Friday, August 24, 2012

"Johnny Weir Can Skate a Little."

Johnny unveils Poker Face for the very first time 
at the VMAN Magazine launch party, 
NYFW, Feb. 2009. VMAN blogged about 
his "bravura performance" in a brief piece titled,
"Johnny Weir Can Skate a Little."

It was a program born out of one of the darker times in his career, after a disastrous 2009 Nationals and subsequent controversial snub by USFS, who left him off the Worlds team despite having sent him to Worlds every year since 2003.

Initially thrown together in two days for the VMAN party, his Poker Face exhibition program in all its various incarnations--most notably Festa 09 and US Nationals 2010--went on to become, especially to newer fans, his signature piece, virtually synonymous with the name "Johnny Weir."

And now, as he embarks on what fans hope is a triumphant return to competitive ice, it is Poker Face, in a sort of poetic justice, that will lead the way, as was announced yesterday from Champs Camp:

Away from competitive skating for two seasons, three-time U.S. champion and World medalist Johnny Weir is back. Although Weir promised a more “classic Johnny, very pretty with classical music” program for his free skate, he admitted he is going to push the envelope with his short program.

"My short program is 'Poker Face' by Lady Gaga, and Gaga herself actually gave me the piece of music so I was very excited about that," Weir said. "Even if she's not crazy tweeting about me all the time, her and her family wanted to support my comeback and what better way than to use her music."

When he says, "Gaga herself actually gave me the piece of music," he doesn't mean she just handed him a copy of Poker Face. What she did is create a unique arrangement of the song solely for him, for his comeback. And what he did is create new competition-ready choreography to go with it that we can't wait to see, because whatever it is, the program--described as "pure athletic entertainment"--earned him at least one Level 4 from the rumored to be rather fussy Champs Camps judges on Wednesday.

This isn't the first time he's taken an exhibition program and made it competition-worthy. His 2005 exhibition, Yunona I Avos, became the music for his short program in 2008--the year he was the only American to medal at Worlds.

In December 2009, a new Twitter friend tweeted me a link to his Festa 09 Poker Face with the comment: "Johnny Weir is amazing!"

As he skated across my screen, I had to agree. Of course now I know that his programs throughout his career have been sublimely beautiful, but at that moment, all I could think was: Who knew figure skating could be THIS?

I was instantly, absolutely, totally mesmerized.

Just exactly how I expect I'll be when I see him skate his new Poker Face in competition this fall. :D

UPDATE: More from Johnny on Poker Face and his Champs Camp experience in this new Ice Network article!

In Other Champs Camp News...

Ice Network, I Love You But What Are You Doing... We're now up to THREE Ice Network photo galleries from Champs Camp, and remarkably there is not ONE SINGLE PHOTO of Johnny, a feat that heretofore I would have considered impossible because cameras spontaneously attach themselves to him everywhere he goes, but I now realize this must simply be part of maintaining the bold tradition of Johnny's Champs Camp photo-resistance superpower. Fans were so desperate by yesterday afternoon that we were reduced to squinting at this slightly blurry/grainy photo trying to determine if that's Johnny behind Richard Dornbush and his coach, Tammy Gambill:

The ensuing discussion generally concluded that it sort of looked like his hair and possibly his ear, but we couldn't be sure...

...but we DID find bonus Galina in the background of this shot. Who, one might note, is NOT clad in active sportswear.

From Our No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition Dept.: So we were all just minding our own business last night, by which I mean continuing to complain about the lack of Johnny pics on Ice Network, when this tweet suddenly came out of nowhere:

...and completely stopped us all in our tracks.

It was honestly a stunning moment.

So stunning we were still helplessly flailing over it five hours later.

(My two favorite reactions are here and here. And not only was I compelled to immediately retweet USFS' tweet, I even favorited it [!] AND tweeted [something nice!] back at them. Yes. At U.S. Figure Skating. An entity that up to this point I've always pretty much just written off rather than to because their address is in Mordor.)

I am indeed ecstatic for him to have this support. This is a potentially mutually beneficial partnership that could help spark a real turnaround for his beloved sport, re-energizing long-time fans and drawing many new ones. I'm going to boldly dare to hope that this kind of backing continues throughout the season, and I'm so excited to see where his journey takes us all.

Champs Camp: End of Day 3

I love Kathy Najimy. :D

Just 23 Days Until BGJW Season 2!!

k.d. lang is a fan!!!!

Bonus vids!! Always worth rewatching: 
Johnny's VMAN performance of Poker Face...

...his Festa 09...

...and his Nats 2010.

UPDATE!!! The return of Johnny to our TVs.
Set those DVRs now: New premiere date is
Monday, September 1710 pm EDT / 9 pm CDT 
only on Logo!

Previews!! Johnny with Australian Olympic 
diving champion Matty Mitcham...
International fans: 
Please try this link or this link for the video.

...and Johnny with the ever-fabulous RuPaul.
International fans: 
Please try this link or this link for the video.

Please be sure to read Johnny's fabulous
London 2012 blog entries on! 
Here's a listing of his blog posts (newest first):
My First Impressions of the London Olympic Games
Fierce Competition (and Fashion!) at London Games

More from Johnny's website!! 
He's heading back to Japan in early September 
for Fantasy on Ice! Info here!

Landing quads and kicking ass 
at a Grand Prix event near you!
Read his comeback statement 
on his website!

Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as "Best Sportsman"
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka to tell us 
he wants us to! (Note: With his "58.132" rating, 
he is currently in 1st place in both 
Figure Skating AND across all sports!)

It's not too late! Subscribe now 
and get the entire Johnny Weir perspective, 
including his never-before-heard free skate commentary 
available exclusively on!

Q and A! Go read it now!

with MAC is pretty much sold out, 
but I'm leaving this video on here 
for a little while longer 
because I love it so much.

Yes! Johnny's dresses are now available
for purchase only on!

At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!

Johnny tweeted:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"

You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!

copyright 2012 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Kimberly said...

I just moved to COS and live about a mile up the road from the World Arena...I parked in the parking lot on my way home from work just to see if I could spot any skaters, and guess who I saw...JOHNNY!!! He got out of a taxi with Galina and walked inside. It made my week! Sadly I didn't snap a paparazzi picture for you.

aaaack said...

Am thrilled with the idea of Poker Face for the short program. Epic! Stands out from the crowd.

Thank you, Lady Gaga! Radio
Gaga forever and ever.