Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why aren't Scott and Tessa with IMG?

I know nothing about why - just speculation. I wish there were another sports management entity out there handling figure skaters as professionally as IMG, but if there is, I'm not aware.

What IMG does is manage a figure skater's public persona without the puppet strings showing. They're also clearly partnered up the ass and can facilitate slick, yet professional and effective relationships between and among figure skaters, iconic brands and charities, for everybody's mutual benefit.

They are able to protect the private lives of the figure skaters on their client list without compromising that skater's apparent accessibility or visibility.

Example: We see lots of David Pelletier, do we not? He just won Battle of the Blades and got a flattering edit on that show. He's now frequently quoted saying warm, classy and completely unrevealing (on a personal level) things about Jamie Sale, and his tweets follow suit. These quotes do him nothing but good.

But here's the thing. David Pelletier is actually not, nor has he ever, dated Tessa Virtue. Tessa Virtue isn't available. So if you kick that one to the curb - why the hell did he and Jamie bust up? Who's he dating now? Do he and Jamie really get along or is it professional expedience? Wouldn't he and Jamie have to say more than that press release they issued about their divorce? For God's sake - they're saying they were separated a year and a half and then decided to divorce! Right under our nose for a year and a half - they lied, led us to believe they were happy! They need to explain for God's sake! The public will insist!

Oh you know - actually they don't. Yes, the internet has speculated. But in the broader world of professional opportunity, Jamie and David have sailed on with their high profile in the skating world.The famous duo from 2002, divorcing with a young son, and there's no ugly churn in the mainstream press, and fans ended up taking it in stride. What do we know about their split? Nothing. Just the brief press release.

Who handled it? IMG.

After the tsunami in Japan, there was a skating event/fundraiser in support. As presented in the press, you'd almost let yourself believe that Meryl Davis, Jeff Buttle and Charlie White thought it would be their civic responsibility, as members of the international community, to organize an event that would raise both funds and morale. Man, someone brought up those figure skaters the right way. They're so professional and mature, never put a foot wrong.

True - but who was behind that event? IMG.

IMG kept its fingerprints (mostly) off - at least it didn't elbow its own brand to the forefront. It highlighted the skaters and the cause. IMG didn't come running at you like a hyperactive Shih Tzu barking "IMG IMG IMG IMG!!!"* Yet despite this, IMG is still somehow, I feel sure, able to make a dollar.

So here are my questions.

Why did Tessa and Scott turn to David Pelletier for mentorship when Pelletier doesn't even mentor himself? He's with IMG!

Why did their four-year Roots deal end almost before it started?

Why the fuck is Joanne Rochette with IMG, and Weaver & Poje! with IMG - and Meryl and Charlie - but not the Olympic champions who are young and gorgeous - whose competition clips get thousands of hits moments after they're uploaded on youtube?

Maybe Scott and Tessa ARE with IMG and this is one instance where IMG is screwing it up? Hey Scott and Tessa - do a kitschy Toyota commercial in Japan! (That commercial kept tumblr in stitches for days.) Sign that totally honest book of yours in London - a year after its publication. Show up at random fashion shows.

Well, at least they got a couple of Audis. Maybe they don't care about image - they just want the swag?

ETA: thinking back to just after the Olympics, Tessa mentioned that she and Scott would sort of organically be testing the business waters, seeing what connections could be developed during the tour and summer training season. It didn't register at the time, but if they were signed with an entity like IMG, there would be no need for them to test the waters. IMG would be bringing the mountain to Mohammed. It's weird that Tessa seemed to be saying she and Scott would be sort of learning and fishing around - even if she was lying, which as we all know, is not beyond her.

Are there conditions to handling Scott and Tessa that neither IMG nor Roots want to handle with a ten-foot pole? Murky, amateurish, ethically sketchy, stupid conditions, so the two sides can't come to terms?

I struggle to believe that, simply because the bottom line i$ the bottom line, and whatever the conditions, a monolith like IMG should be able to manage them and find the right approach. But at the same time, corporations need to protect themselves, and Scott, Tessa and SC do wade around in some pretty unprofessional, unethical, amateur-hour waters and are dogged about sticking with it.

Will Barb (eh) or more to the point - DEBBI - be out of a job if Tessa and Scott get actual professionals to handle their business? Maybe Debbi gave someone a kidney?

Debbi shows up on Skatebuzz when Canadian competitions hove into view on the schedule, but does that justify her SC salary? Clearly, the lady ain't doing any marketing. Clearly, Skate Canada's Marketing, Public Relations and Communications department is the equivalent of a couple of church volunteers with a mimeograph machine.

Yet, I'm sure they get salaries and benefits.What if Scott and Tessa went with IMG? What would Debbi and Barb do with themselves in the long working hours Debbi was not putting her mug on camera and Barb wasn't slipping sham mentions into SC material and if they weren't planning and coordinating sham incursions?

Skate Canada "optimistically' believes it will have a title sponsor once more by next year (or right after next season) - after losing long term title sponsors directly after a home Olympics in which homegrown ice dancers became the first North American and youngest Olympic gold medalists ever. And let's not pretend that a big reason SC got all up in Scott and Tessa's personal business wasn't because Scott and Tessa were going to be their sponsor draw after the Olympics. Sexy, sweet, charming kids like that with all that charisma, all that talent AND a gold medal won at home on Canadian soil? After Vancouver, Skate Canada would be able to name its terms with an army of sponsors competing to come on board.

Surely its existing sponsors wouldn't do a bolt and potential sponsors fail to return their calls.

