (to add to 6:11 PM's point,) I can actually kind of see as a sign they're not done? Maybe it's wishful thinking (though I really don't know if I actually wish that they'll compete again, at this point, given that what they put on the ice won't matter...) but it does kind of make sense to me that, if they want more than 2 kids, which to my (admittedly outdated,) understanding, they do, they would have the third baby soon and then train like maafaackers, as we know they can, to come back for the 2018 games.

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    4. Pregnant again or not, they're not the Athlete Assistance list, so two children or five kids, it's not really relevant to the sham part of the blog, unless Tessa starts spamming twitter with her ultra photo-shopped/schizophrenic image output yet again. She's even refrained from her maliciously mean-girl antics on Scott's birthday this year, unlike last.

      In terms of their family, they both, at least publicly, idealize the families they came from and appear to want to recreate the close sibling/cousin environment with their own family, timing related to skating but not entirely related to skating. Whether or not they return to the 2018 games depends upon the ISU IMO. What would be the point. They won the Olympics in 2014 and weren't allowed to receive the gold or get the winning scores they'd earned on the ice, and it seems to me the ISU wants to keep that door shut. I absolutely believe that Scott is truthful when he says they wouldn't want to return unless they believe they could be Olympic champions; I DON'T think they're truthful that it has anything to do with training like MFs.

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    5. Just as someone who saw V/M at the CNE, and who does completely believe there's a sham and one Little Moir at least, it was NOT obvious that she was pregnant. If people actually *know* something, it's not impossible that she's in the early stages, I do think she's gained a small amount of weight since competition. But she's not huge in any sense of the word, and in no need of photoshopping to hide an obvious pregnancy at this point. FWIW.

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    6. Tessa has never looked obviously pregnant live, she doesn't show much and knows how to dress to hide it. She's also in ridiculously good shape and very well trained. Still pictures are always better than moving images where the angles are constantly changing
      http://40.media.tumblr.com/e981c526f78fffb122ce694c46fc2877/tumblr_nu129vwbgp1sanikko1_500.png

      To me she's absolutely pregnant and I wonder if they would really try to come back after 2 years off with 3 kids under 5? I do appreciate that they've really toned down the not-pregnant campaign compared to last time, even the sham isn't nearly as bad. And that too could be a sign that they're done.

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    7. Yeah, I see what you mean - it also looks that way in the live video I've seen. You're also at least partly right that Tessa apparently has never been the sort to look obviously pregnant live, but that also depends upon what obviously is to you. She's never looked stereotypical, but not every woman, or even most women, look stereotypical. Her natural, nonpregnant body is far from stereotypical with the high, wide, straight shoulders, the wide back tapering abruptly to a narrow ribcage and what used to be, front-to-back, a ridiculously small, nearly two-dimensional waist. If you never absorbed those particulars about Tessa's pre-pregnant body, you weren't going to notice her how much her pregnant body changed.

      The first time she was pregnant, the first place she looked it was in her ass and her legs, and here come the high-waisted pants and odd layers in the summer. Last summer she photoshopped the ever loving shit out of herself, as I think the blog more than thoroughly covered/demonstrated, so it's actually difficult to tell how pregnant she looked. Beyonce gets shit for giving herself thigh gap in her instagram, but Tessa made herself look like an alien. There were images where she had a mosquito body, and a favorite was to do the shrinkage and then make her rib/ab area look like an ironing board with a very sharp outline - I suspect from using the paint feature.

      The sham took an abrupt turn for the extremely tame from what I can see this summer, with a big emphasis on Tessa being with Scott.

      OTOH these are people who don't want to be done with the sham even if they are done with their eligible skating careers. Long ago it became doing it so as not to have to officially acknowledge they've *been* doing it, and the more people that are publicly complicit, the better, because more people become implicated and that's another reason not to quit.

      And whatever Kaitlyn Lawes personal reasons for signing up to do this, on Scott and Tessa's end they bought themselves a built-in excuse to keep it up through another Olympic cycle they're not even part of, because Kaitlyn wants to do 2018, so they have to do it for her. They could do this forever.

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  4. The French Fed reports that Gabrielle Papadakis has suffered a concussion; and obviously we won't see their new programs til she recovers. . It is so bizarre to me, the pretense that this woman is World Champion calibre.

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  5. 11:00. In the same way that Meryl Davis is considered world champion calibre.

    The ISU has been ignoring the true meaning of "skating skills" and "championship calibre" the entire last quad and continuing into this one. It is so brazen, they make no effort to justify the ridiculous scores given to the "champions" nor the bad scores given to skaters who delivered on the ice. It is inexcusable mafia-like corruption.

