The Olympics may be over but that doesn’t mean Team USA can quit Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski.
That’s why Access Hollywood will bring the duo back before television audiences, but this time the former figure skaters will shift the focus of their candid critiques from gold medals to gold statues – as in Oscars.
Weir and Lipinski will provide fashion critiques of the celebrity-studded Academy Awards from a tower posted above the red carpet, the entertainment show confirmed Tuesday to TODAY.com. They also will be featured on Access Hollywood Live and taped episodes later this week, as well as on Monday's shows, which will include segments recorded at the Oscars on Mar. 2.
Lipinski and Weir's rookie turn as Olympic figure skating commentators for NBC was arguably one of the highlights of the 2014 Winter Games, as the on-air chemistry between the two former Olympic skaters won them legions of fans. (Access Hollywood is produced and distributed by NBCUniversal Television Distribution.)
Access Hollywood executive producer Rob Silverstein said he expects the pair to bring the same wit and clever commentary they demonstrated in Sochi, Russia, to the red carpet of the Oscars on Sunday night.
"They have this rapport. They can finish each other sentences — and they’ve only worked together for two weeks basically," he said. "I think that’s what you’ll see."
On Wednesday, Access Hollywood will tape its first segment with the duo, following them as they select their outfits for the big night.
"There's going to be a lot of outfit coordination discussions," Lipinski told TODAY.com.
Lipinski said the best part of her new gig will be partnering up again with Weir.
"Wherever we go from here, it’s fun to work together and I think that’s our comfort zone," she said. "Going to the Oscars, it’s so glamorous and exciting. Sochi was a lot of hard work, and not that this won’t be, but it’s going to be also a lot of fun."
During their two weeks in Sochi, Russia, Lipinski and Weir earned just as much attention for their splashy wardrobe as they did for their candid, detailed commentary.
Weir posted daily Instagram photos of his fabulous wardrobe while at the Winter Games. His choices included colorful blazers, a sparkling array of accessories and four fur coats.
Access Hollywood decided to add Weir and Lipinski to their Oscar coverage after the show's anchor, Billy Bush, covered Weir while in Sochi. The two took TODAY on a fishing trip in the Black Sea but they also sat down for a lengthy, more serious discussion about Weir’s background.
“In the middle of the interview, Billy just said, ‘You and Tara are covering Oscar fashion for us,’” Silverstein said. “I said, this is a fantastic idea, and the next day, we had them signed.”
Silverstein said he then watched “everybody jump on the Johnny and Tara bandwagon” as the former figure skaters showed off their knowledge of their sport and their flair for fashion while taking command in the broadcast booth.
“Their authenticity is what sells. They say what’s on their mind, but they’re not mean spirited,” he said. “We’re not looking for them to be mean, we’re looking for them to be honest.”
TODAY.com editor Vidya Rao contributed to this report.