Male Gaze: Jason Brown, Charismatic Figure Skater and Prince Devotee

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Jason Brown of the United States competes during the Figure Skating Men's Free Skating on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Streeter Lecka

With the Olympics in full swing, the past few days have brought male figure skaters the most attention they've seen in a while. Russian favorite Evgeni Plushenko withdrew and announced his last-minute retirement; Johnny Weir’s been killing it with his statement fashion pieces; and U.S. skater Jeremy Abott face-planted spectacularly, creating the internet’s favorite sports GIF of the moment. But the latest, and arguably the best, revelation to come out of Sochi is the discovery of Jason Brown, the 19-year-old figure skater from Illinois who warmed his way into the audience’s hearts last night with a particularly artistic program choreographed to Prince’s “The Question of U” (which he performed while wearing a purple velvet number with Prince's Love Symbol bedazzled in rhinestones on the back.) The breakout star is known among figure-skating insiders for his charisma, grace, and spirited enthusiasm (see his Instagram), and despite finishing sixth after yesterday’s short program, is still a viable contender to medal in Sochi. The men’s figure-skating finals air tonight on NBC, and Brown will skate to the timeless crowd-pleaser “Riverdance” — the same program that earned him a standing ovation at U.S. Nationals last month.