Harsh reality: Virtue, Moir in first despite bobblesWeaver, Poje second after clean skate; Donohue makes light of slip
Perhaps Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir needed some new material for their upcoming reality TV series.
Maybe that's the explanation for why both of the skaters, the reigning Olympic champions, bobbled on their twizzles at the end of their short dance Friday night at Skate Canada.
Virtue and Moir, who have been filming a reality show (or, as Moir corrected, a "documentary series") for the W Network that is set to air its first episode in January, made some uncharacteristic errors in their short dance. Their mistakes cost them some valuable points, but still the Canadian couple notched a score of 73.15, good for first place entering the free dance Saturday.
Fellow Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, on the other hand, skated one of their best routines, for 70.35 points, and are in second place. Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who placed fourth a week ago at Skate America, are in third with 60.92 points.
"It was adventurous, that's a good way to describe it," Moir said after the routine, skated to a jazz medley featuring music by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
Moir showed his displeasure with the mistakes by sticking out his tongue in the kiss and cry as the couple awaited its marks.
For Virtue, the bobbles marked the third time that she has made such mistakes in this young season. They debuted the program at a competition in Montreal and then in Finland.
"I'm 0-for-3 this year," Virtue said.
Now, at least, they have some material for their show. Cameramen have been following the couple with the hope of showing skating fans how skaters prepare for an Olympic Games.
When asked about the show, Moir joked with reporters, saying, "It's a documentary series. We're not the Kardashians here."
Virtue added that having the cameras around is nothing new since the skaters have been tracked by TV crews throughout much of their lives.
They just might not have wanted cameras watching their every move on the ice on this night.
"We've got to clean that up," Moir said of the on-ice mistakes.
Even with the mistakes, Virtue and Moir improved their score from the Finlandia Trophy, where the couple earned 67.23 points. Still, they were hoping for more. Their biggest challengers for Olympic gold are Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won the short dance at last week's Skate America with 75.70 points.
Although Virtue and Moir have not said anything about their skating future following Sochi, they both said it was a bit emotional before they stepped out on the ice, as this could be their last trip to Skate Canada, an event the couple has won three times.
Still, they left the door open for making a return. Virtue is 24, and Moir is 26.
"We still think we're young," Moir said.
Weaver and Poje, who train in Detroit, were thrilled with their own performance, especially since it was their first major competition of the season. Even though their routine was relatively flawless -- while Virtue and Moir's contained noticeable errors -- Weaver and Poje were not about to quibble with the marks.
"We are just happy to be in the same sentence as them," Weaver said.
Hubbell and Donohue, the lone Americans in the dance competition, scored a season's best for the short dance. The couple has had a busy start to the season, having already won the Nebelhorn Trophy and competed at Skate America. Although he slipped on the back of his blade in the final seconds of their short dance, the fall didn't come on a technical element, so it did not cost them as much as it might have otherwise.
In the kiss and cry, Donohue played up the mistake to the crowd and the cameras.
"What can you do?" Donohue said.