Ryan Lochte talks Kim Kardashian (Sam Jones / Anders Overgaard…)
Ryan Lochte has respect for Kim Kardashian and her extended family, though he's hoping he doesn't turn out to be the next Bruce Jenner.
His reality series "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" premieres April 21, airing on E!, the same network as the Kardashians. The Olympic swimmer revealed Thursday how he prepared for his new claim to fame: He watched "Kourtney and Kim Take Miami."
"I started watching to try to learn what to expect," he told USA Today Sports. "The whole Kardashian family, they have a bunch of energy. Wow, this was awesome. That's how my family is. We all have a bunch of energy and we are all different."
Um, this makes us wonder if he's contractually obligated to say such things...
The 28-year-old swimmer, who won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, isn't totally new to TV. He's openly said that he would be willing to compete on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" or "The Bachelor" and had a guest spot on teen soap "90210." He appeared as himself on "30 Rock" too.
Though he hasn't met Kanye West's baby mama yet, Michael Phelps' teammate/rival said he hopes to built his brand in the same manner as the middle Kardashian has. Someone get this man a sex tape or a bust-bearing maternity dress ... stat!
Kardashian famously rejiggered her sex-tape infamy into a fashion empire and is reaping all the rewards from it now, apparently having configured her path into something respectable.
"I have the most respect for her with her business and what she's done," Lochte said. "She started from nothing and now look at her. You can ask anyone and they're going to know who she is. She's handled herself really well throughout the years of doing her own show. She's a star."
Kardashian's stepfather, the Olympic gold medalist Jenner, was once an example for Lochte too. The two met at the Olympics, but the family's frequent haranguing of the decathlete isn't what Lochte is going for.
"I hope that doesn't happen with me," said Lochte. "Just because I love swimming. I hope people don't lose that about me."
Stay away from the plastic surgery and keep working on that body, Ryan, and we'll talk.