James and Ciprès announce end of career

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CellarDweller

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I always thought that they were an interesting and dynamic pair. I think retirement is the way to go for them given the circumstances.

As for Cipres going into coaches, I wouldn't let my child train with him.
 

drivingmissdaisy

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Cipres literally apologised for his actions - for a certain very low value of apology - to the parents of at least one of the girls he harassed, in writing, which pretty much constitutes a confession - and his victims were two girls who trained at his rink and whom he unofficially coached. It’s quite likely that Vanessa knew them, and more plausible that she would have found out about it at the same time as the whole business blew up at the rink (late 2017, apparently) than that she was in the dark until Christine Brennan broke the story in the press last year.

I'm sorry, but "quite likely" and "more plausible" are not standards by which we should demonize someone for her inaction. She very well may have known more, but I think we absolutely have to give her the benefit of the doubt here. Even if she heard something, it's very much a "he said, she said" situation unless she herself sees some sort of proof.
 

karne

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I'm sorry, but "quite likely" and "more plausible" are not standards by which we should demonize someone for her inaction. She very well may have known more, but I think we absolutely have to give her the benefit of the doubt here. Even if she heard something, it's very much a "he said, she said" situation unless she herself sees some sort of proof.

Whatever we think of what she knew at the time it happened - and I still have my doubts about that - what about after it became public? Where was the denouncement, where was the statement that she supports survivors, where was the acknowledgement that she was contractually obliged to skate with him in shows?

James had dozens upon dozens of chances to do the right thing. She didn't. Her silence is very telling.
 

drivingmissdaisy

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Whatever we think of what she knew at the time it happened - and I still have my doubts about that - what about after it became public? Where was the denouncement, where was the statement that she supports survivors, where was the acknowledgement that she was contractually obliged to skate with him in shows?

James had dozens upon dozens of chances to do the right thing. She didn't. Her silence is very telling.

I'm not sure why you think she's obligated to chime in after this became public, or why it makes her a bad person that she didn't. The misconduct has absolutely nothing to do with her personally.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I learned that Vanessa and Morgan are slated to perform with Art on Ice in four Swiss cities next February. Will this retirement announcement preclude that, or is their retirement only from ISU competition? If they still may be participating in occasional shows, has anyone seen or heard what/where those might be? I'm sure we all knew their 'retirement' had to be coming, under the circumstances, but I really hate to see them give up all performing, unless neither is actually interested in continuing. This is a pair I truly loved; I'll always miss them in competitions.

^^ I don't know. But it would make me happy if Vanessa & Morgan are able to continue performing in shows together. They have so much to offer in their performance abilities!

Morgan should be given the opportunity to rehabilitate himself, which I think comes with facing up to his mistakes. The biggest problem is that in today's environment of being more cognizant of what victims of abuse have endured, there seems to be little room for giving anyone accused of an abusive action any chance to redeem themselves. Irate people who are appalled at Morgan's behavior tend to claim that anyone being understanding and forgiving toward him are necessarily harming and belittling the victims. I do not think that's automatically the case, but usually anyone who shows compassion for anyone other than solely the victims, will be castigated and accused of harming victims' willingness to come forward. Once again, I do not think that's a fair assessment, but I understand why people are angry and why they feel that way. I just think that each case of abuse allegations should be looked at individually and not lumped together.

I understand that some people are upset about the terrible mistake Morgan made. The issue for me is that we do not know everything that was going on surrounding what happened. There was another adult coach at the rink (a former little known ice dancer) who was also involved. But since reportedly it was Morgan who actually sent the lewd photo on his phone, and because he has high name recognition, he's the one who is receiving the prime focus of blame, without all of the details of what led to the incident being fore-fronted. It's definitely a bad situation, because no matter what, it is the responsibility of adults to protect children/ teenagers who are still growing and innocent in their perceptions and understanding of life. It is abhorrent for adults to take advantage of the innocence of children. It doesn't matter what the underlying circumstances were, it was a very immature and harmful choice that Morgan made.

