The Betty Interview: Evan Lysacek
The Olympic gold medalist talks to BettyConfidential about his new gig on Dancing with the Stars, his fiercest competitors, and his three big celebrity crushes.
What do you do after winning a gold medal at the Winter Olympics? Go to Disney World? Not figure skater Evan Lysacek. Fresh off his win in Vancouver last month, the 24-year-old has his eye on a new prize: the coveted mirror-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars (which debuts tonight at 8 p.m. EST on ABC).
“Winning gold at the Olympics was my lifelong goal realized. So I thought, What next? Dancing with the Stars!” Evan tells BettyConfidential. “I always need a challenge, something to light my competitive fire.”
The ice king, who began skating at age eight, will be shimmying and shaking along with costars who include Pamela Anderson, Kate Gosselin, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, Shannen Doherty, The Bachelor’s Jake Pavelka and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin. But according to someone who should know–past DWTS winner and Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno– Evan’s the one to beat. Tune in to find out if he’s right!
You’re fiercely competitive, used to nonstop training and already do a lot of dance elements on the ice. So do you think you have an advantage against the other celebrities?
Actually, my skating movement isn’t helping me on the dance floor at all! In fact, it may be making it even more challenging. It will take a lot of hard work, but this is an opportunity for me to prove so many critics wrong who’ve said throughout my career that I’m not musical, graceful or artistic.
Who do you think is your biggest competition?
I think [football player] Chad Ochocinco because he’s an athlete and he’s pretty light on his feet and knows how to train; Nicole (obviously) because she moves her body in the most phenomenal way; Kate because she seems very graceful. And everyone else, really. One thing I’ve learned from being a competitive athlete is to never rule anyone out of the competition.
Were you starstruck by any of your competitors?
Pam and Nicole, because I’m a huge fan of both of them. They are both so cool and graceful. Nicole is the most incredible dancer! She is spectacular to watch.