'Skating With the Stars' Judge Johnny Weir: Sick Celebs Should 'Get Out There and Perform'
Brandon Mychal Smith ('Sonny With a Chance'), who's competing on the ABC reality competition series, was shown on Monday's episode being taken away on a stretcher in an ambulance. Footage of what appeared to be him vomiting was blurred out. On a doctor's advice, he did not perform. He and partner Keauna McLaughlin were judged on a taped rehearsal.
During the judges' critique, Weir wished Smith a speedy recovery, but also chastised him for not showing up to give it the old college try.
"If you're required to perform, you perform," Weir said.
"I'm a two-time Olympian," Weir told TV Squad after taping. "You don't get there the easy way. I had mono during my first Olympics. I've been carried by four Korean doctors to the middle of the ice, did a number and threw up the whole way to and from.
I've had terrible, terrible dehydration, skated with broken bones and skated the day after a huge loss in my family. You have to skate and perform. That's what life [as a professional skater] is."
But should celebrities on 'Skating With the Stars' be held to the same criteria? Yes, Weir said. "You have to walk the walk," he explained. "And this is a job for these guys right now. I feel terrible that Brandon's ill. Of course, nobody wants that to happen. He's one of my favorites in the competition, but you have to do what you can to get out there and perform. I would have given him higher scores if he'd shown up and skated."
While pro partners are known for being devoted to their celebrities, McLaughlin's response to Weir's statements may surprise you.
While McLaughlin also wished Smith a quick recovery, she didn't find Weir's stance to be particularly, well, cold-hearted.
"I completely understand Johnny's comment," McLaughlin said. "I'm an athlete. I've skated with the flu, a swollen shut eye, a sprained knee. The judges are accustomed to seeing skaters perform [hurt.] They really wanted to see that in Brandon, but if he can't get out of bed, he can't get out of bed."
Does McLaughlin think that Smith will understand Weir's intention? "I think he'll just be happy that we made it through another elimination round," she said.
Do agree with Weir? Should Smith have skated on Monday's show, despite being ill?