ABC's Celebrity Divers Are Bonding With an Elderly Water Aerobics Group

Splash Pilot Episodic Greg Louganis with cast - H 2013

Splash Pilot Episodic Greg Louganis with cast - H 2013

Reality show contestants generally exist in a bubble. Dancing With the Stars sequesters its cast to a bunker-like rehearsal studio, American Idol hopefuls spend their days in the comfort of locales like Clive Davis' piano lanai and CBS annually rebuilds the Berlin Wall around the Big Brother house.

The cast of ABC's celebrity diving show, Splash, is training at a community pool in Pasadena, Calif.  

And they're not alone. The sprawling facility, which charges members a nominal fee, is also home to training Olympians, people not bound to the 9-to-5 swim laps and, in the section of the pool closest to the Splash high dive, a group of elderly folks doing water aerobics to a bizarre soundtrack of Depeche Mode and Bruno Mars.


"They'll start blasting Eminem and LMFAO," contestant Drake Bell tells The Hollywood Reporter. "And all of these old people just start singing along. How do they know the words?"

Other cast members have had more interaction with the swimmers -- like first-round eliminee Keshia Pulliam Knight. Her lingering resemblance to her childhood alter ego, The Cosby Show's Rudy Huxtable, prompted many adoring fans during her six weeks of training.

"You really do have to love these ladies with their hats on in the pool," Knight told THR. "They've been very curious, but all of them have been really friendly, very kind and and welcoming. And of course there are the ones who say, 'Wow, you've grown up.'"

But none seem to have a greater effect on the swimmers than Splash mentor and trainer Greg Louganis. On the cold, soggy day THR visited the pool, a small gaggle of women from the aerobics class started beckoning the Olympian to get into the water. Louganis fended them off like a bashful teenager.

"Not today, but you're probably warmer than we are," he said, waving to them as their drill sergeant commanded their attention back to the other side of the pool.

The second episode of Splash premieres Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.