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Thread: How do you think Tara did as a commentator at SA?

  1. #1
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    How do you think Tara did as a commentator at SA?

    With the exception of overusing "a little" a few dozen to many times (think Peggy Flemming's 'Exquisite,' I really enjoyed listing to her comments.

    She was knowledgeable, didn't over comment and let people enjoy more of the skate and gave good tips.. " skater A has more speed going into their jumps and skater B does not, notice the results"

    All and all I'd like to see her more.

    What did you think?

  2. #2
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Did she comment on the IceNetwork feed?

    If so - monotone, monotone, monotone.

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    She kept saying "eXpecially" instead of "eSpecially", which I found annoying.

    She also dwelt overmuch on the 'pressure' the skaters were under. Skaters are ALWAYS under pressure, even at club competitions.

    I also didn't like her constant comparisons of "when I was competing" to the current crop of skaters. She was 13 at her first Worlds, 14 years old when she became GPF champion for the first time, and 15 when she retired from competitive skating. Skaters that young (think Mao in her first GPs or Kwan at 1994 Worlds) are fearless and don't feel the same pressure as older skaters. And this group of skaters was quite a bit older than usual (six are 20 or older, and 3 are twice as old as Tara in her first GP season).

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    End subjectivity,reduce PCS, fix the COP! schiele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    She kept saying "eXpecially" instead of "eSpecially", which I found annoying.

    She also dwelt overmuch on the 'pressure' the skaters were under. Skaters are ALWAYS under pressure, even at club competitions.

    I also didn't like her constant comparisons of "when I was competing" to the current crop of skaters. She was 13 at her first Worlds, 14 years old when she became GPF champion for the first time, and 15 when she retired from competitive skating. Skaters that young (think Mao in her first GPs or Kwan at 1994 Worlds) are fearless and don't feel the same pressure as older skaters. And this group of skaters was quite a bit older than usual (six are 20 or older, and 3 are twice as old as Tara in her first GP season).
    I didnt feel as negatively. I also though she was a bit reserved but I liked the fact that she let the viewers enjoy the programmes by refraining from over-commenting. As expected, I found her cheering too much for the Americans, but then again it is assumed IN is watched only in the US so I guess that's normal. Of course it's always better to have a couple of commentators with good rapport among them so they make the whole thing more fun. I actually always liked Scott's commentary for instance. But the best of them all must be the British Eurosport guys (Chris and ?, cant remember, damn!), knowledgeable, very objective, respective of the skaters with bits and pieces of British sense of humour..

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post

    She was 13 at her first Worlds, 14 years old when she became GPF champion for the first time, and 15 when she retired from competitive skating. Skaters that young (think Mao in her first GPs or Kwan at 1994 Worlds) are fearless and don't feel the same pressure as older skaters. And this group of skaters was quite a bit older than usual (six are 20 or older, and 3 are twice as old as Tara in her first GP season).
    Golly, and some of those older skaters probably competed back when Tara was on the ice, though they may have been juniors that year she hopped up so early to seniors. I think Tara was born in 1982, and that's about Julia's and Fumie's vintage.

    I missed hearing Tara's commentating because I'm not sure I can get that online feed, but I hope I'll get to hear it on YouTube at some point. I remember when she was 14 and 15 that she was very articulate, unusually so for a girl skater that age: frequently they're either shy and at a loss for words or giggly. I recall she calmly used the word "mishap" for a fall she had in one competition. It was one reason I was very dismayed that she never went to college. (Which, continuing that train of thought, is one thing that so pleases me about Michelle, Sarah, and Emily, as well as Rachael.)

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    I think she did a lot better in her first time out than Michelle Kwan did (was it at Worlds last year that Michelle was so awkward in her brief commentary gig?), and also a lot better than Nancy Kerrigan does after years of practice.

    Tara was not up to the level of Tonia Kwiatkowski, who I think is really excellent, but she is a bigger name and can certainly improve with practice.

