Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Special to the Blog: Interview With Denis Petukhov! (And Right Back Atcha, Bethenny...)

Many thanks to @ler_che on Twitter for this screen cap
from last night's SWTS, which she titled
"Strict judge Johnny Weir."

Johnny critiques the performance
of Jonny Moseley and Brooke Castile.
I especially like this screen cap because of his nails. :)

Well, what a night. I was really bummed to have to say goodbye to Denis Petukhov and Sean Young. Sigh. Here I was all poised to vote for them on every available phone, and then--wham. What a letdown. Although I have to say that I thought Jonny and Brooke, Brandon and Keauna, and Rebecca and Fred all did brilliantly.

I also thought the show had better and more consistent energy than last week; I loved seeing Tanith out of her "nest" and handling the interviews so well; but I'm still not a fan of Vernon. At all.

And then there was this:

Way to stay classy, Bethenny.

And thus she set the tone for her fans and their Dark and Evil Apocalyptic Conspiracy Theory TwitterFest that followed last night's episode. The huge outcry over Bethenny's scores started a week ago and then really went into overdrive last night--and for some reason was mostly aimed at Johnny even though all three judges scored Bethenny similarly both weeks. Apparently Johnny is OUT TO GET BETHENNY because he's JILL ZARIN'S BEST FRIEND and JILL ZARIN CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE and MUST BE STOPPED before she and Johnny can RELEASE THE HIDEOUS MUTATING RAY OF DEATH. Or something.

You know, normally I stay as far away from stuff like this as is humanly possible without slipping into a parallel dimension. But I just couldn't stop myself from engaging briefly. So here we go:

(Oh. I see. Now you're saying it's a conspiracy? So it's NOT just Johnny? Even though all the vitriol is aimed solely at him?)

All righty then.

Imma just set these facts down here and tiptoe quietly away:

So Laurie Ann thought Bethenny was better in both categories this week; Dick thought she improved technically but not artistically; and Johnny thought she improved artistically but not technically.

But facts could not quell the Twitter hysteria, which reached such a crescendo that Johnny finally tweeted this:

And then he got on a plane to Australia.

By the time he lands it will be Wednesday there--two days and nearly 8,000 miles from Monday. Sounds good to me. I hope he has a wonderful time and a fabulous show in Melbourne! (and also maybe has time to post a twitpic or two ...).


In the meantime, we must cope with the loss of Denis and Sean from the show. Denis was kind enough to answer some questions via email for the blog (yes, he's just that cool! Thank you so much, Denis!), so here is his interview--although I know we're all hoping we haven't seen the last of him on SWTS ... (For more on Denis and Melissa, their beautiful love story, and their skating career, please visit their Wikipedia page and their gorgeous new website!)

What was it like to be competing again ... even though it's a TV show, and it's probably not quite the same as having Melissa for your partner ...?
It felt very different, but the spirit of competition was still there! This is a great show, and Melissa and I hope that it helps highlight us as teachers and entertainers as well as skaters.

1999 "Golden Spin of Zagreb." Discuss.
Golden Spin is an ISU international competition in Zagreb, Croatia. I won this competition in 1999. And Melissa and I have talked about this event since she was in Zagreb a few weeks earlier for the Junior World Championships, but fate was not ready for us to meet yet! Ironic how our paths seemed to have always missed each other until we met the next year, in 2000 ...

So, what's Melissa been doing while you've been on the show?
She is very busy! She is a great expert; she choreographs programs; she is directing our own entertainment events; and she's been helping with SWTS. She received an award from the US Olympic Committee for our program in Hartford, Connecticut, called "Fever on Ice," which fuses academics and physical education through ice skating. Please check it out at
www.eduskating.com! She also has been doing some commentating for IceNetwork as well as SWTS correspondent reports on our YouTube channel, OlympianUncut.

You're an amazing choreographer who has created programs for other elite skaters, including Johnny Weir and Evgeni Plushenko. Did you choreograph your and Sean's routines for the show?
No, I primarily concentrated on training Sean and finetuning the routines we were given. Cindy Stuart and Doug Webster have choreographed our programs, and we've had great fun working with them!

How in the HELL have you coped with that tiny rink???
It's great! Melissa and I have done performances at Rockefeller Center for the Today Show and other events, so I am quite used to transferring skating routines to all different-sized rinks.

What has been the most surprising thing about the show for you?
I would say the set, and the amazing job that the producers have done. It is absolutely breathtaking, and we hope that it goes into season 2!

Did you really feel like a frolicking bunny during the first episode?
To be honest, bunnies were probably the last thing that was on my mind at that moment!

Denis, you were one of the best parts of SWTS, and a class act all the way. We'll miss you.

And so, for anyone who has never seen it, or who needs to see it again (and again and again), I leave you with this stunning performance by Denis, Melissa, and Johnny, called "Fallen Angels."

The next episode of Skating With the Stars
airs next Monday, December 6,
at 8 pm EST / 7 pm CST!
Don't miss it!

