Imagine a professional figure skater coming onto the ice with a mic in hand, singing a cover of a wildly popular song and then immediately skating to the original version. Well, you don’t have to imagine it, because America’s sweetheart Adam Rippon did it in December.
At the 2017-18 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Japan, the openly gay figure skater skated onto the ice, sang a cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” and then proceeded to skate to the song. In an interview with Deadspin, the skater said his original intention was to skate to his own cover, but he decided against it.
“My own experience of singing in front of people was like I had none,” he said in the interview. “But I always like to hear myself in the car, which I know is like that telltale sign of somebody who’s like f—ing awful.”
He gave his final review of his performance to The New York Times: “It wasn’t too bad; wasn’t too good, either.”
Rippon’s performance marked a clear distinction from figure skating performances of the past; not only was he singing his own cover of a song, but he was skating to music with lyrics — something that was not allowed at the Olympics until this year’s games.
The skater has become an overnight sensation after his stunning team skating performance Monday (Feb. 12) at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Rippon did not skate to his own voice, but to Coldplay’s “O (Fly On),” which helped Team USA land a bronze medal in the event.
See Rippon’s full performance of “Diamonds” here: