Adam Rippon Talks 'Dancing With the Stars' Win, Meeting Tonya Harding & Who He's Rooting For on 'Drag Race'
Dancing With the Stars crowned new winners on Monday, with Olympic ice skater Adam Rippon and dancing partner Jenna Johnson taking the Mirrorball trophy. After making history as the first openly gay Olympian to represent the United States in the Winter Games, the 28-year-old athlete broke ground by becoming the first openly gay winner in the show’s 26 seasons.
Billboard Pride caught up with the skater about his DTWS stint, meeting Tonya Harding and -- given his love for the show -- who he’s rooting for on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10.
First of all, congratulations on being the first openly gay winner of Dancing With the Stars. I can’t believe it’s taken 26 seasons! Do you think you can convince Gus to be on the show?
[Laughs] I’ve talked to Gus about being on the show. I told him that I’ve had such a good time on it that if he got offered, he’d have to do it!
That’s awesome. What was your favorite performance while on DTWS?
I think maybe my favorite one that I did on the show was our contemporary number that we did in week 3. It was music that I had skated to, so it was nice to bring it to the dance floor -- Jenna and I had worked on the choreography, and it kinda felt like bringing everything full-circle from that moment to the Olympics on that show.
Tonya Harding also made it to the finale of DWTS -- did you get to spend time with her?
I was touring with Stars on Ice so I didn’t really get to meet any of the cast, and I would only see them on Mondays, but I did see Tonya a bunch 'cause we made it through all the way to the finale. My encounters with her were nothing but positive. She was really nice, very sweet and a total redneck in the best way.
You also memorably danced with “Sissy That Walk” by RuPaul! Have you had time to keep up with Drag Race? Who are you rooting for?
I’m so behind on the episodes, but I kinda have such a soft spot for Eureka, and I think that the looks that Aquaria did during this season was just so amazing.
Solid choices. So what’s next for you?
Now I can kinda take a breath. My next big project is the TrevorLIVE foundation gala in NYC. I’m going to be hosting it -- it’s on June 11.
Well and after your DWTS win and competing in the winter Olympics, you need to find something new that you can be the “first openly gay” person to do!
[Laughs] Yeah, I’m just gonna wait and see what hasn’t been done so I can conquer it.