Friday, August 17, 2018
TV and Media

Ryan Lochte is in talks to be on 'Dancing With the Stars' — right where he should be

After he fabricated details of a robbery at the Rio Olympics that caused an international incident, embattled swimmer Ryan Lochte's sponsors have been dropping him left and right. But there's still one place that very much wants to be in the Lochte business: Dancing With the Stars.

On Wednesday, People magazine reported that the hit ABC reality competition is courting Lochte to be on Season 23, which debuts in mid September. ("Ryan has wanted to be on the show for years," a show "insider" said.) An ABC source confirmed to the Washington Post that Lochte is in talks to be on the show, though as usual, nothing will be officially announced until the cast is revealed next week on Good Morning America.

Either way, let's break this down: Lochte has to go on Dancing With the Stars.

DWTS is the ideal safe space for scandal-ridden celebrities — or more specifically, for stars that want to change the conversation. It's good old-fashioned image management. Just ask former contestants Paula Deen, Gary Busey or David Hasselhoff, best known for controversies or erratic behavior. On DWTS, there's an equal playing field: Everyone embarrasses themselves as they wear tacky clothes and struggle to learn the dances.

Even though Lochte might be the most recently disgraced contestant in show history, it would certainly change the narrative to see him on TV every week in a sparkly costume; he could hopefully display an ounce of humility and self-awareness.

Yet as helpful as an appearance would be, the show doesn't always treat celebrities with kid gloves. (A few years ago, host Tom Bergeron warned producers that they shouldn't have him interview musical guest Chris Brown unless Brown was prepared to answer some very uncomfortable questions.) There's no doubt that if Lochte is a contestant, his damaging lies from Rio will come up. But Lochte would be in a controlled environment with so many other distractions, and the main objective — no matter the reason for being there — is to dance well enough to capture the amazingly gaudy Mirror Ball Trophy.

It's a win-win for ABC: While the show is still going strong with an average of about 13 million viewers per episode last season, ratings have been steadily declining over the years — about 20 million people watched weekly in its heyday around 2011. A Lochte appearance would be a must-watch, especially after all the negative Olympics publicity.

Overall, Lochte still has a ways to go on his road to redemption. But Dancing With the Stars is a truly strong start.

Comments
How ‘Disenchantment’ is completely different from what Matt Groening has done before

How ‘Disenchantment’ is completely different from what Matt Groening has done before

First he came for the family sitcom. Then he came for the science-fiction adventure. Now he’s back for the medieval fantasy, and he’s grabbing the Disney princess movie while he’s at it.Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, has brought...
Updated: 7 hours ago
ICYMI: Pete Davidson says he proposed to Ariana Grande right away, they’re ‘learning how to be adults’

ICYMI: Pete Davidson says he proposed to Ariana Grande right away, they’re ‘learning how to be adults’

Here's some entertainment (and entertaining) news you might've missed this week.Pete Davidson talks about getting engaged Ariana Grande and ‘learning how to be adults’Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson says he's the "luckiest g...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Thursday, August 16

TODAYAutosTrucks: UNOH 200 qualifying4 p.m.FS1Trucks: UNOH 2008:30 p.m.FoxBaseballRays at Yankees1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMCubs at Pirates7 p.m.MLBDiamondbacks at Padres10 p.m.MLBBaseball, Little League World SeriesCaribbean vs. Asia-Pacific1 p.m.ESPNStat...
Published: 08/15/18

Sports on TV/radio for Wednesday, August 15

TODAYBaseballBrewers at Cubs2 p.m.MLBMariners at A’s (in progress)5 p.m.MLBRays at Yankees7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMRed Sox at Phillies7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Braves7:30 p.m.FSFGiants at Dodgers10 p.m.MLBGolfU.S. Amateur5 p.m.FS1SoccerUEFA Super Cup: Real Ma...
Published: 08/14/18

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, August 14

TODAYBaseballBrewers at Cubs2 p.m.MLBRays at Yankees7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMRed Sox at Phillies7 p.m.MLBMarlins at Braves7:30 p.m.FSFSoccerMexican: Zacatecas at Leon7:50 p.m.ESPNDMexican: Monterrey at Puebla9:55 p.m.ESPNDSoftball, Little League World Se...
Published: 08/13/18

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, August 13

TODAYBaseballMarlins at Braves, Game 11:30 p.m.FSF, MLBMets at Yankees7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Braves, Game 27:30 p.m.FSFGiants at Dodgers10 p.m.MLBGolfWorld Long Drive Tour6 p.m.GolfSoccer, U-20 Women’s World CupUnited States vs. Spain7:20 a.m.FS2German...
Published: 08/12/18
Idris Elba to star in film based on Tampa author G. Neri’s book

Idris Elba to star in film based on Tampa author G. Neri’s book

Have you heard the latest about Idris Elba?No, not the new round of speculation that the acclaimed actor might be the next James Bond. I'm talking about a role he's actually signed for — in a movie based on a book by Tampa author G. Neri.Elba h...
Published: 08/10/18
ICYMI: Demi Lovato cancels tour, Brad Pitt says he’s given Angelina Jolie millions since split

ICYMI: Demi Lovato cancels tour, Brad Pitt says he’s given Angelina Jolie millions since split

Here's some entertainment (and entertaining) news you might've missed this week.Demi Lovato cancels tour dates to focus on recoveryDemi Lovato has canceled the rest of her fall tour to focus on her recovery.The singer was scheduled to perform in Mexi...
Published: 08/10/18

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, August 10

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Consumer’s Energy 400 qualifying5 p.m.NBCSNBaseballNationals at Cubs2 p.m.MLBRays at Blue Jays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMets at Marlins7 p.m.FSFBaseball, Little LeagueMidwest Region semifinal11 a.m.ESPNNew England Region semi...
Published: 08/09/18
What does John Prine do while living in St. Petersburg?

What does John Prine do while living in St. Petersburg?

Yes, in case you didn't know, Grammy-winning folk-country singer John Prine is a Tampa Bay resident.Prine, 71, was recently featured in the New York Times' Carry On column, which said he and wife Fiona spend time in Nashville and Galway, Ireland, but...
Published: 08/09/18