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    1. Meryl Davis is world champion calibre at hotfooting it across the ice or assuming a static glide position while being dragged, pulled and yanked by her partner. She's world champion calibre at doing dumbed down twizzles and lifts that should be ruled off junior competition as too elementary. The key to Davis White was program layout and program "content" that they could do from the first outing of the program and never ever EVER make a mistake, which should be a hint to any civilian about what's really going on, because skaters make mistakes. During their career they were called fast (they were not just slower than Virtue Moir, Davis White didn't simply have far more impoverished ice coverage than Virtue Moir, but were slower than other teams). They were never touted as the full package, no matter how they tried to declare it for themselves in 2013.

      Papadakis and Cizeron are being touted as the complete package. They're as midpack as it gets, if ice dance scoring were legitimate. I'll never forget last season's previews, nobody saying keep an eye on Papadakis and Cizeron, they're fast-rising and in the world championship picture or even in the GP podium picture. Then came the retcon. In this sport, people who, using their own eyes, know plenty about what podium level ice dance looks like pretend nobody can know how good somebody is until we see the scoring. It's certainly not something the people in the sport 25 years and more can see for themselves.

      I think I said in one of the (few) posts this summer that it's at least comforting to understand how corrupt other sports are, although figure skating is the only sport were the corruption can't be verified. Anybody watching basketball can see biased calls, anybody looking at what country gets awarded major events and what happens once the event is awarded can see what led to FIFA getting called on the international criminal investigation carpet. There's suppression in figure skating. Those that know what's going on can't talk about what's going on because they want careers, on the ice, or otherwise around the sport or around skating as show business.

      Speaking of Meryl Davis, I had a conversation about her with somebody this summer because, as I've said often, the question of "what's physically wrong with Meryl Davis" has driven me crazy. Once she was on Dancing with the Stars, and skating skills were out of the picture, her extremely limited control of her limbs and limited athletic ability were highlighted, and her Dancing with the Stars workarounds became the exact same workarounds Charlie White used in their skating career. I wondered if she had some sort of condition similar to progeria. I described Davis to the guy I was talking to, who is reasonably informed on nutrition, strength training, weight training. The lollipop head, size ratio of head to body, joints to limbs, artificially tiny, clearly underweight and negligible body fat (something I continue to believe is strategic), and ripped. A supposed Olympic calibre athlete who can't do an entire range of moves/motion a mid-level dancer or fit actor can do, who can't hold her core, who can't manage her own limbs in space, even in simple, low speed rotations.

      Basically the answer was the ripped doesn't tell anything about strength by itself, the relationship between ripped and strong isn't what we think it is, particularly somebody undernourished, underweight, and near non-existent body weight. Somebody extremely ripped can be quite weak. Meryl's partisans who point to muscle tone as evidence of strength are mistaken. Meryl's limitations athletically (not getting into her skating), it can be surmised, might be tied to the aesthetic she pursued in order to package Davis White.

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    2. https://twitter.com/dianasaur

      Scroll down to 9/2 and this twitter account filmed the audience singing Happy Birthday to Scott Moir yesterday. It's shot from a distance, but Scott has his head down at least part of the time and blows a kiss afterwards, marking the first time in eight years Scott Moir has acknowledged any simple and earnest expression of "Happy Birthday" from the public. I don't count the one time he responded on facebook only because he was setting up fans to feel foolish and embarrassed in front of him as well as in front of each other.

      It's a shame. From what I can hear in this video, it's the sweetest - a full-throated yet somehow respectful happy birthday song full of sincere affection and respect - no whoo hoos, screams or shout outs.

      If Virtue and Moir weren't smarter than everybody else, if they weren't too smart to comport themselves with basic professionalism vis a vis the public, I think their relationship with fans would have ultimately been hallmarked by this sort of thing - the fans expressing support and love, but also respecting the obvious boundaries the polished but also obviously skittish and wary Virtue and Moir feel when they're in the public eye. I think the public would have naturally picked up on it, because that certain amount of the skittishness is authentic. I think a more natural, decent and respectful dynamic with the public would have developed over time.

      That, though, would have required acknowledging the majority of fans (not ubers, but who conducts an 8 year hoax for a handful of ubers) as capable of reading a vibe, possessing some collective sensitivity and empathy. Virtue and Moir were much too smart and savvy to do that.

