Ryan Lochte On 'DWTS'? That May Not Be A Good Idea

Another day, another celebrity name is being bandied about for Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. Today’s rumored cast member is Ryan Lochte, the Olympic swimmer who just found himself in surprisingly hot water after admittedly fibbed about being attacked in Rio de Janeiro during the summer games. And I could understand why both the athlete and the network would want to make the deal. His name is in a lot of headlines these days. That is, I imagine, partly the aim of the casting directors: To hook some celebrities into joining the show who will draw in big ratings. But it also makes sense to me why someone in Ryan Lochte’ s shoes would want to do something like this show. Like anyone who has done something wrong, he might want to do something like Dancing with the Stars right away to get back in the good graces of an American audience. But just because he wants to get back on our best side doesn’t mean that it’s the best idea for his career.

Because here’s the thing about a comeback: It’s usually a good idea to let the dust settle before you come back. In fact, I can’t think of many celebrities or athletes or artists who have made a come back without first letting the heat go completely out of whatever scandal or flop they were involved in in the first place. My concern with Lochte potentially starring on Dancing with the Stars is that it wouldn’t be for the triumphant return that so many of his fans want for him. In light of this recent scandal and the absolute ire that so many people around the world are still feeling about it, I’m not sure that Lochte would find himself in a place of being completely beloved by American audiences. No matter how good his pasa doble and cha cha were.

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So here’s my two cents on the matter: If I were Ryan Lochte I would graciously decline the spot on Season 23. Then, when things have settled down — and settled down considerably — I would revisit the idea. Hopefully then Lochte could achieve a true comeback, one in which people are rooting for his success, not hoping for some kind of karmic downfall.