Ryan Lochte may have lost millions of dollars in sponsors, but he’s set to appear on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for Season 23. Following the Olympic swimmer’s robbery scandal in Rio, word comes that Lochte has signed on as a contestant on the popular reality show.
Us Weekly reports that multiple sources claim he’ll be named on the official cast. The announcement is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30 on Good Morning America.
“Doing DWTS will be great for Ryan’s image!” says an insider. “He will be able to show America that he’s a good guy who made a mistake. He’s still an Olympic champion! He will be great on the show.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) August 24, 2016
Other outlets report that Ryan Lochte is in talks to appear on Dancing with the Stars. A source told People magazine that Lochte may be among the front-runners, saying that the 32-year-old Olympic gold medalist “has wanted to be on the show for years.”
An additional source revealed to E! News that Ryan Lochte has no plans to do anything at this time.
“Ryan is not planning on doing anything big at this moment. He is trying to let the dust settle for now,” the source said. “He is taking a break from swimming for a little bit, but will get back at training when he feels up to it. He is not giving up, he just is very overwhelmed what has happened.”
The source doesn’t make it sound promising that Lochte will appear on Dancing with the Stars. He’s reportedly been in talks with the show’s producers before but hasn’t been added to the roster. Will the outcome be different this time because he’s desperate to redeem his reputation? There’s also the question whether ABC thinks it’s a good move to add him to the cast.
Another report published by Radar Online quoted a source as saying that getting Ryan Lochte signed on with DWTS is part of “a well-orchestrated and carefully planned career redemption tour being organized by some of the best public relations advisors and crisis managers in the business.” The insider continued that Lochte’s people believe if Americans watch him on the dance floor that it’ll show the robbery incident in Rio was an “aberration.”
Lochte caught heat after he and three other U.S. swimmers — Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen, and Gunnar Bentz — told law enforcement and the press that they were robbed at gunpoint after leaving a party in Rio de Janeiro. After a full investigation, authorities were unable to find anything supporting their allegations. Surveillance footage did show the athletes vandalizing property at a gas station bathroom. A security guard pointed gun at them ordering payment for damages. When Lochte interviewed with Today’s Matt Lauer, he said he “overexaggerated” the story and that had he not done that, no one would have been in “this mess.”
— ExtraTV (@extratv) August 24, 2016
Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Airweave, and Gentle Hair Removal revoked their contracts with Ryan Lochte following the scandal. It’s estimated that Lochte will lose as much as $10 million in endorsements. Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympics Committee, said that the organization is considering additional disciplinary action for all of the swimmers involved in the Rio robbery scandal.
Amid Lochte’s robbery scandal, other possible contestants for DWTS in the upcoming season expected to be named next week include soap star, Emma Samms, The Bachelorette’s JoJo Fletcher, The Fosters‘ Jake T. Austin, and entertainer, Amber Rose.
Hearing about famous people getting into trouble with the law is no longer shocking. In fact, whatever laws they break quickly blow over with the public. It’s hard to predict if ABC will agree to include Ryan Lochte on the DWTS cast list if he’s willing to do it.
Dancing with the Stars Season 23 premieres on Monday, September 12 on ABC at 8 p.m., ET/PT.
[Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images]