Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir is best known for his fabulousness - sparkly ice-skating outfits, fluffy-puffy everyday ensembles, makeup, paparazzi, flashing cameras, fashion shows and, last December, getting hitched to his super-cute husband Victor Voronov.
But behind the flamboyance of Johnny's life is the less seen and more isolated side of being an athlete. Johnny, a New Jersey-based two-time Olympian, is one year into training for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. His practice sessions are rigorous and his diet restricted.
Johnny spoke with TVFirstLook about the second season of Be Good Johnny Weir (Logo - Monday, 10pm), giving up the glamorous life (for now) and being Mr. Weir-Voronov.
TVFirstLook: OK, so Be Good Johnny Weir is a great show. How did you get involved in reality TV?
Johnny Weir: After my first Olympic Games in 2006, I became an outspoken person. People were interested in my life. Two production companies approached me about doing a show, but really a documentary about what it takes to be an Olympic athlete.
I ended up working with Retribution Media in New York. They're not full-on Kardashians-style TV. That felt more comfortable for me. The life of a figure skater is very solitary, so it seemed nice to open up that world.
Sundance Channel offered to show the documentary. But they also wanted to do a reality show. I jumped at the chance.
Then, very rapidly, it turned from having a documentary crew of two people plus me to a full-fledged show with sound people, field producers and the whole crew that comes with doing a TV show.
So, during my second Olympics people could also see me on a reality TV show. It was fantastic. After that, Viacom and Logo approached me about doing a second season.
It's to show that my life isn't all fur and constantly going out. It's about hard work, dedication and showing people that if you want something in life, you have to make it happen for yourself.
TVFirstLook: OK, so on the show, you record the song "Dirty Love." You're a singer?
Johnny: After the Vancouver Olympics, I was transitioning from being a competitive athlete to the next phase in my life. I wanted to try a lot of different things. Singing a song was one of those things. I know I'm not Christina Aguilera. I just wanted to do it, even if no one ever heard it.
I had a week off from running around the world like a crazy person. A friend of mine in Los Angeles, Lucian Piane - RuPaul's producer, offered to help produce the song. So, I figured, 'Why not?'
I found out that I'm similar to RuPaul. You may not have lots of natural singing talent, but you have a message, you can dance and you keep up with the music. It was a fun project.
TVFirstLook: What happens in season two of Be Good Johnny Weir?
Johnny: You see me cutting a single and performing it live for the first time, and how terrible that went. You see me release a memoir. Being an author is another thing I wanted to do.
On the show, it covers my book tour and everything that goes into making a book a bestseller. The book did very well and it was a very exciting time in my life.
Being Johnny Weir takes a lot of work. It's not all glitter. It's hard work and a lot of people working with me.
This season, you also see me performing around the world. And there's a whole episode dedicated to New York Fashion Week - walking, designing.
I also go on a blind date in one episode. Dating has never really been part of my life.
TVFirstLook: Dating? You're married!
Johnny: That's the one problem with reality TV. There's a time delay.
Being married is wonderful. It's something that I never thought would happen to me. We found each other at the right time in our lives. He wasn't even out of the closet, so I helped him with that process. I'm very comfortable in my own skin. That helps him.
We're a really good partnership. Yeah, he's handsome. But, beyond that, we're a good match.
He doesn't know much about ice skating. And he's a lawyer and I don't understand anything about that. So, it's perfect. I don't have the pressure of trying to impress him.
TVFirstLook: OK, last thing. What's next for Johnny Weir?
Johnny: Last winter, I announced that I'm going to try out for a third Olympics (Sochi 2014). So, I'm strictly training for the Olympics. It has been a weird transition from being very free to being yelled at by a Ukrainian woman at 7am every morning.