Winter Olympics Begin, Tara Lipinski & Johnny Weir Square Off in ‘Lip Sync Battle,’ Olivia & Jake Face Off in ‘Scandal’
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
The Winter Olympics (8/7c, NBC): The official Opening Ceremonies won’t air until Friday, but the games have already begun in a frigid PyeongChang, South Korea. Luckily for U.S. viewers, the 14-hour time difference means many of the games’ morning events will air live during prime time, though expect copious packaging of prior events as well over the next two-plus weeks. The marquee attraction on this and many other nights will be Figure Skating, starting with men’s and pairs short programs, which will give many fans an early glimpse of 18-year-old U.S. medal hopeful Nathan Chen. Also on tap: qualifying rounds in Freestyle Skiing, including men’s and women’s moguls.
Lip Sync Battle (10/9c, Paramount Network): Flamboyant tag team Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir have been promoted this year to lead analysts for Figure Skating at the Winter Games, but before heading to South Korea, these masters of self-promotion recently engaged in a little friendly rivalry. They lip sync for their lives—or at least their reputations—in a new episode of the just-for-laughs competition series, with Lipinski taking on Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” while Weir gives My Heart Will Go On the full Celine Dion.
Scandal (9/8, ABC): The Shondaland crazy train will go into storage for the next few weeks in deference to the Olympics, but first, Olivia (Kerry Washington) reacts badly to President Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) decision to replace her as Chief of Staff with Jake (Scott Foley). Who’ll come out on top in this battle for power? In other news, a very much alive Quinn (Katie Lowes)—as if you ever doubted it—is understandably getting restless about taking her and baby Robin out of Rowan’s (Joe Morton) allegedly safe house, which feels more like a prison.
Inside Thursday TV: Yes, that’s Jensen Ackles’ wife Danneel Ackles on The CW’s Supernatural (8/7c), playing Sister Jo, a faith healer who strikes a deal with Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) while Team Winchester is on the hunt for the elusive devil. … A new contest touting surgical innovation is underway among the staff of Grey Sloan on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (8/7c), and with April (Sarah Drew) in charge, how could it possibly go wrong? … Fox’s The Four: Battle for Stardom (8/7c) crowns its #1 singer, but for those of us who couldn’t make it through even one episode (let alone four) of this dud, will we ever hear again from the winner? … Bravo’s Top Chef (9/8c) is already nearing the finals, but before the remaining chefs head to Telluride, they face a nightmarish Quickfire challenge at the Stanley Hotel (which inspired Stephen King’s The Shining) and an elimination challenge at Governor John Hickenlooper’s mansion.