Athlete, Olympian, All-American, Role Model, Vandal, Thief, Disgrace, Scum, Dancer! Ryan Lochte stole our hearts in Beijing, broke them in Rio and now he’s going to try to Cha Cha his way back into every American household on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Lochte was a 20 year old pretty boy who stole to hearts of every American housewife in the 2004 Olympics. He broke two world records in 08’, left London with two golds, two silvers a bronze and has been swimming in Michael Phelps’ shadow since Athens. He has dominated the backstroke, butterfly and freestyle, has experienced world renowned wins with humility and has accepted unexpected losses with class.
Since 2008, Lochte was always the cute sidekick of Phelps, but was never able to rack the same medal count. The past two games he’s been one of the top boys to lookout for, but hasn’t delivered the anticipated outcome. His smile and charm on camera made him an American heartthrob and then he threw away the love of his viewers and two major sponsorships in this summer’s past games when he lied about being robbed at gunpoint to cover up the vandalizing and theft of a gas station in Rio.
Now that he and his three partners in crime are safe and sound back on US soil, Lochte is working to make a comeback every Monday and Tuesday night for the next 12 weeks. “I have been in the media for the wrong reasons. My biggest regret is letting other people down and I want to prove to the world that I’ve changed.” Lochte said in his DWTS opening night interview. “It’s my second chance and I don’t want to blow it.” His professional dance partner, Cheryl Burke said in her pre dance interview, “I really want to help Ryan find his way again.”
A video recap of Cheryl and Ryan’s first dance practice began with Cheryl telling him what their first dance was going to be. “So the name of the song is called ‘Call Me Irresponsible,’ does that remind you of anybody?”
The show is presenting the perfect ratio of Lochte bashing and Lochte building. He danced like a fish out of water- you felt bad for him, but you could tell his determination and competitiveness was there. He worked hard and he got a standing ovation and a teary eyed close up of his mom applauding him. The best part of the night was not until after the dance was over and the judges were scoring when protesters wearing ‘Anti Lochte’ shirts ran onto the stage and started screaming “Liar.” People were tackled, audience members booed and then the show’s most popular dancer, Ryan Hough, started kicking out more “Anti Lochte” protesters in the crowd while screaming, “Get out this is a good show, a positive show.”
Lochte has full support of the show from the judges, to the hosts to the cast. After the protest fiasco Lochte responded, “So many feelings, I’m feeling a little hurt… I have the best dance partner in the world.” Host, Tom Bergeron responded to the events with, “We are a nation built on second chances. I would like to thank the security to staying in shape.”
After an emotional rollercoaster of a 3 hour live program filled with cheek bones, crooked feet and on stage drama, we were left with Lochte’s partner saying, “He’s an amazing guy. He’s great, he’s kind and he’s working his butt off and he’s here doing what he’s doing. He’s here to dance.” One of the judges ended the night saying to him, “We are only here to judge your ballroom dancing.”
Kerry-Anne and the rest of the judges are on the show to only judge his dancing, but Lochte is riding on more than just winning mirror-ball trophy this season.