Everyone’s favorite announcing couple, figure skating analysts Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, are not fading away from the limelight now that winter has finally turned into spring. The pair were a hit for their live figure skating commentary during the Winter Olympics. Not only did they bring a cutting edge and real criticism and analysis to a profession that’s little more than willowy fluff, they did so with plenty of humor and charm. And the daily fashion updates of course.
Looking to capitalize on their newfound popularity, Tara & Johnny have made appearances on Access Hollywood to talk fashion and now they’ll return to the sports world. The pair will be a part of NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage as “fashion experts.”
Here’s the announcement from NBC:
Olympic figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinksi, who received critical acclaim for their figure skating analysis on NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Games, as well as for their conversational rapport on topics ranging from twizzles to tres chic attire, will join NBC Sports Group for its coverage of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, it was announced today.
Weir and Lipinski will work as fashion experts for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 2. Most recently, Weir, a three-time U.S. figure skating champion, and Lipinksi, the 1998 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, were also fashion critics for Access Hollywood’s coverage of the 2014 Academy Awards.
“Johnny and Tara have an infectious energy that will bring a fun and fresh perspective to our Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks telecasts,” said Rob Hyland, Coordinating Producer for NBC Sports Group. “They will be in their element amid the big-event atmosphere and pageantry of Churchill Downs.”
Enormous floppy hats and chic fashion trends are certainly a major part of the Kentucky Derby tradition so why not have Weir and Lipinski step into this role? It’s a smart move for NBC for a couple of reasons. First, it keeps Johnny & Tara in the minds of viewers when it’s easy to forget about them with 3 years and 10 months to go until the next Winter Olympics. Second, it adds some much needed spice to Kentucky Derby coverage which has a tendency to drag on with more pre-race filler content than Super Bowl Sunday.
I’m rarely tempted to tune in to any Triple Crown coverage before the actual race begins, but an appearance from two of Sochi’s stars might change that this year.