Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SWTS: Spectacular! Weirvelous! Totally Sparkly! So Want To See (More)!

OK, this is the show I really want to see.
"Johnny." Every night on ABC. :)

But until I have my JWe-TV (all Johnny all the time because too much is never enough etc. etc. need to start working on a network theme song BTW which clearly must include the line, "bunnies frolicking across a beautiful meadow..."), I will happily watch the "Meet Johnny Weir" intro piece from SWTS over and over and over. Except that the only place I can find it thus far is on Gawker.tv, a site kind enough to actually post the video, but who thoughtlessly failed to provide an embed code. (Dear ABC: Once again your watches appear to be set on geologic time. Did no one sit down and gently explain to you about Johnny's fans and our need to instantly mainline all pics/vids as soon as they have been captured, even if they're just blurry plixi uploads?) So if you need me, I'll be spending the day over there where they also have the video of his Poker Face performance...

OK then! Wow! We made it through the first episode of SWTS and no skate blades sliced any femoral arteries or anything. So yay!

And actually, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The production values were better than I expected, the routines were fun to watch, I found myself actually rooting for everybody because I am amazed at the risks--both physical and career-wise--these celebs have willingly assumed in order to do this show, and (except for the extraordinarily long commercial break about
three-quarters of the way through in which I finally looked up from texting absolutely everyone I've ever met and wondered if I had somehow accidentally changed the channel because where the hell was my SHOW), the episode really moved along rather briskly and all of a sudden it was over! Time to race to the computer to spend hours NOT being able to vote at ABC.com because according to their watches of course it was only half-past Precambrian--plenty of ice ages to go before they realized maybe their servers were on overload and they ought to FIX THEM. But at least I was able to vote immediately from every available phone in the house--four different cell phones and a land line--and yes, I spent all my votes on #TeamDenis!

OK, let's talk about that for a minute. Denis was absolutely superb, totally my fav among the pros. And I can see why they paired him with Sean, one of the weakest skaters on the show. Because only Denis, with his experience, strength, artistry, confidence, and sheer talent, could make the two of them seem flowing and elegant and in sync. But kudos to Sean: She's damn gutsy to be doing this at age 51.

I actually liked all the couples, though I thought Vince Neil was even less steady on skates than Sean. And I was really surprised at the harsh scores from all the judges for Bethenny Frankel. I'm not a Bethenny fan, but I did enjoy her and Ethan's performance and am kinda puzzled by the super-low marks. But then, as my Twitter friend @patinaglace noted, it wouldn't be figure skating without a judging controversy... (at least the math--BIG NUMBERS ON HANDHELD PADDLES LOL--was fairly simple to follow, though how the judges' scores combine with the audience votes and translate into the results smacks a bit more of the square root of the USFSA...).

Loved Tanith. Vernon Kay: Not so much.

But the highlight of the show was, of course, Johnny. From his brief intro piece, to his comments to the contestants, to his Poker Face performance (on that little teeny tiny rink OMG), he was dazzling. As always. He did seem a bit nervous to me--but then, I'm used to BGJW and all the unbridled warm crazy that goes on there. I know he mentioned in one of the AMA interviews (don't know which one! too many to keep track of!) that he was aware that this is ABC and Disney and family-friendly, and I think that may have accounted for some nerves.

Anyway: I was so excited when the show FINALLY got started!

And then there he was.

And it was like this whole year flashed before my eyes: Discovering Johnny via a random tweet of his Festa '09 Poker Face; Nationals and the fur freakout; frantically reading everything I could find to catch up on his entire career; Olys and the unbelievably appalling scores for which I still have no words; Dorothy Hamill's voice breaking when she had to ask him about those idiot comments; his press conference; withdrawal from Worlds; lots of red carpets; Russia; Skate for Hope; Japan; Dirty Love!; AIDS/LifeCycle; his year-off announcement, tweeting from his hotel in the middle of the night that he hoped his fans weren't disappointed in him; Lake Placid; more Japan; All That Skate; HRC Visibility Award; rumors about some Skating With the Stars show...

Is it wrong that all of a sudden, when I saw him, I got a little teary?

Because there he was, on a major network, in prime time, starring on a show that follows the number-one show in the entire country, poised and perfect and beautiful and funny, for all the rest of America and the world to fall in love with.

After one of the most wrenchingly bitter disappointments of his life some months ago--now he's here.

Wow. Just wow.

Mysterious ways. Who would have thought that NOT winning the gold would have opened so many doors for him?

So, so proud to be his fan.

And I'm just one in a number that keeps growing exponentially and way way faster than ABC could possibly keep up with, given that they're all still standing around wondering where the tech services guy is. Just since last night, he's gained 300+ followers on Twitter and another 300+ on Facebook. I'm pretty sure he's the number-one draw to keep viewers coming back for more on SWTS.

And that's not just my opinion. I leave you with a small sample of the Twitter feed from last night to roll around in while we wait for next week's episode (click for a more readable view):

Catch the next episode of Skating With the Stars
this coming Monday, November 29,
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 reserve your VIP tickets today with this form!

Please remember to check out
Johnny's new official website!
It debuted last week 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!

Special holiday offer!
In exchange for a donation to Toys for Tots,
Trish Aaron-Misiura will send you one handmade,
Johnny-inspired Christmas ornament! More info here!

Please vote for Johnny as "Must-Follow Personality"
in the Fourth Annual Mashable Awards!
To vote, enter "@JohnnyGWeir" in the box after "I nominate,"
and then choose "Must-Follow Personality"
from the pull-down menu.
You can vote once a day until Monday, November 29!
The top five in each category will advance
to the finalists' round, which begins December 1.

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


germansoulmate said...

*rolls around in tweets* Yes. Yes. That´s fun and I haven´t even watched the show. Just Pokerface which I found amazing given the tiny space on which he could perform it.

Hopefully, TPTB finally glean what a treasure they could have with Johnny.

Maggie St. said...

"Who would have thought that NOT winning the gold would have opened so many doors for him?"

I think this at least once a week.

Totally amazed and thrilled with how far Johnny has come this year. I'm so happy that I am simply along for the ride (even though Tara has called perpetual shotgun).

Anonymous said...


Your blog made me teary again and its still early in the day-lol! I also got teary last night seeing Johnny starring on a prime time show. I had a similar flashback type feeling - for me its been about 10 years of watching him climb to this spot, his highs and lows in his years of skating, growing up from an adorable kid of 16 to a man of 26, his last Olympics and all the craziness it brought, this Olympics and everything since that you mentioned...so glad for him. Johnny has given so much to us through his beautiful skating and the way he is as a person. So glad the world is finally ready to embrace Johnny Weir - he deserves this and I just wish him and the show the best! ♥


Anonymous said...

I've rarely been so proud in my life than I was of Johnny last night. His poise, his grace, his humor, his confidence in the face of an exciting and probably a little scary new life. This is something we should all be proud of. Proud to be his fans. Proud to have supported him though one of the most difficult times of his life to emerge as "an upcoming pop culture icon." Those are big words, but I'll tell you, he is going to fill them out.

Congradulations, Johnny. You've got this in the bag (in a bag, in another bag, in a Balenciaga bag, under a Louis Vuitton bag...)

-Jessica Lane

PumaJ said...

Johnny's Pokerface skate was much more dynamic and fabulous in real life than what the TV audience got to see. Those of us in the studio audience got see the real life skate twice. Either something was lost due to the camera angles used when filming, or there was some very subtle editing that disrupted the flow and power of the televised skate.

Over all, the skating from all of the celebrities was pretty darned good. I give each and every one of them tons of kudos for bravery and courage. MM, I totally agree woth you about Dennis. He made Sean look good. Most of us I. The audience were stunned by the low scores given to Bethany, for she skated much better than a couple of others who were scored higher. Kind of like the Olympics....

I think the Canadian show, " Battle of the Blades", had a far more powerful presentation in terms of filming, size of the rink, and set design.

All of that being said, I totally loved being in the audience seeing Johnny as one of the judges. His comments were some of the best.

julie98 said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Debora Walsh said...

Another in a long line of brilliant blog posts, Binky...You've captured my thoughts on last night's event completely (I was squeeing so hard they shot out of my head and headed West, I guess!)
I was blown away by how much each of these competitors was able to accomplish in only five weeks and was shocked the routines were as good as they were! Loved watching Denis & Sean, and your description of their dynamic is spot on. Knowing that I would be splayed out on the ice like an overgrown and aged Bambi gives me a deep appreciation for the celebs who are risking a lot out there!

Johnny’s judging was great since in his criticisms he pointed out where technique improvements could be made and how the celeb’s personality could be better exhibited. I think if viewers seriously listen to the comments by Dick Button, they’ll get over his…mmm…delivery?? His critiques were all valid, and like Johnny, he knows the sport and the skill inside & out. Both he and Johnny were appreciative of the efforts and the difficulties, but ultimately, the competitors are there for a reason and constructive criticism can only help. I remember Johnny saying once, he wasn’t suspect of one of the scores he got, he just wanted to know what the judges saw so that he could analyze and be able to improve. However; I was a tad taken aback by “the girdle” remark…it prompted confused looks back and forth, and the sound of crickets my living room.

The production values were high quality and I liked that you got to know a bit of each pro & celeb’s history. I’m not digging on the host too much, but it was just the first show…They should definitely have Tanith in the kiss & cry with him.


It’s hard to write about how proud and happy I was for him last night. Like you, my husband and I watched him last night and remembered the first time we accidently saw him fly across our TV screen at ’04 Nationals. I had never seen any skater so beautifully realize a piece of music…and then he continued to do it at every subsequent performance. There are many talented skaters, all deserve their place in the sun…but there is a transcendent quality to Johnny that just elevates him. I’m glad that he spoke of his love for his craft, for the inherent beauty and grace in figure skating. The appreciation of those things and the desire to have that come through a program requires a thoughtful, cultured intelligence and respect for physical expression, which I think shines through him, in both his talent and his personality.
I’m glad ABC has given everyone the opportunity to experience him, and to appreciate figure skating, and perhaps elevate them a bit along the way into a more artistic frame of mind.
I apologize for being so long-winded but your blog is just wonderful; unfortunately it pulls so many things out of me I CAN”T STOP!!!! Thanks for listening!

Nancy Knisley said...

I can understand if Johnny was worried about saying something on live national network TV that wasn't family friendly (which would have made The Quotable Johnny Weir, for sure but...), and was trying really hard to watch what he said.

But how much more family friendly (and still blog-worthy) could he get than "bunnies frolicking across a beautiful meadow"?!

And as I said last night on Twitter and Facebook, that version of Poker Face was the most family friendly of any performance I've seen yet. New fans who haven't seen the other version need to see the dirti...um...more uninhibited versions.

I sure admired the celebrities for being willing to skate on national TV after skating for only five weeks. I took skating lessons as a young adult, and I know how hard skating--and the ice--is.

As far as scoring, I'm having difficulty understanding why some skaters received the scores they did. The only thing I can think about Bethenny's, which did surprise me, was that while the lifts were good, the actual on-the-ice footwork wasn't. Maybe.

Novia said...

I was blown over all over again looking at that huge, Queen of Heart collar--gaped, drow-jawed, just stared unbelieving and with some worry when the whole structure started to sway, but isn't it just wildly terrific? Then he shed it, all the while still skating to the music and I screamed, it's too much to process. The costume underneath it is beautiful, like star-sprinkled midnight. And then he jumped, and there's a lump in my throat and by the end of it I was teary.

He rejuvenated my love for him, my pride in him all over again with that outstanding performance. I feel like that girl who first stumbled into him on a friend's journal and then fell headlong and breathlessly in love.

Thank you for describing the sensation, the triumphant feel it gave.

And the twitter love tsunami is a thing of absolute joy.

Cristina said...

FROM PAOLA SECONDIN: Thanks BB for this fabulous blog, WOOOOOW, I've just read it and saw the photos of Johnny's and I went to see his promo and his FANTASTIC performance videos on Gawker.tv, and I'm in tears, really!!!! He was amazing last night on SWTS, I'm so proud of him and so happy he gained 3oo+followers on Twitter plus 3oo+followers on Facebook after only one episode, what a big SUCCESS for him, I'm very happy all Americans have the chance to see and LOVE him, WOW, it's all so great!!!! Thanks again BB, without you I couldn't see nothing of SWTS here in Italy! God bless you and your blog! And Johnny of course!!!!! :) Love, Paola. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

WheresMyKoppy said...

Once again MM, great Blog! You said it very well, and I couldn't say it any better! It is absolutely true about all the opportunities that have opened up for Johnny since he came in sixth at the Olympics. There's more than one reason for that; it's partly few think he deserved his placing, partly how he handled it publicly, partly how he handled the comments about him, partly other things, partly because he's the wonderful, fabulous JOhnny Weir!

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

YAY! just stopped reading and ran directly over to Gawker to play those vids a few thousand times! ty, MM!

so happy for him and happy that tons of new people are falling in love with him, too. Go, Johnny! ♥

aaaack said...

To know him is to love him, and we love him. Network TV will multiply that exponentially. There are still many pockets of people who were AWOL during the Olympics and have never discovered Johnny. Just the other day I ran into someone who asked "who?" and had the pleasure of making an introduction.

I'm wondering if the low scores were due to the judges' knowing something that we don't know...say, about her potential for injury or being separated from family. Might it be something about "this person wants/needs elsewhere"?

aaaack said...

Interesting contestants...

Sean Young, when young, studied at the School of American Ballet. I know her from the cult science fiction movie Blade Runner, where she plays a replicant. Here's a scene where she plays a very humanlike "porno robot" opposite Harrison Ford http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9KAqhbIZ7o

Here's Jonny Moseley furthering his sport yet creating his own judging controversy at the 2002 Olympics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkeMYR-QeUU

akiko said...

Binky, thank you for another beautiful blog. As it happened to you, reflecting all the long and winding road to Johnny's appearing as a judge at SWTS, my eyes were filled. I'm grateful to the fate for having me live in the same time as Johnny, and you Binky, and all the FB friends, with whom I can share all--expectation, excitement, pleasure, satisfaction, disappointment, anger, sadness, happiness, hope--concerning Johnny.