Johnny Weir won't cross Carole Baskin on DWTS: She has 'big cats that she could sic on me'
The Tiger King star also revealed that her first performance will be to the song "Eye of the Tiger."
The two-time Olympic figure skater binge-watched the docuseries about exotic animal owners in the U.S. like the rest of us while quarantining, and while he won't make any judgments about who Baskin is as a person before meeting her, he knows she has many large animals in her care.
"I did watch Tiger King," Weir told EW during a call with reporters Wednesday. "I was one of the many millions that just kind of sat with their jaws on the floor watching Tiger King. Having lived a huge part of my life in the public eye and in the spotlight, I know how things can be twisted and made into a fantastic story. So I can't say that I know Carole Baskin. I also know that I can't judge Carole Baskin based on what I saw in a Netflix series that was obviously edited against her to a certain degree. But also, with that said, I hope I don't cross her because she has a lot of big cats that she could sic on me."
Baskin herself teased just how wild things would be getting on this season of DWTS. "I was just approved yesterday to release that we are doing 'Eye of the Tiger,'" she said of her first performance, which will be a paso doble. "I'm very excited about that. I'm actually sitting outside of costuming right now and I gave them the instructions of no fur, no feathers, no leather, and anything else. I don't care how wild, so just have a blast. I can't wait to see what they come up with!"
And while Weir doesn't have any untamed animals in his corner, he's got plenty of his competitors shaking too. But he's taking it all in stride, explaining that although he has competed as a figure skater, dancing is a whole different ballroom.
"In my opinion, I'm one of the most humble people when it comes to anything outside of figure skating," he said. "I realize that this is not my profession; this is a sport and a technique that I've never studied or learned in my life. So I don't have big goals of grandeur for myself. I want to do a good job. I hope by the end of this I'm a good enough dancer to be considered a dancer. Definitely there are people that think that I have an advantage because I'm a figure skater, but this is like anything else. Like being a surgeon or an ear, nose, and throat doctor and then all of a sudden switching to being a dentist. It's a very different skill that I'm trying to learn and despite my predisposition for musicality and performance ability and being strong and elegant at the same time. I think that to judge me, before I even dance, as a favorite is a bit of a reach. I can't wait to see the other celebrities perform, I can't wait to see what I'm up against should I continue on in the competition for more than a week."
Season 29 of Dancing With the Stars will premiere Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Dancing With the Stars