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SBD/February 17, 2014/Olympics
Pairs Competition: Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir Shining On NBCSN's Figure Skating Coverage
Published February 17, 2014
A TERRIFIC TANDEM: SPORTS ON EARTH's Gwen Knapp wrote under the header, "Weir And Lipinski Are An Effective Broadcast Pair." Weir's commentary "is remarkably vivid, concise and informative." While his "wit was presumed to be his resume topper for this gig, and it has turned up often," it has been his "rapport with Lipinski that has defined the broadcast." Their "banter is unlike anything we've ever heard from Olympic commentators." Meanwhile, Lipinski is the "queen of the metaphor." She foreshadowed Russian skater Evgeni Plushenko's "stunning withdrawal by pointing out that he had not done any jumps in his last practice and appeared to be in substantial pain." The two are "at their best when they simply analyze." They "rarely impose themselves on the scene," as they "know when to back off" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 2/14). The AP's Jim Litke wrote, "Behind a microphone, Weir is fearless." That attitude, "coupled with a fierce intelligence and a love of fashion that began with childhood and still knows no bounds, is what made Weir a first-class commentator from the very beginning." The "only people Weir is out to please are NBC and the audience." Weir said, "In hiring me to have a voice and an opinion, they hired knowing full well, knowing what kind of statements -- fashion and otherwise -- I like to make" (AP, 2/14). THE MMQB's Peter King writes, "Johnny Weir is good on TV. I like his analysis, because he's emotional but also analytical -- in plain English -- about a sport I know so little about, figure skating" (MMQB.SI.com, 2/17).