Still, I also do not condone the OTT labeling, finger-pointing, condemning and scorched-earth castigating. I believe that Morgan is very immature and careless in what he did, but he's not a horrible person who should be ostracized for the rest of his life. Morgan's immaturity and carelessness could be in part due to growing up inside rink environments which is a very sheltered existence. He is also from a different country and culture. As well, we need to examine the culture of figure skating as a whole, wherein young heterosexual men are prized commodities whose egos are routinely massaged and whose needs and desires tend to be prioritized. That very situation is also a huge factor in John Coughlin's upbringing within the sport. What happened in Coughlin's case happened over time and included a number of victims. He was a teenager when his behavior began, and his behavior was condoned for years, even if most people were not fully aware of the extent of his harmful actions toward younger females.

In the specific incident involving Morgan, we do not know all the details nor specific motivations. It's egregious behavior that as reported involves several people engaging in harmful shenanigans which should never have occurred at any step along the progression. Signs of inappropriate interactions should have been noticed sooner, and the parents of the young teenagers should have been contacted very early on. Better yet, the two main adults involved (i.e., Morgan & the ice dancer) need to fully examine what their motivations were in the first place. They should have to undergo training and rehabilitation to come to grips with the seriousness of their actions. Unless either of them have some pattern of past similar transgressions, I do not think pressing charges and serving jail time should be the necessary penalty. It is also very important to ensure the emotional health and healing of the young victim(s). In this case, I'm not sure the belated public nature of the allegations is actually helpful for the young victim(s).

All rinks should have guidelines surrounding the interactions between adults (whether coaches or competitive skaters) and children who train and skate in those environments. This is particularly true when competitive skaters from other countries and cultures are training and coaching at rinks in the U.S. The U.S. federation bears some responsibility, IMO, although they apparently are sidestepping any notion of bearing responsibility for the prevalence of abusive incidents at rinks. Sadly US figure skating does not even seem interested in bearing leadership responsibility for taking measures to implement awareness programs and workshops to support rinks in tackling this serious and complicated problem. It is a problem that has percolated for a long time and it's not going away by sticking heads in the sand and hoping SafeSport will take care of it.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I don't know anything about what happened with Vanessa James and her partner, but she is going to be one of the pairs skaters on The Battle of the Blades 2020.


Yes, I posted in the BOTB's thread about Vanessa returning to BOTB's cast this season. It kicks off again in mid-October, I believe. It was a great and entertaining reboot last season! Many of the same pro contestants from last season will be returning, including Andrew Poje and Kaitlin Weaver...

I'm not sure why you think she's obligated to chime in after this became public, or why it makes her a bad person that she didn't. The misconduct has absolutely nothing to do with her personally.

Exactly. It's easy for after-the-fact sideline observers to throw flames in the very 'politically correct' judgmental environment of today. But the fact remains, none of us have all of the details of what occurred, nor complete knowledge of all the factors and personalities at that rink which led to the unfortunate and harmful incident. The sketchy nature of the overly titillating public reports by Brennan in the first place certainly does not require Vanessa (who was not named as a participant in the incident) to speak out in any way, shape or form.

It is completely unfair for anyone to be casting aspersions toward Vanessa James. No matter what happened, it is not her duty to speak out about events in which she was not directly involved. We have no clue of what she found out, knew, or was told at any point in time before the public reports surfaced. Nor are we privy to her private relationship with Morgan and her understanding of who he is as a person. He strikes me as very immature, so it is a credit to Vanessa that she has been supportive of and understanding toward Morgan over the course of their partnership. That involves a bond of loyalty that does not break down at the first sign that someone you care about and have competed with for years in a highly difficult sport has engaged in deleterious activities. It's also beyond dismaying surely that the behavior was not only harmful to a minor, but that Morgan's choices ended up betraying the partnership that he and Vanessa have carefully cultivated and sacrificed for so heavily in pursuit of elusive goals.

Anyone who continues to look down on Vanessa, in my view, are being unfair (ETA: I edited my previous reference that suggested detractors of Vanessa should 'be ashamed.' I realize that I shouldn't condemn anyone who has feelings and opinions that don't align with mine). Vanessa is not responsible in any way for speaking out on behalf of the victims in this case. That is not her responsibility. Neither is she responsible for defending or condemning Morgan's transgressions, simply because of their professional partnership and their private connection.

Vanessa & Morgan dated during the early years of their partnership, but mutually decided to stop dating in order to focus on their pairs career. Based on a former skating interview in which they had discussed their previous off-ice relationship, it was clear to me that their romantic connection off-ice had been difficult to manage, which subsequently impacted their on-ice development. Vanessa is four years older than Morgan. Possibly, Morgan's immaturity and his impulsive personality were factors in Vanessa putting a halt on the dating. I've always had the feeling that Morgan was still carrying a torch for Vanessa, despite their romantic split. But that's only my speculation because of their palpable on-ice chemistry. Their fans are always shipping them in comments on YouTube and Instagram. However, Vanessa moved on in that respect awhile ago. She has been in a romantic relationship off-ice with someone else for several years at least. It is often difficult for pairs partners to sustain a romance off-ice while trying to pursue a competitive career. We see that dynamic with Tarasova/Morosov and many other pairs teams. In some cases, it works for couples, as with Max Trankov & Tat Volosozhar, and Chris & Alexa Knierim.

To sum up: Details of the abuse incident at the Florida rink have only been sketchily reported without full investigation, nor any legal documentation or confirmation. Vanessa, as usual, has conducted herself with the utmost grace and dignity throughout what has to be a very difficult time for her, after all the care and determination with which she doggedly carved out a successful and influential pairs career. Morgan and Vanessa have been through a lot of ups and downs as a 'mixed' pair team in an elitist sport. It has clearly been frustrating and difficult for them both to persevere in the face of not only normal tough obstacles, but also the extremely complicated and subtle obstacles of trying to succeed in a sport that does not readily welcome or always fairly judge skaters of color.

To finally reach the pinnacle, and then be brought down by egregious personal transgressions self-inflicted by the partner with whom you have a strong and caring bond. That's a hard pill to swallow. The fact that Vanessa has navigated her way through this with the same resilience, discretion, and positivity that she's always displayed, is a credit to her character.

Disclaimer:
Any personal speculation is based on my own perceptions from following J/C's career and viewing a number of interviews they've given over the years. These are my individual impressions of their personalities and their relationship, which may not be accurate since I don't know either of them personally.
 
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TontoK

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Do I think that it is plausible that Vanessa knew nothing? And if she heard anything that she didn't believe it?

Absolutely. In a prior job, I worked next to a man for years. We were friendly... sharing stories of our families, sitting together while we brown-bagged it, stuff like that.

I have never been more shocked in my life than when he was arrested for trafficking in child porn. I mean I was SHOCKED. And, if anyone had told me about suspicions of his activity before his arrest, I would have been really upset that anyone woud spread rumors of this seemingly nice and mild man of something so vile, and I would probably have given a sermon on the evils of gossip.

But, turns out he was guilty. He was a terrible human being, who I thought I knew reasonably well... and I had no idea of the depravity.

Absent any real evidence that she knew... I'm willing to accept that she didn't.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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^^ Yeah sure. That's a good observation.

I would also say that regardless of what Vanessa knew or didn't know, she was not responsible for anyone else's egregious behavior. Plus, we do not know the details of what happened, or of what led to the incident taking place, nor the individual motivations. It's easy to jump onto and believe the worst case scenario, which might be the case. But, as far as I'm concerned, the sketchy, titillating reports by Christine Brennan mainly served to raise more questions, and the reports sadly harmed innocent skaters who were training at the rink. At least three skaters who had achieved great success during the 2019 GPs, faltered badly in their competitive outings in January subsequent to the first published report appearing right after the GPF in December. It's understandable that their focus on training and preparation was disrupted, despite none of them resorting to blaming the 'elephant in the room.'

