Friday, June 21, 2013

"Rolling Ball of Sparkle"

Johnny performs Born This Way in Shanghai. 
Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo
Definitely click twice for full-size image. 

Yes, at last, by ever-growing popular demand: today we present a transcript of the Johnny + Stéphane portion of the Shanghai press conference, with side commentary!

But we begin first with a few more gorgeous exclusive photos from Joveta Leo, also from Shanghai. And once you’ve made your way through all the press conference stuff, please be sure to linger at the end of the blog, where four quietly stunning additional Shanghai photos await you.

And new today—an opportunity to show your support for Johnny by voting for him in The Advocate’s poll: “VOTE: 55 Inspiring LGBT Athletes for Pride”!

To start you off, here’s new video from Guangzhou media day! This TV news report offers Johnny coverage beginning at about 00:49, with an interesting interview portion about his costumes, including the glorious creation in Joveta’s Born This Way pics. (Note: Video seems determined to autoplay no matter how politely I ask it not to. My apologies.)

As always, please click any photo twice for full-size image.

Video link.

Posted by Joveta to Weibo.

Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo.

Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo.

Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo.

Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo.

And two bonus pics!! From the press conference 
in Beijing, with flowers and winged vest.
Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo.

Exclusive photo © Joveta Leo.

“Rolling Ball of Sparkle”:

The already-legendary 
Shanghai press conference.

Johnny arriving at the Shanghai press conference 
in his Tang suit, a gift from his Chinese fans 
at last year’s Artistry on Ice.

Also may be stubbornly set on autoplay. IDK.
Video links: here or here.

Transcript/commentary disclaimer: Please note that this is a compilation of the best efforts of various people who had to grapple with time constraints and the additional challenge posed by the audio being ever-so-slightly-but-maddeningly out of sync with the video. Accuracy not guaranteed, no warranties expressed or implied, void where prohibited, your mileage may vary. If sustained uncontrollable laughter persists for more than six hours, consult your doctor. If you can tell what they’re saying in any portions marked “unclear,” please share with the class by commenting below or via email.

This portion of the press conference begins with the translator talking about Patrick Chan. At their end of the table, Johnny and Stéphane pose for photos...

Johnny: [makes prayer hands]

Stéphane: [stretches his arms out and laces his fingers together. Comments to Johnny.]

Translator: [talks about Patrick]

Johnny: [smiles and poses]

Stéphane: [smiles and poses]

Translator: [Patrick.... Sochi.... Patrick....]

Johnny: [rearranges his and Stéphane’s place cards so that they are touching]

Stéphane: [comments to Johnny]

Johnny: [nods wisely]

Translator: [Patrick.... Sochi....]

Stéphane: [smiles beautifully for photographers]

Translator: [talks about Patrick]

Johnny: [comments to Stéphane]

Stéphane: [covers face with hands. Shoulders shake from suppressed laughter.] [photos]

Kurt: [starts gesticulating at something beyond Johnny and Stéphane as Patrick begins talking]

Johnny and Stéphane  [simultaneously glance to their right at Kurt, then nearly simultaneously turn to the left to see whatever it is he’s gesturing about]

Patrick: [talking]

Johnny and Stéphane [long and lolworthy minutes of commenting, whispering, head shaking, laughing]

Johnny: [folds hands like the sweet, obedient schoolboy he is. Then smiles hugely for fans/photographers.]

Johnny and Stéphane: [whispering, nodding, giggling]

Stéphane: [sighs]

Johnny: [makes this face]

Stéphane: [comments to Johnny, pretends to slap his own face]

Patrick: [concludes]

Translator: OK! [talking]

Johnny and Stéphane: [fidgety, then suddenly captivated by something under the table]

[Camera pans to gathered media and fans. There’s dear Haohewuyin in red, standing with Johnny’s “Diva” bouquet! I believe that’s Maria Ma crouching next to her, camera in hand, and there’s Joveta, seated with others, both shooting amazing photos!]

Translator: [says more stuff]

[Camera pans back to table]

Johnny: [cracking up so much that he has to turn away and cover his mouth with his hand while his shoulders shake]

Stéphane: [comments to Johnny, punches him lightly in the leg]

Johnny: [nods]

Translator: [stuff]

Johnny and Stéphane: [high-five each other] [photos]

Translator: [long speech]

Johnny and Stéphane[synchronized fidgeting]

Translator: [stuff stuff stuff] ...Johnny Weir!

Johnny: [suddenly startled by the mention of his own name. Folds his hands prayer-like again, smiles widely, and bows head at the gathered assemblage.]

Crowd: [laughter]

Translator: By the way, I like it that you are dressed in this strange way.

