The connection between an internationally-renowned figure skating champion and a Eurovision diva might not be easy to see. But two-time Olympian, three-time U.S. National champion, and 2008 World bronze medalist Johnny Weir is showing us how it’s done, and bringing these fandoms of song and ice together. On Wednesday Weir posted a video on Instagram showing off his latest tribute to a Eurovision entry. His 2020 entry of choice is Efendi’s “Cleopatra”!
The insanely spirited clip shows Weir grooving and strutting to a snippet of Efendi’s song, while doing his best impression of her backing dancers’ choreography from the music video. The commitment and fire are there!
Weir’s message with the video pays homage to Cleopatra as well as his own diva of a dog (whose name, Tema, reflects Johnny’s love and appreciation for Russian culture — he’s a fluent Russian speaker). Johnny even breaks out a phrase in Azerbaijani, “Mən Azərbaycanı sevirəm!” (which in English means, “I love Azerbaijan!”). We love an artist expanding his love and appreciation for the rest of the world.
Johnny Weir’s love of Eurovision
This is not the first time that Johnny has expressed his love for a Eurovision artist through word and movement. In early June 2018, Johnny teased his dalliance with the Greek-Albanian songstress Eleni Foureira on Instagram. He was seen skating in a rink working choreography to “Fuego” — though he had not yet given away his intentions to skate to her music for an exhibition program later that season. We particularly appreciate the hashtag #booty.
Eleni responded on Twitter with a simple message with one red heart — showing her approval — just two hours later.
Reaction from fans of Johnny, Eleni, and Eurovision fans came thick and fast, with anticipation and hopes of seeing the new program high. That dream was fully realized in late June 2019, when Johnny burned up the ice with his “Fuego” program at the “Fantasy on Ice” show in Kobe, Japan.
Johnny slinks and sways across the ice in the same way Eleni did on the Eurovision stage in Lisbon, Portugal in 2018. Seeing him perform on cool ice without Eleni’s blazing fire does give the song different energy, but it is no less effective. We feel the heat!
Unfortunately, due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the world during the first half of this year, the entire 2020 “Fantasy on Ice” tour (which was to have enjoyed stops in the Japanese cities of Makuhari, Kobe, Niigata, and Shizuoka in May and June, as well to the Chinese city of Shanghai) was cancelled. With the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc with the spring and summer schedule of both the competitive and show skating season, it is unclear if we’ll get to see Johnny glide gracefully and intensely across the ice to “Fuego” or “Cleopatra” in a show environment any time soon. Let’s just hope that Johnny continues to grace Eurovision and skating fans with more Eurovision appreciation in the meantime!
What do you think about Johnny’s “Cleopatra”? What other Eurovision songs do you think might work for him to perform to? Let us know in the comments below!