Not only is 2014 Olympic ice dancing gold medalist Charlie White not dating his skating partner of 17 years, Meryl Davis, he’s also not dispensing romantic advice to her.
The gold medalists, who are currently among the leaders on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars,” will doff their dancing shoes and lace up when they are at St. Paul’s X on Sunday for “Stars on Ice.”
In addition to White and Davis, other performers will include Gracie Gold, 2014 U.S. Champion and Team Olympic bronze medalist; Ashley Wagner, two-time U.S. Champion and Team Olympic bronze medalist; Mirai Nagasu, 2008 U.S. Champion (who won her championship in St. Paul) and 2010 Olympic Team Member. Oh, and so will Jason Brown, 2014 US silver medalist and Team Olympic bronze medalist, and his ponytail.
It’s so much fun to have a chat about hair that has nothing to do with a woman.
I talked hair products with White in this Q&A. But I didn’t ask him a single question about his girlfriend, 2006 Olympic silver medalist figure skater Tanith Belbin because he’s got to get tired of those inquiries. I did ask White about advising Davis about her “Dancing With The Stars” partner, and his answer to that question was intriguing.
Q: Was Sochi your last Olympics?
A: We haven’t decided. Meryl and I want to take some time after this craziness of “Stars on Ice” and “Dancing with the Stars” to vacation, unwind and just come terms with the fact that we are Olympic champions. We haven’t had a minute to think about it [and want to] before we decide what to do next. Four years is such a commitment and we certainly understand having gone through two Olympics already. But it is exciting. It’s an exciting life and we do love to train.
Q: Now that you can cross “Dancing With The Stars” off your to-do list, on what TV show would you next like to make a guest shot or have a regular gig?
A: Oooh. That’s a good one. That is a question that no one has asked me. I think now that we’ve heard [Stephen] Colbert is leaving, I’d like to take his spot on “The Colbert Report.” [Laughing]
Q: Do more people recognize you from “Dancing With The Stars” than the Olympics?
A: Honestly, it seems most people recognize us from the Olympics but are also fans of “Dancing With The Stars” and then comment on both.
Q: What are you and Meryl studying at the University of Michigan?
A: We had to take the year off since there was no time, but we are slowly making progress on our undergraduate degrees. I’m studying political science; [Meryl] anthropology.
Q: What’s the most ruthless remark another boy made about you choosing ice dancing over hockey?
A: You know, by the time I had to make a choice I was pretty successful in both and very fortunate to only be surrounded by people who were supportive. I know, it’s a different situation for everyone. I’m very lucky. No one gave me a hard time. All my teammates were appreciative I would make good contributions to the team. And they were fans of my figure skating and recognized how much that helped me as a hockey player.
Q: So you never had to send a message, with a look or another expression, to a prospective tormentor to let him know you would NOT be above leaving a few blade marks on his behind?
A: [Laughs] No, I haven’t had to, fortunately.
Q: You seem so affable, but everybody gets grumpy. When are you?
A: Usually if I haven’t eaten in too long. My girlfriend’s pretty smart. She usually keeps some kind of food on her at all times. When I go quiet she [thinks] ‘Uh-oh, gotta get him some food to keep him happy.’
Q: How much does Meryl weigh and what is your weight?
A: I don’t know. I don’t ask her. She doesn’t weigh much. Just the right amount for us to do some of the tricks we do.
Q: Well, how much do you weigh, because to my failing eyes you look about the same size as your partner on TV.
A: I weigh about 160 and she is quite petite. She’s a very small girl.
Q: Have you warned Meryl that despite the gifts for flirting exhibited by her TV dancing partner, Maks Chmerkovskiy, he is about as good a prospect for a long-term relationship as Joe Namath before he met Deborah Mays?
A: [Extended laughter] No. No, I think she would look at me really funny if I tried to tell her that. We’re just enjoying how affable he is, you know. He’s got a biting wit that comes across on the show but he’s also kind of a big bear. He’s very caring and I’m appreciative of that as Meryl’s main partner. [Laughter]
Q: Is there actually much talk behind the scenes about Erin Andrews’ questions about the personal lives of the dancers, which is something I’ve read online?
A: I haven’t heard anyone take issue with it. I think most people recognize that the questions she’s being fed are probably from the producers. I think the producers are looking for what would make for good television. Erin Andrews herself really is a lovely person. Erin Andrews is a professional and doing her job. I don’t think there are hard feelings in what she’s asking. All of us are happy to be able to work with her.
Q: What was your reaction, after leaving “The View” where you heard Jenny McCarthy say that your gold medal from Sochi was heavier than her right boob?
A: That was not something I was prepared for, ahem [laughter]. I mean, it’s substantial, that’s all I can say. When you win the Olympics you hope that the medal that you get, that weight makes it feel like you really earned something. As far as her comment, I hope that’s a compliment.
Q: Personally, I like Jon Hamm’s hair from that 1995 dating show — he looks like Chris Kluwe today. But the ripping that Hamm’s former look has been taking makes me wonder if you foresee regretting your current hair 20 years from now?
A: [Laughter] Honestly, I don’t think I could. For figure skating it added quite a bit dramatically. It makes it look like you’re going faster. And it’s associated, like you said, with my affable personality. Everyone recognizes me by it and so it’s definitely not something I’ll regret. From my own personal standpoint, I’ve always preferred my hair shorter, because it’s just easier. I think I’ve found a good medium. It’s really not too long.
Q: Are you having problems with presumptuous people coming up and running their fingers through your hair? There is something about your hair, man.
A: Yeah, that is kind of an issue. I’m not going to lie. I’ve never had anyone just stick their hands through my hair. Yet. If they ask I go, “OK, you can, if you want to. It’s probably just going to feel like most people’s.” I take it as a compliment.
Q: Vice President Joe Biden uses Clinique on his face. What shampoo do you use on your hair?
A: Right now, whatever shampoo I can get in the hotel. I have never been particularly picky when it comes to what I’m putting in my hair. Most of it is just the genes I’m so fortunate to have inherited from my parents. I’m grateful. I’ve told them that. It kind of falls the way it falls. I don’t have to do much.
Q: Favorite place to visit when you come to Minneapolis-St. Paul?
A: [Long pause] Any down time we have — which really isn’t down time, it’s the time you would be taking to eat and sleep — we’ve been dancing with our professionals from “Dancing With The Stars.” And then we head straight to whatever rink we’re performing. After the performance there’s a meet-and-greet, then we head to the bus and the next city; really nonstop.
Interviews are edited. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her watch Fox 9’s “Buzz.”