It's not the economy, Bill Thompson. Skate Canada made a wrong turn somewhere, and keeps expecting Scott and Tessa to turn it around. And actually, with professional management, a rising tide would lift all boats. IMG might have only Scott and Tessa's interests in mind, were Scott and Tessa to join IMG's roster, but the pay-off of a really effective promotional strategy behind Scott and Tessa would be greater fan willingness to pay to come and see Scott and Tessa compete in Canada, and a whole bunch of sponsors, who already do business with IMG, might be more comfortable associating with Skate Canada.

So what is it we're not seeing that prevents Scott and Tessa from joining IMG? Protecting Debbi's job? Is that fair to the up-and-coming skaters struggling for financing? Are there conditions of managing Scott and Tessa that are beyond IMG's comfort level?

Scott and Tessa ARE with IMG but IMG only sucks at managing only them?

What? Is all this stuff linked? Debbi's job - or her getting it in the first place - the position Scott and Tessa were anticipated to have in Canadian figure skating, the launch of the sham, the commitment to the status quo, the piss poor pr and marketing, Scott and Tessa's absolutely push-button personas, and the evaporation of not just title sponsors, but sponsors for individual skaters?

When it's this bad, and nothing is done about it, yeah, it might be an "our crowd" thing and complacency, but usually a financial problem gets people off their ass, or the people in charge start feeling pressure from the rank and file - in this case, parents of figure skaters coming up, perhaps. Yet nothing. When there's a problem and no movement to correct it, somebody's covering their ass. The way people cover their ass is to continue doing what they're doing, as changing course is considered an admission they fucked up.

So this is a wonderful situation.
_________
*Unlike, say, Skate Canada.

PR Stuff

It's doubtful there will ever be a pair whose personal p.r. is managed quite like V/M's again. That type of dumb is not as common as you'd think.

But all public figures lie, especially those in relationships with each other.

Here's a cheat sheet for platonic, heterosexual public partnerships.

When two young, unmarried, attractive people in a long-term professional partnership say: "We're not a couple", it means one or a combination of the following:

1) They totally are.
2) They're hooking up and it's none of your business.
3) They used to a) hook up and it played itself out, b) be a couple and it played itself out, or c) are friends-with-benefits and it's none of your business.
4) One of them is gay.
5) Neither is attracted to the other.They'll never say that if it's true.They might if it isn't.
6) One is not attracted to the other one.They'll never say that if it's true.They might if it isn't.
7) They hate each other's ass or one hates the other - they'll never say that (if they're North American).
8) They're totally married and have been for some time.

Here's an example of #8 from another era:  Father Phillip Berrigan (an ordained Catholic priest) and Sister Elizabeth McAlister (a professed Catholic nun) - of 1968's Catonsville Nine. It looked like a duck, walked liked a duck and quacked like a duck, but because they denied it and continued using their religious titles, apparently everybody pretended it wasn't until - whaddya know.

There is no such thing as "We don't want to ruin the chemistry." There is no such thing as "We don't want to jeopardize our career so we won't even try it on." If it's not happening, see ##1-8 above.

Everybody ignores the Joey Tribbiani rule in real life.

Nor does this happen: "My eyes, body language, behavior and words say I'm crazy in love, but I don't know it yet." Or: "I'm afraid to make a move."

If they want to go there and can, they do. They just don't tell us about it. Would YOU keep strangers apprised?
Oh it's different for the semi-famous or merely well-known. They don't care. They hardly notice fans. Why would they lie.
They lie their asses off and fans are right up there in the career management matrix along with competing and financing. Right there.They're very aware. Fans aren't some vague idea nobody's noticing.

BTW, there's no such thing as "OMG, our lips brushed by total accident for the first time ever ever in, like, 2010 and we both freaked out! Our lips had never touched each other's before, not in practice or off ice and never on purpose. It was so weird!"

These two are like the freaking reverse Princess and the Pea of ice dance.
Attuned to centimeters. Right here in this photo - they cool.
But If those two sets of lips up there accidentally brushed? Man.
Tessa would be so embarrassed, she wouldn't be able
to look Scott in the face.

There's also no such thing as - we used to be a couple, we split up and now I'm dating my partner's ex-best friend and it ruined their friendship - but you know what music I think we should use for the Olympics? The Way We Were. My partner thinks the idea is awesome! We like it so much, we've decided to keep it two seasons straight.

Every competition:  Memories light the corners of my mind. Misty water-color memories of the way we were before I dumped you for Scott Moir and rubbed your face in it. Now throw me halfway across the rink!

^That doesn't happen.* That's a pr story.

Why don't fans get this? For one, many fans resist the reality that they're the "other" or there is an intentional chasm keeping "them" (fans) away from "us" (public figures, celebrities). Fans don't get it if the public figures aren't "Brangelina". Why would low-grade famous people need barriers?

Are you serious? They need them more than Brangelina. Brangelina doesn't need protection from fans. They need to keep their image bullshit polished and shiny. That's what THEIR public relations infrastructure is all about.The money and lifestyle takes care of keeping fans away.

Middling famous people in a niche sector who have to press the flesh, do meet and greets and pa's, are obliged to cheese at fans who purchase dinner tickets, cocktail tickets or the like, interact with fans who show up where they train, perform or compete, fans who consider themselves "part of the community"** and run to message boards to pass on everything they've heard, observed or think - or lie about same - damn straight there's a barrier and plenty of artless misdirection and disinformation.

You'd have a barrier too. Especially if many people interacting with you are repeaters who consider themselves welcome, familiar pseudo-friends.

^That type of fan is taken for granted by celebs, as it's typical across the experience of most middle-grade famous, but it also creeps them out.

It's more flattering to fan vanity if they tell themselves some amorphous "media" is the enemy, but they themselves are just regular people around whom nobody is on their guard.

And why do many fans ignore obvious clues celebs are lying? You can't find more obvious liars than Scott and Tessa, with their chronic overreaching, contradictions, awkward imitations of normal, and image built on an overly rote, disingenuous, fresh-faced persona  (they could really stand to mature their personality presentation a couple of degrees), obvious social media patterns and one's own common sense life experience, even without additional clues and information.

Many fans are susceptible due to ego.They don't want to believe a barrier exists when what they, the fans, want most is interaction, access and acknowledgement, and when fans kind of compete with each other about who can get the most. It doesn't serve their purpose to believe the skaters (or other public figures) are aware of this and in control. They also don't want to believe a barrier exists because voyeurism just isn't as much fun if the skaters are aware of and manipulating those watching.

Fans are also vulnerable to common internet epithets such as "frau" and "fangurl." So they ignore the obvious with Scott and Tessa for fear of feeling foolish, or being accused of being a fangurl uber (the media loves to slap down fans with that last). Nothing like ignoring your instincts.

Public figures, even regional, middling, or merely "well-known" celebs, know all of this stuff about fans. Fans are as transparent to celebrities as fans believe celebrities are to fans. Public figures enable fan delusions, because it serves many purposes.

Then there are fans who want to protect their fantasy lives, virtual lives or fan community. If, for example, they crush on Scott (or crush on their ideas of who Scott is), is there more room in their fantasy for a funny, cheerful, smart, understanding fan to make an impression on Scott if he's dating Jessica Dube? Is that an incentive to believe in Jessica/Scott? Gee, Scott might even appreciate the attributes of some nice fan when it's Jessica he's comparing them with. If he's with Tessa then geez. Fans probably don't have a chance of making an impression.

That's no fun. In this case, it's easier to feel that Scott's accessible if he's with a girlfriend he doesn't like than if he's with Tessa Virtue. Or it's easier to identify with whatever they believe Jessica is (a plucky soul with an insecurity complex who just needs to keep plugging away on her new partnership) - than with oh-so-perfect Tessa. Scott's with someone like Jessica - he'd like me, too (or better)!

Then there's some fans for whom Scott and Tessa are psychologically fragile, skittish deer. If a fan on a message board makes a wrong move, all access will be cut off.

Never mind it's not real access, but controlled manipulations.

Or worse - if the wrong thing is said or written about them - they'll retire. Don't let them think you suspect anything! Let them know you believe every word they say.

It's just weird. Fans think they're powerful in ways they definitely are not, and powerLESS in ways they are. It's just that the power they have (an intrusive, annoying, entitled kind that motivates schemes like the sham) isn't any fun, and the power they lack (they are not going to influence a skater's career decision no matter what, nor are they going to shut down or influence what a skater has determined to do in their public life) is wounding to the ego.
____________________
*What also doesn't happen: a teen-age ice dancer dumps her partner for their much older coach and then, to acknowledge the detrimental effect this has had on their skating, the duo decides to do an exhibition to an Adele break-up song.*

**Groupies. Even if they skate themselves, if they're on message boards and up in figure skaters' business and jockey to get face time - they're groupies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tessa stop that


She can do what she wants, but still.

This is the Q&A Scott and Tessa did for a group of fans at TEB, and I'm referring to when Scott and Tessa read the question: "Have you ever lied to your coach about being sick because you didn't want to train that day?"
oOOoo. Lying.


Hmmm - let me think. I want to be honest.
 Seconds later, when the answer is "no" and it appears Scott has chosen to take the "you" as plural and has answered with a lot of "we's", Tessa piously hurries to tell us that neither one ever calls in fake sick out of consideration for their partner waiting for them at the rink.
oOOoo. Tessa's lying.!
I like using babies for this stuff.

Tessa implements a full body block on Scott's overuse of "we". Let's police those "we's" Tessa.

Tessa is actually not making a point about the commitment and consideration she and Scott have for each other as partners.

She's doing what 30 Rock might call "Back door messaging". Sneaking her real point behind a false headline.Tessa's headline is she and Scott live separately. See? So if Scott's called in fake sick, don't start thinking she'd be right there with him when he did. Don't ever think that. Tessa will shut that right down.

Unless it $erves their purpose to bait fans with an insinuating "we".

When do they bait? And when does Tessa forget about policing the "we's"?

When there's $$ involved. For them or Skate Canada.

So when Tessa starts letting those "we's" go unchecked, watch your wallet. And watch for the "gotcha".

When Q&Aing with mere fans at TEB 2011,Tessa lets us know that if Scott called in fake sick, Tessa would be waiting at the rink, wondering where he was. Seeing as how she drove there in her separate car from her separate home after spending the night in a separate bed and all, and seeing as how cell phones and text messaging haven't been invented.

Here, as often happens,Scott appears as if he's hoping Tessa will ignore his sometimes suggestive use of plural pronouns.

Tessa is the one who cuts that stuff off all the time. You think she's going to let something slide and she jumps right in with the back door message.

Yet despite Tessa always on standby with the choke chain and despite her consistently functioning as the couple's interview police, for many fans, the Scott and Jessica sham is instinctively viewed as a Scott and Jessica thing.

Because they've been blasted with Scott/Jessica, many fans reflexively - and illogically - forget the purpose of a fake relationship is to protect Scott and TESSA.

Many fans who understand Jessica and Scott are fake still can't help feeling  - how does it make Tessa feel? Like Tessa keeps out of it, like it's Scott's gig.

Of course she's a full participant. It's (at least) as much Tessa's gig.Why else would Scott do it?

How does it make Tessa feel? She's for it! Really, really, really REALLY for it. She's gonna keep those "we's" in their place.

Except when she doesn't. What's the difference?

$
Which leads to this:
  
During TEB 2011, this same Tessa who makes sure we don't misinterpret (meaning "correctly interpret") Scott's "we's" in the TEB 2011 video that opened this post, sits next to Scott for another video - this one for ISU. And out come the plural possessives - the ours flow left and right. And we. We we we. Our favorite city, our favorite this, our that and the other thing. Like they're an off-ice unit. WE can't wait to do this and that! We're staying an extra day just to hit the tourist spots - TOGETHER!!!! (Ou - ensemble.)

Sure. It's not like Scott has a girlfriend at this very competition with whom he's in a long distance relationship, with whom he'd logically want to spend an extra day in the City of Love once the competition is done.

Nope, no matter what you're gonna see on facebook later, in this on-the-record, archiveable interview, man, it is Jessica who? and girlfriend - what girlfriend?

And Tessa is zapping us with the "we"s and "ours". They want to eat at cafes. Plural! 

For real? You've been to the fucking La Tour Eiffel eight kajillion times, ditto Le Elysee de Champs, you've certainly mangered at beaucoup de caf├ęs de Paris in your day, not to mention you know the Rue du Conneries like the back of your hand.

If Scott's got an extra day, wouldn't he want to tool around with Jessica instead of checking Funny Face hot spots off a list, running around with Tessa to places he's been before?

Golly and gosh - Tessa and Scott - what's all the smiling and earnest eye sparkling about?

But they really went out of their way to put that out there. Thanks for sharing! And wow! How is this the same Tessa?

Tessa, especially, is hypersensitive about any use of "together" and "we" if it's off the ice or their personal lives.That's her MO.

Right on display in the video opening this post, Scott sprays a few too many we's into the atmosphere in a problematic context and Tessa steps in with corrective verbiage.

Understood, Tessa.

But they 180 in the second video and chirpily tell us we are staying in Paris an extra day, we are going to do all kinds of off ice Paris things. Even though - as the rest of us all know - his beloved girlfriend Jessica is in town too. In the video, they don't mention that. It's Scott and Tessa, taking an extra day to enjoy cute famous Paris things and taking some photos. Jessica who?

This Jessica.

Facebook, TEB 2011.

Where the hell is Tessa and that Bonjour Paris self
she's just finished telling us about?

 Scott, Jessica, Sebastien Wolfe, Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, Madison Chock, etc. at La Tour Eiffel dans le soir! But no Tessa! What the hey? Tessa can't tramp around Paris with the gang? Is that why Scott has to stay an extra day and go AGAIN? Scott acted like it would be a challenge to get the Champs Elysee strolling, crepe-eating, multiple instances of cafe-sitting, Louvre-visiting, Tour Eiffel-going done in that one extra day. Here's Scott and other skaters, knocking off Le Tour Eiffel - wouldn't it have made sense for Tessa to join so she and Scott had more time for the other stuff on their extra day? She's gonna make him go again - or is this another case where Tessa is persona non-grata cause nobody likes her, so she has to go on her own, and Scott is stuck taking her?

Otherwise, Tessa - why are you hiding?

If he and she meant a gang of North American skaters were staying an extra day to see the tourist places, that's cool. Why not say so, and again, why does Tessa hide?

In the ISU video, Scott isn't saying "Me and my girlfriend Jessica along with Tessa are gonna check out Paris" or "Tessa, me and a bunch of our teammates are gonna look around." Nor "Tessa's gonna do her separate thing I don't know what since we don't keep tabs on each other after we compete, and me and my girlfriend and whatever buffers on the team I can drag along are going to go to the Eiffel Tower. Can't get enough of that thing. It never gets old."

Nope. It's me and Tessa - staying an extra day in Paris together.

So - they're just being dicks? Bait? Ramping up the childlike enthusiasms, simple pleasures and excitement of being in Paris - leaning on that us?

Well of course they're being dicks.

Why though? Why this time?

What's going on? Are they really going to wander around town and take pictures, did they really mean they're prolonging their stay simply to be starry-eyed young folks enjoying Paris together and taking fun photos because of how much the city highlights mean to them? They just wanted to share these plans with us, the public, in a special video and an article - despite how hard they seem to work to shut down "couple" speculation?"

Sure!

OTOH -  does it possibly mean we're hitting Paris landmarks in the company of a professional photo crew and the product of that photo shoot will soon be used for Funny-Face-skewed promotional photos and videos to promote skating competitions and us?

 "See Tessa and Scott walk in the shoes of Audrey and Fred"!

Maybe the ISU interview isn't really a relaxed moment of Scott and Tessa making themselves available and telling us about their plans to share their love of Paris - maybe it's a promotional venture? Using the usual bait? Which means they will jerk our chains on purpose, sprinkling copious "us" and "we's" about what seems like a romantic mini-break - this time unsquelched by Tessa's emphasis about how separately they live their off-ice lives?

And once fans take the bait - they'll drop the "gotcha" boom?

Ya think?

Otherwise -  why not just say what's what? Why be all cutesy about it - like there's no agenda but their own enthusiasm and personal excitement? And even if they don't care to point out there's a promotional angle, why pretend Jessica's not around? (She isn't, but officially she is, so why are they leaving that part out of their pretend tourist adventure?).

What's wrong with saying - "We stayed an extra day for an on-location photo shoot that was great fun, and Jess and I got to spend some time together outside competing cause she was able to stay as well, which was a treat."

Of course, they'll make sure we get the Jessica part later, but via social media. And via whatever idea Barb MacDonald steals from someone else's competent communications venture and then half-ass imitates.