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    3. P.S., it did occur to me that Maxim Trankov and SOI posting unacknowledged Happy Birthdays to Scott on his twitter this past week was meant to retroactively make fans believe the incredibly shitty way they were set up and treated last year around his birthday wasn't personal - look, his actual friends don't get acknowledged.

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  6. I wonder how long this comment will last before Tessa deletes it off her instagram page :

    http://40.media.tumblr.com/0c0b60d2b2832df01f8d2b844b5f29d9/tumblr_nu9i92JPzg1unj3sxo2_1280.jpg

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    Replies
    1. Why would she delete it?

      Delete
    2. I don't think it will be deleted. Everyone simply ignores stuff like that. Remember when she did the red carpet with Ryan Semple, and someone on one of the web sites covering the event said "How come she's appearing with Ryan Semple when it's an open secret in London she's married to her skating partner?"

      It's radio silence with that stuff. People censor themselves even, by ignoring contradictions.

      Delete
    3. That would have been YOU oycanada, who was the "someone on one of the websites"...just as you are on twitter as tessaxscott_fan, using all the same words and syntax as you do on this site; (especially the fit over Scotts birthday last year)

      Delete
  7. B/S's new FD, with a not-bad attempt at V/M's handstand lift from Carmen (at the 1:44 mark):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUtRuqS-bG4

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    Replies
    1. Not to insult B/S, and it's hard to tell from blurry video, but it looks more like D/W's fetal curl lift to me.

      Delete
    2. It looks like a hybrid to me, but better than the fetal ball lift. In the fetal ball lift Davis hunched herself into a crouch as White also crouched, they pasted all four arms around each other's torso then he hauled her up. Ridiculou. Here the mechanics are more efficient, using the same balance point into it as she uses when she's in place, which is nice.

      I wish they'd both stop jutting their butts out behind them. It's as if by being bent at the waist they're trying to create the impression of the blades being deeper into the ice than they are, and it also creates the impression that they're bending towards each other to compensate for a large separation between their feet. The separation isn't that bad, but their posture makes it seem bigger.

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  8. Now this is how you do Bollywood on ice, folks...cough, Davis White, cough...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BstZ4tyymEk&feature=youtu.be

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  9. in other news, dw's lifting technique still sucks ass
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sv0OSmKpq8&feature=youtu.be&t=2m8s

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    Replies
    1. i actually just burst out laughing at how horrible this "skate" is. lifts? she's crawling over his back after he lifted and through her over him like a sack of potatoes. and she holds on to him for dear life in all the other "lifts". its insane how much they suck.

      Delete
    2. I skipped through all the "skating" to get to the "lifts"; watching them makes me want to break things.

      Delete
    3. I don't care what DW choose to do in their show programs but you can definitely see their influence on the competitive scene. Flopping around with limbs flying all over the place and 85 different changes of position, all to create excitement and distract from the lack of quality. Most of the juniors seem to be adopting this approach and it's depressing.

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  10. 12:59
    I've seen not only fans but people who should know better, like skaters and coaches, calling this magnificent. Group think has infected all levels of this sport. TPTB in figure skating declared DW were the ultimate standard and now everyone says so.

    Your own eyes tell you differently? Your own skating knowledge tells you differently? Your own knowledge of gymnastics, acrobatics, dancing tells you differently? Eh. Sweep that all under the rug.

    ISU got what it wanted. DW won a gold medal. Now the sport is stuck declaring wonderful the crappiest ice dancing imaginable.

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  11. She's just so genuine! Barf.
    http://www.hillbergandberk.com/blogs/news/44724097-collaborating-with-tessa-virtue

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    Replies
    1. Tessa doesn't seem comfortable with being genuine in public, she's always guarded and deliberate about the way she presents herself. There isn't anything terribly wrong with that - it's her personality - but to then market yourself as genuine is a bit much. And of course there's the baldface lies:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp19wm874aM
      If I had a daughter....Lovely.

      Delete
    2. 10:49
      IKR, that's the problem. "Genuine" is part of their marketing.

      When the facts are publicly known, VM will no doubt have some marvelous, believable excuses for all the lying. The public will accept many of them but these types of statements... "If I had a daughter..." might not be so easily accepted because it's not only about VM, it's something that is seen as negatively affecting an innocent child.

      I do not believe Tessa or Scott maliciously plan these types of lies but I do think that lying has become so habitual with them that when they start babbling on camera, in their efforts to cover-up the truth they automatically spew out made-up stories. Some lies could come back to bite them.

      Delete
    3. So is her daughter's name really Talula?

