Which Olympians are best bets for 'Dancing with the Stars'?

We’ve should have seen it coming. Mirai Nagasu makes a historic triple axel and declares she wants to be on “Dancing with the Stars.”

The American figure skater, the first woman from the U.S. to accomplish the move, considers her performances in Pyeongchang, as well as her bronze medal in the team event, pretty much her audition for the reality TV dancing series. "I smiled in the middle of my program, which is very rare for me. … I would like to be on 'Dancing With the Stars' because I want to be a star," she said.  If not her, it probably would’ve been someone other Olympian with designs on the Season 26 cast.

"Dancing with the Stars" co-executive producer Deena Katz couldn't discuss candidates for next season, which will be an all-athletes edition, but she did try to clear up any misconceptions about how Olympians are picked. "You don't have to be a gold medal winner, you don't have to place, because that's not what our show is about," Katz said. "It's about the people, it's about the journey, it's about who they are. Back in the day, if 'Cool Runnings' was on when I doing this, I would've put the bobsled guys on. It's charm ... or if somebody catches America's heart."

Katz said she watched the Olympics as the average viewer. "It puts a smile on your face if maybe it's someone you hadn't heard of -- maybe you didn't know who Adam Rippon was before, maybe you like the comeback story of a Lindsey Vonn -- of course I'm considering all them. ... Any name that you're thinking about that when you're sitting at home at night watching the Olympics that you're loving that you can't wait to see, 100 percent I'm considering putting them on the show."

We also consulted Lita Brillman, a podcast co-host and ‘DWTS’  expert for former “Survivor” cast member Rob Cesternino’s “Rob Has A Podcast,” to break down some of the candidates from this year's Winter Olympics and determine who has the best chance of becoming the next Nastia Liukin or Evan Lysacek.

Phil Thompson
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