Welcome to TaraRulz.com, the oldest and largest website dedicated to the 1998 Olympic, 1997 World and National, World Professional figure skating champion, and current NBC broadcaster, Tara Lipinski. Working hand and hand with Tara, we strive to be your number one source for fans across the globe for news, photos, and more, including the largest photo gallery on the web. Thank you for visiting and come again soon!
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VIDEO: TARA AND JOHNNY GIVE LESLIE JONES A GLITTER MAKEOVER POSTED BY ANGIE ON THURSDAY, FEBURARY 22, 2018
"Leslie Jones brought some Team USA gear with her, but Tara and Johnny have her missing piece."
TARA LIPINSKI AND JOHNNY WEIR WILL HOST THE CLOSING CEREMONY POSTED BY ANGIE ON THRUSDAY, FEBURARY 22, 2018
Figure skating analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will host the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night in Primetime on NBC. The team, along with play-by-play partner Terry Gannon, made the announcement during Tuesday night’s broadcast of the ladies’ short program.
Lipinski, Weir and Gannon will commentate the pageantry from PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, which will feature the Parade of Nations, interviews, profiles, musical performances and more.
“Parades, K-Pop, fireworks, costumes, dancing – who better to host the world’s biggest party than Tara, Johnny and Terry,” Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production and Programming, said in a press release.
The figure skating analysts will join the ranks of past hosts such as Mike Tirico, Mary Carillo, and Ryan Seacrest for Rio 2016; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Vladimir Pozner for Sochi 2014; and Bob Costas, Michaels, and Seacrest for London 2012.
Lipinski won gold at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, 20 years ago on Tuesday. Weir competed at two Olympics and was the 2008 Worlds bronze medalist. Gannon transitioned to broadcasting after a standout college basketball career.
“I started commentating 10 years ago and I thought my biggest dream would be the moment we sat down in our primetime chairs here in PyeongChang, which has been the most incredible experience,” said Lipinski. “But for this assignment to happen, it’s a huge honor and privilege. I’m so excited to embark on this new and exciting adventure and bring the Closing Ceremony to the U.S.”
Gannon took a little bit more of a sarcastic approach: “I’m honored and excited to be hosting the Closing Ceremony with my reserved, understated broadcast partners Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir,” he said, before adding that the group is “looking forward to a fitting farewell at the end of a truly memorable experience in PyeongChang.”
“When Jim Bell called to give me the news I was bowled over! It is an extreme honor and privilege to bring America its final night of celebration from this incredible Olympic Games and to applaud the talents of both the athletes and our fantastic NBC family,” said Weir. “This is a glorious and unexpected experience that I can’t wait to get fancy for!”
Lipinski and Weir are known for having more fun than anyone else at the Olympics. They recently gave a glitter makeover to Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones and learned more about K-Pop in Korean culture.
VIDEO: TARA AND JOHNNY LEARN ABOUT K-POP POSTED BY ANGIE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018
"Tara and Johnny get up close and personal with Korean superstar Eric Nam to learn about what makes K-pop such an international sensation."
TARA LIPINSKI SHARES THE SECRET TRADITION SHE AND JOHNNY WEIR CREATED FOR THE LADIES ICE SKATING FINALE POSTED BY ANGIE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBURARY 21, 2018
Tara Lipinski may no longer be competing for gold, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t serve some major looks with fellow figure skating commentator Johnny Weir at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. The duo kills it with the banter, but somehow, they also manage to look amazing rink-side. Stylish caught up with Lipinski to get the scoop on just how many bags she and Weir brought with them for the festivities, their favorite looks they’ve worn thus far and the sartorial tradition they created for the women’s finale!
If you’ve been watching the Olympics, you’ve definitely gotten your fair share of Lipinski-Weir moments — and are probably as obsessed with Tara’s wardrobe as we are. Turns out, the former Olympian and her co-host don’t work with a stylist. Lipinski tells Us, “we work with different designers. I love Dress the Population. They have designed a special dress for me for the ladies final. Alice and Olivia is always a go-to for me, as well as Likely. Carolyn Colby is my go-to for jewelry.”
Lipinski also shared that Johnny is often as bejeweled as she is, but he turns to Erickson Beamon for all of his jewelry. As for his clothes, the former Olympian is said to be o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with Biyan and redemption for their embellished jackets.
For the amount of outfits seen on screen (and at press events), you’d imagine that Lipinski and Weir travel with some major cargo… and you’d be right. According to the former figure skater, they brought 21 suitcases total to house all of their possibilities for outfit changes. “We never know how many costumes changes but we have a rule never to rewear an outfit. So that’s why we bring our whole lives in our suitcases! We also like to match which adds another layer to packing process,” she explains.
Clearly, Lipinski and Weir like to bring a ton of options — but how do they get camera ready? Well, it comes down to preparing their ensembles the night before. “We decide what the vibe will be for the event and then we start mixing and matching,” says Lipinski.
And if you thought that glam before their daily appearances would be low key … think again. They do two hours of hair and makeup. But don’t worry, they keep it fun: “We have a speaker we bring with us for impromptu dance parties. Pre-show warmups!” she says. And she also dished that Johnny’s hair takes longer!
If you’re gearing up for the women’s figure skating final, get ready, because they have a super adorable tradition that Johnny created: they always wear gold. See — once champions, always champions when it comes to style.
GALLERY UPDATES: 2018 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES POSTED BY ANGIE ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18 2018
"Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, the former figure skaters who are now NBC broadcast partners, take us through their Olympic wardrobes. FEBRUARY 17, 2018"
"Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir pose following the Figure Skating Men Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Pyeongchang, South Korea. FEBRUUARY 17, 2018"
"Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir pose following the Figure Skating Men Short Program on day seven of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Pyeongchang, South Korea. FEBRUUARY 16, 2018"
"Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski and Terry Gannon comment for NBC the Figure Skating Pair Skating Free Program on day six of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Pyeongchang, South Korea. FEBRUUARY 15, 2018"
"Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir pose after commentating for NBC the Pair Short Program figure skating event during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Pyeongchang, South Korea. FEBRUUARY 14, 2018"
"NBC analysts Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski and Scott Hamilton are busy on social media during the Figure Skating Team Event during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Pyeongchang, South Korea. FEBRUUARY 12, 2018"
"Journalist Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir comment for NBC Sports the Figure Skating Team Event during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Pyeongchang, South Korea. FEBRUUARY 11, 2018"
WE'RE CRAZY IN LOVE FOR LESLIE JONES, TARA LIPINSKI, AND JOHNNY WEIR'S BEYONCE MOVES POSTED BY ANGIE ON SUNDAY, FEBURARY 18 2018
This is Winter Olympics history in the making.
Leslie Jones, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are “Crazy in Love” with Pyeongchang, South Korea, in a Beyoncé-inspired video they created Sunday:
“Saturday Night Live” comedian Jones joined Olympians-turned-NBC analysts Lipinski and Weir to bust out some moves to Queen Bey’s 2003 hit in a hallway.
VIDEO: LIP SYNC BATTLE PERFORMANCES POSTED BY ANGIE ON SUNDAY, FEBURARY 18 2018
"Ice skating commentary duo and BFFs Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir get points for style with Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” and Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.” "
VIDEO: 'THE JENNY MCCARTHY SHOW' FULL INTERVIEW POSTED BY ANGIE ON SUNDAY, FEBURARY 18 2018
"Tara Lipinski, 1998 Olympic champion Ladies' singles figure skater and commentator and analyst on NBC at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, talks to Jenny McCarthy about the impact that Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan had on the sport, the intense training necessary to compete on the Olympic level, working with Johnny Weir, and what to expect at this year's games."
VIDEO: 'HARRY' INTERIEW CLIPS POSTED BY ANGIE ON SUNDAY, FEBURARY 18 2018
VIDEO: TARA LIPINSKI AND JOHNNY WEIR CLOSET RUNDOWN POSTED BY ANGIE ON SATURDAY, FEBURARY 17 2018
VIDEO: CATCHING UP WITH TARA LIPINSKI AND JOHNNY WEIR POSTED BY ANGIE ON SATURDAY, FEBURARY 17 2018
"Walking around the Olympic Park, Aaron Nolan ran into former figure skaters and NBC commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir and took a few moments to find out about their experience outside of the press box."
VIDEO: GOOGLE HOME COMMERICAL POSTED BY ANGIE ON SATURDAY, FEBURARY 17 2018
When Johnny & Tara aren’t keeping us updated on the latest figure skating news, they’re dancing to K-Pop. Tune in to NBC for more figure skating coverage, presented by #GoogleHome. pic.twitter.com/uYg11Pv4Xc
TARA LIPINSKI, JOHNNY WEIR HAVE CHEMISTRY, FRANK ANALYSIS THAT ELEVATES NBC COVERAGE POSTED BY ANGIE ON SATURDAY, FEBURARY 17 2018
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — No disrespect to Olympic gold medal prospect Nathan Chen, but the biggest current stars in American figure skating won’t be taking to the ice this month. They’ll be behind a microphone.