      Delete
    4. 6:04.
      10:49 said it well. Tessa is guarded and deliberate in public. There's nothing wrong with that, except for the lies. I don't think a person as guarded as she is would ever say her daughter's real name as long as the daughter remains hidden from the general public.

      Didn't Tessa say if she had a daughter she *might* name her Talula. Eh. I think it's the usual, saying whatever, as long as it's not the truth. Which means, most likely her daughter is not named Talula. Imo she's simply trying to make the jewelry stories more appealing.

      Delete
  12. As a mother, I don't think I would ever forget or excuse Tessa and Scott's baldface lies, implying their children do not exist.

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  13. Chock/Bates SD. WTF???!!! And how is this shit scored ahead of Paul/Islam? And is that Debbie Wilkes commentating? Shoot me.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KDADuRtN748&feature=youtu.be

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    Replies
    1. The problem with Paul/Islam is that Mitch doesn't have a strong enough presence to balance Alex's femininty. One of the many reasons V/M worked is because Scott always projected masculinity when he skated, even in something like Umbrellas of Cherbourg. That's what made something otherwise cloying interesting.

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    2. ^^that's bullshit and has nothing to do with COP. This comment is typical of ignorant fans who don't understand the actual SKATING.

      Delete
    3. I understand that "presence" may add to the performance as a whole. But if the skating is everything required by COP, "presence" should not alter the scores.

      Besides, how the hell is Charlie White considered a strong masculine presence? He's anything but, and yet they won. Or Evan Bates - he has a more masculine presence on ice than Mith Islam? Please. Ugh.

      Delete
    4. Have you even read the COP? What I'm talking about is actually part of the score:

      Ice Dance
      Marking guide for Program Components

      Performance/ Execution
      Definition:
      Performance: involvement of the Skater/Pair/Couple physically, emotionally and intellectually as they translate
      the intent of the music and choreography.
      Execution: quality of movement and precision in delivery. This includes harmony of movement. Criteria:
      • Physical, emotional and intellectual involvement;
      • Carriage
      • Style and individuality/personality
      • Clarity of movement
      • Variety and contrast
      • Projection
      • Unison and “oneness”
      • Balance in performance between partners
      • Spatial awareness between partners – management of the distance and management of the changes of hold

      As for D/W, I thought the argument was the D/W were not scored according to COP criteria anyway, so why are you using them as example?

      Delete
    5. Ok, you copied the PE requirements, so....? They touch on some things that might be considered "presence" of a sort, but you got specific enough as "strong enough presence to balance Alex's femininty", which sounds like you have a very particular type of presence in mind that is NOT specified as necessary by the requirements here.

      Another way to look at the criteria is what is considered outstanding:
      -move as one, superb matching
      -skate very close to each other most of the time with superb ease when changing
      -elegant /sophisticated style
      -refined line of body and limbs
      -precise execution of body movements along different planes
      -both spellbinding/captivating
      -projection exceptional (to audience or inwards if music requires)

      When you see what is actually expected by putting the ideals into action, it is not so much about performance quality - although where it is, it makes clear that there is variation in what is considered acceptable - but rather technique. So I'm with 10:20, you aren't paying enough attention to the actual skating.

      Delete
    6. P/I might be great skaters, but it's hard to defend them when they're boring as hell. To me they have no presence on the ice like the above anon said and they lack power in their skating.

      Delete
    7. 7:43, so if the skating is irrelevant, I guess we have to tolerate crap but "exciting" teams? Is that your criteria for "defending" teams? Okay then.

      Delete
    8. "P/I might be great skaters" <insert period here. That is what matters. It's fine to have personal taste about what you enjoy, but if you can't bring yourself to defend great skating, then that is not what you care about at all.

      Also, lacking power vs which teams? I know it's sure been convenient to have *something* technical to complain about when the real issue many people have with them is pure dislike, but that criticism is becoming a very big stretch at this point.

      Delete
    9. @ 8:32 versus themselves. I don't see any power in their skating. I know P/I have a lot of hardcore fans here so not sure why I bothered posting an honest opinion. On a personal level they're just not compelling to me and on a technical level I think Hubbell/Donahue and Shibs are better skaters, sorry. As a complete package right now, I also think Weaver/Poje are better.

      Delete
    10. I love WeaPo, and they have improved a lot, but of all the team's mentioned in Anon 9:54's post, they are the weakest, technically speaking (well, Kaitlyn is, not so much Andrew).