Johnny: Well, thank you. This was a gift from my beautiful fans last year.

Translator: Oh! [translates for audience]

Johnny: [makes “V” sign with both hands and nods to crowd]

Stéphane: [copies Johnny’s V-sign with both hands]

Translator: So Johnny, you have been with us from day one.

Johnny: Yes.

Translator: So how is this year different to you, and, I think, your numbers—you know, everybody wants to know more about your numbers, so maybe you can share insights about your new programs this year, what can fans expect this year, and maybe share a little bit—my question is, share a little bit of your experience in childhood and whatever.

Johnny: So the difference this year as opposed to the other years—

Stéphane: [makes duck face at Johnny]

Johnny: —is the production quality continues to grow and get better and stronger every year. This year we have amazing lighting and special effects on the ice, and, um—

Stéphane: [copies Johnny by mouthing “and, um” and makes rolling gesture with his hands to indicate to Johnny to get to the freaking point already]

Johnny: [sees Stéphane gesturing out of the corner of his eye, looks over, holds up a hand in acknowledgement and smiles]—Lady Gaga.

Stéphane: [nods, rolls eyes, gestures with both hands to say, “yes, hello, that’s what people want to hear”]

Johnny: [repeats] Lady Gaga. And, so, I couldn’t not—

Stéphane: [looking behind Johnny—possibly at Kurt—and cracking up so much he has to lean back and put his hand to his chest]

Johnny: —be part of this show. I’ve been with Artistry since the beginning—

Stéphane: [stretches arms waaaaay above his head in universal gesture of OMG I am so bored]

Johnny: —and it’s always a huge highlight of my year because it’s a growing skating community in China and it’s something that I feel very much a part of, and something I’m proud to be a part of, to represent a skater that’s a little bit different than just inviting ALL Olympic champions or ALL world champions [shade]. I get to represent people that really excel in doing ice shows and bringing the fashion and music and all of these different aspects together. So every year I look forward to coming to China and to exploring new places, new cities, new food— [laughs; crowd laughs in response]

Stéphane: [suddenly transfixed by his own microphone and how it should be positioned]

Johnny: —it’s really such an honor. And this year I’m performing “Army of Me,” by Christina Aguilera, and then performing “Born This Way,” by Lady Gaga. And keeping in tradition, I’ve brought my best fashion of the year. I’m very black and sexual for Army of Me, and then I’m over-the-top white, lacy, furry, sparkly for Lady Gaga.

Stéphane: [briefly performs neck exercises]

Johnny: And I think the best feeling I get is when the lights come up and I’m standing in the middle of the ice, and everyone just goes, “WOOOOOOOO!” over my costume.

Stéphane: [smiles at Johnny as crowd laughs appreciatively]

Johnny: I haven’t moved, I haven’t done anything, they just appreciate the way I look before I’ve even started skating. So it makes me very happy and excited. And—I love it here. [Looks back at translator] Good luck. [He means, “Good luck translating what I just said.”]

Crowd: [Gales of laughter]

Translator: [unclear, but the sense is that translating Johnny’s responses during these press conferences is.... challenging]

Johnny: [Zen-like smile] I believe in you. You can do this. Push yourself. [photos]

Translator: [gamely tackles translating. Eventually camera pans to crowd again, then back to table, where something totally incomprehensible is happening with Patrick, Johnny, and Stéphane that cannot be conveyed in words, only screencaps:]

[And then: sudden sound of door slamming. Patrick, Johnny, and Stéphane all turn to see what the commotion is amidst laughter from the crowd.]

Translator: He probably didn’t like what she—he just said! [continues his translation of Johnny’s remarks while crowd giggles]

Stéphane: [gives a thumbs-up to someone off-camera.]

Johnny: [tries to pay attention to the translator, though his version of this more closely resembles throwing shade at Patrick]

Translator: [says lots of stuff]

Johnny: [catches the eye of fans with cameras and starts posing happily for photos]

Stéphane: [joins him in posing and giggling]

Translator: [yay he did it!]

Johnny: [applauds]

Stéphane: [applauds]

Johnny: Thank you!

Translator: OK!

Stéphane: [mouths, “My turn?”]

Johnny: [smiles and mouths, “Hi!” to fans]

Translator: Stéphane. Yes, your turn, so see if you can top that one.

Stéphane: [shakes head] No.

Johnny: [nods encouragingly at Stéphane] I can help!

Translator: Again, we’ll come back to Artistry on Ice, which, you remember [unclear], you still remember the first year, the “Prince—the Prince of Spin,” that’s what they call you.