For many, the commentary combo of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are more of a reason to tune in to the Winter Olympics than the individuals and pairs populating the competition itself.
The Tara and Johnny show came to Sochi four years ago, but this time it has hit prime time on NBC and promises to be raucous, outrageous and completely unafraid to pull any punches.
It is a double act that works, to the extent that the network has put them together at Super Bowl media day, the Academy Awards, the Kentucky Derby and the National Dog Show.
“When you are trying to reach a younger crowd, this is 2018, the old school way isn't going to work,” Lipinski, 35, told USA TODAY Sports in recent joint interview with Weir. “You have to be honest and lay it down exactly as you see it. There's a lot of pretty strange things in our sport and you have to have a good chuckle.”
That brand of irreverent humor isn’t appreciated by some of the sport’s hardcore and traditionalist fans, but is adored by the wider mainstream set that truly drives ratings. Figure skating hasn’t boomed since the 1990s and has been left behind by the rapidly evolving media landscape. Weir and Lipinski are doing their darndest to bring it back.
“The 90s were great, it was such a boom time, and on television in general everything was very airbrushed, very beautiful and packaged,” Weir said. “Then came the family we all love so much — the Kardashians — and suddenly butt injections were on TV, Lady Gaga was ruling the charts, things changed and people wanted reality. We give them reality.”
Lipinski, who won gold at Nagano in 1998, and Weir, a three-time national champion and 2008 world bronze medalist, did not cross paths during their own careers.
In 2014, they were NBC’s broadcast experiment, thrown together. They’ve never looked back. Figure skating commentary may never be the same again.
The pair are close enough now that they sit for interviews with their bodies touching, and finish each other’s sentences. Weir, who is openly gay, was “bridesman” at Lipinski’s wedding to television producer Todd Kapostasy last summer.
When she met Weir, Lipinski loved the way he spoke frankly and openly, on and off air.
“Our sport is very political and subjective and you can hide that if you want,” Lipinski added. “But why would you? If a skater falls five times and wins and the next skater who did stand up, doesn't (win), it is very confusing. Johnny is not afraid to go out on that limb, point it out and let the judges know he didn't agree.”
Weir was having a tough time during Sochi, with his marriage to ex-husband Victor Voronov on the verge of collapse. Things got messy with accusations flying back and forth, the matter ending up in divorce court, Voronov lodging a defamation suit against Weir and even a dispute over a valuable Faberge egg — much of it played out through TMZ and the New York tabloids.
“Looking back to Sochi in particular, I was going through a divorce – it was awful, the most horrible time of my life as far as dealing with another human being,” Weir said. “The best thing to come out of it was that Tara and I had to bond so quickly. We were in Russia, there was no one really around, I wasn't close to any of my coworkers or my bosses, I wasn't close to anybody. It was just terror. If I hadn't had her I would have panicked. (I would have) gone home or just crumbled under the pressure.”
Lipinski remembers them working all day — “then we’d cry and have therapy sessions with each other” — then get back at it the next day and put together a collective breakout performance.
Weir keeps most of his private life out of the commentary spiel but everything else is fair game, and you can confidently bet that the chatter with him and Lipinski won’t be restricted to salchows and triple axels.
Anything can be on the agenda, from hairstyles to costumes to whatever happens to be passing through their minds at the time, and unless the viewership’s tastes have dramatically changed they’ll be lapping it up once more.
Weir and Lipinski are an oddity no more. Somehow, through the force of their own chemistry and personality, they have become a staple of the American Olympic landscape. Last time they were largely tucked away on the NBC Sports Network. Now they are front and center — and ready to shine brighter than the glittering costumes on the ice.
“We just had this chemistry that came instantly and for the last four years we have been building on that,” Lipinski added. “America has accepted us as the voices of figure skating.”
As a skater, Weir often found more popularity with the sport’s occasional fans than he did from the traditionalists. He feels the same is true of his commentary.
“Are we feeling more loved?” he said. “Really hardcore skating fans … it's hard to impress them. We are getting a lot of love from people who don't watch skating and that's what we want — people to come back to our sport. But the sport itself doesn't change much, or quickly.”
TARA LIPINSKI HASN'T LOST HER EDGE POSTED BY ANGIE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBURARY 14 2018
Twenty years after she shocked the world by winning gold at Nagano, the figure skating prodigy is still an Olympic star, matching and maybe even transcending her prior profile as part of a captivatingly dynamic broadcast team with Johnny Weir.
TARA LIPINSKI AND JOHNNY WEIR AREN'T MEAN, BUT 'TRUTH CAN BE HARD TO HEAR' POSTED BY ANGIE ON THURSDAY, FEBURARY 15 2018
NBC’s primetime figure skating broadcasts from the PyeongChang Games provide a steady dose of jumps, spins and America’s most talked-about platonic couple: analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.
The duo exploded onto the scene four years ago as commentators on NBC Sports Network during the Sochi Games. Their wardrobe, flair and candor proved so popular that the network invited them back for the Summer Olympics. That makes PyeongChang their third Games, and their first on NBC’s biggest stage.
Lipinski, Weir and Terry Gannon (whom they call their “partner in crime”) almost immediately were part of some memorable calls at this year’s Games. Think of their joyful broadcast of American Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel, as the United States won bronze in the team event. Or their bluntness when gold medal hopeful Nathan Chen faltered.
“That’s the worst short program I’ve ever seen from Nathan Chen,” said Weir, which led to the Internet calling him “mean.”
The Washington Post caught up with Lipinski and Weir this week to learn more about their time in PyeongChang, whether they’re actually “mean” and their special pre-broadcast handshake.
Do you two have pre- or post-commentary rituals?
Johnny Weir: We have a “goody.” From touring, you have these little handshakes and things that you do with your co-stars in the shows, whether it’s a handshake, or a booty bump, or whatever it may be. Terry, Tara and I all have one that we do, the three of us, and we can’t do a show without doing it.
How are you feeling after calling your first round of primetime?
Tara Lipinski: After four years of waiting for this moment, and the anticipation and suspense, and then it all sort of arrived and it was a pretty amazing feeling to be up there. Twenty years ago, I won my Olympic gold medal and it was the biggest dream of my life at that time. I was only 15. And then over the years, for this last decade, I’ve been working towards this next dream of sitting in the primetime booth commentating an Olympic games.That it’s falling on that anniversary, it feels very surreal and it feels like this is what I’m meant to be doing, and I’m so lucky I get to do it with my best friend and with Terry Gannon. Weir: The skating, the best part, has been really exciting. The first day, the boys were getting their jitters out, but I think for the most part after the men’s short program, everyone really delivered for their countries. It made skating really exciting, and it made our job also very exciting and a whole lot easier. Well, we have to say less.
Speaking of Gannon, does he feel left out of the costume game?
Lipinski: The first day we were a little off, but now we are completely matched up. Weir: We all sort of get together that morning, and we help Terry pick out his tie. Lipinski: And he looks so dapper on television. Weir: There’s actually a Twitter [account] now that we see retweet things often, but it’s called “What’s Terry Wearing,” and it’s the funniest thing, because Terry actually has incredible style. Lipinski: Although, we have influenced a few things. He said that when he went to Sochi, he brought one suitcase, and this time he brought two.
How many did you guys bring?
How about you, Tara?
Lipinski: That’s us combined. Weir: How could I carry 21 suitcases? Lipinski: I think we doubled it this time. Weir: Yeah, I think I had four and a half to five in Sochi.
The Internet called you “mean” the other day and you seem to have toned it back a bit. Is that intentional?
Lipinski: We toned it back? Weir: Yeah, that’s a shock to us. Lipinski: I think the only thing that happened is that there’s been pretty good skating over [the weekend]. The first day of skating … it was disastrous, and there was really no other way to put it. So, if we see more skating like that, we’re definitely gonna call it as we see it.I think that’s our style. It has been since we started in the booth. There’s no reason not to be authentic and real with your audience, and we’re not here to sugarcoat anything.We’ve been skaters, so we totally understand where they’re coming from, and of course we wish everyone could stand out. But some days you just have bad days, and if people really wanna get invested in this sport, they have to know the ins and outs and it has to be honest. Weir: I tweeted the other day that we’re commentators, not complimentators. We have to call it like we see it or we’d be doing a disservice to our sport. We’d be doing a disservice to the fans watching at home who may only watch figure skating every four years, and we want them to understand why the people that are winning are winning, why an element is difficult, why sometimes the girls wear over-the-boot tights, you know? There are lots of things we have to explain, and if you aren’t used to hearing real critiquing or real commentating, yeah, it can be harsh when somebody falls down and we say, “Hey, they fell.” But would you rather understand why they fell, or would you just like to pretend it didn’t happen? I think our response to people saying “mean” is truth can be harsh, and truth can be hard to hear at times. But it’s our job to do that, and we’re not backing away from it in any way.
Has prime time been a learning curve at all?
Lipinski: No. You wait for this moment, and then you get up there and you think, “Is it gonna be that different?” And it feels exactly the same. Obviously, the competition at an Olympics, the emotions are running high and the stakes are higher for these athletes, so it does bring an incredible, palpable excitement and emotion into the building. But other than that, you know, we feel at home. Weir: We are Olympians for a reason. As soon as we heard that we would be becoming prime time commentators for the next Olympics, we started training. We started preparing. Preparation and training go into every aspect of life, and it was no different for us preparing for PyeongChang.
What does it take to prep every day?
Weir: We commentate a lot more often than just the Olympics. There’s an entire figure skating season that has less eyeballs on it, of course. But we start watching competitions and training videos and things come May, June, when all the skaters are getting their new programs, when they start to compete in smaller events, and we watch them progress through the whole season. We have to study backstories on every single skater because, here in PyeongChang, we’re covering every single skater whether it’s on NBCSN or NBC Primetime.You have to be ready at the drop of a hat, doing your homework, doing research, even when we’re away from events. And of course, here, we’ve got binders, and notebooks, and statistics, and all this stuff that we carry around with us just so, in case something happens, we’re ready for that moment.
What should we watch for the rest of the games from both the skaters and you guys in the costume department?
Weir: Well we’ve been saying for the last year or so that figure skating’s on a revolutionary level that we have never seen, and that, in many cases I didn’t think I’d see in my lifetime. Nathan Chen is doing five, and sometimes six quadruples in his long program, and that’s outrageous.What I’m most looking forward to are the special moments that you could only get at an Olympic Games. The person that perseveres, the one that comes from behind, the reigning champ that comes back and proves everybody wrong, that you can win this thing twice. There are so many great story lines to this Olympics. The most exciting part of it is the level that they’re skating at. It’s absolutely insane. In the costume department, we wear what we feel good in. We do try and coordinate a little bit so we’re more appealing on camera, so that Tara’s not wearing bright pink and I’m wearing bright orange. You know, we do take care and we have a big pride and honor in making the best reality TV show there is and that is the Olympics.
Do you ever regret something you’ve said on air?
Lipinski: I feel like Johnny and I really just speak our minds. … Our chemistry and banter with Terry is very conversational, so it’s never like we’re planning these moments. We just sort of have this easy talk on camera, and I’ve never really felt that. Johnny, have you? Weir: No. There are things that you wish would’ve come out better, or sometimes you stutter, or have trouble finding the word that we want, but that’s the great thing about Tara and I being together is that we can catch each other when that sort of thing happens. I have never felt bad about anything I’ve said for the most part, simply because when you tell the truth, while it may not always be the prettiest truth in the whole world, you don’t have anything to regret. If somebody fell or there’s a judging mishap or something like that, we have to tell it like it is and that’s why we have our jobs.
You’re friends with the skaters. Is that ever an issue?
Lipinski: We know the skaters. The skating world is a very small world. But is our job. We are here to entertain an audience and the viewers at home, and that’s who we’re working for. So it’s very easy for me to watch a performance and just speak on it as I see it. Weir: I still skate and I still tour the world, with a lot of the skaters that we’re calling. But you do have to disconnect from your friendships with them. Evgenia Medvedeva wrote me last night and asked to see the NBC coverage of her performance in the team event because she wanted to hear Tara and I commentate. Things like that make us feel good because it means that skaters respect our opinion and respect what we’re saying about them. But really you have to turn the friendship button off and teach people what they’re seeing and call it like it is in the moment. And if you’re too friendly or too familiar and you put your friendship with somebody first, you can’t be a proper commentator. You have to call it like it is, and sometimes that’s hard with friends.
HOW JOHNNY WEIR AND TARA LIPINSKI BECAME THE MOST ICONIC DUO IN FIGURE SKATING POSTED BY ANGIE ON THURSDAY, FEBURARY 15 2018
Rarely do a sport's broadcasters outshine its stars. But Olympic figure skating's very sparkly Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski (quite literally) do.
Four years ago, NBC paired the two former Olympic skaters with Terry Gannon to be Sochi's second team of figure-skating commentators. Through some cocktail of flash, chemistry, and pure energy, Weir and Lipinski became the Internet's darlings—the main draw of a sport that lacks the crown-jewel-of-the-Winter-Olympics luster it once had—and, most importantly, each other's best friend. "It's so rare in this life to find a friend that you could actually call a true friend, someone you could put down as your In Case of Emergency, or somebody that would be the godmother or godfather of your first-born," says Weir. "Especially coming from this very cutthroat and backstabbing sort of world that Tara and I come from."
So effective were the emergency contacts/soulmates that, for this Pyeongchang go-round, NBC has moved them into the primetime slot. There, they've maintained their signature commentating style: a Gladwell-ian ability to demystify figure skating for the uninitiated and an extreme candor for which they've caught some heat. The outfits and social-media game remain strong as well.
When we spoke with them last week (mostly about getting dressed), they were coping with not being in adjoining hotel rooms—"There's this very long mirror where the adjoining door should be," says Lipinski, "and I think about it all day long. Why didn't they just make the mirror a door?!"—relived their one disagreement, and explained what it's like to roll up to the airport with enough luggage to dress an entire Olympic village.
GQ: I believe congratulations and condolences are in order, Johnny. You’re both an Eagles and a Patriots fan? Johnny Weir: It was a great honor to be a part of the winning and losing team.
How does that happen?
JW: We worked the Super Bowl a few years ago for NBC, and the best thing that came out of it was getting a hug from Gronk. His arms wrapped around me twice. And from then on, I kind of became a football fan—and because of Gronk's hug, I am a big fan of the Patriots. But I'm from and I live in the greater Philadelphia area, and the Eagles have always been a part of my upbringing and my life.
Do you have a condolences message you'd like to pass on to Gronk?
JW: Gronkie, no matter what, I'll always love you.
You guys brought more than a few suitcases to Pyeongchang. What was the reaction of the airport crew when you rolled up?
JW: The night before I left for the Olympics, I had a performance in New York at Bryant Park, and then I had sort of a little going-away party at The Polo Bar. And I tie one on pretty good, just to get myself good and ready for the Olympics. I somehow dragged myself to the airport and was walking up to Korean Air, and I had somebody with a cart helping me, because I can't move with thirteen giant suitcases the size of Ford Focuses. You could just see the look on the check-in guy's face. It was pure terror and "Oh shit." Tara Lipinski: I did it kind of sneakily. I wanted to say goodbye to my husband one last time, so I left him by the car. So I would just roll up one or two at a time so the people at the counter didn't really know what was coming until the end. And then they're just staring at me.
JW: Hating you. The funny thing, though, is that when we left Seoul—because we were in Seoul filming a piece about K-pop—it was Tara and I in a town car and a pony-sized moving van behind us, with all of the luggage.
When was the first time you guys met?
JW: Tara loves this story. TL: [laughs] Skating is a small world, but we never had a chance to ever really talk or hang out. We worked together in 2010 for Universal Sports, and we did this show during the World Championships, and it was a week long. And I think at the end, you were giving me a foot rub on camera or something creepy like that. [laughs] That was one week. And then we didn't see each other for another three years. And then going into Sochi, Johnny was doing the men's with Terry [Gannon] solo, and I was working on ladies' with Terry solo. So we show up in Stamford, where we broadcast from, and we hung out while we were waiting one day. We were just sitting there with our bags that happened to be the same. JW: They were Céline. It's GQ. You have to mention the fashion. TL: It was just one of those instant connections. And we said: Why aren't we doing this together? So we asked if we could. I'm sure at first people were like, “Oh boy.” So they gave us a trial run. And within that next year we went to Sochi, and on air and off air we just started to bond. It's like a long-lost soul mate that I met late in life. I can't imagine my life without him. JW: This is why she tells that story. It's kind of like The Notebook.
It's a great story!
JW: You're welcome.
What’s the funniest or strangest speculation you’ve heard about your relationship?
JW: I think Tara and I try to be the Zeitgeist when it comes to humor about us. Because it's really hard for journalists to get it right sometimes when it's a gay dude–girl partnership. It has a very easy way of becoming very Liza and David, or Will and Grace, or Sonny and Cher. And Tara and I stand alone. We do our own thing. I think the funniest thing that people have ever asked me was: Are you guys actually friends? And I said, Yeah, why in the era of Kardashian bikini waxes on our TV screens every other day, why would we have to lie about being friends? [laughs] TL: When we got back from the Sochi, that was the first thing—people would be like, "Well, is this a real friendship? We'd be like: Of course!"
What’s the last disagreement you had?
JW: I think we've had one. TL: Yeah, we've had one. [Johnny] knows me so well. I think that's what comes through on camera a lot of times. We have that bond where we just know each other's lives in a deep way. Even though I wasn't there with him for his career, he wasn't there with me for mine, or we didn't know each other until we were a little older in life. We should write a marriage book, Johnny. JW: Marriage etiquette. TL: The very first disagreement we had, it was in Sochi and we were at a practice. We walk as a unit. We do everything together. And we were watching this practice, and all of a sudden he left me and he said, "I'll be back in one minute." And 25 minutes later, I'm still sitting there. The practice is almost over. And I realize he saw another one of his skater friends, and he left me! JW: She was a pure nut. I was going to see somebody I used to tour with—she was my choreographer. And I walked over to introduce her to Tara, but then this ex–Olympic champion skater [comes up]—she speaks Russian, and I speak Russian, and Tara doesn't speak Russian, so it was really hard for me to be the dude in the situation and navigate these icy waters. TL: You just left me for 25 minutes!! JW: It was the first time and the last time I wasn't a good husband to her. TL: You were so great about it, because we got into our booth in the arena right after, and I was like, "I'm fine, Johnny. I'm fine." And you were like, "Okay. Let's talk this out." JW: Sochi was hard for lots of reasons. I was going through a really nasty divorce, and the only person I had to go through it with me was Tara. And for a new friendship, that's a lot to expect somebody to put on her shoulders. But Tara was up with me as long as I needed her to be up with me; she helped push me through work. Somehow, at the same time my life was falling apart, we were crushing it at work, and we were winning hearts across America. That bonded us so quickly.
Who takes longer to get ready?
JW: Oh dear. TL: Johnny? JW: My hair takes longer than Tara's hair. But Tara's makeup takes longer than my makeup. So we kind of even out.
But I mean when it comes to outfits.
JW: Tara has one napkin-sized dress to pull on and a pair of shoes. I've got all the pieces to put together. So I'd say I definitely take longer, just because if you're having a fat day, the one shirt isn't going to fit, so there's a whole outfit—you can't wear the blazer you wanted to wear, because it only goes with that shirt. It's a complicated house of cards.
Those sounds like excuses.
JW: Oh fine. I'll just start dieting again.
What percentage of the clothes in your suitcase will you wear?
TL: We'll go through it. And that's why we brought thirteen suitcases each. We like to do changes. If we are on air, we're not going to wear the same thing for the Today Show or for the next photo shoot. And we do like to match up, so we have to bring all the options. JW: In Sochi, we packed by events more so than just by sheer volume. Then after we'd sort of blown up a little bit, they asked us to cover the gala expedition on Primetime. And I remember trying to get ready and not having any clothes left. I had to wear some blazer that I'd had for two weeks in the bottom of my suitcase that just didn't fit. And I think we learned our lesson. Now we just bring essentially everything that we own. And we sort it out once we're here. And we wear almost everything.
Never wearing the same twice, I would imagine?
JW: Certainly not!
When was the last time you repeated an outfit?
JW: Yesterday we did head shots for NBC and then we did press, but I was wearing the same outfit for [both]. That's as hardcore as I get with repeating, even though it was one day and it was very separate things. Tara changed. Of course. I fucked up, honestly... Oh, sorry! You're not our friend. [laughs]
Fuck. There, I said it, too. Can you ever get Terry Gannon to switch up his wardrobe?
TL: Oh, Terry has upped his game! Terry always looks dapper. In the beginning, he would just do his own thing. And now he'll ask us like, “What color is today? What tie? What are we doing?” JW: But he's like a little boy when he asks. He sort of doesn't want to be the dude that's asking what we're going to wear so he can match us and be a part of the group. He kind of does it in a little bit of a shy way. And he's very sweet about it. But you know, Terry rocks a lot of Varvatos. TL: He's stylish. JW: Tara and I love finding little accessories. He's got some Hermès pocket squares, via this guy over here. TL: I bought him some cuff links for these games. But he was laughing with us because he's like, “In Sochi, I came with one suitcase. I always travel with one suitcase. I don't know what's happening to me. Now I have two. I brought two."
Do you have outfits that you look back on—maybe from broadcasting but also maybe from skating or prom or something—and been like, Oh my goodness, what was I thinking?
JW: I'm sorry. Prom? What's that? TL: We didn't have childhoods. We did not go to prom. JW: I don't know what this prom is you're talking about. TL: There are no prom pictures to be found. I look back, in an endearing way, on that time of my life when I was competing at the Olympics. And I'm very proud that I was always able to be myself and didn't really care what people thought, when I wanted bangs with my little Con-Air curling iron, and I wanted to wear glitter on my eyes and rings on every finger and charm necklaces that look like I was wearing baggage while I skated. But I do look back, and man, those ’90s bangs. I just wish maybe I didn't have those bangs that my mom would cut herself, unevenly. [laughs] JW: We had to save money where we could. Figure skating is an expensive sport. I like to take big risks with my fashion, and sometimes when you take big risks you can fail miserably. And I am completely fine with that. And I own that sometimes I look absolutely ridiculous. But there's one moment that sticks out, and it's now famous among our whole production team. We can just call it the "cocoon." TL: [laughs] JW: About a year after Sochi, I went to Japan. When you're in Asia, [it’s] really easy to get taken in by harem pants and one-size-fits-all clothing, because it just looks so chic and everyone's so cool over here. It’s like when you're in Disneyland and it's cool to wear the ears, but then as soon as you leave, you just look like an asshole that is still wearing his Disney ears on the flight home. So I brought this patent-leather cocoon—that is cleanable by Windex—[and] took it to the broadcast. And there I sit next to Tara Lipinski, who's in one of her sexy little dresses and the bright color, and I'm just in this thing. Honey, I looked like a butterfly that was coming out of a cocoon. It was off-putting. And garish. TL: Right when we got off, Johnny's like, “Why'd you let me wear this?” I remember saying that I'd gotten so used to Johnny at this point that some things are not shocking anymore. And even though I knew in the moment that this was a real odd one, I was gonna say something but just then was like, no.
I need to find a picture of this.
JW: I don't have one. [laughs] TL: He's burned them all.
WINTER OLYMPICS OR HUNGER GAMES? TWITTER PRAISES TARA LIPINSKI AND JOHNNY WEIR FOR SAVAGE SKATING COMMENTARY POSTED BY ANGIE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBURARY 14 2018
The 2018 Winter Olympics coverage has taken over the airwaves, but the real stars are Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir who many are praising on Twitter for their Hunger Games-parallels and savage skating commentary.
The duo have emerged as one of the most talked about aspects of the 2018 Winter Games.
"Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski have bedazzled headsets and matching microphones, are coordinating outfits every day and are working a Hunger Games theme. I'm gonna need them to do commentary on EVERYTHING including the stock market from now on," tweeted one fan.
"We need Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir to cover the White House press briefings. I need this," someone else joked.
The Hunger Games comparisons come from the fact that the two bare a striking resemblance to Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman, played in the film franchise by Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci, respectively.
Some people are not loving how vicious their critiques can be though, with one person saying, "So annoyed with these team ice skating commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. A moment ago they were praising Nathan Chen as if he were a God and he makes a mistake (he is human) and now they are crucifying him. Opening ceremonies haven't even happened yet."
"If Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are this brutally honest and catty on television, can you imagine what they are like when they think no one is listening? Yikes," said another Twitter user.
On the whole though, other than a few critics here and there, the duo has overwhelmingly become a fan-favorite dynamic out of Pyeongchang.
"I will always, always need more Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski in my life. They need to do commentary beyond the Olympics because waiting between Olympics for them is too long," tweeted The View co-host Meghan McCain.
"I love that [Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir] are delivering Hunger Games meets Ice Skating Wars [commentary]. It's futuristic yet American tradition in one," joked comedian Kate Casey.
The duo have both been incredibly thrilled to have been a part of the games this year, with Weir tweeting a picture of the two, along with Terry Gannon, and writing, "When dreams come true. Thank you [Terry Gannon] & [Tara Lipinski] for being the best partners a guy could ask for. It’s my sincerest honor to work with you lovelies. And no, I’m not paying attention in this photo. I swore I saw a swan fly by..."