Todd Eldredge totally disses Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek in this Denver Post article (also, after writing that sentence, I realized I am still in fifth grade). First, Eldredge answers the question of what does skating need:
"It needs a Jeremy Abbott, a Brandon Mroz," Eldredge said. "It needs a new, young, fresh face that not only can go out and be endearing to the audience but consistent and be a champion and do well and stay in."
Then he goes on to say Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir are unlikely candidates. I cannot tell if he means they are unlikely candidates to make skating more popular, or unlikely candidates to win the Olympics. And then he says this:
"They're so concerned with their own persona as opposed to the crowd, bringing in the crowd," Eldredge said. "When I watch them skate, they don't bring me into their performance. They need to do that."
Oooh no he di-in't. Actually, I am sure many people agree with Eldredge. I am going to beg to dif-fah since I have not seen all these skaters in an arena. First of all, Abbott and Mroz have not demonstrated any more consistency than Lysacek and Weir have, to this point (and Abbott is the same age as Lysacek so it's not because he's super young or something).
As far as "bringing in the crowd," I think Abbott is very special on the ice in that respect (at least, that's how he appears on tv). Mroz is not quite at that level yet for me but he is exciting to watch - however, I would never make the argument that he plays a crowd better than Lysacek or Weir, and I'm surprised that Eldredge is kind of saying that. I can't comment on that "persona" thing; I think a case can be made that most skaters are concerned about their persona but that doesn't necessarily keep them from connecting with a crowd.
It can be argued that Abbott and Mroz will be more competitive than Lysacek and Weir next year, but the comments seem a bit presumptious to me. But Eldredge obviously knows a lot more about skating and performing than I do, so maybe he's right.