Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are back!
NBC tapped the dynamic duo as fashion correspondents for the Kentucky Derby. The two shot to post-competition fame for their fantastic commentary on figure skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Kentucky Derby has become as much a celebrity and fashion event as a horse race. Women outdo one another with outfits, but the most important part of the Derby are the hats. More and more women are tuning in to see the fashion.
The image of cigar-chomping race fans no longer applies to horse racing’s signature event. Slightly more than half of NBC’s Derby viewers last year were women attracted to the party, the Nielsen company said. No other major TV sports event, with the exception of the Olympics, is so weighted toward female viewers, NBC said.
“It’s not just a two-minute race,” said Rob Hyland, coordinating producer for the NBC Sports Group. “Of course, the two-minute race is extremely important, but our job is to capture the venue and the day — it’s a huge celebration — as creatively and poignantly as possible.”
In 2013, 16.2 million people watched The Kentucky Derby, and 51% of the viewers were women.
Weir and Lipinski received praise for their professionalism and excellent insight during the Sochi Games. They also received love for their chemistry and coordinating their outfits. NBC showed how the two basically shared a room and spent all their time together. The duo started a joint Twitter and Instagram account as well to document their adventures.
The viewing public demanded more Weir and Lipinski. Their popularity was so high that Access Hollywood hired them as fashion commentators for the 2014 Oscars.