Johnny: [nods and smiles at Stéphane] Oh, ho-ho-ho!

Stéphane: [smiles at Johnny] Yes.

Translator: [speaks in Chinese] .... Johnny Weir.

Crowd: [laughs]

Johnny: [smiles and shrugs] I don’t understand.

Translator: You don’t like that one?

Johnny: [still smiling] I don’t understand what that—I don’t understand what you said about me.

Translator: I just said that everybody calls him the “Prince of Spin”—are you saying you’re glad?

Johnny: I was saying—I was saying that—

Stéphane: Johnny, you are just jealous.

Crowd: [bursts into laughter again]

Johnny: You can be the Prince of Spin.

Stéphane: OK, you can stay then.

Johnny: I’m just very proud of Stéphane. He’s my friend for a long time, and I’m very proud of him.

Translator: So how come, Stéphane, Johnny, are you, how can you [unclear]—

Stéphane: [interrupts] I love you, Johnny.

Crowd: Ohhhhh!!! [explodes with delighted laughter]

Johnny: [huge smile] Ohhhh... [unclear]

Stéphane: [lays his head on Johnny’s shoulder] [photos]

Translator: [says a bunch more stuff.....]

[Camera pans over to Johnny and Stéphane, who are now busy taking endless selfies with Stéphane’s magical zebra phone]

Translator: [continues]

Johnny: [glances over toward translator and makes a wan attempt to pay attention]

Stéphane: [reviews selfies to decide which one to Instagram]

Johnny: [turns back to Stéphane, who shows him one of the photos. Nods his approval.]

Stéphane: [scrolls through filters]

[Camera pans back to translator, who finishes speaking and looks expectantly at Kurt. Apparently this was a question for Kurt.]

Kurt: [discusses what he brings to the show, particularly in his performance of “Singin’ in the Rain”]

[Camera pans to Johnny and Stéphane, who are taking more selfies together. They agree on another one that might be suitable to post, signaling approval with hand gestures.]

Johnny: [looks over at the translator again to see if this press conference is actually still going on]

Fan: [hands Stéphane a... fan. IDKY.]

Stéphane: [begins fanning Johnny] 

Translator: Johnny.

Johnny: [jumps, whips his head around to look at translator] Oh!

Translator: Did fans give you some food, the special [unclear], the sticky rice? Did you try it?

Johnny: [turns his mic back on] I ate it and it was delicious.

Translator: Not sure it was [unclear] enough for you.

Johnny: It was good that there wasn’t a whole lot more.

Translator: [translates]

Johnny: [UPDATED]: I’ve got to wear white in the show. [Meaning he can’t eat too much because his white costume adds pounds, unlike black. Special thanks to Vicky Lindley for her help on this one!]

Translator: [translates]

Johnny: OK.

Fan: [asks question about Johnny and Stéphane doing a program together. Crowd explodes in giggles again]

Stéphane: [makes a great show of turning his mic back on to answer]

Johnny: I think maybe by next summer—

Stéphane: [looks at Johnny incredulously]

Johnny: [ignores him and sails on] —Stéphane and I will perform a number together, possibly good and evil, black and white, [unclear and unclear]...

Stéphane: Uhhhhh.....

Johnny: [confidently] I believe.

Stéphane: [turns off mic, returns to staring at his phone]

Johnny: So, I’m in charge of this pair team—

Stéphane: [glances at Johnny with great amusement]

Johnny: —and, as the boss of the pair team, we’ll work hard, so that we can do a number together. [turns his mic off with a flourish and sits back in his chair, lips pursed with determination]

Kurt: Sometimes pair teams join the names together for one, so it could be, “Stephan...-ny. Stephanny.”

Crowd: [laughs]

Johnny: [decisively] No. We’ll be called the “Rolling Ball of Sparkle.” That’s our pair name.

Kurt: OK. “Stephanny, the Rolling Ball of Sparkle.”

Johnny: NO “Stephanny.” [folds arms across his chest]

Translator: [translates]

Stéphane: [still scrolling thorough selfies, he chooses another one to show Johnny, who approves and makes a gesture to indicate “eyes wide open.” Stéphane makes a wide-eyed face in agreement. I’m guessing this is the one above that Stéphane finally Instagrammed.]

Translator: [still translating]

Stéphane: [sets phone down, picks up fan again. Fans self while making whistling face.]

Translator: [translates the part about the pair team name]

Stéphane: They already call me “Stéphanie” in China, so...

Crowd: [bursts into laughter]

Translator: [translates Stéphane’s comment]

Johnny: [definitively] Rolling. Ball. Of. Sparkle.