Til then, where the topic of Jessica is concerned, this is like Monaco. In legitimate media, all of Scott and Tessa's comments about Monaco - the stuff we can still search, and will be able to search years from now - ignored Jessica. Only facebook got blasted with Jessica. Facebook cuts out the middleman (the legitimate media that has to adhere to some type of truthiness standard, no matter how many corners they often cut), facebook allows them to lie directly to their targets, and it's also something they think is here today, gone tomorrow, not searchable for years to come.When the facebook scheme is no longer needed, all of the facebook stuff will vanish from the internet. It's like facebook was invented for Scott and Tessa.

Come on children.You mention staying an extra day - why isn't Tessa working in something that emphasizes their hotel rooms are separate, or better yet, they're lodged in separate locations (What's a French family for?)? You bet if there weren't promotional considerations, she would. But here, she's not even mentioning her mom!

So that'$ my bet. These little outreaches about Paris are really promotions. And Jessica's not mentioned because they keep her off the public record as much as they can.

It's my bet that -  since twice during TEB 2011 they dimpled and cheesed to the press how they're going to do "tourist Paris" and tramp around to the famous spots and take some pictures -  this Paris sharing isn't random.

Nothing they initiate with fans is genuine. Ever. Two short, simple videos, two hefty helpings of total bullshit in both.

They're overly disingenous and OTT with it, that's what I'm saying. And they're self-serving about the whole "don't think we're a couple thing." Because when they want to leave $omething open to interpretation, they do. Suddenly Tessa is not so scrupulous about "we".

When there's nothing in it for them, or when they're safely off-grid, BOY does Tessa pop in there putting stray pronouns to rights.

Alternatively:

Could this mention of their special day in Paris be, as with the baby duckies, a way of trying to sort of back door an archiveable record of them as a couple, so certain of their family members, as they reach the age of greater awareness, don't think Scott and Tessa completely excluded them from their official history for 5 years just because they're self-serving and chickenshit? Cause unless Scott and Tessa figure this out, feelings could be hurt down the line, especially since Scott and Tessa are now shouting out to babies Charlotte and Quinn from the Kiss'N'Cry. Maybe here is a little "we're together - we're an us!" so nobody is pissed when they get older.

That last alternative is cute, and not impossible, but since twice they've mentioned they want to take pictures during their "Paris day", I think it's the safer bet the photos are actually a promotional photo shoot with a professional crew. 

For now, they want to let people think that's what's going on is those two excited kids enjoying Paris together -  cause that's how they bait.

But they sure aren't going to give away anything real because all this is just to keep fans paying attention, looking for the photos. Which, when they appear, will be - oh, it wasn't Scott and Tessa touring Paris for real. They were working. Gotcha.

Friday, November 25, 2011

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.*

Mark Twain

______________
*If you lie constantly, it's rude and disrespectful not to keep your lies straight. (Look it up, it's basic social manners.) Scott and Tessa don't give a shit. Fans are a garbage dump for lies.



I don't care what is written about me as long as it isn't true.*
                                                                      Dorothy Parker



_________________
*Everybody knows this one except SC and Team Virtue/Moir. They make it way too obvious how important hiding is to them.

Turns out God does NOT strike people dead with lightning when they lie

I think everything we do, whether in front of a camera or not, is genuine. What we do on ice is keep the mystery alive, but when we’re off the ice, when we’re doing interviews, that’s who we really are. (emphasis added).
                                                                              Tessa Virtue, MacLeans.ca*, 11/11/2010

________
*Spell check.  Thanks to below. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2009

Worlds 2009, two lovely couples - Scott/Jessica and Cynthia/Jay - toured highlights of L.A. Jessica's facebook put up an "L.A./Santa Monica" album.
March 2009
Right after Worlds (March 23-29, 2009 in L.A.), qualifying skaters were compelled to attend the ISU World Team Trophy in Japan  (April 16th to 19th, 2009).

The participant skaters were not good sports about having to participate.

And it would surely be tense for Scott and Bryce, seeing as Menage a Trois sur la Glace had aired shortly before.

But if skaters like Virtue Moir had declined, the ISU would not have permitted them to do shows within a specific time window. Which meant Scott and Tessa would have had to miss FOI in Korea on April 24-April 26th, 2009.
Scott would hate to miss FOI.

WTT was on network broadcast in Japan and a lot of message board regulars parked themselves on streams or tuned in directly, giving reports to the geo-blocked or insufficiently stream-enabled.

It was a rare opportunity to see Scott and Jessica interact on camera versus in still photos. As boyfriend and girlfriend - or, since they're classy and professional - as good friends and teammates. The teams were small - one dance team, one pair, four singles skaters.

Team spirit was the idea - you didn't have to stay pasted to your skating partner if you had one and needn't ignore your amoreaux or former amoreaux if he or she were on your team and you were captain.
Team Captain Evan hugging ice dancer Tanith on medal stand.
(Group hug actually - his right arm is around Ben)
 Team Canada had comraderie too (Scott is team captain):
There's a monitor - the team can see itself on camera.








Smooth, Scott.
You can kind of see why Bryce didn't fake date Tessa. I don't think your SO wants you to enjoy fake dating someone. Better they settled on the combination of Scott and grim poker-faced Jessica.

Still, here's an opportunity to reinforce "Jessica Dube loves Scott Moir" on national broadcast TV. Japanese television, but youtube archived and everything. But suddenly - camera-avoidant.
Preparing for team photo after medal ceremony

After team photo.

This is the event where at the gala Jessica forgot the third rotation of the three twist, hit Bryce in the eye with her elbow so he momentarily blacked out, and she crashed to the ice, using Bryce's body to break her fall.
Bryce carried her off the ice, both of them ignoring the stretcher that had been brought out.

