Can Ryan Lochte dance his way to redemption? The disgraced swimmer is set to join the celebrity cast for the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars, a source tells People. Though the ABC show wouldn’t confirm the report, an “insider” says “Ryan has wanted to be on the show for years.” Lochte, 32, could use some good PR. Slammed for fabricating a robbery story, Lochte has insisted he only “over-exaggerated” details of the incident in Rio. This week, the 12-time Olympic medalist was dumped by Speedo and Ralph Lauren. Lochte wouldn’t be the first bold-face name to seek a comeback on the top-rated show.
One such dancer was Paula Deen, who signed on after making racist comments in 2013 that landed her a raft of negative press, notes the Atlantic. DWTS isn’t the first TV gig for Lochte, who capitalized on a jokey persona cultivated during the 2012 London Olympics to land a short-lived reality show on E! The low-rated What Would Ryan Lochte Do? was cancelled in 2013, per the New York Times. The shaggy-haired swimmer, who gained semi-fame by playing the quirky foil to super-serious Michael Phelps, also played a part as a “sex idiot” on 30 Rock. “I see me being a designer, I see me being a model, I see me being a TV star,” Lochte once said. (Read more Ryan Lochte stories.)