Your favorite and least favorite figure skating commentators | Page 2 | Golden Skate

Your favorite and least favorite figure skating commentators

mrrice

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
I really liked Dick Button and Peggy Fleming when they were commentating together.

My least favorite is Tara. I know she's getting a lot of flack here but, she just can't keep her thoughts to herself. I don't mind a bit "Tech Talk" but she doesn't let it go. Halfway through a program and she's still talking about the opening jump.
 
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Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Favorites: Adding Ben Agosto though he does not comment often that I have found. He is wonderful.. respectful, knows when to speak and stay silent and SO knowledgeable
Also mentioned.. PJ Kwong, Carol Lane, Kurt Browning, Ted Barton.

Least: Tara but she may be under pressure from her network to keep up the commentary at all costs; I have wanted to duct tape her mouth when she speaks during Jason’s smooth as silk performances
OMG I can't believe I forgot Ben Agosto! He's one of my fav commentators!
 

LiamForeman

William/Uilyam
Medalist
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Favorites: Dick and Peggy; Sandra Bezic; I also really liked Dorothy Hamill when she gave commentary in the 90s. Her voice is so soothing. And definitely Ted Barton! Maybe a Ted/Sandra duo would be my ideal.

Least: Scott with his biased commentary (You can tell who he always wanted for SOI by the way he talked up certain skaters (the Cousins guy, for example); Not at all a fan of Tara/Johnny. Both are horrendous to me. Peter Carruthers was a dolt.
 

mrrice

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Favorites: Dick and Peggy; Sandra Bezic; I also really liked Dorothy Hamill when she gave commentary in the 90s. Her voice is so soothing. And definitely Ted Barton! Maybe a Ted/Sandra duo would be my ideal.

Least: Scott with his biased commentary (You can tell who he always wanted for SOI by the way he talked up certain skaters (the Cousins guy, for example); Not at all a fan of Tara/Johnny. Both are horrendous to me. Peter Carruthers was a dolt.
I haven't heard "Dolt" in a long time. I cracked up reading that.....
 

Clairecz

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
From English speaking commentators I really like Mark Hanretty, Ted Barton especially for JGP and Kurt Browning with Carol Lane, he just commentates so naturally.
I've watched Johnny/Tara commentary only once. I don't mind Johnny. Though I've found Tara's voice and insights not very appealing. But I had a bigger problem with the whole approach of the tv station to the broadcast. (eg. during RD break: Let's look forward to see this absolutely sensational skate of XY who is the only and clear and biggest hope of this whole great nation for an Olympic medal - exeggeration obviously, but not that much)

I like Paloma del Rio's commentary at Spanish RTVE and Italian RAI commentators (Arianna Secondini and others). They don't go into details that often but they are so positive and supportive and that's what I like. During the Gran Premio Italia series I enjoyed commentary by Luca Lanotte, Ondřej Hotárek and Franca Bianconi very much. Especially Luca's explanations about junior ice dance.

Here I have to disagree with flanker ;) my favourite commentary is by Czech TV commentator Miroslav Langer. His voice is so soothing, he says just the right amount of information and adds some of his own remarks and is exceptionally knowledgeable about music.

Least favourite without a doubt Massimiliano Ambesi, he's not a commentator but a fanboy.
 

flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
Here I have to disagree with flanker ;) my favourite commentary is by Czech TV commentator Miroslav Langer. His voice is so soothing, he says just the right amount of information and adds some of his own remarks and is exceptionally knowledgeable about music.
I'm sorry but Langer is a ... to me. The only good remark for him is that he obviously understands the ice dance. Otherwise, he often messes information about the preivous results of the skaters (the way that sometimes it really doesn't sound like an error but intentional desinformation), he is pretty much biased and the worst he was when during the 2020 Europeans 90 % of the ladies SP&FS commentary was his and co-commnentators complaints about the age and about the necessity raising of the age of eligibility (I respect he has such opinion, but listening it like 20 times during just one broadcast was really annoying). I admit he reduced that a little during the last season (I've noticed that if people commented the articles about figure skating like on idnes and other servers, he was quite frequently scolded for "it was really too much" in those comments), but while on one hand I appreciate that the Czech TV broadcasted the whole GP even in it's reduced form, on the other hand he truly made some remarks (esp. in cooperation with Kamberská) that went much further than being just mistakes.
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
And British tennis commentator, lady, who did the 2018 Worlds commentary for Eurosport, former figure skater. What is her name? Very nice voice and very inteligent opinions. And she can comment for the next 30 years, as she is around 30 years old.

Catherine Whitaker. I liked her too. Although I love the British Eurosport guys, it is nice to get a female perspective as well. Especially during the Ladies segments, as she was a Ladies Singles skater herself and so would pick up on things that a Men's Singles skater or a male Ice Dancer or an enthusiastic journalist may not.

That said, I didn't like Joanne Conway commentating. Far too critical. And most of the time unnecessarily so.

I know I'm biased, but I loved Jenna McCorkell when she was commentating on the British Championships a couple of years ago.

Sticking with the British Championships coverage, although I would have preferred if he was competing, Phil Harris is a star commentator in the making. Still surprised that none of the TV broadcasters have picked him up yet.

It is a long time since I last heard her, but Sinéad Kerr was great one time she stood in for one of the British Eurosport guys. And I like her fellow Scottish Ice Dancer Mark Hanretty too. But, like our favourite "Uncles", he is better when there is somebody sitting beside him.

Have to be honest, I am not a big fan of Robin Cousins' commentary. But, he certainly knows his onions. Not like that clueless Kat Downes that has been sitting beside him for the past few years. Bring back Sue Barker! She may be a former tennis player, but at least she knows what she is talking about when it comes to figure skating.

Have I missed any British skaters from the past 50 years...? :laugh:

So that this is not purely a comment about British commentators, I would like to add that I love Ted Barton and PJ Kwong. And not just because I love Canadian accents! ;)

Least favourite figure skating commentator? Without a doubt it is Tom Kirkland, who commentated on the Asian Games and the EYOF in 2017. He knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about figure skating! :eek: :drama:

Paul Alster wasn't great, but at least he knew some things. Tom didn't.

CaroLiza_fan
 

Amei

Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Favorite: Ted Barton, yes he's like Mr. Rogers on steroids with his attitude but I would rather listen to Mr. Positivity then the catty duo of Johnny and Tara (can you guess who my least favorite commentators are?)

Least Favorite: Johnny and Tara, they have some good qualities in explaining some of the technical elements but it feels like they want the broadcast to be more about them then the skaters competing
 

TripleAxelQueens3

sasha trusova is superior
Final Flight
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
I really like Ted Barton and Mark Hanretty! Given Ted works with the juniors, his positivity is always just so nice, especially considering how vile commentators can be. Mark Hanretty is really knowledgable and isn't afraid to point out issues like prerotation, so I really enjoy him too.

But I cannot stand Tara and Johnny. I remember I was watching Maria Sotskova's 2016/17 GPF FS performance and while she was skating Tara started talking about her own experience skating at high level competitions as a young skater. It was interesting, yes, but extremely disrespectful given it had nothing to do with Maria! Like if you're going to go on tangents like that, you should at least do it in either warmups, before a skater skates, or after right? Not during! And they are also constantly, like, lying? They keep on saying Zhenya has "excellent" technique. I love Zhenya too, but come on. She has excellent loops and salchows and great spins and expression, but on the lutz? Absolutely not. It's really funny to hear them say that considering that both are literally formerly competitive skaters who can definitely tell a flute from a lutz.
 

Arriba627

🔥🔥SHOLERO🔥🔥 CRAZY FIRE
Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Country
United-States
My favorites are Mark Hanretty and Spanish commentators Paloma and Susana (whom I call the "Madre Mia" twins--they're great!). I don't mind Tara and Johnny.

Interesting how easy people are on Tanith regarding the excessive talking. Sometimes I can't hear the music for all her talking. When I tried to get several new skating fans to watch Ice Dance, they all told me the announcer (Tanith) ruined it by too much talking.

Least favorite -- cheerleader / fanboy Max Ambesi.
 
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flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
Kamberská is unbearable and when she's about to comment Russian girls I have to turn off the sound.
I'm esp. very shaking when she's in the tech panel, her obvious bias against Eteri girls is truly unbearable.
 

Icix

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Favourite: Max Ambesi and Angelo Dolfini of Eurosport Italy; Ted Burton
Least favourite: Arianna Secondìni and Franca Bianconi of RAI (Italian national broadcasting network)
 

labgoat

Caretaker of the Pull Arabians
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Country
United-States
Past and Present

Favorites: Paul Wylie, Scott Hamilton, Kurt Browning, Susie Wynne, Dick Button, Ryan Bradley, Tracy Wilson, Charlie White, Tanith Belbin-White, Verne Lundquist, and all the UK guys on Eurosport(esp. Nicky Slater).




Least Favorites: Sandra Bezic, Tara and Johnny, Peter Carruthers, Andrea Joyce, Rod Black, Jillian Barberie.
I agree with all these and add Sinead Kerr who did Euros. I loved her very informative commentary. Please do more!

I also liked Ben Agosto, Dick Button, Toller Cranston and Brian Pockar. I'll add Dorothy Hamill to the dislikes and Peggy Fleming to the likes.
 
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ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
I used to love 'the uncles' on Eurosport, Chris and Simon, when they were together. Seperately they are a no-go for me. I really enjoyed listening to Mark Hanretty during Worlds this year. Ted Barton is also really good, especially with the juniors.

Among the Dutch commentators, I quite like to listen to Jeroen Prins and Haya Lennarts (not sure that's the right spelling) because they're pretty knowledgable. I used to love to listen to Joan Haanappel as well, but that was a long, long time ago.
 

LadyB

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Don't like: Ted Barton. Sugar coated boredom. However, he manages to say the same stuff about every skater over and over again while applying alternative words with the same meaning. It is way too obvious that he knows sweet f.a. about the skaters, so, why bother when you're not interested. Most spoken words: "Pardon me", when he once again gets something wrong. I'm glad I've got a VPN and can avoid him. :laugh:
Tara and Johnny: Talking over performances should come with a fine.
Debbie Wilkes: Most annoying voice and every other factual statement is plain wrong.

Favourites: Sasha Grishin. My Russian is very patchy, but I do get the gist of what he's saying. A very knowledgeable and fact-focused journalist. Congrats on his recent wedding! :hap10:
Max Trankov: He knows his stuff and brings the fun into the commentary box.
Sergey Voronov: Also very fact-focused, no rubbish talking.
SBS man Paul Alster: He might not be a super expert, but I like the way he presents his commentary. Makes me laugh. (y)
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I agree with the people here on Ted Barton. My only complaint would be that he tends to overuse the word 'strong'. If I had a penny for every time he says that, I'd be rich by the end of JGP. I hope he's busy expanding his vocabulary over the off-season.
I also like Japanese male commentators. Among the Japanese female commentators, I pick only Shizuka Arakawa because I can't stand the other voices. And I like the British Eurosport guys. And the Spanish ladies (who I don't really understand much, though). Very nice voices altogether, more pleasant even than Ted.

Least liked by me: Tara and Johnny. Generally unpleasant and tend to ramble on and on.
Same problem here actually -
(apart from Tomáš Verner, who unfortunately comments the least frequently)
^ He's knowledgeable, but the man just can't shut up, talks through performances, and it drives me nuts! That he permanently sounds like he has a bad case of cold going on, doesn't really help my enjoyment much. He's biased too, BTW - who cares if *he* thinks Gumennik is arrogant and other stuff?
But I have to agree, compared to the Czech Eurosport commentators, he's a whole different league. Those two would be the absolute bottom of my list. They're trash. With their creepy, sexist, bodyshaming comments, they make my skin crawl. I am astounded parents actually allow their kids to be coached by them. *shudder* I hope they're not allowed to coach women at least, but I'm not too hopeful. They should have gotten the boot from Eurosport long ago.
 
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flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
^ He's knowledgeable, but the man just can't shut up, talks through performances, and it drives me nuts! That he permanently sounds like he has a bad case of cold going on, doesn't really help my enjoyment much. He's biased too, BTW - who cares if *he* thinks Gumennik is arrogant and other stuff?
But I have to agree, compared to the Czech Eurosport commentators, he's a whole different league. Those two would be the absolute bottom of my list. They're trash. With their creepy, sexist, bodyshaming comments, they make my skin crawl. I am astounded parents actually allow their kids to be coached by them. *shudder* I hope they're not allowed to coach women at least, but I'm not too hopeful. They should have gotten the boot from Eurosport long ago.
One moment. Verner doesn't talk during performances, he only discusses with Langer after the finish, just like other co-commentators usually do. Only Langer talks during the performance, sometimes Žáková's voice accompanies him during the ice dance.
 
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