Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Real "Dude on Skates"

Johnny during his warmup 
before his short program at Finlandia. 
From this incredible gallery by photographer 
zhem_chug on Flickr. Don't miss it!

OK, things are pretty much still Disaster: The Boxed Set (literally. So many boxes. What IS all this crap?) at the Haus of Bink, so I don't have a lot of time to write any words of my own, so today I'm borrowing some from other awesome people whilst I dig through the same boxes for the thousandth time to try to find the glass thingy that goes in the microwave without which I am utterly helpless, and also ponder the Companion Mini-Volume—Greatest Hits: If It's Already in a Box and I Forgot to Label It and I Totally Don't Know What It Is and We've Already Lived a Week Without It, Can It Just Be Donated to Goodwill as Long as We're Sure It's Not Grandpa's Ashes...?

So you may have noticed that there are varying opinions out there re: Johnny's first comeback competition. As usual, some are not worth the effort required to move your eyes across the screen to read them. Personally, I think our friend Jackie Wong at The Examiner (which is not generally my favorite news source, but on the niche topic of figure skating, Jackie is an excellent, knowledgeable, and enjoyable writer) offers the best even-handed summary:

For many, this past weekend was all about the return of three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir, arguably the most recognizable American figure skating in the post-Kwan era. His fourth-place showing at Finlandia Trophy was plenty respectable.

It was no home run, but I don't think Weir himself was looking for Finlandia to be one. It was the first time that I can remember where he put a quad in both programs in the same competition, which was a great step to begin with. The programs are together, and they will be fine tuned as the season continues.

Figure Skater Johnny Weir—
the Real "Dude on Skates"

Translation of an article from Nyt, 
the weekly supplement to Helsingin Sanomat, 
the biggest Finnish newspaper. 
The article also appeared in Nyt's print version last Saturday. 
With many thanks to our translator,
@anotherdream on Twitter!!

[Translator's note: The title of the movie Blades of Glory 
was translated to Finnish as Hokkarihemmot
or roughly, "Dudes on Skates."]

The photo that ran with the online version of the article. 
Caption: "Johnny Weir is one of the best drama queens—
and figure skaters—in the world."

Remember the movie Blades of Glory? The crazy comedy that was recently on TV as well, where two male skaters—macho and sissy—form a scandalous pair?

Yesterday (Friday), the more sensitive of the two characters came alive in Espoo.

The model for one of the main characters in Blades of Glory was American figure skater Johnny Weir, 28. Weir personifies all the male skater clichés: gay, girly, and wearing tight spandex.

Here are three good reasons to be a fan of Weir, who competed in Finlandia Trophy yesterday and even has his own reality-TV series.

1. Weir has drama.

The last time Weir competed was in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. He thought he had skated the free program of his life, but the judges left him in sixth place.

Weir, upset, cried bitter tears in front of the press, put his competitive career on hold, and focused on appearances at celebrity parties and fashion shows. Now he plans to rise back to the top and is beginning his journey in Finland. His music for the short program is, of course, a version of "Poker Face," given to Weir as a present by Lady Gaga herself, and the theme for his free program is a phoenix rising from the ashes. What else.

"Now I'm angry. I will show that I'm a real warrior," Weir said defiantly to Next Magazine. [Not an exact quote.]

Also returning to competition this season is Weir's rival and teammate: Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek. The setup is straight out of Blades of Glory, as Lysacek is known for his masculine, powerful style—rather like Will Ferrell's character, Chazz Michael Michaels.

The two skaters were at odds in 2010, when Weir called Lysacek a "slore," a combination of "slut" and "whore" that Weir thought up himself. Both are now aiming for a spot at the next Winter Olympics in Sochi. The scene is set for a thriller.

2. Weir has style.

Weir is known for his costumes, which he designs himself—and nothing is too much for him. In the early 2000s, he joked to the American press that he wanted to look like a "Care Bear on acid" and "an icicle on coke." In his most famous free program, Weir played the part of a swan, with his own gloved arm taking on the role of its neck and head. Weir named the glove "Camille."

Other creations of his include an oil-cloth corset with pink tassels [for his "I Love You, I Hate You" short program that he skated in the 2010 Olympics], and various furs. He received angry feedback from animal-rights activists in 2010 and quit using fur in his costumes for a time. He has since announced that he does not care about threats and will continue to wear fur for as long as he can afford to.

Off the ice, Weir dresses in, for example, sequined jackets and leather shorts. On his shoulder is an expensive, classic Birkin bag from Hermès.

3. Weir has talent.

Weir only started skating at the age of 12, which is exceptionally late for a competitive skater.