      9:54, "not compelling" to you is not a legitimate, skating-based argument against P/I. It's as asinine as your "Mitch doesn't have a masculine presence!" assertion.

      Delete
  14. Shoot me too.

    Ice dance politics. It ain't about the skating nor the dancing.

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  15. The Death of the Compulsory Dance was the kiss of death for ice dancing. What I came away from the video for Chock Bates is the way this was choreographed was hello lets focus on the arms in order to avoid folks from actually looking at the footwork or lack of the knee bends, stride lengths, lack of holding positions..basically they looked like junior hockey players.ughh.and these guys are World medalists. Let the corruption continue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes without compulsory dance davis/white was able to win. it was only way.

      Delete
    2. Davis/White didn't "win" anything. They were handed the wins that V/M rightly earned on the ice.

      Delete
    3. 12:45
      Exactly so.

      Despite any possibility the DW and VM camps brokered a deal whereby one of the teams would win in Vancouver and the other one in Sochi (I know of no such deal, this is pure speculation given the culture of the ISU), it does not diminish VM's accomplishments in the least.

      VM were and are the best in the world in ice dance, probably the best ever in the history of ice dance. Regardless of politics, they deserved every win they got. It speaks more to the ISU mafia that I would so much as contemplate the possibility that VM won anything due to politics.

      DW, on the other hand, do not reach any standard of elite skill in skating. Nor dancing, for that matter. Every one of their "wins" was a robbery. It's sickening what the ISU did to VM.

      Delete
    4. Even if the ISU had kept the CDs, the ISU would have found a way to fake score D/W with bullshit PCs and GOEs. Just look at how their KPs were marked in the SD in Sochi. Absolutely ridiculous.

      2:11 I think it was decided long before Vancouver that D/W specifically would be the first OGM from the USA. I don't the USFSA and the ISU ever anticipated they being garbage in their own country--the Shibs should be consecutive national champs since 2011; not only that, D/W should have never been on the podium at their own nationals, there is any number of teams that is much better than them.

      That the ISU engineered D/W's fake career trajectory despite having the greatest ice dance team in V/M competing is a one of they biggest scams in sport, on the level of Lance Armstrong's doping. But sadly, the truth of what happened will never see the light of day because the media (and anybody working in the sport, be it as a coach, fed, judge, etc) is either too ignorant about the rules to question the results, or those who do understand the rules will not call the system out if they want to continue to earn a living in this fucking "sport".

      Delete
    5. "That the ISU engineered D/W's fake career trajectory despite having the greatest ice dance team in V/M competing is a one of they biggest scams in sport, on the level of Lance Armstrong's doping."

      ^^ This.

      Both insiders and fans who know shit want to make it all about "personal taste" or "personal style." NO one wants a focus on the actual skating. DW are shitty ice dancers and they won World titles and an Olympic gold medal. I agree it's on a par with the biggest scandals in the history of any sport.

      I wish you weren't also right in the following:

      "But sadly, the truth of what happened will never see the light of day because the media (and anybody working in the sport, be it as a coach, fed, judge, etc) is either too ignorant about the rules to question the results, or those who do understand the rules will not call the system out if they want to continue to earn a living in this fucking "sport". "

      Delete
  16. Igor's choreography is the WORST. Not to mention ripped off from Tobias/Stagniusas, and that pathetic D/W Olympic ex. Yet this D/W lite team will likely be world champions at the end of the season. Puke.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ba-ee3g36tI

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  17. V/M will be speaking at an event called the Business Integrity Awards. I'm sure they have lots of insight on the subject.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regardless of how they may conduct their personal lives, virtue and Moir have shown integrity where it counts. That's not really a fair comment.

      Delete
    2. You think all the lies they've put out there are a sign of business integrity? Their whole PR strategy is based on a lie, their reality show was based on a lie. They don't owe us any info about their personal lives but their whole approach is an example of what not to do. Between this event and the marketing conference last year, it seems they're trying to present themselves as examples of authenticity and integrity in marketing/business. Do they not realise how ridiculous that is?

      Delete
  18. Just checked RS twitter...his secondlast follow is really...bleah...

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  19. Anon at 6:34 am - yikes - that is bad. Would definitely not be Hillberg and Berk approved.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Seems to me that perhaps if one is even somewhat of a public figure, one would not want to follow such accounts. Get a private Twitter if you must. Tessa must be a freak in bed if he dated her for so long.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 6:34 what you mean?

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    Replies
    1. Pretty sure that they're referring to the @BootyDickPussy account that Ryan is following. Gag.

      Delete