Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weirpinski Returns!

The Dream Team returns to the airwaves today 
for the final figure skating competition 
of the 2014 Olympics: the ladies. 
Photo from their broadcast of the free dance 
on Monday, via USA Today’s excellent read: 

All new picspam + vids below!

Johnny and Tara Lipinski are LIVE 
on NBC Sports Network Wednesday and
 Thursday, February 19 and 20,
10 am EST 
with ladies’ competition coverage, 
and on Saturday, February 22, 
12:30 pm EST for the Olympic Gala! 

Not home during the day? 
DVR them to enjoy the best 
figure skating commentary ever!

Full live broadcast schedule
posted on Johnny’s official website!

And catch up on all the latest 
Johnny videos and interviews here!

Goodness, that just felt like forever, didn’t it? A whole day without Johnny and Tara commentary, and we’re just gasping for well-informed and witty fabulousness like dry little goldfish crackers on Tara’s nightstand:

Via @TaraAndJohnny: 
“Secret exposé on La Lipinski. -J”

Whilst we await their glittery live selves: 

Today’s reading list: my top three big-media favs from the deluge of wonderfully positive Johnny coverage in which I am currently happily drowning. See more on Johnny’s official website.

May I just say how much I love that four years later, at an Olympics in which, regrettably, he is not even competing, Johnny is once again the biggest story of the Games. Absolutely amazing.

(1) LA Times: Sochi Olympics: Johnny Weir Is Just Being His Out, Open Self. A brilliant must-read interview in which Johnny clearly articulates his reaction to the many articles interpreting his fashion choices and general demeanor in Sochi as a deliberate statement against Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws.

The surprise American star of these Olympics is walking through a rainstorm, not a drop on his black leggings and ankle-high boots, not a splotch on his styled hair and pale makeup, when suddenly he stops.

“Wait, I want to finish saying this,” says Johnny Weir, standing unspoiled under an umbrella while a storm rages above. “I am not protesting. I am not making a statement. I’m just being myself.”

Yet, what a fabulous self he is, and what a splendid statement that makes.

In an Olympics clouded by Russia’s anti-gay laws, Weir has been America’s raised fist. There have been no athlete demonstrations yet Weir has sent the message that one can also fight intolerance simply by putting on a tiara and showing up for work.

(2) Wall Street Journal: Sochi Olympics: Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski Sparkle Off the Ice.

Weir and Lipinski are taking their Olympic commentating debut to a new level. ... Figure-skating talk can often be as flat as an ice rink. Not with these two.

Praise is pouring in. The two need their own talk show, one fan tweeted. Weir is “hands down the best part of the NBC coverage at #SochiOlympics!” another wrote.

[Dick] Button, himself not afraid to call it like it is, dubbed them “witty, informative, intelligent” in a tweet earlier this week. Says NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell, “I can’t recall rookie announcers ever making this kind of immediate impact on such a big stage.”

(3) NY Times: In Figure Skating, the Second Team Shines.

One of the eureka moments of the 2012 London Games was that live television and online coverage helped push viewership upward in prime time.

So NBCSN was endowed with live hours to show team figure skating, pairs, ice dancing, and the men’s and women’s programs. And it got its own announcers: Tara Lipinski, the 1998 women’s gold medalist, and Johnny Weir, a two-time Olympian, along with Terry Gannon, who called figure skating for ABC.

[David Michaels, coordinating producer of figure skating for NBC Olympics,] hired Weir initially to call selected events on Universal Sports and then on NBCSN. “There was so much chemistry that I felt, wow, Johnny tours with all these people and he knows everybody, and Tara is one of the hardest-working analysts I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’ve been producing this for 30 years and they put a smile on my face.”

NYT also tosses this important tidbit in toward the end of the piece: It is possible that Weir and Lipinski will move into prime time when the Winter Games shift to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

UPDATE: (4) An absolutely brilliant must-read was just posted by Cyd Zeigler of Outsports: He’s Here, He’s Weir, and I Am Loving It!

The most powerful piece about Johnny at these Olympics is that he’s doing his job and, by all accounts, he’s doing it very well. So much has been made about how “impossible” it is for LGBT people to be accepted in sports. Here we have an out and out-there gay man hired by Olympic broadcast network NBC to provide commentary on his sport and to do his job. They have embraced Johnny in all his overtly flamboyant gayness. This is cause for celebration, not consternation.

Some LGBT activists are also furious that Johnny went to Russia at all. They believe that isolating LGBT people in Russia is the best way to affect change there. ... Others attack him for not doing enough in Russia, claiming that simply wearing “flamboyant” clothes doesn’t send a message.

