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Thread: Johnny, Tanith and Tara

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt View Post
    I agree with noskates and Sasha's spins. I am glad that Johnny has toned down his over-the-top (but fun) personality to give knowledgable commentary. After all, he has to make a living, since pro skating is just not there in the US.

    Hope he puts together a few shows of his own!
    I used to be Johnny's biggest fan, but I have been disappointed by his misguided and quite frankly, confused stance on geopolitical issues and gay rights. He worships Russia, and ignores any chance to make a difference in his own backyard. He doesn't have to be politically active and correct, but at the same time, I have a right to register my disappointment.

    Furthermore, Johnny's September 17th interview, in which he deceptively talks about qualifying for Sochi (more than two weeks after the regionals application deadline), did not enhance my appreciation for him.
    I am still waiting for "my story," which he promised on Twitter after this deception was exposed by Sports Illustrated.

  2. #47
    Custom Title Kitt's Avatar
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    yes, he's imperfect. I am also irritated by his stance on fur -- no doubt unduly influenced by Tarasova in his formative years!

  3. #48
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    I'm Canadian.
    I haven't heard Tanith commentate, but seeing as she knows the IJS system it's not surprising she's good at commentating. I do like Tara and Johnny, they both seem fair, and Terry never bothered me much. I was never a fan of Dick Button and Peggy Fleming, they both always seemed so biased towards their own, constantly comparing everyone (and usually not in a favourable way) to everything the Americans did, especially Michelle Kwan. I did feel Scotty and Sandra were guilty of the same thing, I felt they downplayed Daisuke Takahashi's perforamcne in VAncouver to make it sound like Johnny was more of a contender than he was, Scotty did the same with Alexei Yagudin in 2002, to make it sound like he may lose the long program to Tim Goebel. Will Terry, Johnny, Tara and Tanith be commenting in NBC for the Olympics?

    I agree about knowing the system, so many of the former American commentators seemed stuck on the 6.0 system and that it was better. Sounds like some nostalgia and ignoring politics of the 6.0 system. Johnny and Tanith competed under it and Tanith most of her success with it, and Tara seems to have learned about it enough to be a good commentator.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt View Post
    yes, he's imperfect. I am also irritated by his stance on fur -- no doubt unduly influenced by Tarasova in his formative years!
    I like Johnny's commentary but he does disappoint me on these issues. Gay USA (television weekly) pointed out his lack of comment of Russia's anti-gay policies. He did show some character (IMHO) when he refused to go to the Bush White House though. Still I think this new trio (TT&J) is a really good one.

  5. #50
    Custom Title Kitt's Avatar
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    I don't know about the Bush White House thing; do tell!

    I think he's been invited to be in Plushenko's skating show in Russia this spring, so I guess he doesn't want to further infuriate authorities. Again, he has to make a living, and he is quite popular over there.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by coppertop1 View Post
    ...Will Terry, Johnny, Tara and Tanith be commenting in NBC for the Olympics? ...
    A link to the NBC press release spelling out Weir/Lipinski's Sochi responsibilities (and Belbin's, which are different) was in a previous thread.

    (Long story short, the NBC/Sochi roles of Weir and Lipinski are one notch above Belbin's. It's just as well, IMHO -- as long as White is competing, I feel strongly that Belbin should recuse herself from ice dance commentary. YMMV.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sjs5572 View Post
    I used to be Johnny's biggest fan, but I have been disappointed by his misguided and quite frankly, confused stance on geopolitical issues and gay rights. He worships Russia, and ignores any chance to make a difference in his own backyard. He doesn't have to be politically active and correct, but at the same time, I have a right to register my disappointment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt View Post
    yes, he's imperfect. I am also irritated by his stance on fur -- no doubt unduly influenced by Tarasova in his formative years!

  8. #53
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    I love Johnny's commentating!!! It's funny, accurate and refreshing and it seems like he and Tara work really well together. And for the first time in the history of American figure skating commentating, there is someone that actually pronounces the Russian names correctly. For a Russian-American like me, it's music to my ears! I've been cringing for decades listing to pretty much every Russian first and last name being butchered by everyone. Go Johnny!!!

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sjs5572 View Post
    I used to be Johnny's biggest fan, but I have been disappointed by his misguided and quite frankly, confused stance on geopolitical issues and gay rights. He worships Russia, and ignores any chance to make a difference in his own backyard. He doesn't have to be politically active and correct, but at the same time, I have a right to register my disappointment.

    Furthermore, Johnny's September 17th interview, in which he deceptively talks about qualifying for Sochi (more than two weeks after the regionals application deadline), did not enhance my appreciation for him.
    I am still waiting for "my story," which he promised on Twitter after this deception was exposed by Sports Illustrated.
    Well, I sure can't add to this quote...it says it all IMO. I just don't get all the admiration for Johnny Weir as a commentator. IMO he's certainly no Dick Button (a commentator who for many years educated our country re: the incredible sport of figure skating; plus, unlike Dick, JW never got on the Olympic podium). And JW's strange obsession with anything Russian is still irritating. Give me Paul Wylie, Susie Wynn, Judy Blumberg and in nonicedance events, Tanith B. And, heck...why can't we get another former competitive pairs skater to handle pairs? What's wrong with Tai? Randy? They know as much about IJS as Peter.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt View Post
    I don't know about the Bush White House thing; do tell!

    I think he's been invited to be in Plushenko's skating show in Russia this spring, so I guess he doesn't want to further infuriate authorities. Again, he has to make a living, and he is quite popular over there.
    Kitt, Johnny was invited to the Bush White House and refused to go citing his disagreement with that administration's policies especially the wars. Michelle Kwan was critical of JW's decision, I remember reading, but he stuck to his guns (no ironic pun intended).

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by yelyoh View Post
    Kitt, Johnny was invited to the Bush White House and refused to go citing his disagreement with that administration's policies especially the wars. Michelle Kwan was critical of JW's decision, I remember reading, but he stuck to his guns (no ironic pun intended).
    haha, good for Johnny!

  12. #57
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    I think Johnny is doing a great job commentating. He's proven before that he's very good at it. Tara has room for improvement -- she sometimes says contradictory things, and can also be a bit superficial in her comments, but she's not all bad. Working for a network that truthfully doesn't really understand a great deal about figure skating has its challenges I'm sure. Figure skating has a lot of inherent problems with promoting what's great about it to the general public when the jumps, blade work, skating skills, and the scoring are not easy to understand for casual fans, and even a lot of times for diehard fans. There's something about the sport that keeps me interested -- it goes beyond jumps to the creative expression, the musical interpretation, athletic complexity combined with choreographic art and the feeling of flight. There's so much about the unique personalities in the sport that hasn't been tapped or promoted either.

    Re some of the earlier comments about Johnny's stance on gay issues: I believe he has spoken previously about his conflicted emotions on the subject of anti-gay laws in Russia (in addition to speaking about some problems he had in Russia of a discriminatory nature during one of his visits, altho' he is generally beloved by the Russian people as a skating artist/athlete). As far as the Olympics, I feel Johnny is right to hold his own opinions about not wanting the Olympics itself to be tainted by the problematic views / legislation of the Russian government.

  13. #58
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    Johnny is speaking at Barnard College (sister college of Columbia University) on Mon Dec 2 (tomorrow) and there will be a protest against his silence on the issue. The protest will be at 117th and Broadway at 5:30.
    Johnny is very capable of being political when he wants to be. The LGBT community is being treated viciously now in Russia. The protest is to urge him to say something.

  14. #59
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    I probably shouldn't comment because this makes me so irritated. WHY does every gay man or woman have to speak out and/or support the gay rights movement? And as I've said before, I take Johnny for what I see - I think he's an excellent commentator. Could care less what he does in his personal life or what he wears. Not everything is a statement or a political beehive or must be said or done. Why can't people just enjoy the skating aspect of his life and leave the rest out of it? I don't get the need for Johnny to say something about Russia's treatment of the LGBT. He's a figure skater and a commentator and a US citizen - not a politician! He's just landed a very good job that could keep him employed for some time and you expect him to risk it by going all political? There are many gay actors and actresses, singers, Broadway stars, dance celebrities that are gay and are not expected to put their livelihood on the line.

    As for Dick Button - to each his own. I thought he was hyper-critical, steeped in the far past, and the minute a skater bobbled he had them done for the event. It was so depressing to listen to him in the later years (especially the Olympics) that I even wrote to the network several times and asked that they find someone else. Any person in this day and age that thinks a beautiful spiral is more important than a triple axel needs to retire!!!

    I hope we keep this set of commentators for some time. They're interesting, knowledgeable and enhance the enjoyment of the competition.

    But like I said - to each his own!

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post

    As for Dick Button - to each his own. I thought he was hyper-critical, steeped in the far past, and the minute a skater bobbled he had them done for the event. It was so depressing to listen to him in the later years (especially the Olympics) that I even wrote to the network several times and asked that they find someone else. Any person in this day and age that thinks a beautiful spiral is more important than a triple axel needs to retire!!!

    I hope we keep this set of commentators for some time. They're interesting, knowledgeable and enhance the enjoyment of the competition.

    But like I said - to each his own!
    Agreed about Dick! If you were American, he loved you, if not he'd find something to harp on. He tended to dwell the same things all the time. Not everyone has Sasha's flexibility (and Sasha had her flaws, too). There's more than one style of skating, and I like athletic powerhouses just as much as balletic skaters. It's time for some fresh perspective, and I think Johnny, Tanith and Tara are great. With Dick it wasn't what he said that bugged me it was how he said it. You can say a skater needs to improve their presentation without being so negative.

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