A bit after her fall, the arena's announcer informed fans that Jessica had opened prematurely on the 3 twist, clocking Bryce in the face, blacking him out and rendering him unable to catch her. But they were fine, said the announcer, and had been taken to the hospital only as a precaution due to the long flight they had the next day.

The following morning Jessica and Bryce met fans at their hotel.

So they were okay, but it was traumatic for Scott. The previous night at the gala, he'd had to skate "Jack and Diane" with Tessa right after Jessica's crash. It was speculated on fsu by one fan that Bryce had dropped Jessica on purpose! FSU took note of Scott's misery and was glad he had Tessa to see him through his obligatory gala performance.

Scott bravely singing through his distress.

After WTT, Jessica and Bryce flew home while Scott and Tessa remained, seeing as they were due in Korea shortly.
FOI Korea 2009
Then Jessica and Bryce had a couple of tour dates at the start of May, then near the end of the first week of May it was training break and time for Punta Cana.
May 2009, Dreams Punta Cana Resort
And after that it was the summer pre-competition team meeting.
May 22 - May 24, 2009
As a side note, and as others have observed, Jessica often appears to use Tessa as a style role model. Right after WTT and prior to the Dominican, no longer needing her Carmen 'do, Jessica chopped her hair a la Tessa. We can see how exactly it's cut like Tessa's in this photo.

Tessa is pale, having spent training break in France (French family wedding) - and Monaco (side trip with her mom and sister - no particular reason of course.).

In Monaco the Virtue women stayed at the Port Palace hotel - the same hotel where the Virtue/Moir + Jessica party stayed the following year when they were in Monaco following Worlds 2010.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's hard out there for a pimp


I think they do it because it's so disgusting people can't imagine such lovely people would use babies as props to work fans over and fuck around with the public.

Of course they will

Whether this photo is set up to lead fans on, to bait a trap for a false assumption and then pull the rug out, or to flat out shove a prop in Jessica's arms -  it's manipulation. A game, and they're using an infant for it. They're exploiting people's assumptions about what's sacred and people's assumptions about the respect the Virtues and Moirs have for themselves and others.

Just assume Team Virtue Moir are always dealing in bad faith. You'll be on solid ground.

All but one of Jessica's profiles since being restricted have been sham, and that may have been because a Muskoka profile pic was called out in advance. When Jessica's facebook wasn't restricted, she'd rotate profile pics. For sham season, up would pop sham photos. Then she'd restore the profile to something else. Since her facebook profile is all that remains open to the public, her profile picture has only been sham stuff. 

Fans are meant to assume this is Charlie Moir's baby. If it's NOT Charlie's baby, it's a gotcha, nothing more. Either way, it's a chain jerk.

There's an ingrained streak of asshole in them. It's not necessary to accomplish their aims, not when all you have to do is shove Scott a few seats down from Tessa and sit a skiier who trains in Detroit to Tessa's right at the Skate Canada pairs competition with every camera aimed in their direction, every twitter thumb on blast, every blog and message board report uploaded before the arena clears -  and instantly 90% of the fandom not only forgets Tessa's supposed to be dating David Pelletier, they forget to keep an eye out for Scott and Jessica.

I admire the logistical zeal of this year's Skate Canada. They killed a bunch of birds with one stone at the pairs competition:
1) Scott gets sham points by cheering on his beloved, and doesn't even have to spend time with her. His favorite kind of sham.

2) Tessa simultaneously plants the idea of Ryan Semple.

3)  By piggybacking sham-on-sham, Scott and Tessa didn't have to carve out separate blocks of time for separate shamming, and got to be together while shamming.

4) The image of Scott, Moirs, Tessa, her mom + Ryan Semple can be re-contextualized as Scott/Tessa, two families and a family friend watching the other disciplines at Skate Canada.  Should anyone look at these photos in the future, it's not necessarily immortalized as close-ups of Scott watching his "gf" and Tessa with her "bf". This future re-set is also enabled by Scott, Tessa and Semple departing a trois.
Hell, it's the pairs competition featuring Jessica - that's time they'll never get back anyway so it makes sense to multi-task.

Bonus points for Tessa using Skate Canada to expand upon the initiative begun on Scott's fan page (where she was displayed in an actual candid with her actual passionately platonic skating partner on actual transportation). She actually watched Jessica skate, and then posed with Jessica (with a buffer, but baby steps) at the banquet.*

I think my favorite was the sham-by-association.Which is - Ryan Semple sitting on one side of Cara, Jessica on the other. Because it was Jessica with Cara, the dude HAD to be Tessa's bf, cause Scott's cousin would of course mind her cousin's skating partner's bf, since it's so important for Tessa's bf to Moir-up and all. Yet nobody blinks. It's a visual cue and fans skip the part where it's absurdist, and draw the intended conclusion. If this didn't actually happen - and it's only one fan report so far - I don't want to know.

They like logistics. Jessica goes to Ilderton to be with her amoreaux because there's nothing a long-distance couple enjoys more than to spend rare "us" time with parents, grandparents, aunts and cousins in a small town where everybody knows your business.

It takes a village to fake date Jessica, that's for sure. Even if mommy and daddy have barely cut the cord, you're not safe from being drafted for the cause.

This passion for efficiency undermines plausibility, but Team Virtue Moir isn't exactly playing to a tough crowd.

This is a crowd that doubts Tessa and Scott and their team are aware the entire arena has them on telephoto lens zoom. They're not famous - they're just figure skaters. Everybody knows everybody. We're all like family.

