US NATIONALS WRAP-UP POST is HERE! With complete coverage from Sunday’s live broadcast, including pic/clip roundup, exclusive video, a look at that men’s judging controversy, and breaking news about Johnny’s upcoming appearances!
LIVE BLOGGING! Scroll down to the UPDATES section below for the latest Johnny pics/vids/news from Saturday at Nats.
Men’s and ladies medal winners’ free skates with Johnny and Tara’s commentary are available on NBC Sports and on Johnny’s official website.
One of our first glimpses of Johnny at the US National Figure Skating Championships in St. Paul, MN, on Thursday. Via @luglio.
Yes! Here’s Johnny at Nats: everything you may have already seen, now in convenient digest form! Please be sure to check back throughout the weekend for updates. I’ll be doing sort of a live-blogging thing, which in my case means adding every mention/photo of him as soon as I find it… [see UPDATES below!].
In addition to all the fun stuff here, please check out these nuggets:
*NEW this year: NBC Sports has created an “All-Access” site for Nats which is actually pretty cool—although it would be even cooler if they’d just show the entire competition live on NBC or at least NBC Sports’ Live Extra, with Johnny and Tara commentary throughout. But short of that, the free All Access area offers news; the latest social media posts from NBC broadcasters, skaters, and other experts; videos; interactive features, including fan polls; and a leader board with actual real-time scoring and footnoted explanations (because ughhh it makes no sense but OK thanks for trying, NBC). Following along with All Access scoring + Twitter #USChamps16 live feed is a great alternative (albeit sort of like a throwback to radio: following the action without actually seeing any of it) to the notoriously unreliable IceNetwork livestream, which has infuriated viewers anew during Nationals. And of course IN remains inaccessible unless you’re willing to fork over $50 for it, which some of us can’t do due to budgetary constraints, and some of us don’t want to do for a product that performs as poorly as this does. The athletes deserve far better than the fail that IceNetwork provides. Which leads us to:
*Here’s Why U.S. Figure Skating Has Fallen So Far: The excellent Christine Brennan of USA Today (you may remember her from Pop Star on Ice) offers her thoughtful view on why we can’t have nice things in this country when it comes to figure skating—like wall-to-wall coverage of Nats on a major network with Johnny and Tara commentary throughout (see above). The sport seems to be in an actual death spiral here, and it is affecting both current competitors and those who have retired from competition but are still well able to perform spectacularly in exhibitions. She echoes a point that both Johnny and Tara have made in interviews throughout the last few years: when our skaters don’t do well internationally, interest wanes, leading to less coverage, leading to less opportunities for casual viewers to become invested in the sport and its athletes, leading to less incentive for networks to cover it, leading to waning interest… It’s an interesting though bleak read on a problem that begs for creative solutions from those who love this sport.
*The Rules of Fashion on the Ice: A fun and informative piece, but the best part is the lead photograph for the article, captioned: “Johnny Weir famously competed in a swan-inspired costume with a single red glove (aka the beak) that he named Camille.” I love that he remains the most trend-setting and always-relevant representative of his sport. And I love The Swan forever.
THE GLITTER TWINS HIT US NATIONALS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21
Another early glimpse of Johnny, with Meryl Davis and Tara:
Then this happened:
Oh hey Nationals #uschamps16 @johnnygweir #zamboni by @taralipinski
So. Many. Interviews.
We’re so excited to have @johnnygweir and @taralipinski in town for #SKATEMN2016! Watch them live on @NBC starting Saturday at 2pm. #USChamps16 by @xcelenergyctr
Watch for this interview to come this weekend on the Today Show and NBC Nightly News [UPDATE: video added below!]:
With @nbcsports commentators @taralipinski & @johnnygweir at the @usfigureskating championships. Story for @todayshow & @nbcnightlynews coming this weekend #usfigureskating #uschamps16 by @janetshamlian
Via @vsawkar of the Star Tribune: “Enjoyed interviewing @taralipinski @JohnnyGWeir @XcelEnergyCtr for#uschamp16 #skatemn2016.” Video from her interview is below!
Via The Jason Show, whose interview with Johnny and Tara is scheduled to be posted on Friday.
