Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tessa & Scott: A Fairy Tale




In case you didn't ask Santa for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's autobiography, I took the liberty of reading the literary masterpiece so you don't have to.  Unless you're looking for loads of glossy photos to line your walls with, there is little reason to actually purchase the book.  Frankly, you could probably go to your local library, read the book in under 90 minutes and still have time to photocopy a few of your favorite photos included in the book.

Tessa and Scott weren't sure they had a compelling story before they met with Steve Milton and actually worked on the book.  There is a reason for that.  Much of the book, written in the third person with quotes from the skaters, their families and coaches reads as follows: Tessa and Scott were so talented and coachable.  They are beautiful people, on and off the ice.  They are 'together' and focus on their key words.  Tessa and Scott were the smallest competitors at ___________ level, but they certainly weren't the slowest.  Even though they were on the top step of the podium, they were still the tiniest.

The book has plenty of eye-rolling moments.  While it is true that many Canadians have great edges, this book is clearly a Skate Canada ass-kissing production.  "Canadians are obviously doing something right with their edges."  "Everyone was so nice and helpful to us, and so Canadian."

In terms of insight, there isn't much.  They didn't talk much after Tessa's first surgery and it kept them feeling 'together' for almost a year.  They don't mean 'together' like a romantic couple, but they are flattered that everyone thinks so because it means they are doing their job.  Tessa often sees movies and feels the actor and actress should be together.  Tessa is very artsy and loves dance and fashion.  Scott is butch and technical and loves hockey.

Tessa and Scott were upset about not being selected for the 2006 Olympic Team because they finished second in the Original and Free Dances at Nationals (yet were still third overall.)

Tessa and Scott loved the new international judging system immediately and think it is wonderful for the sport.

Tessa and Scott never realized that no North American ice dancers had ever won the Olympics, because they only focus on themselves.  That said, most skating fans think Bourne and Kraatz and Wilson and McCall deserved World Titles (Blumberg and Seibert must've slipped Steve Milton's mind.)

Amidst the PR work of semi-fiction, there is plenty of reading between the lines to be done.

It becomes painfully obvious that Voir are Marina Zueva's 'baby.'  She pulled for them, gave them the Gordeeva and Grinkov music and dreamed of them winning the Olympics because they are 'man and woman on ice.'  Marina feels very Canadian.  Tessa and Scott just 'knew' they would win the Olympics. From the sounds of it, Marina certainly knew ahead of time as well.

Scott Moir is very 'confident' and 'competitive.'  Tessa is competitive too, but always thinks that everyone else is better than they are.  She doesn't give the team enough credit.  Well, the book certainly doesn't do anything to dispel the notion that Scott Moir can come across as being quite cocky.

David Pelletier became an 'adviser' to the team before the Olympics and acted as an agent for them (even though they have an agent.)  This was around the time that Tessa and Scott weren't really speaking or very 'together.'  They forgot to include the part where Jamie Sale wouldn't ride on the same tour bus and Tessa and David...

Tessa and Scott really throw Marlie a bone when they say many people thought they deserved silver at the 2006 Junior Worlds.  Yet, they failed to mention how many people felt the results should've been at 2010 Worlds.

Tessa and Scott had to get used to Marina and Igor yelling a bit and being direct.  (Understatement of the century.)

Tessa Virtue and Joannie Rochette were able to block out Mrs. Rochette's death because they are tough, competitive athletes.  (Okay, Joannie did an amazing thing at the Olympics, but does that really cancel out the rest of her career?!)

The book makes little mention of anyone who isn't Canadian.  They did mention that Tessa and Scott get Skate Canada to allow Marlie to train with the Great White North on their privately-rented ice outside of Vancouver.

Tessa and Scott now hope to move the sport to a new artistic level, though they will take their skating year-by-year, just as they did as little kids.

28 comments:

  1. So, my assumptions that Zueva gave them superior music, choreography and attention, perhaps at the expense of Davis and White are true. Will Meryl and Charlie ever be treated with the respect that they deserve?

    ReplyDelete
  2. marlie are igor's baby. clearly each coach favours one couple.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kinda of a turnoff. Maybe that's why I just enjoy their skating but had no connection to V/M as people and hoped for Marlie to win.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is scott fucking Tessa? I wondered because in one of the dances his hand was near her crotch at one beat of the music and then near his nose [as if sniffing] the next.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for taking one for the team and reading so we don't have to. Glad to miss the oh so gracious condescension aimed at Merlie.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh well, I think Voir have peaked, while Marlie still has lots of room to grow. After a point, not having a great emotional range should cost you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hahahahahaha! Virtue/Moir don't have a great emotional range, while Davis/White do?! As if. Davis/White are great, but they don't have any emotional range because they don't really have any specific emotion aside from ~*dramatik*~ and frantic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. For a start, they have more facial expressions than Voir.

    As regards to Marlie being Igor's baby, is that why only Igor was at the GPF?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Only Igor was at GPF because Marina was in Croatia with Fedor and Jana.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "It becomes painfully obvious that Voir are Marina Zueva's 'baby.' She pulled for them, gave them the Gordeeva and Grinkov music and dreamed of them winning the Olympics because they are 'man and woman on ice.' Marina feels very Canadian. Tessa and Scott just 'knew' they would win the Olympics. From the sounds of it, Marina certainly knew ahead of time as well."