The important thing is that Johnny is in Russia and he’s not backing down.

From Johnny’s Facebook fan page.

I also love this essay from a small blog, Outside the Gaze: Russian Camp, which deserves as much attention as the big three above. The author is A.W. Barnes, dean of liberal arts at the Pratt Institute in New York, who has previously written about Johnny here.

Late last year when NBC announced that Weir, an openly gay man, was going to the Olympics as a commentator, old guards of the gay revolution were up in arms. They protested at Weir’s public appearances, pleading with him not to go to Russia where earlier in the year the country had passed an anti-gay ordinance. They harassed Weir for his non-compliance, calling him a sell-out for refusing to bring politics into his decision. They called him a fool, unable to understand the ramifications of his decision and ill-suited to represent the concerns of gay culture in an anti-gay country.

No one in Sochi is waging protests because Putin has made certain that his games go off without a glitch. ... But then there’s Johnny Weir.

As every good Shakespearean knows, the fool is the wisest character in the play...

More Updates 
from Our Continuing Series: 
How to Olympic 
With Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski

Thursday, February 20.

Via Johnny: “Today’s Look: Blazer vintage Ferré, 
Cardigan @COMMEGARCONS, Wreath 
@ericksonbeamonofficial, Necklace @joomilim, 
Leathers @Versace, Wedges @RICKOWENSONLINE, 
Watch @CHANEL” 

On the air! Screencap via @scottrevans87. 
“Color-coordinated in Mount Olympus gold” for the crowning 
of the ladies champion today, per Terry Gannon, 
who himself is sporting a gold pocket square.

Via Johnny: “Beautiful interview with my friend 
@konechnovasya_ru from НТВ+!”

Via NPR: “Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir 
get as much attention as the skaters. 
Johnny was wearing leather pants 
with matching boots.”

Via Tara: “Heavy are the heads 
that wear the golden wreaths 
@katyperry you are our 
pre-game music every day!”

Via @TaraAndJohnny: “Rocking Athenian crown 
realness for the ladies free.”

Via @TaraAndJohnny: “Behind the scenes 
#TaraandJohnny Todays wear = Athenian and Gold”

Wednesday, February 19.

Via @TaraAndJohnny: 
“Sneak peek into the booth #taraandjohnny 
@johnnygweir @taralipinski”
I love this with every fiber of my being.

Via Johnny: “Today’s Look: 
Blazer @zadigetvoltaire Lace @WES_GORDON 
Brooch @ericksonbeamonofficial Leathers Road to Awe 

Closeup via USA Today, who reports that
 Johnny is “wearing his hair in ‘a traditional Ukrainian braid’ 
in support of people in Kiev. At least 25 people have been killed 
in the capital city in clashes between protesters 
and Ukrainian riot police this week.”

Via USA Today: “The turmoil in Ukraine hits close to home 
for the figure skater, who has worked with 
[Ukrainian-born coach] Galina Zmievskaya since 2007.” 

Via @TaraAndJohnny: “On Ladies day 
we wear LACE #taraandjohnny”

On the air! 
Screencap from the NBC Olympics livestream.

On the job in the Iceberg. 
Via @miitai.

Via @miitai: “Now, I have a photo with 
astonishing, breathtaking, fabulous @johnnygweir. 
Best. Birthday. Ever.”

Previewing the ladies’ event on Today. 
Screencap from the video here.

Johnny this morning on Today! 
Via Vidya Rao: “Olympic group photo! @mrDavidWise 
@TaraandJohnny and Alex Diebold on @todayshow”

Tuesday, February 18.

A dressed-down Johnny via Ali Fedotowsky: 
“Have you guys seen Olympic skater 
@Johnnygweir’s fashion in Sochi? It’s making headlines! 
I go through his closet tonight on @enews” 
Can’t wait to see this!

On the Today Show to learn the results 
of the Anchor Olympics fan vote.
Photos in this series via Getty.

Then Tara and Johnny offered their critiques 
of the costumes in the ice dancing competition.

Photo via Today Show. Video here
Do watch if only for Johnny’s unforgettable rendition 
of classic circus music.

Later in the day, ready to go on camera 
with Bob Costas. Via Sean McKinnon: 
“Thrilled to meet @JohnnyGWeir at the IBC 
in Sochi tonight! I felt a little under-bling’d... 
Johnny always looks fab!”

Via Johnny: “Today’s Look: Blazer @CHANEL, 
Collar @ericksonbeamonofficial, Leggings Gareth Pugh. 
Missing my blue truck...”

Best. Vine. Ever. Via @FOXADHD.

