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Cheylana
03-15-2011, 05:02 AM
Well, the USFS probably did ultimately favor Evan over Johnny, beginning, I think, with the 2006-07 season. They cultivated different images. Evan - perhaps with Frank's guidance - cultivated the responsible hardworking image, and Johnny was the funloving, zany Russophile with a penchant for Louis Vuitton bags and a stated distaste for being a team player. Evan always colored inside the lines, and Johnny.. not so much. Evan was the ant and Johnny the grasshopper. And USFS has always favored the ant over the grasshopper, and for good reason, the ants have brought in an awful lot of hardware over the years. (Don't get me wrong; no doubt Johnny worked hard too, but that wasn't the image that he cultivated.)

aftershocks
03-15-2011, 08:55 AM
Johnny makes it very clear that he is not a team player. Reading Scott Hamilton's books and his reaction to drama with Tara and Debi Thomas, I can understand why he would not want to have Johnny on board… I do think that Johnny's lack of being a team player is part of the situation.


… Johnny has made it known for years that he is not a team player.

My opinion is that the so-called “drama with Tara and Debi Thomas” during SOI tours that were 10-years apart, are two completely different situations, having nothing to do with anything related to Johnny not being asked to join SOI. Tara was very young, self-centered and immature. Debi was unhappy and perhaps somewhat depressed after the 1988 Olympics – as well as experiencing life changes with a sudden marriage that ultimately did not last, and the pressures of balancing tour skating (for needed income) with studies toward her goal of becoming a doctor.

Keep in mind that both Johnny and Evan, and many skaters toured together with COI before its collapse. I never heard of anybody having any problems with Johnny, nor were there any reports of him creating drama during any COI tour. I also doubt that any skaters would have had any serious problems with Johnny joining SOI, except that he was never asked, and Evan was asked. Then, because Johnny’s fans were wondering why he hadn’t been asked, someone leaked that the reason was because Johnny wasn’t “family-friendly.” Whether this was actually stated to Johnny’s camp by a sponsor, or by someone associated with SOI, we’ll probably never discover at this point due to the escalation of the furor because of many fans’ desire to see Johnny on tour in the U.S. -- and SOI had suddenly become the only major skating tour in the U.S. When two separate skating tours existed, I don’t recall anyone wondering why Johnny hadn’t been asked to join SOI.

Of course, SOI is a very different tour than COI was, in terms of how skaters are chosen, and in how the programs and the tour itself, is put together. I think too much has been erroneously made of Johnny not being able to fit in with skaters he has known, competed with, and some he has been friends with for years. The entire situation was blown out of proportion. The notion that Johnny is not a “team player” or not “family-friendly” being the reasoning behind the apparent exclusion by SOI, is to me, ridiculous. We’ll never know the real reasoning, and perhaps there was no real reasoning. He was simply never asked for whatever reason, and then a reason needed to be fabricated and then leaked because some fans were in an uproar.

Justathoughtabl
03-15-2011, 12:20 PM
I agree that it's ridiculous to dwell on the idea that Johnny was not asked to join SOI because he's not "family friendly." I'm all for gay rights, and I'm all for freedom of expression (and I'm a fan of Johnny), but there was never any proof that either of these was the issue. It's quite possible that whoever chose the SOI skaters simply didn't like Johnny's skating. There are videos going around of Johnny's recent fan meeting in Russia. In them, he describes putting together his own skating special, and he says he's going to choose only his favorite skaters. That's his right. However, I do think SOI should have thought carefully about inviting Johnny. He could have brought in a new contingent of fans who normally would not go to a skating show.

Let me also add that if there IS concern about Johnny and tour drama, why is that? As far as I've heard, he's professional and quiet when he's doing shows.

manleywoman
03-15-2011, 03:41 PM
I think Johnny's fans really did him a huge disservice with all that hoopla. I think it lessened Johnny's chances to join any US tours.

REO
03-15-2011, 03:57 PM
How does this prove that USFS favoured Evan over Johnny?

It doesn't. It was a reply to your post saying alot of skaters would have liked the support Johnny got from the Federation. Maybe it was unclear, but my meaning was that they were not stupid enough to totally withdraw support of Johnny no matter how much they may have disliked him, or favored Evan being US champ, because Johnny was better than those others and the ptb like having more than one man to rely on.

REO
03-15-2011, 04:09 PM
I think Johnny's fans really did him a huge disservice with all that hoopla. I think it lessened Johnny's chances to join any US tours.

You're probably right. I think that the documentary and the tv show gave Johnny a ton of new fans who were fans of Johnny but not necessarily of skating. Internet fanclubs these days have some clout. I don't think it was the original Angels who forced that issue.