    Well that was obvious the moment they gave MArlie PotO as their free dance (not that it is bad music, actually Andrew Lloyd Webber's music is fantastic, but it has been done). I think that if Marlie had kept their Samson et Dalilah FD, with the Indian OD, they would have won. It baffled me that after having Marlie's OD scoring first place all season, shocker! at the Olympics they end up second.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't think you're allowed to keep programs for over a season in ice dance, right?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Of course you are (in the FD only, since the other segments obviously forced change). It's more frowned upon than in other disciplines, but there's no rule against it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I had to stop reading this after a few sentences. For what I read of this review, none of it was true. I have read Tessa and Scott's book 3 times and I loved it more and more each time I read it.
    Sorry if I offended you but I really thought this review was rather rude.
    JMO

    ReplyDelete
  14. But how can a review be rude? Isn't a review an opinion? This is the reviewer's opinion, just as you have yours.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love V and M's skating very much, but I'm not going to waste my money on that book as I trust AJ's opinion on this (he's their fan too).

    I stopped reading their interviews a while ago because they are mostly very nationalistic and pc too, pukeworthy. And I want to continue to love them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm a big fan of V/M and I only just discovered figure skating when I saw their FD at the Olympics (by accident on TV). I think I became enamored with them because I think they would make a perfect couple rather than their skating, since I don't know anything about skating. With that said I did buy and read their book and to be honest it was kinda cheesy. I feel like I still don't know who they really are except that Tessa is a sweet girl and Scott is a funny guy. Knowing what I know now I probably wouldn't have bought the book, but oh well it does have nice pics.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How on earth could someone read this book 3 times? This isn't The Sound and the Fury. I could barely get through this tired piece of authorized autobiography once. By the end I was skimming so I wouldn't gag. No matter how you feel about Voir, this book is total crap as anything more than a publicity pamphlet. Expect very little from it, yet you'll still be disappointed!

    ReplyDelete
  18. AJ, I suspect the review's word count is awfully close to the book's! Am I right? I do appreciate your sacrifice. They should have just released a coffee table type book and not attempted to tell a story.

    I'm not a huge fan of D/W, so maybe I'm biased, but I don't think Marina is the reason they ended up second. For one thing, V/M have a cleaner, more elegant look on the ice, which does help. But to be blunt: I suspect D/W were doomed because Evan Lysacek won 2009 Worlds and Patrick Chan was injured in the first half of the 2010 season. The politicking simply sorted itself out from that point on.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for the review! I'm a little baffled by the fact that the ETalk interview clips on youtube have no mention of Marlie. It sounds like the book was the same way. In fact, it seems like there have been more instances of Marlie mentioning V/M in most of their interviews. Maybe V/M are so used to faking everything, that this so called camaraderie with Marlie is part of the package deal.
    Now if V/M don't show up at World's this year and Marlie happen to win, everyone will go "well, they had no competition", and no appreciation for the hard work Marlie put in while V/M were busy signing books and basking in their Olympic medal glory while it lasts. I'm way more entertained by Marlie than the snoozeworthy V/M programs.
    I'm happy that Marlie's programs will live on through youtube. They are already winners in my eyes for putting forth some of the programs I really enjoy watching. They appear to be genuinely nice people and don't seem to put on an act in every aspect of their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  20. To be fair - Marlie always get asked about Voir. And I'm sure they're used to the whole "oh they had no competition thing" with Tanith and Ben.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This book was targeted at the general Canadian audience, not at hard-core skating fans. This is for all those people who only watched skating at the Olympics and fell in love with Voir on TV. Why would any of those Canadians give a shit about Marlie? They care about Tesss and Scott because they are Canadian, not because they have some real love for Ice Dance. Do American gold medalists talk about their international competitors? Not very much. Jesus, the kids on the USAG gymnastics teams all refer to their competitors as 'the Chinese", "the Russian", etc.

    This was a big, glossy coffee table book with lots of pictures. That is it. It was never intended to be a juicy tell-all.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm pretty sure Marlie picked POTO even though their coaches weren't a big fan of that choice. In an interview they'd said that they felt a big connection to that music and couldn't be dissuaded.

    I think Igor likes more dramatic couples (T/B, Marlie) and Marina likes the comparatively more understated couples (Voir, Shibutanis). I remember in My Sergei, Katia basically said she'd do something and Marina would be like no just copy what Sergei does he actually gets it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. People 20 something years old really shouldn't have autobiographies. There isn't much to say! They've only been around for a few years so far and there has barely be any adversity.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like the tag, Media Bullshitting 101. hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  25. One of the most interesting aspects of My Sergei is Katia's apparent jealousy and quasi-disdain for the relationship between Marina and Sergei.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What proof is there to the DP/Tessa rumors?

    Ive only ever seen them here, or as quoted as being seen here.. Its just strange as anywhere alse there seems to be NO evidence to support this, except from being mentioned time and time again.. here.

    ReplyDelete
  27. They are the best skaters I admire them sooooooo much I listen to at least 2 of their programs a day love tessa and scott hope to see them some day!!!!!! :)

    PS: One day Tessa and Scott should sooo go out they would be the cutiest couple EVER!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete