Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Lexxandra, Mar 11, 2011.
Johnny is learning to play the game, finally.
"Go Team USA" in his tweet about WTT.
Posting here a Johnny-related discussion that became too off-topic in the Davis & White "love them" thread:
Responding below to neptune's response to my above post in D/W thread:
You make good points/ observations too.
Yes, I think Peter does a fairly good job with pairs commentating, offering some good insights on occasion, especially when he manages to "ratchet down" his intensity.
You missed Johnny's recent commentating? Johnny did an absolutely great job in his commentary for IceNetwork.com at 2012 U.S. National Championships for the senior Men's sp and the latter groups in the senior Men's fp. Among other memorable quips and insights, Johnny referred to Keegan Messing after his sp, as being "fearless like a Honey Badger." What an apt description! It was then picked up and used by NBC commentators during the fp television broadcast. And, now I think everyone who heard it and who is a fan of Keegan will always fondly associate that term with Keegan's charisma and determination. Ironically, Johnny once said that he didn't like it when Dick Button praised his skating as being "gazelle-like." Seriously, Johnny was great in the broadcast booth! Johnny was so good in fact, that if he doesn't make the Sochi 2014 team, I'd love to see him doing commentary for the Men's fs event at the Olympics. Johnny could probably have a good career commentating for a variety of sports (ones that he likes, such as figure skating, gymnastics, and horseback riding ) It is after all, his horseback riding career in his early youth that gave Johnny his great posture as a figure skater.
Johnny's wonderful commentary at Nationals for IceNetwork was discussed in a thread here on FSU:
I have been watching his tweets and this is very exciting. I said in another post about evan that I was very excited about this years men competition and the fact that Johnny is coming back with all his artistic capacities is icing on the cake. If he can pull off the quads along with his artistic side, its no wonder Chan is focusing on his artistic side. Johnny could be a factor. What do you all think?
If Johnny can lay down quads on competitive ice, he will be a formidable force.
How will all those conservative skating judges receive him? I have no idea.
Couldn't agree more. I think with each year that goes by the conservative factor diminishes in figure skating. Just my opinion.
Maybe you all know this already, but I'm sure Johnny's "honey badger" quote came from this video, which went viral (and it's hilarious!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg
I hope so...I am always worried that the judges just don't *get* Johnny, because he challenges dominant ideas about gender.
I have always loved his skating and am really excited about his comeback! His projection is awesome, he has such a natural connection to the music, and he just knows how to move. And his technique is gorgeous. I think he will definitely be a factor if he can gain consistency on his quads. And choreography will be really important when competing with Patrick, Dai, and Jeremy. I wish him all the best
and thanks for all the info and links, everyone!
Wow.. Sochi will be very exciting for the men especially if all the 'retired talented and gorgeous skaters' make a come back ... Johnny, Plushy and Evans (and Brian?). Don't forget young Hanyu and Gachinski. Wee .. way to go.
BKF, when you have some time, I was wondering if you could share your take on Weir's scoring at the 2010 Games? You have such great insights into score breakdowns, and his placement at that comp was a little curious.
As artistic and a lovely skater that Johnny is , he has always had a problem with transitions. He needs the quad plus be able to skate a program to connect the jumps to get high enough PCS.
Well, here is my ( il )logic. A force that can work against Johnny can also work for him. If Johnny would condescend to wear more
. conservative costumes, his improved jump arsenal and superior artistry would make a big impression on the judges. Maybe he should try to work with the establishment rather than fight it.
I don't think costumes are an issue. lots of crazy outfits have been worn over the years by Oly medslists. I think he needs to work on the math: jump combos, transitions, etc.
I was thinking the very same thing.
Oh no, I dont want Johnny to become a skater making his way due to working with establishment. I love him for speaking out his mind. I remember reports from U.S. Nationals in one year when he wore a jacket with Russia written on it. Now thats courage. I dislike people who are opportunistic and make their way by kissing someones A$$.
He is one of these skaters who made me a fan not only due to absolute gorgeous skating, but due to personality as well. I really missed him.
Yes, it will be exciting: Olympics Game will be finally in Russia and if Johnny will indeed comeback then, it will be an U.S. skater I'll cheer for the most.
Yes, this. I think, and this is how it seems to me anyway, that both USFS and Johnny understand that they need to work together on some level. Johnny has said before that he wants to bring viewers back to the sport, and love him or hate him, he has a massive fanbase from all of the world. This can only be a good thing for skating, and especially skating inside of the US. It puts butts in seats, and that is good for all of us.
I don't for a moment feel like he won't still continue doing things his way! I look forward to the crazy press conferences, cheesy ~rivalry~ fluff pieces if Evan comes back, and some drama on the ice.
Also, okay, who else is looking forward to the NBC commentators having to introduce him with his married name, an talk about his husband?
^^ PinkFeathers Me too!
The men's field has always been very exciting in recent years with a great deal of depth and talent. It's just the idea of some of the top veterans coming back to an already deep field (with new and improving up-and-comers, as well as with veterans who didn't take time off) that will make things even more interesting.
ITA, apatinar, that Johnny has always been "a lovely, elegant skater " (and very inspirational too). From my long time observation of his career and by what Johnny said in his book, I think one of his biggest hurdles was not being able to effectively manage the competitive aspects of figure skating, combined with his natural and self-protective rebellious tendencies in reaction to being dissed, mocked, warned to conform to the status quo, and then dismissed by his Fed and international judges.
If Johnny had possessed any less of his amazing talent (and also had he not dedicated himself to working his way back and proving the establishment wrong circa 2003-2004), he may never have made it out of Nationals. Of course, not making it out of Nationals happens to a lot of skaters with varying degrees of top-level talent for different reasons, including physical, personal, political, financial, training issues, nerves, bad luck, crowded field. The U.S. Fed was prepared to ignore Johnny after his fp disaster at 2003 Nationals, despite his extraordinary talent.
First of all let's get one thing straight, of course the USFSA will welcome Johnny with open arms. As if they would miss the opportunity to have one of their biggest personalities back on the ice. lol USFSA is a business. I'm sure theyve called NBC already: "you'll have all the fluff and drama in time for the Olympics".
I think the biggest obstacle for Johnny will be his ability to add up the points, in other words transitions. No more elevator music Johnny! He needs to incorporate some of that wild personality into his skating in a way that would engage both the judges and the audience. I mean for someone who prides himself in being "out there" his skating was often flat and cold.
I want to see a short program to the Can-Can with high-kicks and everything.
^^ I think it's obvious that USFS supports and welcomes Johnny in his next comeback, but I guess we shall see how "open" arms and minds turn out to be. Ha ha, of course everyone concerned is a lot older and wiser. As PinkFeathers already pointed out: "...USFS and Johnny understand that they need to work together on some level."
Certainly, the USFS seems to now understand the "business sense" aspect of Johnny's ever popular appeal, which also transcends the world of figure skating. I'm not sure why it wasn't clearer to USFS a lot sooner. Let's face it, in earlier years, some members of USFS absolutely were not (and still may not be) enamored of Johnny's "big personality." But perhaps the important thing is living and learning, and forgiving, and hopefully coming together to support mutual interests. Johnny is definitely a wonderful skater, and he also has the wit, talent and potential to be a fantastic fs commentator.
Im trying to figure out why you see Johnny's skating as having been "often flat and cold." What programs exactly. Certainly not these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCaKJ2sK4DQ I love you, I hate you
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGTYUuBqIx0 Poker Face
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0df6ipvVd0 Ave Maria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iodhXLVmEMI&feature=related Bad Romance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU2vqlEFqOw Just Dance
Even Johnny's earlier competitive programs while not "over-the-top" in terms of visible emoting, IMO beautifully expressed through grace of movement, line, and technical purity something very very far from "cold and flat."
There are those who criticized Johnny as being "too internal" when he skated, but then when he came out of his shell on the ice (so to speak ) with Poker Face and Bad Romance, these same people b****ed and moaned. Again, when it comes to Johnny, what we say or think about him reveals more about ourselves.
I think it's interesting that the majority of the programmes you posted are exhibitions. I think Johnny needs to take the feeling of freedom he clearly has in his exhibitions and try to skate more like that in his competitive programmes. I guess that goes for a lot of skaters.
With I love you, I hate you, I didn't get much of the feeling out of that programme. Particularly the title, I just don't ge that feeling from the programme, it does come across very internalised, he doesn't appear to relax into the programme until all the jumps are done, and then he has a little fun it, particularly in the step sequence.
Then compare that to something like Poker face, where he blows the roof off the place. Bags of energy, really performs the hell out of the programme to the seats in the back, and the choreography and music are paramount to the performance.
I think his competitive programme music choices in the last couple of competitive seasons were pretty blah. I think he was trying to come up with different choices and I'm not sure they worked out so well for him. I loved his Swan programme and would love him to pick something in that classical vein again. Something that might be more steroetypical "female" and do something amazing with it, and then try something more contemporary and upbeat to contrast with a classical programme.
And he should ditch Galina
Interesting points, antmanb. It is quite clear that Johnny excelled in his exhibitions but often had more trouble with some of his music choices for competitive programs (especially when he stopped working with TAT after ditching Liebestraum-- he never fully explained what happened re this program and his break-up with TAT). Johnny is very loyal to Galina (doubt hell ditch her since he hasnt by now) and her daughter, Nina Petrenko. I truly hope he gets another choreographer or does his own, as Nina Petrenkos efforts are not stellar. The funny thing is that Johnny is so talented he can skate to anything, even Styx! (Too bad they didnt keep the camera on Johnny throughout):
A good example of a bad music choice is Johnnys (original 2005-2006 fp) Fallen Angel elevator music which did nothing to enhance his talent, in the way that The Swan, Valse Triste, Rondo Capriccioso, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Dr. Zhivago, Otonal, and Love Is War did. However, for some reason, Johnny seemed to like the Maxim Mrvica music selections for Fallen Angel and he rebelliously kept that program all season long and then caved after Nationals, which IMO is what doomed him in the fp at the 2006 Olympics, after his iconic and breathtaking The Swan sp. Bottom line: I dont care how beautiful Otonal is/was Johnny had no time to rework and retrain that program in time for the Olympics. In the rushed, pressure-filled moment of the 06 Olympic fp, he had no trained-all-season muscle memory to fall back on. I think he would have done better keeping the boring Maxim Mrvica, or else keeping the program layout and finding more uplifting music. But seriously, it was his bad for stubbornly holding onto that music and then caving too late in the game. But alas, he was so young back then.
In any case, like you said lots of skaters need to skate with more abandon and freedom in their competitive programs. But thats a hugely difficult balancing act, especially under CoP/ IJS. In fact, IMO, that is ironically part of what happened to complicate Johnnys career. Circa 2004-2005, it was thought that Johnny would be one of the skaters to excel under CoP. Strangely the transition to CoP and its aftermath only served to further reveal Johnny's competitive vulnerabilities and his lack of political support. Especially IMO, the new point-gathering system shed light on the fact that Johnnys improvisational tendencies (often a key component of his artistry, especially in exhibitions) altho' not necessarily a problem under 6.0, was more of a liability under IJS.
We all have our thoughts re what Johnny should do, but I will try to sit back and be content with what hes done, and with how inspirational I feel he is. Funny that you feel Johnny should be more stereotypical female in his skating choices. That just proves how much Johnny cant win, IMO. Isnt that what TPTB hated about him (and now for the most part accept/ love/ also want), come on! (Thats what I love you, I hate you was all about). Johnny is the one who has done his best to never compromise the person that he is. His iconic The Swan, My Way, and Poker Face (coming after snub at 2009 Nats), as well as his working hard to get back to the Olympics in 2010, are a resounding testament to his having done it his way. And, in any case, Johnny has already recently mentioned wanting to do a male version of Carmen. [this can't make manleywoman happy]
"Fallen Angel" was the name he gave his 2009-2010 free program (which was to music by Gabriel Yared and then Ennio Morricone). I don't think the original Mrvica snoozefest (to Amazonica et. al.) from 05/06 had a name.
^^ Yeah, I remember that Johnny named his 2009-2010 fp Fallen Angel. He really had a thing for that image/ imagery. Witness the gorgeous Fallen Angels trio exhibition performance, choreographed by Denis Petukhov and performed by Denis, Melissa, and Johnny:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N0_DeGtmLg Fallen Angels trio
I am surprised to see that Johnny's original 2005-2006 fp was never officially titled Fallen Angel. As a long time "angel" fan of Johnny's, I definitely recall Johnny referring to his theme/ character for this program as being that of a "fallen angel." I don't have anything saved that I can find, but perhaps he mentioned it in one of his original blogs, or in an interview. I'm certain this program was discussed as being his "fallen angel" program many moons ago on his fan messageboard. I am definitely surprised to discover that it was never called that officially. Thanks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytbTMJN24QQ Maxim Mrvica fp **
** boring music, but masterfully skated -- Ohhh, Johnny
Not correct, Johnny said in his blog (which has since been removed from his site) that has original 05/06 program also had the theme of a "Fallen Angel."
The WayBackMachine is a beautiful thing. You're both correct about the 2005/2006 program also having a Fallen Angels theme:
I guess he likes that theme, since he used it again in 2007 with Melissa and Dennis, and also in 2009/2010.
I think we will see a very different Johnny on the ice. He seems to be so happy with his personal life now that I think he will be more relaxed on the ice. Does that make sense?
Johnny is set to become the first skater in a same sex marriage to compete in a figure skating competition.
All the sense in the world, yep! There's a lot to be said for a happy, loving relationship. I like how Johnny skates when he's in love ♥
Win, or lose, I don't care. I'd just be elated to see him out there again. I think, as a successful, married, gay man, he can give hope to others.
Okay, stopping before I really get into fangirl mode
That's good. Had he done much commentating before then?
I had never even heard of a honey badger until I just now looked it up on Wikipedia.
Well, when the shoe's on the other foot....
Didn't know that. I wonder if he ever considered becoming an equestrian?
Thanks for the info.
Johnny had previously worked with Peter C and Tara L doing pre- and post- World Championship coverage for Universal Sports (I forget the year--maybe it was 2010 or 2011 Worlds?)
Apparently there is a viral youtube video about a "fearless" honey badger. I haven't seen it yet. But most likely that is hands down where Johnny came by the reference. However, who besides Johnny would have immediately accessed that comparison to apply to Keegan while commentating during a group warm-up session at U.S. Nats?
Ha ha, yes, Johnny is a weird and funny guy. I believe Dick referred to Johnny as a "gazelle" and also as a "greyhound" as I recall, during Johnny's Otonal program at U.S. Nats in 2005. I believe Johnny later said in one of his blogs that he didn't like being compared to animals, but I suspect Johnny was secretly flattered if/ when he realized that Dick was praising his style of skating.
I haven't heard what Keegan thinks about Johnny calling him a "fearless honey badger." That nickname/ image will likely stick, and it's not a bad one for Keegan.
Oh yes. Johnny has discussed his equestrian career as a youth both in his book (Welcome to My World) and in a couple of Q&A responses on his old official site. In his book, Johnny describes at length how he had to make a choice between continuing with an equestrian career or continuing with his skating. He described it as a very difficult decision, but one he had to made due largely to financial reasons, but also to the fact that a young person has to choose to devote themselves to one sport if they ever hope to excel at a top level. Johnny mentioned something about not only loving skating but also the individuality of it, although he missed his pony when he gave up riding. I believe he was 12 when he had to make the choice.
Lots of young people have had to make such character-building decisions, altho' there are prodigies like Katherine Healy who was a figure skater and a ballet dancer (but she eventually chose a ballet career -- I don't think she ever competed as a skater in the senior ranks, but she skated exhibitions). There's a thread on FSU discussing Yasmin Siraj and her love of music and skating -- she excels at playing the piano. Armin M also plays the piano. I think a knowledge and love of music is very helpful to skaters.