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Dancing With the Stars' Apolo Ohno Talks Ryan Lochte and Bristol Palin: It's All About "Controversy"

Bristol Palin, Ryan Lochte, Apolo Anton Ohno Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Dancing With the Stars kicks off its inaugural All-Stars season tonight, and returning champ Apolo Ohno knows at least one reason you'll be tuning in: Bristol Palin.

"Anybody, no matter where they're coming from or what kind of personality, controversy or not, that's what the show is all about," Ohno told us recently when asked about competing against Sarah Palin's headline-nabbing offspring.

"Look, everybody knows this show is about people watching, viewership, ratings, so they want to bring all these different personalities and people into this one place," he continued.

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Which could be exactly why Ryan Lochte would be perfect for the ABC hit (and the swimmer has said he's ready to sign up for the competition). But does Ohno—who traded Olympic gold medals for the disco ball—think Ryan has what it takes?

"I don't know, he's a pretty athletic guy, so I think he would do well," Ohno weighed in. "But dancing's different. It's not one of those things like, 'Oh, I can do that!' It's not like that, it's totally different. It's the hardest reality show on TV."

We're pretty sure Ryan could hold his own in terms of pure entertainment, though, what with his signature catchphrase (perfect for post-judging celebrations, naturally) and a body born for bedazzled spandex.

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But right now it's all about Ohno and whether he can shimmy his way to another victory. And though he says he's training day and night for his live debut and that the competition will be "tough" this season, Apolo just wants to have fun.

"I'm competitive, but look, I'm here to have fun. It's going to be really funny," he revealed. "It's going to be hilarious, super high energy. I know how to work hard, so I can't control anything else except how well we dance."

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