In his Russian interview Johnny said that Evan has a rider in his contract that he won't perform in any show that Johnny is in. Was that a joke?! I had a really hard time hearing all that was said in those interviews on my computer. If it wasn't a joke he's totally toast for US tours.

Justathoughtabl
03-15-2011, 04:30 PM
In his Russian interview Johnny said that Evan has a rider in his contract that he won't perform in any show that Johnny is in. Was that a joke?! I had a really hard time hearing all that was said in those interviews on my computer. If it wasn't a joke he's totally toast for US tours.

I was wondering how Johnny would know what's in Evan's contract. I wouldn't be surprised if it's mutual avoidance. They haven't been in any shows together since the Olympics, and I'm sure that's not a coincidence--although they've both managed to do a lot of shows, in and out of the U.S.

antmanb
03-15-2011, 04:51 PM
There is no way on earth that Johnny knows what's in Evan's contracts with anyone. All private commercial contracts are confidential and there is simply no way Johnny can know anything about the contract. But since it might be controversial and get him another 15 seconds on air by being look-at-me-i'm-so-outre then so be it.

senorita
03-15-2011, 05:31 PM
thank you for videos!!!!

Jumping the gun, I will say I'm not surprised that Evan (according to Johnny) has a contract that reportedly stipulates he will not skate in any shows with Johnny. I think that's kind of sad. Maybe Evan also wouldn't want to skate in any shows with Plushenko.I have no idea about the Johny contract but I doubt , btw Lysacek and Plusenko have skated in Soi Japan, Hunday Korea and gOldenskate awards in Torino together post Vancouver.

aftershocks
03-15-2011, 06:03 PM
I was wondering how Johnny would know what's in Evan's contract. I wouldn't be surprised if it's mutual avoidance. They haven't been in any shows together since the Olympics, and I'm sure that's not a coincidence--although they've both managed to do a lot of shows, in and out of the U.S.

^ Discussed a bit about this earlier. I don't think we would know whether it's true or not. And yes it's hard to know whether Johnny was joking, but my speculation is that he might have heard this from someone. Certainly, he'd know more about it than we would, if for example, his agent had inquired about Johnny possibly appearing in a show (other than SOI), and was told that Evan had already signed to appear with a contract excluding certain other skaters, whether Johnny or anyone else Evan didn't want to appear with, such as Plushy perhaps. ;) = Aha Senorita, I posted this before I saw your comments ... guess it's just Johnny then that Evan won't skate with :P, but who knows what might happen in the future. A laying down of swords, or competing shows ....

Your mutual avoidance theory, particularly at this point, Justathoughtabl, certainly seems apt. I've heard some behind-the-scenes stuff from reliable sources that is pretty revealing. Apparently around 2009, Johnny wished to turn the other cheek and smooth things over between them and that's why he told the media at 2009 Worlds that he and Evan "had buried the hatchet," and that as he wasn't competing himself, he was rooting for Evan to win Worlds. Whatever mutual avoidance that exists between them, was probably triggered or exacerbated by the media's intrusive insistence upon linking them into some kind of over-the-top rivalry (e.g., my earlier reference to that Andrea Joyce cringeworthy interview instigation).

And, with the sniping between Evan and Johnny that occurred re the SOI furor, and the fact Evan has risen in stature as the Olympic champion -- it seems to me that Evan is even more eager to distance himself, and that they are both weary of being asked about each other. Unfortunately, they will always be linked and so the contretemps between them is sad. I think underneath his own seeming dismissiveness of Evan, that Johnny was hurt by Evan's comments re the SOI furor: "[SOI] only hires the best of the best ..."

In that skating magazine article circa 2005 that kwanette and I referred to earlier, Johnny prophetically said, "No matter what happens as Evan and I compete through the years, I'll never forget his kindness..." re Evan's words of encouragement to Johnny after the 2003 Nats lp. Guess a lot of things, including Evan's more recent harsher words have made Johnny forget, since Johnny has responded with harsh words of his own.

overedge
03-15-2011, 06:12 PM
^Whatever mutual avoidance that exists between them, was probably triggered or exacerbated by the media's intrusive insistence upon linking them into some kind of over-the-top rivalry (e.g., my earlier reference to that Andrea Joyce cringeworthy interview instigation).


