While the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China begin on Friday (Feb. 4), a few winter sports got an early jump on the international event. This year, NBC viewers were treated to Olympic ice dancing on Thursday night (Feb. 3), just a few hours ahead of the proper opening ceremony at the Beijing Games.
While figure skating (a solo competition sport) is still on the docket for 2022, early viewers got a glimpse of the pairs facing off in ice dancing on Thursday night – and Team USA did not come to play. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States demonstrated their ice dancing rhythm to the foreign nation, burning the competition while getting a little nasty on ice. Which is to say, the U.S. duo performed a medley of Janet Jackson songs during the rhythm dancing portion of the ice dancing competition in Beijing. Hubbell and Donohue, operating in tightly choreographed tandem, brought precision and flair to a program that covered Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” (a No. 3 Hot 100 hit off Control), “Rope Burn” (a NSFW non-single off The Velvet Rope) and “Rhythm Nation” (a No. 2 hit from Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814).
Earning 48.50 in the technical category and 38.06 in the component category (with zero deductions), Hubbell and Donohue walked away with a score of 86.56, giving them the top score of the rhythm dancing portion of the competition, potentially paving the way for America to nab a medal in ice dancing.
Check out some of Hubbell and Donohue’s tribute to Janet Jackson below.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 4, 2022
Olympics aside, it’s been a busy 2022 for Janet Jackson so far. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s recent documentary, simply titled Janet Jackson, drew 15.7 million viewers on Lifetime and A&E, and also teased a new song from the legendary chart-topper.