Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 1:17 PM
Olympic figure skater and bronze medalist Adam Rippon won’t be joining his fellow Pennsylvania colleagues in analyzing this year’s winter games in Pyeongchang, much to fans’ disappointment. But Monday night, he offered a glimpse of what could have been.
Rippon, a Scranton native, said he declined an offer to join NBC as a correspondent but gave watchers a special treat Monday, joining Saturday Night Live‘s Leslie Jones in a well-received analysis of a short dance routine from Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Rippon and Jones sat alongside gold medalist Scott Hamilton to talk everything from how “fine” sportscaster Terry Gannon is to how much Virtue makes them both feel like “a woman.”
"Are they getting in trouble for how sexy they are?"@lesdoggg and @adaripp commentating on @tessavirtue and @scottmoir's short dance is everything we could have ever wanted. AND MORE. #WinterOlympics https://t.co/fmMl0C4Amf pic.twitter.com/ykkNvv7L5p
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 20, 2018
Some quickly took to social media to comment on their analysis. One user called the back-and-forth “magic” while another requested that the two be given “the third hour of the Today show.”
oh my god what magic is this. Scott Hamilton and Leslie Jones and Adam Rippon. #Olympics
— Kat (@therunningfree) February 20, 2018
Give Adam Rippon and Leslie Jones the third hour of the Today show.
— Grant (@NotSoNiceville) February 18, 2018
Could Rippon be considering joining NBC for the 2022 Winter games in Beijing? It’s too early to say. Though, it’s clear that Rippon isn’t ready to give up his post in the Olympic Village just yet.
Rippon said Sunday that he was “flattered” that the network wanted him to join as a correspondent but had to decline because it would “require [him] to leave Team USA.”
Rippon also said that he found out about NBC’s proposal through the internet.
“I love being on Team USA and representing our country,” he wrote on Twitter. “My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them. I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition.”
I love being on Team USA and representing our country. My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them. I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition. Go Team USA!!!
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 19, 2018
Rippon’s followers were saddened at the possibility of what could have been.
It’s fine I guess. Wasn’t looking forward to you serving looks & dramatic commentary AT ALL… pic.twitter.com/4xYV0qK7Bo
— 퐂퐚퐦퐞퐫퐨퐧 퐁퐥퐚퐤퐞 (@camxgaga) February 19, 2018
This is literally my reaction, as well. And a little of this. pic.twitter.com/wvZN4WYsDg
— Skeletress (@Skeletress) February 19, 2018
NBC announced in a now-deleted statement Sunday that Rippon would be joining the team. An accompanying tweet from the network has also been deleted.
Rippon has gained notoriety during this year’s Olympics not just for his skating, but for being one of the United States’ first openly gay athletes. He’s also known for his internet presence and has gained attention for comments he made about Vice President Pence.
Conservatives on Twitter criticized NBC’s decision to hire Rippon before the skater clarified that he would not be joining the network.
Just wow: While Olympic ratings continue to fall short of previous broadcasts, NBC thought it was a good idea to hire controversial gay skater Adam Rippon who made a name for himself for calling attention to himself by attacking Vice President Mike Pence. https://t.co/EHsXrODigj
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) February 19, 2018