As a former Olympic figure skater, Johnny Weir loves a good competition.
It’s even better when it’s the Eurovision Song Contest, he told CNN, as he is a self-proclaimed superfan of the annual competition.
“This contest has inspired me for many years,” he said. “I’ve actually taken some of the songs and performed them on the ice.”
Weir will be hosting and providing commentary for the semi-finals and finals, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the US.
He’s used to working with NBC, Peacock’s parent company, providing commentary for figure skating competitions. Weir is gliding into his Eurovision duties, which start Tuesday.
“I know for some people might be a strange leap to put a figure skating commentator on the Eurovision song contest, but this is absolutely easy peasy, organic,” he said. “I’m such a huge fan that I’m just going to be queening out the whole time with everybody else at home.”
The annual competition pits singers, who must perform live, from participating countries against each other and has become a worldwide phenomena.
Viewers from participating broadcasters can vote for their favorite song, but not for their own country. There is also a jury of professionals. Votes from the professional juries and viewers are then combined to factor into the performers score.
Famous past winners include the group ABBA and singer Celine Dion.
Weir loves the pageantry, politics and showmanship of Eurovision.
He said he believes one of the most poignant moments in this year’s competition is going to come from the the folk-rap band Kalush Orchestra, who are representing Ukraine which is currently fighting against Russian occupation.
“I think the message that the artists from Ukraine are sending is we’re here, we’re strong and we are Ukraine,” Weir said. “They’re performing with traditional Ukrainian instruments with traditional Ukrainian costuming.”
“The song was originally created for the [one of the ]artist’s mother,” he added. “And it’s now become a song that means so much to the entirety of Ukraine and to every Ukrainian mother going through these dark times.”
While it is a European competition, Weir promises that Americans watching will find a contestant to root for.
He said he’s partial every year to the entry from Norway, as he “is Norwegian by blood,” while also pulling for Iceland, and, this year, Ukraine.
Weir has been following the competition since the beginning and said he’s going to try to resist the urge to sing along.
“They are turning my mic off during the actual performances, so maybe I can sing a along,” he said, laughing.
The first semi-final happens Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. The second semi-final is Thursday at p.m. ET, followed by the grand final at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday,