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'Skating With the Stars' Judge Johnny Weir: Sick Celebs Should 'Get Out There and Perform'

by Michael Maloney, posted Dec 7th 2010 5:00PM
Johnny Weir, Skating with the StarsDon't let the smile and flamboyant costumes fool you -- Johnny Weir is no pushover. The 'Skating With the Stars' judge feels that skaters -- even of the aspiring/celebrity kind -- need to perform even when they're injured.

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?

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Haters comments are not valuable because they are biased. People like the poster above were criticizing Weir when he had to withdraw from the US nationals competition in 2003. Some said he is lying about his injury which is not true. It was Weir's first time senior competition experience and never had that kind injury situation and had no idea what to do.
Skaters get critisisms for this is incredible to me.
In Skate Canada 2005 when Weir got injury, strained his ankle after landed on his triple jump, he didnt stop the program and kept continuing it until the end , fought through the pain. He fought through several illnesses, injuries many times.

The Haters don't know Weir personally, making their own senario based on what they want to think.

What Weir is saying as a judge is normal. It's good to show figure skating world is not weak, sugar coating world. Because majority of people still consider figure skating is weak sport which is not.

December 13 2010 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Johnny talks too much. Plus, he's a major hypocrite. Picture it: US National Figure Skating Championships, Dallas Texas, 2003. A flamboyant yet graceful young skater steps out on the ice, leading after the short program. A few seconds in, he stumbles, and asks if he can start over. He does, stumbles again, and quite badly this time, then walks up to the judges and quietly asks them if he could withdraw from the competiton. The audience gasps, and the young skater leaves - in SHAME. Who was that skater? Johnny Weir. Why was it okay for him to withdraw from the competition? And then criticize Brandon for bowing out of something far less prestigious. Brandon is not a trained skater like Johnny either. And all that hoo-hockey about four Korean doctors carrying him off the ice is a BALD FACED LIE!!!! And at the time, Weir was NOT A PROFESSIONAL SKATER, but an Olympic-eligible skater. I'm so sick of people coming to Weir's defense when he's nothing but a loudmouthed twink whose fifteen minutes were up ages ago. I belong to a skating forum where there are nothing but fat, ugly, Entemann's eating freaks who obsess over everything Johnny Weir. Go to FSUNIVERSE.NET and listen to the psychotic losers wax poetic over EVERYTHING Weir says and does - it's PATHETIC. Even his bowel movements seem to move them to tears.

December 08 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to BITTERINA's comment

I think that Johnny's bitter comments on the show and personal attitude towards certain celebrities are far off the mark. Previous to the show, I was a Weir fan, to a certain extent. Growing up, I also had a background of skating competitively. In the skating world Johnny was never the "star of the show." There were skaters that outshined him in athleticism and performance. Where he shined was his personal performances and choreography.

Athletes such as Evan were better representatives because they signified the "whole package" in skating. Therefore, I feel that this series is a joke. From the first week Bethanny Frankel was the only performer who had personal comments slinged at her. The judges are saying that their critisms are not personal, however she is the only performer that they sling personal comments about her drive, commitment and just downright mean, inappropriate remarks (that don't even make sense). Grant it there are performers that had some skating experience and maybe a little more graceful on ice than her, however, there were also performers that performed far less well. I feel the way the show has become, that a performer can fall on their face, not finish a program and the judges would say wonderful, wonderful and Bethanny would perform with minimal mistakes and Johnny would say she is the worst human being in the world. The show has become a JOKE--alot of viewers who I speak to, have the same insight. I feel that Johnny is the one who wants to use this show to gain publicity and stardom, by creating conflict and drama and being viewed as the harsh judge. However, he is making himself look like a joke. I feel he wants to be a celebrity, since he never was the top star in skating and be viewed along the lines as Simon (American Idol) or Len (DWTS), but the difference is those judges use constructive critism, not personal remarks and bias. For me he has lost a fan, who followed him in the skating world.

December 14 2010 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hudel -

If you have ever been a fan of Weir, and have ever attended ice shows , you must know the audience reaction to Weir in every ice show , especially after Vancouver Olympics.

Weir is a world star, a skater who has so many ardent fans all over the world especially Japan, Russia, Korea, USA.

Every time Weir appeared on ice, the ice rink became like a concert hall. The commentators in Japan also mentioned it.

Also If you ever were fan of Weir, you must know what kind of person he is, he speaks his mind, honest and direct. Sweet heartfelt personality to each fan when they met him.

