What do you do after you've won Olympic gold? Well, if you're Ryan Lochte, you get on the reality TV circuit. The hard-partying swimmer is out of the pool, done with the London clubs, and reportedly planning a move from Florida to Los Angeles. According to his agent, Lochte is fielding offers to appear on Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, and rumors are swirling that he's even considering his own reality series. (Meanwhile, his fierce competitor Michael Phelps has already beaten Lochte to the reality punch, scoring a show on the Golf Channel about his putting abilities.) Here, a guide to Lochte's small-screen prospects:
What's so great about Ryan Lochte?
Sure, Michael Phelps' final Olympics appearance stole the lion's share of attention. But the quintessentially handsome Lochte was no slouch, and people "simply can't get enough of him," says Jill Baughman at The Stir. The 28-year-old won five medals at the 2012 Games, including two gold, two silver, and a bronze. And unlike Phelps, Lochte plans to compete in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Still, his appeal may not translate into small-screen success, says Mack Rawden at CinemaBlend. Lochte's "duels with Phelps were among the most captivating of the entire Games," but "there's a big difference between holding people's attention for a two-week period and making viewers want to watch indefinitely."
Does he actually want to do a reality show?
Yes. On a recent Good Morning America appearance, Lochte said that he'd choose Dancing with the Stars over The Bachelor to take advantage of his "competitive edge." Yet Amy Rosenblum, who runs Media Masters, a media training company, tells The Huffington Post, that Lochte would make the "perfect next Bachelor" because he has the "it" factor, especially after his mother's infamous remark that her son only does "one-night stands." Everyone wants to know who "the real Ryan is, and what would it be like to date him," Rosenblum says. Lochte has already shot a Funny or Die video at the request of Will Ferrell.
So is he moving to Los Angeles to pursue TV fame?
Partly. Lochte has also expressed an interest in designing clothes. In a interview with the Today show's Matt Lauer, the swimmer said that "getting into fashion" and designing his own fashion line have been big goals of his. Reportedly, he's already received offers to do so.
Does Lochte need to do reality TV?
Hardly. Fortune magazine has estimated that Lochte will earn $2.3 million in endorsement deals this year, appearing in ads for companies such as Speedo, Gatorade, Ralph Lauren, and Gillette. And he's still receiving endorsement offers. So many, says his agent, that he has "little room for adding more."
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