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Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski added to NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage

Apr 22, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT

Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski Getty Images

Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are teaming up again, this time to cover the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks on NBC and NBCSN.

The Sochi Olympic figure skating analysts, who also reported together at the Academy Awards and the Best of U.S. Awards, will be fashion experts at the Kentucky Oaks on May 2 (3-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN) and the Kentucky Derby on May 3 (12-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-7 on NBC).

The Kentucky Derby is known for its fashion as well as the Run for the Roses. Attendees are dressed to the nines, with elaborate hats a must and mint juleps the popular drink of choice.

“Johnny and Tara have an infectious energy that will bring a fun and fresh perspective to our Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks telecasts,” said Rob Hyland, Coordinating Producer for NBC Sports Group. “They will be in their element amid the big-event atmosphere and pageantry of Churchill Downs.”

Weir attended the 2010 Kentucky Derby, a little over two months after his final Olympic appearance. Here’s what he wore:

source: Getty Images

Getty Images

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  1. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    He’s going to scare the horses with all that crap he wears.

  2. tomperri - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Personally, the absolute BEST thing about NBC’s Olympic coverage was the Johnny Tara team. My wife loves skating. I have “tolerated” watching it for years with her, trying anything possible (mostly just turning off the TV sound) to avoid the AWEFUL commentating from seriously ANCIENT announcers.
    Dick Buttons may have been a great skater, but after decades of surviving his commentating the skating (RIP Dick), this year I swore to my wife if I heard the phrase “that was Special!” even ONCE from Scott Hamilton, I’d block the channel with a 128 bit encrypted password.
    Then came Johnny & Tara…

    He’s really the Rachel Maddow of Sports commentating.
    So he’s gay (ho-hum, get over it).
    He’s having some fashion fun (it’s really excellent harmless fun).
    He incredibly smart, he doesn’t swear, he’s a consummate professional, a perfectionist; he doesn’t talk during performances,
    PLUS he’s freaking hilarious as all get-out.
    He researches EVERYTHING.
    He knows exactly what he’s talking about. If he doesn’t, he says so. I watched & enjoyed/agonized with him as a skater, but didn’t realize what an analytical mind he had until Sochi.

    The outfits & the attitude he added were just more entertainment, imho.
    Wife & I watched him tutor Tara onscreen if you will, making her a much better commentator between the first telecast and their last.

    This was not only a really smart move on NBC’s part, entertainment-wise, it also shows NBC is following the rest of the country into the 21st century.
    I’ve been tolerating overly macho idiots commentating football for decades. AS a straight married guy I’ve been embarrassed by the testosterone & ‘tribal warfare thing’ the US public has been forced to endure… US kids have been forced to endure e.g “Wow that was a great play! He nearly took the guy’s head off! Let’s watch that from 10 different angles in slow-mo!!” that kind of stuff.

    As a parent, I find THAT dangerous & offensive. The sweet gentle funny smart energy Johnny & Tara brought to NBC was possibly accidental genius, but whatever the reason, I’d welcome NBC having them cover more events. In my area they were relegated to the NBC HD feed. The network non-cable feed never had them on. Mistake.

    It seems the positive response NBC got from the duo’s work on cable has taught them not to fear the future. Bravo NBC.

  3. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Geez. Drink decaf. I will follow my time worn tradition of watching the horse race, and that’s it.

  4. 1historian - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Every time I watch NBC I tell myself “they can’t get any worse.”

    And every time they do.


    The Blood Horse magazine does in depth Derby Coverage, as in they know what they’re talking about. It will be interesting to see what kind of audience they get for these clowns – tune in to watch and turn it off after a few minutes.

    I’ll turn it on about 5 minutes before post time.

    • NetworkGuru - May 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Secretariat is rolling over in the grave, are you kidding me NBC. Not a homophob
      but s.he’s scaring the gdamm kids!!!!!! Well Johny you got to have a set to put on that get up!!!

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