Bethenny called figure skating as " idiotic ". She has been saying " I don't care what judges think."

I didn't know about her as I'm not a fan of TV shows much. Surprised to see this kind of celebrity, and her fans who expect to get special treatment or take everything personally bringing up their own issues with Jill (?). It's clear scores Weir gave to her are fair, same as Dick Button. and What he is saying to all the performers are all good advice to improve. It's a competition. Other performers ,Jonny and Rebbecca are seriously working hard, listening to what judges advise them to win.

Frankly, Weir is not losing fans, but is increasing them every day. That is a fact whether you want to believe it or not.

I saw several Bethenny fans started pretending to say " I was a weir fan" and attacking him but knew nothing about him or the skating world, and this has been cracking me up.

December 17 2010 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Johnny did the right thing by explaining why he would give lower scores to Brandon's team since they had to judge the rehearsal footage and didn't have the chance to judge an in-person performance. I also understand that Brandon may not have wanted to perform since he would have had to lift Keauna while he did not have his full strength, he could have really hurt her if he dropped her! That would have been worse for them both, so I think the right decisions were made all around even if some people were offended. It's true that the celebrities are not pro skaters though, and perhaps they should be given a little bit more slack when being judged given that they have so much less experience than the professionals do.

December 07 2010 at 11:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Weir is an athlete, and so is McLaughlin, so of course both of them would have this stance.
Even though this isn't the Olympics, it's still a show and a competition, you pull yourself together for the minute and a half that it takes. The judges can only judge the performances of that night. If there's no performance, it becomes kind of unfair to the others.

December 07 2010 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Papillon mom

After what happened to the other professional skater (a sliced hand from her partner's trip and fall), I wouldn't want another professional hurt because she competed with her sick partner in a weakened state. The professionals have skated for years and practiced their routines for months, so they can go out and still perform even when not at their best, but these stars only had a week. I thought the taped version was pretty darn good. Now maybe they knew he wasn't that sick, but I don't think it's worth the chance of hurting himself or his partner and maybe he thought he would do worse than the taped version.

December 07 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig Ranapia

I understand where Weir is coming from -- you don't get to the Olympics without pushing your body to the limits and beyond for year after year; without the kind of obsessive determination that is a hair away from utter insanity.

But let's write a little reality check here: Smith is not a blasted professional athelete, and SWTS is not the Olympic Games. Weir could have made his point without being such a d-bag about it.

December 07 2010 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Craig Ranapia's comment

I think because they were asked to judge a practice they treated it the way they should have. They should have just given Brandon a bye to next week, he wasn't going to be eliminated this week anyway. I think Weir was being truthful and fair. Good for him. I do like Brandon though.

December 07 2010 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy Martin

I'm a huge Johnny Weir fan but, sad to say, I'm becoming less of a fan after watching him critique these stars. Having him sign on as one of the judges is the main reason I decided to watch this show but I'm so disappointed in how critical he is. These aren't Olympic skaters and it's much harder to perform on the ice than it is to perform on the floor as in "Dancing With the Stars". He's downright nasty to Bethenny Frankel and I can't understand why. She's not great but she's certainly not as awful as Johnny makes her out to be. So my advice to Johnny is to lighten up before this experience ends up losing you some of your fans.

December 07 2010 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Nancy Martin's comment

You apparently are not aware of waht is going on behind the scenes at SWTS. Not only have a segment of Ms Frankel's fans been downright nasty to JOhnny Weir (to a lesser degree with Laurieann and even Dick Button) to the point they are hurling homophobic slurs at him and so forth, but Bethenny is adding to it. She audibly said 'F++k JOhnny Weir' during last week's segment, and this week she said she'd like to stick a skate blade up Lauriann's butt. IN an article she suggested Johnny Weir wanted to be a woman, and this week she verbally abused Weir backstage at the show. This was witnessed by other people who were the ones who told other poeple about it, not Weir. This is by a woman who was a spokeswoman for GLAAD and should know better just by standards of decency anyway. If she were being judged on her behavior, especially by WEir, she'd be getting minus ten on every score.

December 07 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Johnny's tone when he critiques the celebs has never been anything less than polite, and he always finds something positive to say. I think he's been very kind in his remarks to Bethenny, but it's his job to judge her skating, and she is still struggling to perform the most basic skills, so her scores and the comments from the judges reflect that fact.

December 08 2010 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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