To me, the actual motivations and sequence of events are unknown. As well, the incident happened nearly three years ago. I suppose details began to surface within the skating community, and then apparently a counselor on behalf of the main teenager thought it appropriate to report the incident. I'm not certain that the public report was necessary to help the young victim in her healing process. IMO, everything should have been handled swiftly and privately as soon as it happened, with the perpetrators being held accountable and made to undergo questioning and sexual harassment training and rehabilitation. I do not think Morgan's career should have been halted unless he had engaged in actual physical harm or unless he was previously involved in a pattern of misbehavior toward minors, which I do not believe is the case.

It's possible that the other adult was using the young girls in order to see the photo himself. Morgan may have been unaware of other adult's involvement. It's also possible that Morgan paid little attention to who had requested the photo, or the youngster did not use her own phone to make the request (as enticed by the other adult). There's also the possibility that the other adult and Morgan were in cahoots to tease the two young girls in order to incite a reaction, or God forbid that there was an ulterior motive on the part of the two male adults involving some kind of ongoing seduction/ flirtation. None of these scenarios have been reported or confirmed, only speculated, titillated and gossiped about. There was a report that quoted the rink manager as saying something completely out-of-line about the victim being known to have been flirtatious in her behavior. That's a huge inappropriate comment which further victimizes the young teenager(s). It was the responsibility for all of the adults involved at that rink to protect the two young girls. Anyone who felt their behavior was flirtatious, should have immediately contacted the parents, pulled the male adults aside to caution them, and to ensure guidelines regarding interaction between adults and minors was closely monitored. It's just lax morals and careless behavior all around.

But that does not mean Vanessa was directly aware of any problems, or that she was told of any details in the aftermath. (Reminds me of how Tai Babilonia had been kept in the dark about Randy Gardner's serious injury during the 1980 Olympics). I also think the Zimmermans were probably very focused on their coaching tasks, and they were probably blindsided by what happened. I have sympathy for them, but when it happened, they should maybe have taken a step back and sought crisis management advice. I totally understand the inclination to protect the burgeoning career of James/Cipres after so much hard work and years of sacrifice had gone into building their career and they were on the cusp of moving up after having broken through in a big way at Euros 2017. To try and look down on the desire to preserve the career momentum of J/C in my view is overly harsh, self-righteous, and insensitive. Still, there's no excuse for threatening or intimidating the girl or her parents. The best interests and well-being of the minors involved should have been a chief concern. If concern for the young girls had been a major focus in the first place, the entire incident could have been avoided. Seemingly, the parents ultimately agreed to not press charges or publicize the incident in the immediate aftermath.

I also wonder whether any frustration or depression, particularly on the part of Morgan had set in after they did not receive a deserved win at the French GP in Novermber 2017. From his behavior in the kiss 'n cry, Morgan has always seemed to take scoring slights and disappointments visibly harder than Vanessa. Obviously, that's not an excuse for engaging in reckless personal behavior. In view of everything, I'm grateful for the fact that J/C went on to complete that season and the 2018 - 2019 season with great success, which in retrospect might never have happened had the allegations been publicized at the time. Once again, the full details and motivations of what took place are still unknown.

ETA:
No matter what Vanessa was told at the time or later, it is simply NOT her responsibility to shoulder blame or to defend or to condemn, or to make any statements of any kind about something that is mostly gossip and sketchy reporting in a titillating fashion. If in fact, the victim wished to have others speak out on her behalf, then that's her right. I'm just not certain whether it was the victim's choice to make a public accusation, or whether it was advice provided to her as an aid to her recovery if she has been struggling emotionally in the years since. It could be other factors involved in her struggle, e.g., upset over being forced to leave the rink; guilt and/ or embarrassment and confusion; difficulty in her relationship with her parents, both before and after the incident, etc.
 