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    Tonya Kwiatkowski also happens to be a college graduate.

    Tara's commentary is rather limited. She doesn't know much about CoP, so she mostly talks about how skaters are thinking and feeling. Problem is it gets very repetitive after awhile.

    Since GPs have a limited number of competitors, I would think she'd do some research on recent competitions, titles, etc. for each skater. It would take a little research time, but most if not all of the info is readily available either on the ISU website or on the USFS/IceNetwork site.

  8. #8
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    Chuckm, I completely disagree. It was obvious to me that she HAD been watching the skating all week in practice. She had some great things to say and didn't talk too much, which is not always the way it is with commentators.

    How did it seem to you that she didn't understand COP? Give me an exact example. I can give you many examples of her understanding it perfectly well.
    Last edited by bmcc102; 11-16-2009 at 10:23 PM.

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    I haven't seen the IN feed, so I can't judge Tara's commentary, but Tara always struck me as the kind of girl who could do anything that she set out to do, and do it very well, thank you. Skating, dancing, being a hostess, being a spokesperson, and yes, acting. Hollywood thought of her as a champion skater who could act rather than an actress who used to be a skater. Even Carol Heiss, who was no actress, got a feature movie - Snow White & The Three Stooges!

    I hope this stint will lead to more visible TV commentary for Tara. Of course, there are much fewer opportunities for skating commentary now, than when Tara was skating. If we could see as much skating on TV now as in the 90's, Tara would very likely already have had 3 or 4 years of commentary experience under her belt - and you'd probably also be seeing Sarah Hughes in that capacity, and maybe even - don't laugh - Kimmie "It's Awesome!" Meissner!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Tonya Kwiatkowski also happens to be a college graduate.
    So?

    I don't get your point here. I have an advanced degree, but I don't feel that everyone needs to have one. If Tara isn't interested in college, so what? Maybe it's not her thing. She did quite well in her first commentary gig - far better than Michelle Kwan, who is in graduate school, did in hers. It's not like Tara could learn more about figure skating if she went to college.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippa View Post
    So?

    I don't get your point here. I have an advanced degree, but I don't feel that everyone needs to have one. If Tara isn't interested in college, so what? Maybe it's not her thing. She did quite well in her first commentary gig - far better than Michelle Kwan, who is in graduate school, did in hers. It's not like Tara could learn more about figure skating if she went to college.
    I remember reading an article years ago in which Tara's mom stated 'Tara promised me' she would go to college. I always just assumed she had, or at least taken some courses.

    I too thought Tara did well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schiele View Post
    But the best of them all must be the British Eurosport guys (Chris and ?, cant remember, damn!), knowledgeable, very objective, respective of the skaters with bits and pieces of British sense of humour..
    Chris Howarth and Nicky Slater
    Why oh why didn't Eurosport broadcast the GP series?

  13. #13
    End subjectivity,reduce PCS, fix the COP! schiele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danale View Post
    Chris Howarth and Nicky Slater
    Why oh why didn't Eurosport broadcast the GP series?
    Oh yes, those guys. I love their commentaries sooo much, they taught me a lot while keeping me entertained. I also hoped they would show GP series again this year, the material we have seen so far was great for some wonderful cheeky comments from them.

  14. #14
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    I was pleasantly surprised at Tara's commentary. She has a nice sounding voice and came across as knowledgeable about what was being done on the ice. She did her homework. Doing commentary behind a booth and commentating in front of a camera and a live audience are two different animals. It will be interesting to see how Tara does in front of a camera.
    I beleive she will be at Nationals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    I remember reading an article years ago in which Tara's mom stated 'Tara promised me' she would go to college. I always just assumed she had, or at least taken some courses.
    Tara skated in SOI for years after leaving competitive skating. After that, she concentrated on her acting career and the only classes she attended were acting and speech classes.

    She's never been to college. I think if she had been, she would have learned to say "ESpecially" not "EXpecially". Unfortunately, she said the latter many, many times in the broadcast.

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