By now most of you are probably aware that Dancing with the Stars has poached yet another Olympian. It was all big news to me when the Olympics began and I learned that apparently there is a thing with Olympic athletes joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars– and winning. To date Kristi Yamaguchi, Apolo Ohno, Maurice Greene, Misty May-Treanor, Monica Seles, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Clyde Drexler, Evander Holyfield, Shawn Johnson, Louie Vito (pre-Olympic experience) and Natalie Coughlin have competed, with wins going to Yamaguchi, Ohno and Johnson. So now you know.
Shortly after his gold medal win, Lysacek appeared on Today in Vancouver and expressed his interest in Dancing with the Stars; he said that he had heard from other athletes such as Ohno that it was a great experience, yadda yadda… and before you knew it: Lysacek was skipping out on the Figuring Skating World Championships in Torino (going down this week, airing on Universal Sports) and picking up a pair of dancing shoes.
At least he already had a tuxedo costume from his “Rhapsody in Blue” routine (which as you may recall is “the date that brought [him] to the dance”).
Lysacek did a little media run around before the season premier this past Monday, appearing Friday on The View to talk about his transition from Olympic Champion to dance pupil: “I’m not a good dancer.”
Kristi Yamaguchi, who came on the show to promote figure skating special “On Thin Ice” that aired that evening, encouraged Lysacek to have fun with the experience. She also attempted to get Elisabeth Hasselbeck to function on figure skates. It did not work out.
Back to business.
Lysacek said that he was looking forward to the daily structure of training for the program since that is the sort of disciplined schedule to which he is accustomed from figure skating. It seems that Johnny Weir’s “arch-enemy” is ready to lay it all out there in an effort to combat criticism regarding the extreme technicality of his skating verses the artistic flair associated with Johnny Weir and the older scoring system. In the introductory profile segment shown during the Dancing with the Stars premier, Lysacek says, “People have said that I have no danceability, and this is my chance to prove them wrong– I hope!”
According to conversation on The View (where Barbara Walters tried but failed to grasp why Lysacek had not done a quad and why it does not matter), in retrospect Lysacek feels that he bought into some of the media hype that as a figure skater dancing would be easy for him… not so.
I made one note as to my reaction during his performance of a Viennese waltz: “He spins so pretty.”
It is true. And it is very figure skater-y of him.
Whoever this Carrie Ann judge person is (I have literally never seen an episode of this program before, although had I previously known that people like Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Ohno were on, I probably would have checked it out) really enjoyed making it clear to Lysacek that he is no longer on the ice, noting that he needs to point his toes because “you’re not wearing skates!”
Thanks for that observation.
Anyways, it seems that he and partner Anna Trebunskaya are doing pretty well. They came in second place after the first night of competition with a score of 23/30 from the judges. Right behind a Pussycat Doll.
And about that bar in the title: Shaun White look-alike Brigitte (of guest blogging fame) was at The Four-Faced Liar in the West Village on Friday night where she found herself thinking, “Hmmm… that guy at the bar looks a lot like Evan Lysacek,” and texting me thusly: “Shaun White and Evan Lysacek are totally at the same bar right now…”
If only there were pictures, because of course– and I am just saying— Evan Lysacek was in New York on Friday…
And who knows where Shaun White was?