Weir's Wikipedia page claims that he managed an axel during his first week of practice. The axel is considered the most difficult jump in figure skating.

According to coach and figure-skating commentator for YLE [Finnish TV station] Anuliisa Uotila, under all the glitter, Weir is genuinely a top-tier athlete.

"He is a fantastic skater and also a real artist."

Uotila predicts that Weir's return to competition will be exciting.

"Comebacks like this rarely succeed. But if he can reach the level he was at before, he will certainly stand out."

Who on earth is Johnny Weir?

Johnny Weir is a three-time US National Champion, a Junior World Champion, and a Worlds bronze medalist.

His life also is the subject of the reality show Be Good Johnny Weir. The show's film crew was supposed to follow him to Finland, but the trip was cancelled at the last minute.

The highlights of the show's second season [article says "first season," but they mean this season, which is the second] include Weir recording his debut single, "Dirty Love," which made the charts in Japan.

Weir married lawyer Victor Voronov on New Year's Eve 2011. The skater came out of the closet earlier that same year because he wanted to offer support to teenagers who might be contemplating suicide because of their homosexuality.

Weir does not want to go into coaching after his competitive career because it gets too cold standing around at ice rinks. [Or, more precisely, as he told Next Magazine: "I spent so many years freezing my ass off in a cold ice rink I don’t want to be 60 or 70 and still freezing my ass off."]

[Translator's note: The article's tags include "glamor, figure skating, sports, cool people."]

Bonus pics!! Johnny at the press conference 
after his free skate at Finlandia. 
Photo © the amazing Tatiana Edrenkina
(Please click photo twice for an even better 
view of those eyelashes.)

Johnny with the amazing Ninni Fancinelli
who did such a stellar job of keeping Johnny's fans 
around the world updated all weekend! 
Photo tweeted by Ninni: 
"Happy me and happy Johnny :)"

Photo tweeted by wonderful Misha Ge: 
"One the best photo of mine from Finlandia Trophy 
with Fabulous @JohnnyGWeir!"

Travelogue pics posted by the husbands. 
Photo tweeted by Victor: "#Finnish Tourists"

Photo tweeted by Johnny: 
"Helsinki. Loving Finland. #kiitos"

Photo tweeted by Victor: "#Helsinki"

Photo tweeted by Victor: "Fancy Food Finland"

Fan art!! Tweeted by lovely @ayukovon: 
"Good Morning! Thank you for sharing 
amazing great moment!! Hope safety of the flight."

And also from @ayukovon: 
"@JohnnyGWeir @Vweirvoronov
Cheers for your hard work 
at trip to the north! 
I hope your jet lag are slight."

And one more from Tatiana—
a preview of many more equally gorgeous 
shots to come, I'm sure...

New on Johnny's website!! 
East Coasters, you're invited to dot429's cocktail reception 
hosted by Johnny this Friday, October 12, 
at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in NYC.  The event is 
part of dot429's three-day conference, "Straight Talk." 
More info / tickets here!

Please alert absolutely everyone you've ever met 
to "like" and follow the new 
on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
Because he should be on all the things. 
With or without ice. 
But definitely with Viacheslav.

A new post from Patti 
on Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund website
Please go read it now!

But wait, there's more!!! 
Set those DVRs now: 10 pm EDT / 9 pm CDT 
for new BGJW episodes every Monday only on Logo!
Please be sure to check in with GetGlue
anytime you're watching the show... 
or thinking about watching the show.... 
or wishing you were watching the show....

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

Please be sure to read Johnny's fabulous
London 2012 blog entries on People.com! 
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

Yes, YOU can be a part of Johnny's comeback!  
Please visit Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund today 
and chip in as little as $1 via PayPal. 
Our small gifts can help make his dream of competing 
in his third Olympic Games come true!
And now you can leave a message 
of support for Johnny, too!

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!)

Q and A! Go read it now!

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

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


Angela Gripesalot said...

Hope you get those boxes sorted soon! Thank you for taking the time to write this post. It's awesome, as always! :D

Nancy Knisley said...

Johnny is quite a wordsmith and that is one of my very favorite things about him, but if Nyt had Googled the word "slore," they would have found it didn't originate with Johnny.

I remember Googling "slore" the first time Johnny used it on
The Wendy Williams Show to make sure my guess of what the word meant was correct and found several websites with definitions.

And, yes, I'd guessed right.

aaaack said...

Moving is soooo stressful. Hope you feel all properly settled soon.

Thanks for pulling all this together.

We've lost stuff in the last move that we hope we'll find someday in purgatory. Vanished without a trace...like socks.

aaaack said...

By the way, that's a novel use of epaulets on Johnny's costume. Here's a history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epaulet