None of the "it's nonsense" stuff even hits most fan brains to get processed. Visual cues fire, conclusions happen, the usual fans piggyback with lies and embellishment - mission accomplished. Shamming is EASY.

Helpful brothers Charlie and Danny both procreate, so when two baby bathtub ducks are presented to Scott and Tessa after the short dance, nobody thinks - gee, why give Tessa one of the ducks - Tessa isn't even close enough to the Moirs to go to Danny's wedding - that's not much of a "congrats on your short dance" gift to Tessa!

People just swallow the contradictions and work hard to sham themselves while Tessa and Scott continue to bait and switch, push and pull and work both sides of the street.

Sticking a just-out-of-the-oven baby in Jessica Dube's arms for all to see is not necessary. We've already had the requisite side-by-side smiley sham photo with Scott in his Fred haircut. Do we need to pile on with infants? It's four years into this fucking thing - they still have it dialed to overkill?

It's fun now with Ryan Semple a potential new participant, now that Tessa's crawled out from the isolation chamber. A dual "mo-vember" shout out (Scott and Semple). Someone suddenly twittering their location along with twitpics when they never bothered before - except no need for a location tag when it's Arctic Edge.

When Aunt Joyce's blog was scathingly blasting Tanith Belbin and Evan Lysacek post after post, Tanith didn't corrupt every aspect of her life as a defensive measure. She and Evan didn't take more and grosser, inappropriate photos, didn't get competitive with fans. They stayed consistent. For those who didn't believe they were an authentic couple - it still served its purpose just fine. Nobody cared who Evan was dating - they just believed or didn't in his relationship with Tanith. And not even Aunt Joyce did the math of - well then who IS Tanith dating?

So it worked. But it takes common sense. And for all their self-flattery about unique circumstances, Team Virtue Moir seem deficient in real people, real world smarts and experience, and uninterested in acquiring any.

P.S. - Alma Moir changed her profile photo to one of her holding the baby above, so the first public photo of Quinn Moir was of the newborn being held by Jessica Dube'.

Way more sense to hand Jessica a matching duckie after her lp. Why make Tessa suck up a duckie when this past spring it was pointedly underscored she's not even close enough to be a guest at Danny Moir's wedding?

Meantime, Jessica, whom we're meant to believe practically assisted with Quinn Moir's delivery, goes duckless.  It's Jessica at all the family events - births, Christmases, weddings, birthdays - not Tessa.  Maybe they're implying Scott and Jessica are secretly married? She certainly rates as family. Where was her duck?

Charlie and Danny both married long-term girlfriends and are now parents; Scott's parents married and began a family when young, and Scott and Jessica have been a "thriving" "long term" "well known" couple thoroughly integrated into each others' families since around 2007 - and damn proud of it going by facebook. Considering Tessa Virtue has dated her coach's son, also gotten with a two-time divorced French-Canadian un-gold medalist pushing forty who has a toddler, and is now evidently dating a ski-slope habituee who enjoys twit pic-ing his "Mo-vember" progress from bed in "Canton, MI" - and considering Scott is now 24 - it is probably time for the media to ask Scott Moir if he and his girlfriend, Jessica Dube, have marriage plans.

Where are the normal questions? Virtue Moir have talked about their families, their childhood, favorite foods, shopping habits, school - it's definitely not all skating. On facebook and twitter they've opened the window on their intimate life- their separate intimate life, of course. They're not "keep the focus on skating" types.

A few questions about how the Scott/Jessica relationship flourishes over time, distance and different levels of success would certainly be logical. Ask what they said to each other when he won the Olympics and she didn't, how he supports her new partnership - some of the stuff Tanith gets asked and Charlie gets asked.

Why just show and not tell? Let's hear it, Scott, so we can watch on youtube forever.

The Moir family is -  to say the least - eager to display how Jessica is the same to Scott as Nicole and Danny's Tessa are to Charlie and Danny. Wives. Jessica's current profile pic looks like Nicole popped out the baby and handed her to Jessica, that baby is so raw.

It's clear that right after anything of note occurs in the Moir clan the thought is immediately - let's use this to promote the Jessica and Scott hoax. It's so OTT it's like they have too much time on their hands or their lives aren't interesting enough. If you're thinking up new ways- looking for excuses - if you'd RATHER use your kid, your wedding, your holidays than rather not - then you do need to get out more.

Back to business. Why doesn't Scott put a ring on it?

What's she gonna do this Xmas - cook the turkey? How about if the Moirs/Dubes celebrate together? What's Jessica going to get as a gift? A guide to Audi repair and maintenance? Or maybe a History of Hyundai? Will she start skating with a diamond ring later this season, pose with it, but be coy about who gave it to her and what it means?

Tons of married figure skaters compete. Heck, some get pregnant right after one season concludes, keep skating practically til contractions, give birth, and are back competing before the next season is done. Bet Jessica's made of the same stuff. A skating career isn't a reason to defer questions about a wedding or settling down.

A good way to get off the "relationship' and "couple" topic that taxes Virtue Moir's patience would be to welcome questions about Jessica for real. Fans are so interested in Scott and Tessa, we're always told, that they pester every entertainment outlet that interviews Scott and Tessa, wanting to know their relationship status.Yet despite social media aggression and conspicuous family attendance at each other's competitions, Jessica's name is never mentioned to Scott's face for him to comment about - Jessica Dube, his teammate, his long-term girlfriend the well-known pairs figure skater -  and it's such a great story. Especially the part about Bryce and Scott "used to be" friends. Let's get up to date on that and see if they've made peace. **

The Bryce/Scott rift isn't private - nobody knew about it til Menage a Trois - a Tellement Sport feature. It's not gossip - it was initiated by the subjects themselves, with direct participation from Jessica and Bryce. It was Moir-approved.

