Ryan Lochte didn't have the greatest performance at the Rio Olympics, and I'm not just talking about swimming. In the actual events, Lochte came in fifth in the Men's 200m individual medley, which was not his greatest look ever. Out of the pool, he was accused of manufacturing a story about getting robbed in Rio. Because of this controversy, many of his sponsors dropped him, but then yesterday we learned that ABC picked him up for Dancing with the Stars Season 23. Executive producer Rob Wade recently revealed why the series opted to give the swimmer a shot, despite the press. Here's what he had to say:
We were committed to Ryan. We use the show as a place where people can come on and tell their story. It's often been a show where people can come up and talk about things that have happened in their lives that are very positive and things that were more problematic, and we felt like for us, this is an opportunity for Ryan to come on and show his true self and dance on the show and have some fun. We certainly didn't feel like we should be pulling the offer away from him.
Basically: it's not just TNT that knows drama; ABC is in that game too. Dancing with the Stars has always focused on the ups and downs of various celebrities and not simply their dancing skills. Just a short time ago, Mischa Barton used DWTS as a platform to discuss what happened to her in the time after The O.C. finished airing. Ryan Lochte, too, will get the chance to address what happened at the Olympics for the umpteenth time. If he's particularly charming, it could help him to turn his reputation around.
Of course, Rob Wade also told TV Guide that it will probably depend on how well Ryan Lochte dances.
I think it's all going to depend on how he dances, quite honestly. I think we're a great place for him to come on and be himself, and people will judge him on how they see him in training, and how they see him on the dance floor. I honestly don't know how he'll do.
Those who have little skill and end up leaving the series early have less time to connect with the audiences at home. However, the Dancing with the Stars contestants who dance well and stick it out often end up winning over audiences. That could prove to be a boon for Ryan Lochte in the long run. That is, if he's actually good at dancing. Or at least continues to be amusing.
It probably helped Ryan Lochte that he was in negotiations with the reality competition series, which airs on ABC, before he dealt with any drama at the 2016 Olympics. However, Dancing with the Stars could be the swimmer's chance at redemption. Or else, it may end up just giving us another reason to laugh at his expense. Tune in to find out when Dancing with the Stars airs on Monday, September 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. In addition, you can find out when the rest of your fall favorites are returning with our premiere schedule.