This interview has gained a lot of attention, and have to assume that there was some kind of financial benefit to Lance Armstrong for “coming clean” and talking to Oprah. He seems far too intelligent to not be informed of the consequences of his admitting that he’d lied for years, which will include sponsors suing him for their investments, all the way through to libraries re-categorising his books into the fiction section. So to begin with, I get the idea that – somewhere in the background – he’s a man with a plan. That plan may well have been to come forward and capitalise on his admission before he was found out, or perhaps it’s part of a calculated strategy to get back into racing?
In my opinion, what does shine thing during this interview is the lack of remorse, several occasions where it appears he’s trying to hide a smile (duping delight..?), and the number of lip suck / lip pressing actions throughout this short clip.
Lack of Remorse
The emotions I saw during this short clip included contempt, anger and happiness (and duping delight – trying to hide happiness) – with body language that was intended to come across as cool, calm and collected yet leaked nervousness, frustration and anger at times. None of this is anywhere close to sadness, regret or remorse. So again, why is he “coming clean”?
During the short clip there were a number of smiles (such as 0.35, 0.37, perhaps 1.11 and 1.32). However it was the line at 2.55 “…one big lie…” that a smile leaked out. I think he was quite pleased with himself for getting away with “he perfect lie” for so long – and he’s giving it up on his terms.
Number of Lip Suck / Lip Presses
Throughout the clip Lance Armstrong tightens his lips – mainly by pressing them together – around 11 times, and sucks his lips back around 8 times. Rather than having people debate the numbers, my point is that this is fairly high. This along with the mouth covers (0.13, 0.50 & 1.36) can indicate the holding (or “biting”) back on an emotion, feeling, or refraining from speaking. He often did this as an exaggerated “umm” – perhaps this was to buy some extra time to think of an answer? This could also be a mouth manipulator – something that would increase with discomfort. Maybe a bit of both.
Overall, I think Lance sums it up nicely with a wordy play down of his massive deception to these simple words; 3.30 “The truth isn’t what was out there, the truth isn’t what I’d said.”
He may have been coming clean about his doping, however I believe he’s not sorry. He’s probably found a way to become very rich from this interview and it’s repercussions – or using it in an attempt to sway public opinion in his favour for his return to racing…