Monday, February 17.

Via @ClareHiler of the Today Show: 
“Pretty sure Johnny Weir was diggin 
the @TODAYshow outfits for 
Anchor Olympics! #TeamNews”

Via this Today Show article: 

Close-up of Johnny’s magnificent “statement ring” 
from the same article.

Via Access Hollywood’s Instagram, 
from the interview above.

Getting ready to go on camera. 
Via USA Today.

On the air!

Via Summer Sanders: 
“This just made my #Olympics. The always stylish 
@taraandJohnny. @Tara_Lipinski @JohnnyGWeir 
#Figureskating #Summer365”

Via Johnny: “With my most beautiful 
Boginya, Marina Anissina!”

Via Johnny: “So happy I got to congratulate 
one of my favorite skaters, Olympic Bronze medalist, 
@tenis_den! I look like his babushka here.”

Bonus pic!! Via @dianeb31: 
“Watching the #olympics always makes me #nostalgic. 
I decided to pull out my old #skating programs. 
Here, from the #1998 #nationals in #Philadelphia, 
it’s baby @johnnygweir I love love love 
his commentary with @taralipinski 
#taraandjohnny forever!! ♥♥”

Technical Difficulties

Screencap from NBC Olympics.

Many fans continue to be frustrated by the inaccessibility of videos from NBC Olympics, which are apparently only viewable to cable/satellite subscribers living in the U.S. Unfortunately, thus far we’ve found no way to make those available on alternate platforms for international fans, though we’re still trying...

But I have to give props to NBC for their social media savvy and their agility in capitalizing on it. As the LA Times interview above notes:

Social media are filled with cries for NBC to move Weir’s team into the starting lineup. The ratings bolster their perception, as a recent six-weekday stretch during the Olympics contained the six most watched daytime shows in NBCSN’s short history.

So in response, NBC put Johnny and Tara with Bob Costas in primetime last night to preview the ladies’ competition, and they’ve also started releasing lots of Johnny-and-Tara video clips for hungry cable-ready fans to devour.

One of the best clips so far is this one: Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir Achieve Perfect Balance. Do watch it if you can (while we determinedly continue to try to find a way to bring it to all fans), because it’s an absolute treat to hear them dish on each other. Plus bonus shout-out from Tara to Patti for Johnny’s gentlemanly ways: “His mother taught him right.”

Oh, and NBC casually threw this into the video description: “The pair even have plans to take their friendship to the ice, possibly performing to some ‘gangster rap.’”

The other must-see vid: Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir Contemplate What They’d Need If Stranded On Deserted Island

The duo was prompted to think about their survival... but said they’d bring along their friend. “We can eat her,” Weir deadpanned.

In the meantime, please enjoy these vids, which should be available to most fans (we hope!):

The Anchor Olympics segment from Today! 
Johnny wins his event, of course, and steals the show 
in the tiebreaker competition. 
For the vote results and winning team, go here.

Also from Today: A preview of Johnny’s 
really excellent and sometimes poignant interview 
with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood. 
See all the segments on Access Hollywood here.

More info on Johnny’s official website!

Johnny and Dora!!
Watch his spot over and over again 
here, here, or here!

On Johnny’s website, 
linked to his retirement statement
Thank YOU, Johnny!

Also on the blog:
“Random Tuesday Roundup, Or: Is It Summer Yet?”
Gorgeous sun-drenched Johnny picspam, 
for those of us who prefer our winter 
a little less... wintry. 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Because It’s Glorious.”
A look back at Johnny’s first national title 
and his thoughts on Nationals, accompanied by 
20+ exquisite black-and-white portraits.
Exclusive photo © Elena Vasileva.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Frost Giant.”
25+ exclusive pics of Johnny
performing Army of Me.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

All of Him Is My Treasure.”
Fans react to Johnny’s graceful exit 
from competitive skating.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Practice Is Perfect”
25+ exclusive photos of Johnny’s 
Sun Valley rehearsal.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Dear Johnny...”
Selected black-and-white photos of Johnny’s 
hauntingly beautiful Schindler’s List debut.
Exclusive 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! 

A number of Johnny’s auction items 
have been relistedwhich 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!

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.

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 a
nytime 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 2014 Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved

1 comment:

WheresMyKoppy said...

I really wish I had caught more of Johnny and Tara's commentary from Sochi! What a pair they are! Thank you so much for putting everything together for us.

I've been coming across all those great Johnny related articles via the Google News Alert. I also would have picked out those same three articles you mentioned, MM. I love the positive response to Johnny. Not only to his outfits, but the support of his commentary and how he has decided to protest and support in his own way.