UPDATE: Scroll down for NEW VIDEO from the February 6 broadcast of Medal Winners Open in Japan!
Yes! We have complete coverage of Medal Winners Open and New Year on Ice—or as complete as it can be, given that photography and videography are not allowed at Japanese ice shows. But where there’s a will—or a million desperate Johnny fans—there’s a way, and we do, in fact, have video of two-thirds of what he did over the weekend, including exclusive video of his MWO program. Alas, his performance in the second NYOI show on Sunday will likely live on only in the memories of the lucky fans who got to see it in Osaka, because that show was not televised, so there is no recording forthcoming, bootlegged or otherwise, as far as I know. But despite that little hiccup, we have a cornucopia of goodies to enjoy, not the least of which is the running subtext of the weekend in Osaka, namely: Johnny & Zhenya Break Instagram.
We begin with Friday’s competition, which was not as stellar as we had hoped. Though we didn’t know it at the time, Johnny’s special talisman necklace broke shortly before he was to take the ice, and things sort of went awry from there. Also somewhere in the middle of everything, he kicked himself with his own skate and injured his leg. But he soldiered gamely on, and came roaring back on Saturday with a stunning performance of his now-iconic Creep program that moved many in the audience to tears (and also those of us watching wistfully on the livestream). Sunday he performed Masquerade again and nailed it, judging by the ecstatic reactions on Twitter. Many fans attended both NYOI shows, and commented on how much they loved Johnny’s versatility in presenting such contrasting costumes and programs in Creep and Masquerade. They called him their “Prince on Ice” in his Masquerade costume.
My two favorite reviews from the weekend, roughly translated from Japanese:
Johnny’s skating is breathtakingly spectacular in its smoothness and speed, and even in the front row, his blades make no sound at all. Lean, beautiful movement, with sharpness and strength, and he uses the entire rink. And yesterday’s performance [of Creep] was the best in any ice show I’ve ever seen. He still has all the skills he had when he won three times in the United States.
Johnny is beauty itself without makeup. He makes both programs shine from his own inner light. There are no crystals, no sequins that shine more than Johnny himself on the ice.
And of course he was showered with love and a happily ridiculous amount of outrageously huge flowers the entire brief time he was in Japan, which is always wonderful to see. And then there was Zhenya…
UPDATE! NEW VIDEO of Johnny’s post-skate interview from the Japanese broadcast of MWO:
Very special thanks to @325noane on Twitter for the video!
And also: seven seconds of pure Johnnyness from the New Year on Ice broadcast:
MEDAL WINNERS OPEN (Full video of his performance at the end of this section)
Johnny’s page in the MWO program booklet!
パンフのジョニー。去年のお写真ですね😊 by @hina_kinako
Beautiful flowers from Johnny’s Japanese Angels.
Beautiful flowers for JOHNNY @JJAngelstwit 綺麗な花かごありがとうございます。 by @donotbeordinary
Instagram photo by @donotbeordinary
#JJA のお花シックで素敵です。いつもありがとうございます。参加できて嬉しいです。 💕💐💕 by @midnight_kurage
Wonderful screencaps of his Masquerade.
ジョニー完全にコンペの表情だった。美しく華麗なMasquerade waltzでした。 by @hina_kinako
#johnnyweir @johnnygweir #MWO かっこいい素敵すぎる♡ by @mi_nami__na
#johnnyweir #MWO @johnnygweir This pic is so cool. my favorite pic!!!!! I love johnny’s skate!!!!💓💓 by @mi_nami__na
NEW! Screencap from the livestream.
NEW! Screencap via @Lily_shenka.
Screencap courtesy of @mi_nami__na.
And a lovely series from the kiss-and-cry.
#johnnyweir #MWO @johnnygweir So cute💓 by @mi_nami__na
#johnnyweir #MWO @johnnygweir 最高にkawaii💖 by @mi_nami__na
#johnnyweir #MWO かわいい💖 @johnnygweir by @mi_nami__na
More screencaps courtesy of @mi_nami__na:
After the competition, with flowers and bandaid.
Thank you all so much for your support and happy faces today! I love my flowers and they make me smile. ❤️ by @johnnygweir
Also: hanging out with Ilya and Carolina…
With my two of my great skating inspirations, Ilya Kulik and @mskostner. ❤️🦄 #BoleroKisses by @johnnygweir
…and the boys.
Via Nobunari Oda.
Thanking fans for all these beautiful bouquets…
I am so lucky. Thank you to my amazing fans. We are with each other, through thick and thin! I love you all. by @johnnygweir
…and then we learned what a rough day he’d had:
One of those days when your talisman necklace breaks and you literally “kick yourself”. by @johnnygweir
Editorial note: I almost didn’t want to put the video up because he’s clearly upset about his performance. And yet I think there are profound lessons in watching him handle it in the moment, and in the flood of compassion it provoked in his fans. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want. What do we do with that? What do we do with that when thousands of people are watching? What do we do with that when it happens to someone we care about? All important things to consider… I always want him to win all the things. But there is beauty and strength and grace in it when he doesn’t also. Because he makes it so, and because he’s so heartbreakingly real about it.
NEW YEAR ON ICE
The next day: more gorgeous flowers to cheer him up…
Morning pastel vibes, no filter. by @johnnygweir
…and then this happened. Which I may never be able to stop watching. Fortunately I’ll never have to, because Zhenya reposted it here.
The Snow King and Kai start their day with a proper wiggle @plushenkoofficial #снежныйкорольfamily by @johnnygweir
And also this:
Soooo hard … Тяжелые японские будни , японская разминка перед тренировкой с Джонником. @johnnygweir 💪🏻👈🏻 by @plushenkoofficial
From his Creep performance on Saturday:
Creep. by @johnnygweir
I love you guys! Thank you to my fans for supporting me again today in Osaka! I was so touched to see so many banners and USA flags waving! by @johnnygweir
Johnny’s hauntingly beautiful Creep. Truly one of the most mesmerizing programs he’s ever created. With special thanks to Anastasia Pryanikova for recording this from the livestream!
UPDATE: YouTube version of the finale was removed, but we have a replacement now!
Show finale: Johnny first appears beginning at about 1:15. With special thanks once again to Anastasia!
The last day: NYOI preshow…
Warm-up with @plushenkoofficial by @johnnygweir
With 2015 Japanese Novice Champion Sena Miyake, via Sena.
🌳In the bush🌳Thank you Machiko-San! by @johnnygweir
EXCLUSIVE BONUS PICS
Very special thanks to Machiko-san for these!
Rose crown from Machiko…
…for Medal Winners Open.
Rose crown from Machiko for New Year on Ice.
MORE BONUS PICS
Look at what’s arrived for some lucky Japanese fans: the Limited Edition Johnny Weir iPhone case!
届きましたよ〜📬😺 by @ugachan0723
Тёма🐶 来たー❣️ by @takako.isk
BONUS FAN ART
Gorgeous work from Ryoko. ❤️
#johnnyweir #MasqueradeWaltz #MWO #medalwinnersopen by @ryoko201
#johnnyweir #MasqueradeWaltz #MWO #medalwinnersopen by @ryoko201
And the aftermath of his insane schedule. Please feel better soon, Johnny! ♥
This is what exhaustion looks like. Feeling better already. by @johnnygweir
GET READY! US Nationals are happening as we speak. Here’s when you can tune into NBC to get Johnny and Tara’s take on all the action:
Image via Johnny’s official website.