We’ve all been there. It’s Friday night, we've knocked back one too many tequilas, engaged in some mild vandalism, got caught, panicked and concocted an elaborate, borderline outrageous lie to maintain our lost innocence. It’s just that for most of us, this doesn’t make international headline news, and we are not a six-time Olympic gold medalist carrying the reputation of our country on our broad, muscular, swimmers shoulders.
Enter Ryan Lochte
Otherwise known as one of America’s greatest Olympic swimmers who literally pissed away his Rio sporting achievements as he urinated on a gas station in Brazil, got caught, and then told the world that he was actually held up at gun point and robbed.
Unable to atone for his misdemeanor in the usual way with flowers, a card and a new mop, Lochte chose the only option open to celebrities who seek forgiveness and signed up for the twenty third season of Dancing With The Stars — but mercy was going to prove more allusive than he had anticipated.
Lochte's Long Journey to Forgiveness
Introducing himself on the show as an Olympic medalist who has "been in the media for the wrong reasons," Ryan did not hide the fact that his appearance on DWTS is all about retribution for his heinous crime.
To add insult to injury his dancing partner, Cheryl Burke, chose the song ‘Call Me Irresponsible’ for their debut dancing performance saying, "I think it’s perfect for you," while giving her strapping dancing companion a cheeky side-eye. However, she also made it known that she wanted to help him "find his feet again," thereby casting herself as the fairy godmother of alcohol-related pardons which ultimately made last nights DWTS incident all the more shocking.
Arriving onto the stage via a Gatsby-esq Rolls Royce in a devilishly smart white tuxedo, Lochte was joined by Cheryl who was wearing a sequin sensation and the two began a pleasing, if not rather stiff, foxtrot.
Everything went smoothly, Ryan showed relative control of his impressively lengthy limbs, Cheryl deftly guided him through the performance and his mom seemed to have a tear in her eye, but then, all hell broke loose.
How Lochte Was Denied His Rio Reprieve
Just as the dancing duo were getting feedback from judge Carrie Ann Inaba, the viewers could tell something was going horribly wrong off camera. Halting her foxtrot verdict mid-swing, Carrie can be heard exclaiming “Excuse Me! Hey back off! Excuse Me!” While some viewers wondered whether Lochte was in fact attempting an off-screen kiss with Cheryl during Carrie's feedback, most grew concerned by how clearly distressed Carrie had become.
As it turns out, during this section of the show, two audience members, Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40 from LA had rushed the stage in an attempt to attack Lochte before being tackled to the ground by the DWTS security team. Fellow Olympic swimming gold medalist Eddie Moses was in the crowd supporting Lochte and managed to film what wasn’t being shown on TV:
Lochte Reacts To His Rude Post-Foxtrot Awakening
Both men were wearing marvelously designed anti-Lochte t-shirts, as were four fellow female audience members who began heckling and shouting anti-Lochte chants as Sam and Barzeen were tackled to the ground.
ABC quickly cut to a commercial break during the scene and Lochte can be heard retorting with a killer comeback to his brazen attackers with just simple two simple words: ‘Chill Pill!’
As both men were cuffed and awaited a long trip to the LAPD station to be given a punishment greater than Lochte ever received for his Rio rampage, Lochte was left visibly shaken-up by the event.
Will Lochte Ever Truly Be Forgiven?
This poses the question: Just what does a celebrity have to do to truly atone for their sins? Is the scorn of the world not enough? Ryan, clearly coming to terms with how difficult it is to be forgiven in tinsel town, told ABC after the incident:
"You know, at that moment, I was really heartbroken. My heart just sunk. It felt like somebody just ripped it apart.”
With such a devastating insight into his shattered soul, surely this man deserves to be pardoned without question, left alone to foxtrot to his heart's content, to dance under the stars with wild abandon or at very least — to survive the next couple of rounds of the competition.
Does Ryan Lochte deserve to be forgiven?