They brought it up because they wanted to enlighten the public about their private lives.They're the sharing kind.

Surely nobody will argue Jessica is kept on the dl to protect fan fantasies about VM. If that's your aim, you don't do icky photo shoots in swim wear. You don't have Jessica with a Moir newborn (shouldn't she be in scrubs? I feel like a prop op went begging.) as her public profile. You don't celebrate the holidays by blasting your facebook wall with 100+ red-eye photos of you and your amoreaux on "xmas" morning and "NYE".

Skating media - most media - is accustomed to making something out of nothing. Here they don't make anything out of a something that is begging for coverage. Why not? If VM won't cooperate, why doesn't the media talk about it anyhow? And why wouldn't VM cooperate considering how eager they are to shove facebook stuff at us and all the other stuff they do. If you want to hide you don't put Virtues AND Moirs AND a putative Tessa bf in the stands at Jessica Dube's first GP free skate with her new partner.

It's juicy stuff - the face slash girl and the gold medalist. It's all over social media but the entertainment /sports media doesn't touch it.

Figure skating media, helping Barb stage a very authentic looking "scrum" photo.

Man, if these folks knew Scott/Tessa + Jessica were lying, they'd put on their 
Woodward/Bernstein hats and blow it wide open. We can see right here their
journalistic zeal and integrity.



Love the intense frowns of concentration on the Robert de Niros and Meryl Streeps up there. Who knew ice dance training was of such import?

If Scott spoke about Jessica with the same intent used to display photos of Jessica and Scott, relationship questions would die down fast. Surely speaking of it on the record isn't more disrespectful than the types of photos they've published.

If any relationship was asking for a profile, its own feature in People a la Charlie and Tanith, it's Scott and Jessica. Its long duration, the fan drama, their respective career trajectories.

His brothers have settled down, creating a natural topic starter. Scott's "dated" Jessica longer than Danny dated his Tessa. Interviewers have no qualms about asking Charlie White about Tanith right in front of Meryl.

I'd also like to hear Scott tell an interviewer that he's a new uncle twice over, but for him at this moment in late 2011 fatherhood is a long way off and he can't even picture it right now, but certainly looks forward to it some day. 

He's a verbal guy - it's kind of odd he shows but doesn't tell. I'm sure he'd be happy to talk about it if the topic were raised with specificity - you know - names. Tessa and Scott tell great stories - I'm sure Scott has some fun stories about his life with Jessica. Let's hear Scott talk. Enough pictures.

Scott and Jessica are a legit entertainment/personality story, and it's fresh. No one's touched it in the English speaking media.

But if the bathtub ducks weren't for Scott's nieces, but another baby of baby bath and bathtub duckie age, that changes things somewhat.Then the reticence about bringing Jessica out of the murk of social media and into the bright, archive-able world of legitimate journalism would make sense.
__________________
*It actually shows foresight. Considering how blithely many fans on message boards outright make shit up about what they've seen, known and have heard, it's a good idea to establish now that Tessa is in the loop and enabling everything.

**Which raises another thing. In the Menage feature, Bryce and Jessica overshared about the "fact" that she "skates with Bryce and dates Scott MOIR". But there were key details omitted, such as why was the friendship between Scott and Bryce over? Did Scott "steal" Jessica when she was still together with Bryce? Or is Bryce just a believer in the "Don't date your best friend's ex" rule?

(How come the girls at Canton don't worry about the don't date your friend's ex rule? Fedor gets passed along from Tanith to Tessa to (insinuated) Jana to (claimed on fsu) Meryl and the girls sail along, all besties still.)

It's very unusual for high profile figure skaters to share this kind of personal dirt, and not a single media outlet followed up. It was like it didn't exist.

On message boards, it was around spring 2007 that some fans started saying that according to Scott, Scott was dating Jessica Dube. Jessica changed her relationship status to "in a relationship" around July 2007. But Menage didn't first come out til 2009, I believe. Why did they wait two years?

Let's look at the story elements that fail to interest the sports/entertainment media:
1) Male ice dancer from Canada, contending for the gold medal at upcoming Olympics held in Canada.

2) His teammate and close friend, a male pairs skater from Canada, contending for the podium same Olympics.

3) Pair guy publicly declares his friendship with the ice dancer is in ruins because the ice dancer is dating his partner/former "lover".

4) Ice dancer and pair girl proceed to spam social media with "romantic" photos, including kissing, on facebook where the pair guy can see it and fans can see it - right before the Olympics.

5) The pair guy still has to train with his ex for the Olympics - in the most dangerous figure skating discipline for the female. Yet the photos keep coming.

6) The female is a girl famous for having her face slashed by her partner's skate blade.
Yeah - this is boring.

How will this impact the pair in competition? How does it affect Bryce to have Scott watching in the stands?

How does it affect Bryce that his ex girlfriend/partner, along with his former best friend are blasting "intimate" photos all over the inter-verse for the entertainment of fans? 

Does this jeopardize Jessica and Bryce's podium chances? Does this affect Bryce's focus and put his partner at risk?

Is Jessica so thrilled about dating Scott Moir she'll risk her Olympic hopes and her safety?

Oh - and btw, Bryce and Jessica are skating to The Way We Were and claim Jessica has tears in her eyes when they practice it. They keep the program for the following season too, they love it so much. Then Bryce is injured and Jessica dumps him for a new partner.

Who would be interested in a seething clusterfuck like that? No wonder the media left it alone.

Skate Canada doesn't bring it up even though it brings up other ick, such as the time we got to hear that Jessica and Bryce were former "lovers". So it ain't taste holding them back.