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elbkup

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Thanks for linking that milestone, breakthrough program. Their sp to Earned It at that Euros event was a revelation as well. Both were perfectly clean and brilliantly performed. Vanessa always said they knew they had to skate perfectly. They were full of talent from the moment they paired together, but it was a long road for them to polish all of their elements, find the right music and skate consistently clean. They got a lot of help from a number of coaches along the way. But better scoring took them longer to achieve than it should have. Still, the fact that they knew they had to be extra better than everyone else is possibly what led to them eventually finding synchoncity and magic together with Zimmerman's coaching crew in Florida. Everything came together with choreo by John Kerr, Jeremy Barrett, Silvia Fontana, and overall guidance by JZimmerman. And still, the judges were intent upon 'managing' their scores.

It's a complete disgrace to this day that J/C's gorgeously conceived and executed performance to Say Something at the 2017 French GP did not win them the gold medal against the mistakes and ill-conceived fp of Tarasova/Morozov at the same competition:


Together for seven years before finding the best coaching team at the right moment, and all the right elements to achieve that high level of success and palpable excitement.

Here's their hard-fought win at 2018 GPF in their final season. No gifts were ever given to them by the judges:

Their consistency on jumps was one of their strongest assets, along with their transitions, ice dance elements, unique style, charismatic connection, and the better flow and unison they achieved through the guidance they received in Florida from their choreographers and the coaching crew.

Here's their unforgettable Earned It sp, in their win at WTT in 2017:
Thanks for posting Earned It.. has to be one of my top favorite J/C programs and I love the WTT version. Adding this as my favorite version of this program in competition tho I am really not sure which comp this is..!! Another angle, great close up shots, and all moves are in place, spot on.. sad their fans will never see them perform again..
 

Seven Sisters

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I do think it is possible to remember how wonderful they were on the ice without condoning any completely unacceptable behavior occurring off-ice.

I don’t think anyone has posted their 2019 Worlds free skate—it seems like most versions of it have been taken down, but here’s one that is still up as of today. One of my absolute favorite skates of theirs, utterly breathtaking.

 
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BlissfulSynergy

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Thanks for posting Earned It.. has to be one of my top favorite J/C programs and I love the WTT version. Adding this as my favorite version of this program in competition tho I am really not sure which comp this is..!! Another angle, great close up shots, and all moves are in place, spot on.. sad their fans will never see them perform again..
https://youtu.be/p7kZiVX5q4k

^^ Thanks for that Earned It video @elbkup! I've been looking for that version for awhile, but perhaps it had been taken down by NBC and reuploaded later by a fan with just the date of posting or something. There should be a EuroSport version of this same performance somewhere on YouTube, with better commentating! Both recorded versions of the sp took place at J/C's breakout Euros in January 2017. They were on fire in both programs, and they skated last in both programs! The perfect synchronicity in the perfect moments. They slam-dunked and were in 2nd after the sp, partly due to mistakes by top-favored teams. After skating so great to Sound of Silence in the fp, there's reason to believe they should not have remained in 2nd, and even possibly won it all! But the judges weren't ready to give them that much credit. With their clean, difficult and exciting performances, the judges had to recognize them, but totally managed their scores within a certain range from this event forward to their final season.

J/C began receiving top-notch scores routinely, but they were always kept a bit behind favored teams, and they paid heavily for making any mistakes. Once the top veteran teams retired after the 2018 Olympics and Sui/Han were out with injury during first half of 2018 - 2019, J/C were finally in a position to absolutely 'clean-up' against rival teams like Peng/Jin and Tarasova/Morosov. And none of the other competitive teams could touch them either. At 2018 GPF, J/C made mistakes in the sp, which landed them in 4th, but they came back with a strong fp and vaulted to first place to win their first GPF gold medal! J/C won every competition they entered in 2018-2019, except Worlds, where they hit a speed bump with their mental confidence. It didn't help that Vanessa collided with Matteo Guarise in the sp warm-up, nor that the judges absolutely favored returning Sui/Han, and improved Tarasova/Morosov in the marks. Meanwhile, J/C had beaten T/M at Euros and GPF that season, but J/C still were not favored for gold at 2019 Worlds. J/C came back to place 3rd in the fp, but 4th overall, which was some harsh judging, and giving no quarter.

Here are some old articles/ interviews on J/C circa 2018 - 2019:



 
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BlissfulSynergy

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I do think it is possible to remember how wonderful they were on the ice without condoning any completely unacceptable behavior occurring off-ice.

Here is one of my favorites:


I agree. Disreputable and harmful behavior should never be condoned. My feelings are very clear on the issue, except as I said, we do not know the exact details of what happened from the sketchy and incomplete reporting. There's too much room left for speculation and innuendo, which is not helpful for anyone. Obviously, something harmful and careless happened, and there's a lot of responsibility to be shared by a number of adults for what happened. Bottom line, it was a careless, damaging, and immature choice taken by Morgan, no matter what the circumstances were that led up to his actions.
 

drivingmissdaisy

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Bottom line, it was a careless, damaging, and immature choice taken by Morgan, no matter what the circumstances were that led up to his actions.

Agreed, and in no way is Vanessa at fault. I'm just really tired of people, as usual, somehow trying to pin blame on the woman, especially one who has lost the rest of her skating career for despicable actions she had no control over.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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In reading the 'Athlete Spotlight' Q&A article that I linked above, I was surprised to find out that Vanessa & Morgan spoke of injuries they pushed through. They competed with some injuries at events where they ended up winning medals (at 2018 Worlds and 2017 Euros in particular). Morgan gave credit to doctors and trainers they worked with in Florida.
 

TallyT

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Vanessa is not responsible in any way for speaking out on behalf of the victims in this case. That is not her responsibility.

That is absolute craven crap, sorry. And it's the excuses made by everyone who suspects abuse is going on but doesn't want to take on the odium of helping an innocent victim, so looks the other way. Quite simply, this is exactly the sort of attitude that has allowed abuse, sexual, domestic and right up to murderous, go on since time immemorial.

I'm not saying James did know enough to speak out; she may have been blind to what he is, she may have closed her eyes to it, she may (like the actual victims so often do) have found it takes a level of courage we don't actually comprehend till we're faced with it to throw away her own career and risk the backlash. And to be honest, I wouldn't personally attack her if so because I am honest enough to doubt I would have that courage myself. But that wouldn't make it not my responsibility if I suspected enough. And it wouldn't make it not hers if she did. Or yours, or anyone else's. It would just mean that responsibility was shirked.

And I am sick to death of stuff like Cipres' action being brushed off as 'mistakes' (you see the same weasel words for people who have committed crimes both big and small). It was a deliberate action, it was conceited, cruel and misogynistic, he has as good as admitted it's true and with the help of the French federation he's going to
get away with it.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I do think it is possible to remember how wonderful they were on the ice without condoning any completely unacceptable behavior occurring off-ice.

I don’t think anyone has posted their 2019 Worlds free skate—it seems like most versions of it have been taken down, but here’s one that is still up as of today. One of my absolute favorite skates of theirs, utterly breathtaking.


Ah thanks. Sadly, that turns out to be their final competitive performance. And ironically, the music selection from Wicked Games, I just noticed is entitled, The Last Feeling. :cry:

I so wanted to see what J/C could do with Shae Lynn Bourne's choreo. But I guess we should be grateful for the performances we do have. :love:

Here's one of the many lovely montages posted by a Superfan of J/C, Julie Wie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMexhHEzVGE Unstoppable

This is one of my favorite sp performances by J/C (at Boston Worlds 2016 -- they should have been scored higher):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlktjmVSz9o You Put a Spell on Me

Here's a CBC version of the same performance that I'm linking solely for the commentary (the video quality is poor). I prefer Kurt & compadre over NBC's above chatter by Ryan Bradley chiefly and Tracy Wilson:

I also enjoy this sp performance. The Eurosport guys credit them for their difficult transitions in this performance while Bradley and Andrea Joyce of NBC are always a bit pretentious and acting surprised by how well they perform. But I can't locate the Eurosport version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQsrL6yII54 Make It Rain
 

drivingmissdaisy

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That is absolute craven crap, sorry. And it's the excuses made by everyone who suspects abuse is going on but doesn't want to take on the odium of helping an innocent victim, so looks the other way. Quite simply, this is exactly the sort of attitude that has allowed abuse, sexual, domestic and right up to murderous, go on since time immemorial.

