Your favorite and least favorite figure skating commentators | Page 11 | Golden Skate

Your favorite and least favorite figure skating commentators

viennaskater

Medalist
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Favourites:
Chris Howarth with Nicky Slater, also with Simon Reed. Also I have no issues with Simon on his own.
Kevin Reynolds! Lovely voice and relaxed style!
Megan Duhamel - when she doesn't sound like she has a cold.
Debbie Wilkes is OK too. I noticed that she and Megan were silent during the performances, same as Kevin.
Mark Hanretty - excellent.

Non-favourites:
Catherine Whitaker - dreadful! She knows nothing. She once pointed out that Medvedeva was 'leaving it very late in the programme for her jumps'. It's called 'back-loading' dear, learn your terminology!
Joanne Conway - despite being an ex-skater, she seemed incapable of appreciating good ice dance. She didn't like Pechelat/Bourzat's Petit Prince, which is astoundingly good.
Paul Asler, or whatever his surname is. Embarrassingly bad style and not knowledgeable. Very annoying! Was glad I actually WENT to Euros 2020 so only suffered his commentary watching recordings.

OK:
Belinda Noonan. Although she knows her stuff, she tended to point out nearly every element during the programmes, which was ridiculous. Luckily I had a button which I press to mute the commentary during 2018 Winter Olys, so I could choose just to listen before and after the performances.
Robin Cousins
Christopher Dean - I think he only commentated during 1992 Olys but he was quite good.


I haven't heard any of the US commentators.
 

Ruthypegs

On the Ice
Joined
May 5, 2017
Country
United-Kingdom
New least favourite: whoever the woman was who commented on the Europeans today on Eurosport - her commentary added nothing of value, and was an annoying distraction from the skating. Even worse than SBS man Paul Asler, (for the same reasons).

Favourites: Mark Hanretty followed by Ted Barton.
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
New least favourite: whoever the woman was who commented on the Europeans today on Eurosport - her commentary added nothing of value, and was an annoying distraction from the skating. Even worse than SBS man Paul Asler, (for the same reasons).

That would be Ice Dancer Louise Walden, who was the 2011 British Champion with Owen Edwards.

CaroLiza_fan
 

Angie Grams

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
I feel like I should recuse myself from this argument because the “shriek heard ‘round the world” set my teeth on edge live when it happened and continues to do so. I don’t watch much NBC bcs they are so late in broadcasting comps and I’ll watch comps in real time in whatever country either with no commentary (Peacock) or in language of host country. Either is a vast improvement to Tara’s tee-hee commentary. She does it (slightly) less now, but she still constantly compares herself to every 15-year-old and calls them all “firecrackers.” I also don’t like that she didn’t continue to skate after her Worlds and OGM and just took the money and ran (although it must be noted that doing so certainly worked out well for her eventually).

There were two comps I enjoyed NBC commentary on this season: SkateAmerica and a recent GP, either Rostelecom or France. The first blessedly had no Tara—just Johnny and Terry. The second, I thought, “Wow! Tara really toned down her giggle and sounds so much more professional now!” Turns out it was Tanith (Belben) White doing the commentary with Johnny and Terry.

I don’t like Tara. I don’t like her voice and her amusement with herself. I don’t like her commentary. It truly adds nothing. I don’t like that she had a plantation wedding in these enlightened times when even home decorating shows now say “main bedroom” instead of “master bedroom.” In her skating I didn’t like her flutz or her leg wrap or her lack of artistry. But since she bailed so early and her career so short, there aren’t many comps to judge her on.

I don’t mind Johnny. And Tara and Johnny refer to each other as best friends, so they clearly enjoy working together. But I have to mute her. I also remember Peggy and Dick very well, but he certainly had his own biases and sometimes Peggy had to reel him in. I’ve also seen plenty of commentators who had animas toward my favorite skaters, so that doesn’t factor in for me.

As far as commentators I *do* like: Ted got some flak early in the season for being a RusFed (and Eteri) mouthpiece, but I *really* enjoyed his commentary in Russian Nationals.

From what I understand, Tara and Johnny are quite popular with casual fans. I’m not sure I’ve ever really loved any commentator; their jobs are kind of thankless, with the sport not so big in English-speaking countries, so the “new” scoring system has to be explained every time. At least they aren’t talking as much during the comps, with Terry offering color commentary (usually some pro-US stuff or how some male skater started off doing hockey) and whoever identifying the jump; now people can see what it is in the box (if they learn the abbreviations).
Excellent, justified, fair commentary. Thank you.
 

DancingCactus

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
I wish I could watch the Olympics with a non-German commentator. Daniel Weiss is just horrible to listen to. He has these very strong opinions about "masculine" and "feminine" skating and often seems to judge the ladies on their looks and men on how "manly" they are. It feels uncomfortable when he goes on about Valieva having "matured" so much and become more like a woman. Ugh. She's 15 ffs, I don't want to hear your opinions about her womanly charms.
As for ID, during Europeans he commented on a brother/sister pair dancing to tango music and calling it weird, because obviously all skaters have to be involved romantically or at least play up that angle in his opinion. I wonder what he thinks about Guillaume Cizeron or Paul Poirier being gay. Not romantic enough?

The only good aspect of his commenting is that he occasionally calls out judges for dubious PCS scoring.

So not looking forward to that aspect of the Olymics.
 

slider11

Medalist
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
I like Mark Henretty, Ben Agosto, Ted Barton, Terry Gannon as anchor. Heard Ashley Wagner at 4CC and thought she was fresh and interesting. Charlie White is good as a solo

I find Tanith a too bit predictable, "canned" comments.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
I wish I could watch the Olympics with a non-German commentator. Daniel Weiss is just horrible to listen to. He has these very strong opinions about "masculine" and "feminine" skating and often seems to judge the ladies on their looks and men on how "manly" they are. It feels uncomfortable when he goes on about Valieva having "matured" so much and become more like a woman. Ugh. She's 15 ffs, I don't want to hear your opinions about her womanly charms.
As for ID, during Europeans he commented on a brother/sister pair dancing to tango music and calling it weird, because obviously all skaters have to be involved romantically or at least play up that angle in his opinion. I wonder what he thinks about Guillaume Cizeron or Paul Poirier being gay. Not romantic enough?

The only good aspect of his commenting is that he occasionally calls out judges for dubious PCS scoring.

So not looking forward to that aspect of the Olymics.
There are links that are usually posted here in the thread for said events where people are watching online from somewhere else. Alot of the links are to Russian, Chinese etc feeds. It would be way better to use those than listen to the disgusting commentator you mentioned above.
 

griessel

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
I wish I could watch the Olympics with a non-German commentator. Daniel Weiss is just horrible to listen to. He has these very strong opinions about "masculine" and "feminine" skating and often seems to judge the ladies on their looks and men on how "manly" they are. It feels uncomfortable when he goes on about Valieva having "matured" so much and become more like a woman. Ugh. She's 15 ffs, I don't want to hear your opinions about her womanly charms.
As for ID, during Europeans he commented on a brother/sister pair dancing to tango music and calling it weird, because obviously all skaters have to be involved romantically or at least play up that angle in his opinion. I wonder what he thinks about Guillaume Cizeron or Paul Poirier being gay. Not romantic enough?

The only good aspect of his commenting is that he occasionally calls out judges for dubious PCS scoring.

So not looking forward to that aspect of the Olymics.
Wholeheartly agree with you, I found his Europeans commentary insufferable. Especially when Kati Witt joined him for the Women's competition and she voiced concerns about injury danger with all the quads training and he was telling her to not ruin the moment. How much time he spent on talking about how Valieva has grown...felt really uncomfortable and generally his commentary gives such negative vibes. When skaters are not doing well, he is all in for pulling them to pieces. I hate this so much. How about a heartfelt "ah, what a shame" which we are usually hearing from Henretty. Completely different viewing experience.
So I'll do my best to not expose myself to ARD commentary
 

Angie Grams

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
RoundedBackCamel wrote (three pages back): "I also don’t like that she (Tara) didn’t continue to skate after her Worlds and OGM and just took the money and ran".

This has always bothered me, too. It seemed to send the message that after one somewhat controversial win, she was afraid to compete any further.
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Country
Australia
This has always bothered me, too. It seemed to send the message that after one somewhat controversial win, she was afraid to compete any further.
Wasn't she injured though? She had to have hip surgery not long after.

Plus, can you blame her? A lot if people wanted and thought Michelle should have won. I'm not sure I'd feel like competing if the crowd is going to boo and hiss and otherwise wish ill on me, especially if I just had surgery. Like nuts to that.

On topic, I was surprised by how much better Chris was on his own than Simon. I didn't feel like screaming at all during his commentary during Euros and 4CCs. He was a skater though so that probably helped!
 

surimi

Body positivity goes BOTH ways.
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I found the 4CC commentator (on ISU channel) okay in individual videos, but unpleasant to listen to for a full competition. He could be more silent during programs, but what mainly bothered me was, again, the avalanche of excessive praise starting from the lowest-ranked skaters. It's tiresome, and undervalues the meaning of 'amazing, fantastic' etc. Nothing wrong with using more variety, and starting from 'well-done' and 'good'. The other thing that bothered me a lot was his strained raised voice, I felt like I was watching soccer in places. It's not okay to watch a normal skating competition, and then wince in alarm as the commentator bellows 'aand she naiiils it!' in a voice that sounds like the competitor has just won an Olympic medal. More chill, please. ✌️
 

iluvtodd

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Country
United-States
While watching the 4CC, I was a little put off by Bill Spaulding's repeated comments that such and such competitor could finish "no worse" than at a certain level. It came off as somewhat negative to me. I would have said "such & such competitor will/could/should finish no lower/no less than _______. I'm NOT trying to nitpick when I say that.
 

Angie Grams

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Wasn't she injured though? She had to have hip surgery not long after.

Plus, can you blame her? A lot if people wanted and thought Michelle should have won. I'm not sure I'd feel like competing if the crowd is going to boo and hiss and otherwise wish ill on me, especially if I just had surgery. Like nuts to that.

On topic, I was surprised by how much better Chris was on his own than Simon. I didn't feel like screaming at all during his commentary during Euros and 4CCs. He was a skater though so that probably helped!
Most athletes incur injuries and are able and willing to make their way back.
And, honestly, true champions, in my opinion, are always ready and even eager to defend their titles, crown noise notwithstanding.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
Wasn't she injured though? She had to have hip surgery not long after.

Plus, can you blame her? A lot if people wanted and thought Michelle should have won. I'm not sure I'd feel like competing if the crowd is going to boo and hiss and otherwise wish ill on me, especially if I just had surgery. Like nuts to that.

On topic, I was surprised by how much better Chris was on his own than Simon. I didn't feel like screaming at all during his commentary during Euros and 4CCs. He was a skater though so that probably helped!
Actually, IIRC she toured for many years w/ SOI and did the Pro Circuit before getting hip surgery.
 

Zora

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
The only good aspect of his commenting is that he occasionally calls out judges for dubious PCS scoring.
But Weiss basically questions every score and always suspects the judges to favour certain skaters, which is probably true 🤣 but I wonder how this looks to a casual viewer, when the commentator goes on after every skater that the judges got this completely wrong.

Also, I can't stand when he complains about music choices. Classical music is too old fashioned, when someone chooses modern music like Aymoz it's too monotone, he totally ripped apart Semenenko's music choice, when Shcherbakova skated to Firebird, he complained that a young woman would never listen to such music, and the list goes on and on...

The German Eurosport guys are much better, but they don't always cover everything... And hopefully ZDF will show figure skating occasionally at the Olympics..
 

arewhyaen

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
I was watching the 4CC Peacock feed, which I think was a feed off of the E channel, and I believe Ashley Wagner was commentating! I don't know if this was her first time, but it was definitely my first time hearing her. She did pretty well! Didn't talk too much, didn't spend an excessive amount giving us exposition about the skater or the competition or the technical box (like Tara), and really focused her commentary on the elements and the artistry - which is always appreciated. She's not as effortless as Tanith and I think Ashley's still finding her identity as a commentator, but I definitely enjoyed hearing her takes.
 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
I loved Grishin+Medvedeva and Grishin+Guerreiro commentary on the Russian Junior Nationals. This was the first time this year I was watching Russian commentary since all other Russian national comps had Barton. Replacing Yagudin and TAT made it so much more enjoyable to watch! It was insightful and empathetic... I was simply blown away.

Also, I didn't know that I could dislike Simon Reed more, but he did it. He did it. He accomplished the feat by commenting after Mozalev's short during the European that Mozalev's PCSs would surely be below Semenenko's and Kondratyuk's... That's it, Simon. No matter how many times you call Smolkin 'Shmolkin', we'll never be friends.
 

LadyB

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
I dislike everyone who keeps talking through performances, bang out of order!:mad:

In Russian/Junior comps: Ted is not my cuppa as he only oozes out saccharine goo, saying the same stuff over and over again in different words. No substance, just holding hands while skipping across a meadow. :rolleyes:
I do like Ted in Canadian comps, though, maybe because he might actually know the skaters. :ROFLMAO:

Absolutely enjoyed the commentary by Kevin Reynolds and Kaitlyn Weaver! Class! :clap:

Totally love Grishin, Medvedeva and most other Russian commentators. Thanks a mill for VPN!
 
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