Ever had 30 million folks watch what your were doing? You best be wearing a diaper. Much respect to Michael Johns, whose career and entire life trajectory depended on composure and confidence with 60 million eyeballs staring at ya. Staring down on every pore of his Down Under face, every twitch of the upper lip. Yep, you know the upper lip twitch. Michael Johns does not. I saw him on the snow covered red carpet for the Mann’s premeiere of The Story. I looked for the twitch. Nothing.
TSC: Two planks or one, Aussi Crooner?
JM: I grew up before Snowboarding was really known. Coming from only beach weather, the idea of seeing snow was crazy. I love watching both sports but i have to say snowboarding really grabs my attention, especially the halfpipe.
TSC: Nearest skiing to Perth is 2791 km. I measured it with my ruler. That’s a tough haul…
JM: Yes, that’s an understatement. It’s all surfers where I’m from.
TSC: The lowdown on skiing in OZ?
JM: Skiing is mainly a couple months a year in Victoria and NSW. The fact we have Skiers in the Olympics and who medal is fantastic. It really is a growing sport for sure.
TSC: Throw some ski resort shout outs…
JM: I love Whistler and Jackson Hole. Big Bear is close to me as well, but I haven’t been there yet. In the next few years I want to spend some time on the slopes for sure.
TSC: Could you please mix some hearsay and the word “killer”?
JM: I hear Christmas Ridge on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho is killer. My buddy skiis there every year.
(Editor’s note: excellent answer)
TSC: Favorite mountain athlete?
JM: I love Shaun White. I was a fan first and then got lucky enough to work with him. He is a badass in all aspects of life.
TSC: Yeah, rap to us about Shaun White’s Don’t Look Down…
JM: It came about from a chance meeting Shaun had with a good friend of mine in Salt Lake after the Olympics. All the airports were closed and my friend’s plane was the last to be cleared. He invited Shaun a lift haha. They got to talking and they agreed to make a Doc about the behind the scenes travel and life of Shaun.
TSC: That was my idea! Need to get a plane… Your singing is all over tht movie.
JM: Yes, I and two friends wrote and co-wrote every track. I sung on all but one song. It was fun to write to scenes of Shaun killing it on the slopes. He is a pretty good musician himself. He can shred it on the guitar.
TSC: What brought you out to the premiere of The Story?
JM: I had the chance meeting at the great Bryan Brothers Charity event with Ski Channel Founder Steve Bellamy. He had started the Tennis Channel some years earlier (editor’s note: you don’t say!). I came here on a Tennis scholarship, so tennis has been a big part of my life. His son is like the 1st or 2nd ranked player in the country.
TSC: Roger Ebert is still bringin’ it, but the great Gene Siskel is no longer with us. So take the available chair and give us your take on “The Story”…
JM: I knew it was going to be inspiring and fun but had no idea it was going to be this good. I really enjoyed every story line. It’s fun to see people at the top of their sport.
TSC: Give some kindness to your favorite part of the flick:
JM: I am a bit of an old romantic at heart, so the love story towards the end really got me haha. Very cool and inspirational
TSC: Tell us about your new work with producer legend (to the 50th power) David Foster. That dude is MEGA.
JM: I met David in 2008 after my stint on American Idol. He told me he really liked my voice and invited me to sing on his Vegas TV special for PBS. I was floored and very honored. He is one of the biggest Producer/Songwriters of all time. We have continued working and touring together all over. I actually just sang the theme song for a movie David is a producer on. It’s called Heart of the Dragon, the story of Rick Hansen, a wheelchair athlete who wheelchaired across the country and even to the Great Wall of China. Pretty epic story.
TSC: Props to Mr. Hansen, sounds like an amazing story. Alright, American Idol, Seaon 10. Wow. An institution, no doubt.
JM: It was a fantastic experience. It allowed me a platform you just can’t get anywhere else. I mean 30 million people a week watch you do your thing. It has given me a career so i really couldn’t have asked for more. However, standing up there in front of all those people getting told you suck isn’t that fun haha.