Ryan Lochte won 12 Olympic medals. And then he won the first dual HOH competition in the Celebrity Big Brother House. And then he won the first HOH face-off challenge in the Celebrity Big Brother house. And then the winning stopped.
Lochte became the second person evicted from Celebrity Big Brother — following his former partner Jonathan Bennett out the door — after being betrayed by fellow Olympian Lolo Jones and eventually backdoored as a replacement nominee by Kato Kaelin. What went wrong? Did he come out of the gate too strong and make himself an obvious threat? And what’s with that sweet endless pool? We asked Lochte all that and more when he called into EW Morning Live (EW Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) Tuesday morning. Here are some highlights for our chat. (Also make sure to check out our interview with Anthony Scaramucci, where he insists he “absolutely did not quit the game.”)
EW RADIO: You and Jonathan Bennett won the very first challenge and then you were the first two people voted out. What happened?
RYAN LOCTHE: Oh my gosh, I don’t even know! I think are biggest thing was we started out too strong. And it painted a big target on our backs. Everyone in the house thought me and Jonathan were the biggest threat.
How much Big Brother did you watch ahead of time to see how the game works?
Not at all. [Laughs] I did not. I probably should have watched a bunch of the episodes to fill me in. Jonathan did that the first couple of days, filling me in on how the game works, but a little too late for that.
How do you feel about your fellow Olympian Lolo turning against you? You all knew each other and aligned early, but then next thing you know she’s giving you the one finger salute.
That kinda hurt. I wasn’t really close friends with her. It was more like I knew her just from being the Olympics in 2012. We have a respect for each other, being Olympians. But when she did that to me — that little gesture of flipping us off — I was in shock. I was like, “What the heck is going on? That’s not right.” I guess she got a little butthurt that I was close with Jonathan and not her and she just came after me.
Can we talk about your endless pool in the house? Was that part of your deal to play this game and how many hours a day did you spend in there?
It was one of the things that they said they would put up in the house and I was like, “Alright, this is a no brainer and I won’t have to miss practices.” No, I wasn’t training the same, but I got to train every day for about an hour and swam anywhere from two to five miles each time. So I got to be in the water and swim, and it was so amazing and I was so thankful to CBS for doing that for me.
Did you let anyone else get in the pool?
Of course! I’m not going to hog it up. Tom Green wanted to get in and swim. I helped him with his stroke a little. It was fun.
Who had the most swimming Olympic potential in the house other than you?
Tom was pretty darn good. You wouldn’t believe it, but he knew his strokes and everything, so I was pretty impressed. I was like, “Alright, Tom! You go!”
Quick pop quiz here for you, Ryan: What is Lindsay Lohan’s mother’s name?
Yes! You got it! How long did it take you to figure out it wasn’t Diana?
Oh my gosh, were you all watching that?! [Laughs] It took me at least a couple of days. For some reason, I just could not get her name right, but I finally got it, and she is a sweetheart.
Who’s playing the best game so far in the house?
I think it would have to be Natalie or Kato. Natalie is just a very good manipulator. She just does her sweet talk and that’s how she’s been getting people. She’s a little sneaky. A little too sneaky. And Kato is a poker player and an athlete, so a jack of all trades. So he can read people. He can read all the B.S. and everything, so I think he’s one to watch out for.
Contestants were confused and viewers were confused by the whole Anthony Scaramucci thing. What did you make of that twist where the Mooch was a contestant and then all of a sudden he was gone?
Oh my gosh, that was the biggest twist ever! Like, he played that part so well. None of us had any idea and it was just amazing how he did that. It was genius. Oh, man. We did miss him, though. He was a great guy to know. It was awesome. When Mooch left, it got a little quiet, but we had Jonathan to keep the energy up. And then once Jonathan left, it got really quiet and felt like the house was empty, even though there were still 10 people left. Now that I’m free I’m going to have to get a hold of Mooch and tell him what’s up.
What are your goals for the 2020 Olympics?
I definitely have some goals in mind in terms of what I want to accomplish in the sport in 2020, but those are my goals and I like to keep them hush-hush and keep everyone else guessing and keep them on their toes. Just wait. But I do plan on hopefully getting more gold medals at the next Olympics.
How psyched were your coaches that you got voted out so they could have you full-time now?
Oh, 100 percent they are excited! I got a message from them already saying, “Alright, now get your ass back in the pool.” So yeah, they are definitely waiting for me to get back home.