Dancing With The Stars Cheryl Burke talked with The Charlotte Observer about Ryan Lochte and how she always loves a dance partner who is going through change or controversy because she likes to be able to affect their life more than just teaching them how to dance. I think she’s done just that, do you? Read on for how she’s gotten to know who he really is…
Q. So have you figured out who this guy really is?
Oh, for sure, and I think that what they show on the show is reality. The producers aren’t scripting this and telling him, “Make sure you’re goofy this week.” He is that person. After spending almost seven weeks now every single day together, I know that this is who he is: He’s charming, he’s funny, he’s down to earth, he is a mama’s boy, and he is a gentleman. He just wants to feel accepted again by everybody. …
(His experience in Rio) made him really grow up mentally and made him realize that, you know what? Not everything is gonna be a fairy tale, or not everything’s gonna go your way, and you have to be prepared for the punches that are being thrown at you.
Q.How well do you think he’s been handling the pressure?
(After the incident with the protesters) his first thought was, “I need to get out of here. I don’t want to be a part of this. I don’t want to affect someone’s life. The show doesn’t deserve this, Cheryl doesn’t deserve this.” He didn’t want be a burden. And then when we all rallied behind him and he felt the love from the other celebs and dancers on the show, he was like, “OK, I’m gonna stay.” … This show is really intense, and it’s every single day. You’re going out there, you’re doing something you don’t know how to do in front of millions of people on a live television show. I mean, that alone is so scary. But in a way, the fact that it’s so time-consuming has been good for Ryan because it’s distracting him from all the other stuff. Instead of reading about or Googling himself, he’s focusing on this.
And every time we get (mediocre scores) it’s making him stronger and it’s making him want to work harder. And every time that we’re out there and he is in jeopardy, in the bottom, he realizes he’s just got to step it up. This is not easy for him. He had zero dance experience. He’s supposed to be underwater, and now he’s on land.
To read the full interview, see The Charlotte Observer.