It's hard to watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ice dancing to "Moulin Rouge" without feeling emotional. The dramatic routine drips sensuality in a way we're not used to seeing in the ice dancing category. The performance has so much sizzle that one of the lifts is being dropped when the Canadian couple performs this same routine during the Olympics.
Curious? The move being omitted from the program happens right around the 2:25 mark. The gravity-defying lift ends with Virtue straddling Moir's shoulders while the pair spin across the ice and Virtue cradles Moir's face. While some loved the graceful athleticism of the move, others found it to be suggestive.
This week in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Moir shared the pair's reasons for changing the program with the Toronto Star, citing artistic vision. "What it came down was that when we slowed it down and looked on the video, it wasn't aesthetically that beautiful of a position, so we wanted to change it, make it a little bit better," he said. "I think we liked that it made a statement, and it was different. That was great for the start of the season, but for the overall vision of the program, we hope that this new position fits a little better."
The eight-time national champions first made headlines for this routine last month during the Canadian Skating Nationals. Of the performance, Moir told the Toronto Star, "I think edgy would probably summarize most of the program quite well and that's what we were going for." At that time, The Star reported that The Canadian Press were "leery" of running photos of the lift. The judges did not agree with the naysayers. The legendary ice dancing pair received perfect scores for this performance.
While neither Moir or Virtue have said they're removing the lift to be less provocative, many feel it's a smart move given the conservative nature of the Olympics judging panel. Virtue herself jokingly referred to the lift as "porno" in a previous interview. After receiving silver in 2014 at Sochi, the pair retired from the sport, only to return in the 2016-17 season. In several interviews, they've said that they've come back to the competitive circuit with one goal in mind: to win gold in the Olympics. Whether the choice to change the lift is purely artistic or is intended to help tone down the "suggestive" program, it's safe to say that Moir and Virtue aren't taking any chances in letting gold get past them.