John Coughlin and the back of Johnny’s head in the broadcasting area.
Ready and sparkly!
Just making sure our sparkles are sitting right.💎 @johnnygweir @nbcsports #uschamps16 by @taralipinski
Hard at work for NBC. With Uncle Terry to Tara’s left.
Oh NO BIG DEAL, that’s just Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir!!! #uschamps16 by @goodsaidbenny
I see you Tara and Johnny…. #creepin #uschamps16 by @alexepidymoke
They also took the time to make some lucky fans, including this one, very happy after all the events were over for the day:
FRIDAY, JANUARY 22
Another interview scheduled to be broadcast Friday evening on KARE Channel 11. [Note: newly added below!]
Via @artsynik: “Let’s play ‘Worst Case Scenario’ with @taralipinski @JohnnyGWeir! Tonight @ 6:30p on @kare11 #BTN @janashortal”
Johnny drinking… someone’s coffee.
Ааа Людк??? #coffeename by @johnnygweir
Fun with Uncle Terry!
Can we throw Tara like this??? 🏀 @johnnygweir @taralipinski #Terry by @taraandjohnny
Via @amyhope07: “@taralipinski and @JohnnyGWeir looks like you two are having fun at the @USFigureSkating championship #USChamps16”
We are getting pumped for the men’s event…we like to pose when we get this excited ⛸ @johnnygweir @taraandjohnny by @taralipinski
Got to see Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir! #USchamps16 @taralipinski @johnnygweir by @hanna_skater
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23: LIVE ON NBC!
Pre-telecast vocal warmups. With choral accompaniment. (Although this may actually have happened Friday, judging by their attire.)
Vocal warm ups @johnnygweir @taralipinski by @taraandjohnny
Johnny in his Look of the Afternoon. Gorgeous.
Snowed in? Join us at 2EST on NBC for our daytime live coverage of US Nationals. Day Look: Blazer @thekooplesofficial Shirt @pink_tartan Suedes @iroparis Platforms @chanelofficial Cuff @hermes Brooch Chinese fan group 🐒 Head & Face @niasjoymakeup by @johnnygweir
Spotted from the audience:
Via @mgarner: “Fun to see @Johnnygweir and @taralipinski at #USChamps16.”
Via @Moriah0628: “@JohnnyGWeir and @taralipinski WHATT! Hoping to get a picture together!”
LIVE on the air with Uncle Terry for the afternoon broadcast!
Terry got in on the matching outfits today. @nanettelepore @niasjoymakeup by @taralipinski
Programming note: I was not pleased that we had to make our way through the ice dance coverage in the second half of the afternoon broadcast without Johnny and Tara. I am most definitely not of the mindset that only ice dancers can comment on ice dance, only pairs skaters can comment on pairs, etc. Particularly not for the audience NBC hopes to target with the charisma, talent, and edginess of Johnny and Tara. Do feel free to disagree with me. Somewhere else.
Johnny in his Look of the Eve. Triple gorgeous +5 GOE.
Look of the Eve: Jacket @zadigetvoltaire Blouse Vintage Necklace @joomilim Brooch @flowerme_ru Leathers @acnestudios Glovelette @karina_grigoryants Wedge @chanelofficial Hair/Makeup @niasjoymakeup by @johnnygweir
Via @KimberlyMLarson: “A @TaraandJohnny sighting! Trying to contain my excitement! #USChamps16”
Doesn’t matter what else I see this weekend. My day is made. @johnnygweir #USCHAMPS16 #usfs by @suzannej777
LIVE on the air again for primetime!
And an interesting configuration of commentators at the end of the broadcast to wrap up the evening… #bodylanguage
Two of their interviews were posted Thursday, with more to come!
Possibly the best interview ever. #Mongolia #squirrels #thisisyourmoment
And the fluff piece about the Gold sisters mentioned above, originally scheduled to run on both the Today Show and the news, but preempted in the morning by all the East Coast Snowmageddon coverage.
Johnny and Tara appear briefly beginning at about 1:08.
GET READY! US Nationals are happening as we speak. Here’s when you can tune into NBC to get Johnny and Tara’s take on all the action:
Image via Johnny’s official website.