Yeah, I do remember the TV spot with Michelle aired at National's. But I tend to think that it was more an attempt of NBC's to try to raise viewership by including Michelle somehow in their programming (and this angle of being a mentor to a younger skater was perhaps as good as any).
I think what really hurt Caroline's senior debut, despite doing really well in her first GP season, was the downgrade rules implemented just the summer before, which hit especially hard at SA, the first competition. She was sagged with 5 downgrades, a huge number (how many people even attempt that many triples?!), and that reputation of being an under-rotater stuck with her long after, even though she had good GP results that first year. Few people remember she got a bronze there, everyone remembers that she got 5 downgrades. The way DG calls are implemented, it is strongly prone to prior biases (tech panel only reviews jumps where they suspect UR in real time, and most jumps look under-rotated in slow-motion, so there is a strong confirmation bias). So this has really hurt her. I think she's only very, very slowly now digging herself out of that reputation.
Well, I don't know. All I know is that she thought being sponsored by a private school was a bad idea because of publicity. I can only imagine that they're refusing other deals, too.I understand interviews and public appearances. But Goldberg is actually turning down endorsement deals?