Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir to host Olympic Closing Ceremony on NBC

Well, this should be interesting.

NBC seems to have hit on the perfect answer to one of the most confounding questions of these Winter Olympics.

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No, not what’s the difference between the Halfpipe and Slopestyle in snowboarding? But rather, how do you get people to tune into its telecast of Sunday night’s Closing Ceremony 14 hours after the darned thing’s already happened in PyeongChang, South Korea?

Let’s go to the figure skating! 

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Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir in PyeongChang (Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Specifically, NBC’s putting the hosting duties in the  hands of its enfant terrible skating analystsTara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. The duo, who’ve pulled no punches while pulling on their best sequinned outfits during two weeks of Olympics coverage, will be joined by the third and more reserved leg of NBC’s figure skating broadcasting team, Terry Gannon.

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“I’m honored and excited to be hosting the Closing Ceremony with my reserved, understated broadcast partners Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir,” Gannon said in a statement in which his tongue was clearly planted firmly in his cheek.

“This is a glorious and unexpected experience that I can’t wait to get fancy for!” said Weir.

Lipinski and Weir, seen here during the pairs short program on Feb. 14, both skated in the Olympics (she won a gold medal).They know their stuff and aren’t afraid of speaking their minds, which could make Sunday night’s Closing Ceremony onn NBC must-see TV. 

Indeed, this just might be the first Olympic opening or closing ceremony where the hosts’ outfits put the Parade of Nations costumes to shame. And, considering NBC had to apologize for an Asia expert’s on-air remark made during its Opening Ceremony broadcast, why wouldn’t they try a different approach?

“The Closing Ceremony is the after-party at the Olympics,” said Jim Bell, president of NBC Olympics Production and Programming.“It’s the moment when the athletes and the host city can all finally relax and have some fun.”

That fun starts at 8 p.m. Sunday on NBC. But if you just can’t wait that long, NBC will live stream the Closing Ceremony from  PyeongChang for authenicated users beginning Sunday at 6 a.m. 

The live stream will be Tara and Johnny-free. It features what NBC calls “the event’s natural sound,” which means no commentary.

Which really means no fun.

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