Yes! There are still VIP meet-n-greet tickets available
for Holiday Dreams on Ice,
the spectacular December 11 show starring Johnny
and hosted by Perani Ice Arena in Flint, Michigan!
The meet-n-greet is limited to just 50 guests,
so reserveVIP tickets today with this form!

Please remember to check out
Johnny's new official website!
It debuted recently to many rave reviews
on Twitter and Facebook,
so be sure to take a look around!
Love the intro page with the Swan photo
and handwritten note from Johnny. :)

Designer T. Rains and Johnny have teamed up to raise money and awareness for The Trevor Project! This organization is "determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources." Proceeds from the "Army of One" t-shirt sales will go to The Trevor Project foundation. Order yours today! Your support is greatly appreciated!
For more information, please visit www.thetrevorproject.org.

Yes! You can own a fine art print of Johnny
perfect for any/every room in the house!
Prints of artist Peter Jurik's "Showtime!"
are available for purchase from his website.
More info here!

Here it comes: Johnny's quarter-century memoir,
Welcome to My World, will be available
January 11, 2011--that's just two months away!
You can preorder it now on Amazon!

Please remember to register to receive
the JW Art Project's email newsletter!
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the Artbook when you sign up!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


-K said...

Good lord. Of course I can understand wanting to defend your favorite celebrity, as we've done for Johnny. But I hope that he can always be as proud of his fans as we are of him. The insults and name-calling are a bit out of control with these Bethenny fans.

I think she would gain a lot more respect from the judges if she would actually skate, even if she fell. Kudos to her for doing all those lifts but the rest of the time she just stands on the ice or glides on two feet. Not much the judges can do with that! Maybe Johnny should give her some of his trademark "Don't be afraid to fall" wisdom :)

Thanks for the interview with Denis (LOL at the bunnies!), he was so great on the show and certainly did show himself to be a wonderful teacher and entertainer. I would LOVE to see him & Melissa skate on the show! Or anytime!!

germansoulmate said...

Great blog. Love it.

Anonymous said...

MM- do not get the Betthany fans either! I understand they support Betthany but they dont have to be so mean and insane. It is a judging competition after all, thats what he is supposed to do...you know...JUDGE!!! They can defend their so-called-hero without stepping so hard on mine.

Its also out of line. Johnny is totally being fair! In all honesty, I was judging along with him and we had very similar opinions on scores. So whatever they are talking about, I hope in some way it raises the viewership and Johnny doesnt get too bothered by it. We have his back if he needs it, always. #JohnnyWeirRocksSWTS ♥♥♥


julie98 said...

Way to defend our boy MM!!

So typical of conspiracy theorists to plainly ignore the facts.


Maggie St. said...

Conspiracy Theory?
Maybe we should have Jesse Ventura look into this!

WheresMyKoppy said...

Loved the interview with Denis! Maybe we'll see Johnny guest star in their show?

YOu did better than I did, MM when you emailed those clowns. That one LynnNChicago was all over the place saying ridiculous things. I just had a horrible thought...I Know a Lynn (old time Boitano pal) in Chicago... Please tell me it isn't you and you aren't that ignorant! Anyway you got out of them both how really, what's the word I'm looking for, sad they are?

I went to LynnNChicago's twitter, and I can not tell if it's the gal I used to know. I don't think so, but I just realized she's the obssessed person who writes the 'I Hate Jill Zarin' blog.

LOL Maggie! I just saw your comment! Yes, let's have Jesse look into this on 'Conspiracy Theory'!

aaaack said...

Great blog by Melissa Gregory http://www.youtube.com/user/OlympianUncut#p/a/u/0/qY3OIQYXQ-o She'd make a great future judge or pro partner, too.

akiko said...

Denis's exclusive interview!! Binky, you're so great!! Next time Johnny's exclusive interview for your blog, please!!

Two weeks of SWTS were amazing for me. I hadn't even known the program and I had known only Johnny, Denis, Sean and Tanith. Sean and Denis were impressive, Tanith looked like a wise and beautiful princess from a certain fairy tale, and Johnny was so cool both on and off the ice.

For me and many Japanese Johnny's fans, forever, Bethenny will be an American reality-show star with no class but with a baby and a lot of ridiculous fans. These are the only things we know about her (seeing the vid of her practice, all of us would think, "Oh, what a b**ch!")!

Except that, I was really impressed by the stars who skated so beautifully. It's a shame Sean and Denis won't come back to the ice!

PumaJ said...

Guess there was more fog in my brain than I realized last week from the cold I had. I completely missed this blog:-(

Anyway, Melissa and Denis are such beautiful skaters:-) I enjoyed seeing Denis on SWTS, he was an absolute gentleman with Sean. Sean was quite the trooper.

Melissa and Denis have been good friends to Johnny for many years, which is very obvious in "Fallen Angels". The three of them skate together with a great deal of ease to create what I find to be a very mesmerizing and beautiful skate. Thank you, Binx for the interview and the vid:-)