You can look at it two different ways. If she knew something was amiss and had an opportunity to speak up, yes of course she should have said something. If she learned of the gravity of the situation around the same time as everyone else, I don't see why any statement from her would be necessary. She has a responsibility for stopping child abuse if she can. She is not responsible for apologizing for other people's behavior after the fact.
 

CellarDweller

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I do think it is possible to remember how wonderful they were on the ice without condoning any completely unacceptable behavior occurring off-ice.
I agree. Disreputable and harmful behavior should never be condoned. My feelings are very clear on the issue, except as I said, we do not know the exact details of what happened from the sketchy and incomplete reporting. There's too much room left for speculation and innuendo, which is not helpful for anyone. Obviously, something harmful and careless happened, and there's a lot of responsibility to be shared by a number of adults for what happened. Bottom line, it was a careless, damaging, and immature choice taken by Morgan, no matter what the circumstances were that led up to his actions.

Since I've been working from home (since March) I've watched a lot of reruns on TV, and one of the shows I'll occasionally watch is Dr. Phil.

He's told people who have been on his show, talking about the awful stuff that family members have done, that it is entirely possible to love someone, and not love or condone all they do.

Fans will always enjoy the memories of past performances, but for the behavior that took place, consequences must be paid.
 

elbkup

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^^ Thanks for that Earned It video @elbkup! I've been looking for that version for awhile, but perhaps it had been taken down by NBC and reuploaded later by a fan with just the date of posting or something. There should be a EuroSport version of this same performance somewhere on YouTube, with better commentating! Both recorded versions of the sp took place at J/C's breakout Euros in January 2017. They were on fire in both programs, and they skated last in both programs! The perfect synchronicity in the perfect moments. They slam-dunked and were in 2nd after the sp, partly due to mistakes by top-favored teams. After skating so great to Sound of Silence in the fp, there's reason to believe they should not have remained in 2nd, and even possibly won it all! But the judges weren't ready to give them that much credit. With their clean, difficult and exciting performances, the judges had to recognize them, but totally managed their scores within a certain range from this event forward to their final season.

J/C began receiving top-notch scores routinely, but they were always kept a bit behind favored teams, and they paid heavily for making any mistakes. Once the top veteran teams retired after the 2018 Olympics and Sui/Han were out with injury during first half of 2018 - 2019, J/C were finally in a position to absolutely 'clean-up' against rival teams like Peng/Jin and Tarasova/Morosov. And none of the other competitive teams could touch them either. At 2018 GPF, J/C made mistakes in the sp, which landed them in 4th, but they came back with a strong fp and vaulted to first place to win their first GPF gold medal! J/C won every competition they entered in 2018-2019, except Worlds, where they hit a speed bump with their mental confidence. It didn't help that Vanessa collided with Matteo Guarise in the sp warm-up, nor that the judges absolutely favored returning Sui/Han, and improved Tarasova/Morosov in the marks. Meanwhile, J/C had beaten T/M at Euros and GPF that season, but J/C still were not favored for gold at 2019 Worlds. J/C came back to place 3rd in the fp, but 4th overall, which was some harsh judging, and giving no quarter.

Here are some old articles/ interviews on J/C circa 2018 - 2019:



Thank you for the articles; agree they struggled through judges lack of appreciation, a source of frustration for all their fans. Regardless of their future (which I think is bright despite the notoriety) we have all the wonderful programs referenced in this thread to appreciate for years to come. I too believe it is possible Vanessa knew nothing of the transgression until late in the game; it appears that she and Morgan lived quite separate social lives.
 
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