So it's the media's fault? I don't think so. If Johnny and Evan wanted to like each other, it probably wouldn't make any difference how the media tried to frame their relationship.

aftershocks
03-15-2011, 06:24 PM
Well, the USFS probably did ultimately favor Evan over Johnny, beginning, I think, with the 2006-07 season. They cultivated different images. Evan - perhaps with Frank's guidance - cultivated the responsible hardworking image, and Johnny was the funloving, zany Russophile with a penchant for Louis Vuitton bags and a stated distaste for being a team player. Evan always colored inside the lines, and Johnny… not so much. Evan was the ant and Johnny the grasshopper. And USFS has always favored the ant over the grasshopper, and for good reason, the ants have brought in an awful lot of hardware over the years. (Don't get me wrong; no doubt Johnny worked hard too, but that wasn't the image that he cultivated.)

Perhaps a reasonable assessment, Cheylana. However, IMO, Evan was being looked upon as a serious up-and-comer by the 2004-2005 season, when he was favored over Matt Savoie for 3rd place at Nats, even after making mistakes. Evan had performed well during that season’s Grand Prix, and perhaps the U.S. fed was uncertain whether Savoie would be able to improve his international standing at 2005 Worlds. So, despite Matt’s superior skating ability, Evan won the 3rd spot for Worlds and ended up being awarded the bronze at Worlds. IMO, Evan was heavily promoted at ‘05 Worlds by the U.S. fed, more so than U.S. Nat’l Champ, Johnny, who had a stellar GP season performing two iconic programs.

Even Andre Agassi has denounced his declaration in that famous camera commercial. “Image is definitely not everything.”

There’s that “team player” reference again. Could those making this reference please define what you mean by “team player”? Also, could you provide clips, Cheylana, where Johnny “stated” he has “distaste for being a team player.” In any case, figure skating is not a team sport, IMO. I wish the whole political structure of figure skating could be dismantled, and that it could be operated by skaters for skaters. And that they could have a separate competition along the lines of Davis Cup in tennis, where countries play rounds “team” against “team” and the final two teams vie for the championship cup. Then during the rest of the season, allow the individual skater athletes no matter what country they are from to compete on the basis of merit, to determine the top skaters in the world in each discipline, not the top from each country as it currently is still done because of antiquated tradition.

I agree as I said in my previous post, Evan is considered a “straight-arrow,” which probably does translate to hardworking, responsible and “respectful.” Johnny is many things, including funny, kind, exasperating, down-to-earth, and over-the-top. If being different and standing out from the crowd and being outspoken means not being a team player, oh well. Perhaps not being a “team player” can mean different things in different contexts. It could mean being someone who blazes a new path. Believe it or not, many people, including skaters, costume designers, choreographers, and fans have been inspired by Johnny and the path he has blazed. Yes, Johnny’s not perfect, and I’m sure his love of all things Russian often annoys.

LOL, re your ant versus grasshopper analogy. Reminds me of Frank Carroll’s “pie or cake” comment. Love to hear who you think all the ants are, Cheylana. :) Sometimes, extraordinary grasshoppers like Paul Wylie spring up and shine at a big moment, despite not hauling in a lot of “hardware” over the years.

attyfan
03-15-2011, 06:50 PM
I was wondering how Johnny would know what's in Evan's contract. I wouldn't be surprised if it's mutual avoidance. They haven't been in any shows together since the Olympics, and I'm sure that's not a coincidence--although they've both managed to do a lot of shows, in and out of the U.S.

Other than some "anti-Tonya" clauses, I have never heard of skaters having contracts prohibiting the presence of another named skater in the same show, or whatever. I have heard, though, of contracts restricting performances in such a way that it effectively prevents two skaters at the same show. If so, Johnny may have mis-understood things.

For example, after the '98 Olys (and one post-Olys cheesefests), Tara signed a contract for a TV special on CBS --and Michelle signed one with ABC. I heard that each contract had a clause restricting the skater's freedom to skate on other networks. If so, these contracts would have effectively prevented Tara and Michelle from skating together ... since they couldn't appear on the same network.

Yazmeen
03-15-2011, 06:51 PM
Um, has anyone considered that in regard to that "Evan contract" remark, Johnny was either 1) joking/being a smart aleck, or 2) yet again, saying something over the top designed to garner attention? :shuffle:

aftershocks
03-15-2011, 07:23 PM
^ Yep, the possible joking aspect was mentioned previously in this thread. The fan video clip (#3) does not have good lighting or audio, but if you take a look, you can see the context for yourself. It was in response to an aside question by one of the Russian fans at a fan meeting. However, I don't think Johnny's motivation in mentioning that was in order to "garner anyone's attention," particularly not in that setting. I doubt he or Evan enjoy being asked to respond to questions about each other, much less hoping to garner attention with a response to such questions.

Re "media's fault," LOL -- the media is often a scapegoat. Serious fact is though, the media surrounds us all on a daily basis. Media and media technology affects how we think, live, and breathe, as well as how we see the world.