Stéphane: [taps Johnny repeatedly with fan] Sparkle.

Translator: [repeats for crowd] The Rolling Ball. Of Sparkle.

Stéphane: [grabs Johnny’s arm and intones dramatically] “The Sparkling Bubble.”

Johnny: [with a look of delight] Or: “The Sparkling Bubble.” It’s clever.

Crowd: Ohhhhh!

Translator: [translates, adding, “Pop. Pop.”]

Johnny: You prefer that. It felt very soft when you were saying, “bubble.”

Translator: Yeah, because I can think of champagne right away!

Stéphane: Yes, exactly. [nods and gestures with his hands to say, “See? You understand why my idea is better!”]

Johnny: Ahhhhh!

Translator: But then “Rolling Balls”—I just don’t know. Erase that image.

Johnny: Just wait. We’ll talk about it for next year

Translator: [unclear; best guess:] OK, I’m going to think about it then.

Stéphane: But Johnny, please... No Lady Gaga.

[Crowd laughs again, and footage concludes with these now-infamous photos. More photos here.]

Obviously having more fun 
than should be legal at a press conference. 

Beautiful bonus pic series: 
Johnny during the opening number in Shanghai.

I realize these are rather dark, 
and yet they are mesmerizing 
exactly as the photographer published them. 

Very special thanks to 
Joveta Leo 
for the exclusive photos!!

Must-see video if you haven’t seen it yet! 
Or even if you have, worth watching again: 
Official Artistry on Ice promo piece 
about Johnny. Love. 
Video links: YouTube, or HD version on Youku.

ICYMI: More Artistry on Ice coverage 
plus exclusive photos on Monday’s blog: 

Sun Valley tickets are on sale! 
Johnny is scheduled to perform again this year 
in Sun Valley’s gorgeous outdoor summer ice shows. 
More info and tickets here!

Fantasy on Ice is just weeks away!! 
Plus Victor’s first visit to Japan 
AND the husbands’ birthdays! 
For show info and tickets, 
please visit the AI Official website.

Johnny and Victor were named to Us Weekly’s list 
of Gay Power Couples! Check out the photo gallery here
Screencap tweeted by Victor.

The Refinery29 photo shoot featured on the blog 
last month is here! Please go read it now! 
Johnny is part of Refinery29’s “Month of Style Stars” for June, 
and the second photo from the interview (above) IS. A. GIF.  
(Refresh the page to restart the gif. So fabulous!)

ICYMI: “Vision,” featuring two gorgeous 
new exclusive pics plus thoughts on 
the Grand Prix announcement from the ISU...

Happy Pride Month! 
Johnny as the LA Pride Parade Grand Marshal, June 2011. 
Relive the glory (and the hair) here!

Please continue to tweet @Nike 
in a non-irritating way and tell them 
you’d love for them to sponsor Johnny! 
If you’re not on Twitter, you may write to them 
at Nike World Headquarters, One Bowerman Drive, 
Beaverton, OR 97005. More info here! #JustDoIt

To see up-close how battered and worn his skates are 
from thousands of training hours—particularly the left skate, 
because Johnny is a rare clockwise jumper and spinner—
please click here. Photo © David Ingogly.

Johnny’s latest column for the 
Falls Church News-Press.
His columns are published every Thursday 
in the “National Commentary“ 
section—don’t miss a single one! 

Special offer for Johnny’s fans from TWELV Magazine
Get his fabulous limited-edition cover issue of TWELV—
no longer available on newsstands—for 50% off! 
If you’d like to grab one, please email Kevin 
at, and he’ll explain 
how to order and pay for your copy. 
Do it now—there are only a few left!

updated calendars, in case you missed out on buying yours 
in January! The new 12-month version runs from 
July 2013 to June 2014, while the 18-month version takes you 
from July 2013 all the way to December 2014.

A number of Johnny’s auction items have been relisted
which means if you missed out the first time around, 
you’re in luck: It’s not too late to own a piece of Weir Gear! 
Go check it out and see what treasures you could take home!

Patti has posted a new message 
on Johnny’s Comeback Gift Fund website, 
with her thoughts on 2013 Nationals 
and what lies ahead for next season. 
Please go read it now!

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.

Landing quads and kicking ass!
Read his comeback statement 
and the update 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! 

Need to see Seasons 1 and 2 all over again? 
Watch episodes online anytime 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....

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 2013 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved

1 comment:

aaaack said...

Johnny and Stephan are more fun than a basket of puppies or a nest of pandas. So looking forward to next year's Artistry on Ice program to see what their choreography chops produce.

Few people have and display such a sense of fun.