In the documentary Johnny Weir: Pop Star on Ice, which launched the reality series Be Good Johnny Weir on Sundance Channel last week, directors David Barba and James Pellerito give viewers a glimpse into the world of figure skating provocateur Johnny Weir. Watching the documentary, it's hard not to notice how apt the title is. Weir is competitive, daring and possesses a candor seen more frequently in the pop music arena. Below, we've compiled four reasons why Weir is a "pop star on ice."
Be Good Johnny Weir airs on Sundance Mondays at 10:30 p.m.
The "Poker Face" Routine
Everything about this clip screams pop star. There's the sci-fi goth in winter costume and the eye make-up, which reminds us of the cover for David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album. Then there are the moves, a little Siouxsie Sioux mixed with a lot of Madonna and Michael Jackson. Watch for the moment when Weir slides almost on his knees while bent back. Its a killer pop star move.
Johnny as Jesus
You know that someone has embraced pop stardom when they start incorporating messianic imagery into their work (e.g., Kanye's crown of thorns). Back in 2006, Johnny Weir "portrayed Jesus," as the commenters in this video note, to "Child of Nazareth" in the Skate Canada competition. Skating starts forty seconds into the video.
Johnny does it his way
Several years ago in Tokyo, Weir donned a very Thin White Duke looking ensemble as he skated to "My Way." For anyone who has followed the outspoken skater's career, you know that the Frank Sinatra song is fitting. It was also famously covered by Sid Vicious, giving an attitude-filled punk subtext to the performance.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Johnny off the ice
He's controversial for more than just his costumes and approach to skating. Like a true pop star, Johnny Weir is the sort of character you want to interview as its likely he'll say something that shakes up the skating community. He has a penchant for eye-catching fashion on the rink too, think huge sunglasses and fur coats, and has modeled for club kid fashion line Heatherette.
Follow @lizohanesian on Twitter.