Johnny, Tanith and Tara
I am so impressed with the new broadcasting team on NBC and Universal. Tanith has surprised me! She has been so articulate and has pointed out alot of the finer points of ice dancing and judging. Johnny was fabulous the past 2 weekends. He always tries to find something positive to say, brings a relevance to the sport that hasn't been there in awhile from the broadcasting booth, and his insights and knowledge have been a breath of fresh air. It seemed like this weekend at NHK he loosened up a bit, too. Tara takes a less positive approach but is far better than Sandra Bezic IMO. She was judging the Miss Universe pageant this weekend so Johnny did the Ladies event as well.
However - as I mentioned in another thread - would someone please please please put a gag on Peter Carruthers? His constant yammering is so annoying. He starts sentences and then doesn't know how to finish them and just blabs words. I don't believe he was in any of the actual NBC programs but was all over Universal.
“Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.”
As I wrote in another thread, I think it's painfully obvious which commentators have skated under IJS or have cared enough to learn it and which ones haven't. Having skated under IJS themselves, Johnny and Tanith have valuable insider knowledge of what the judges are looking for. Peter, Scott, and Sandra are very much 6.0 commentators who will probably never warm up to IJS. I loved Dick and Peggy when I was growing up, but part of me is glad they aren't commentating anymore because they would be in this category as well. Terry seems to have adjusted well to IJS and Tara has learned enough about it to speak intelligently about downgrades, URs, edge calls, etc.
I agree with you about Peter Carruthers. His pairs commentary isn't nearly as bad as his singles commentary, but it's still annoying. Why is he doing 3 out of 4 disciples? Surely there's a former singles skater out there who could do a more informative job with mens and ladies for Universal Sports. I would hope so, at least.
It was time for new life for commentating and Johnny and Tara are bringing it. Haven't heard Tanith but glad to hear she is going well too.
I totally agree re Johnny. He's been fabulous and getting better every week. He is eloquent, insightful, compassionate, and detailed in his commentary. My husband, a newbie to figure skating, is much more invested now that he's been listening to Johnny- he finds him funny and a "Good Teacher"- about the judging system and other things. Did you see that Johnny tweeted that Dick Button had called him to offer praise for his commentary?
Didn't see that about Button - but that was very nice of him to do that. I'm guessing Johnny, Tanith and Tara are the A Team and Peter is the B team. Or maybe Peter works for Universal and the others NBC. I don't know, but I wish there was a way to mute him and still hear the music!
Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic is basically the same person at this point. I wouldn't mind a bit if Johnny Weir replaces Scott Hamilton, as Weir would provide actual commentary and analysis not just mere hyperbole, gushing, and speculative asides.
I've got your program components right here.
Tanith is really, really good. I struggle with following the intricacies of ice dancing, but (in my lay opinion), she is excellent at conveying the strengths and weaknesses of each skate. I say this as someone who understands singles skating and the CoP for singles skaters very well, but has just never devoted a lot of time to understanding to CoP as it relates to (ha, Carruthers-ism) for ice dancers.
Johnny's fine. He's tamed down this year, for financial reasons probably. Who can blame him? Would love to see him be outrageous. Maybe if LOGO gets figure skating coverage.
Noskates, what I love about your OP is the Peter Carruthers criticism.
Peter Carruthers is effing terrible. Please, if you are reading this, and can do so, fire him! I can't say any better than you did, noskates. He begins sentences with no idea how to finish them. He just talks, talks, talks. He tries to use big words he doesn't know the meaning of. It takes him 20 words to say what others could say in 8.
And he loves to say "as it relates to" for no reason. He just sticks it into sentences (I think because he thinks it sounds fancy)!
Pepe- you made me laugh! But you're so "right on!"
Was THRILLED, THRILLED I tell you, to see Ryan Bradley's name announced as the commentator for the Men's Short Program on Universal today. And he did the ladies short as well. Was very impressed with him. He's articulate, relevant, but not wishy-washy. Tanith did another really good job on the Short Dance, even walking us through the key points. I now know more than I ever did where Ice Dance is concerned and it's all pretty good.
eta: Meant to also mention that Ryan did a very credible job announcing the Pairs Short. It was clear he had done his homework. I really like this guy. Always liked his skating (and that smile that lights up the room) but I think he's found his post-competitive niche!
“Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.”
Are there any videos with Ryan's commentary online? The free preview on DISH ended, so I no longer have access to Universal Sports. Your positive post makes me want to hear Ryan for myself though. I actually completely forgot that he was going to start commentating.
Originally Posted by noskates
People have been complaining about Carruthers for decades now. His career survived all these years, and it's not from the fans' love. Maybe he is friendly and well-connected with the network heads. He has commented on all the major figure skating networks and events for years and years, and I don't exactly what know is contributing to his longevity. I don't think his commentary is that bad, but it's delivered in an annoying voice.
There was one event where Tara was wondering why Miki didn't do a 3/3 combo, because when she was competing against Michelle, she made sure she had a 3/3 since Michelle "was so good." I don't like when skaters talk about themselves when other skaters are trying to compete.
I enjoyed Johnny's commentary who sheds light on IJS as well as insight into skaters' personalities. It was nice hearing him praise Jason Brown. I've only heard Tanith's commentary on D&W's W '13 LP, so can't say much there.
Tripping on the Podium
I'm just so glad that the new guard is even getting a chance. I've hated the skating commentary for years and there was never a doubt in my mind that better commentators were out there, I just resigned myself to the fact that NBC would never replace their team. So I'm excited that they're lining up new talent, and that the new talent is doing such a solid job.
I like Johnny-- it's hilarious after a skater has a bad skate- like Christina Gao this weekend, that he's like 'but she looked beautiful, like I gotta give her some positives
I wish NBC would provide a way to watch the performances and commentary AFTER the broadcast as well.
Finding a decent and articulate way to express something positive is a good thing. I don't think it's 'hilarious' per se. Just seems appropriate. Falls and a bad performance are obvious enough without a commentator trashing someone. Good for Johnny to take a 'higher' road.
Again, I'm not so enamored of Tara. She does talk about herself a bit. But having said that, if I NEVER have to listen to Dick Button, Peggy Fleming, Peter Carruthers, Scott Hamilton or Sandra Bezic again it will be too soon. Am loving this new threesome for their relevance, their knowledge (and maybe this is where Tara bothers me because she isn't so adept at sorting out the interpretation of the guidelines as Johnny and Tanith are) and the fact that once a skater falls they aren't saying "well that's it for her/him!" This GP season has been enjoyable once they put Peter to bed. I've often wondered why he's been able to parlay this broadcasting into a career.
Tara bringing things back to herself from time to time doesn't surprise me. She mentioned the Detroit Skating Club on Sunday and referenced herself.
Johnny is great, I am enjoying him more and more each week!