Nothing boosts reality show ratings like a scandal-plagued star.
So why not invite Paula Deen to dance?
Reports are bubbling up that ABC has extended an offer to Paula Deen to star on the show when it returns in the fall for its 17th season.
In fact, there were discussions about casting her even before her n-word troubles erupted.
Deen's rep hasn't gotten back to USA TODAY to confirm or deny, but the buzz is that she has turned down the offer.
Host Tom Bergeron tells Us Weekly that she ought to consider it. "We've seen career resurgences after the show. People go, 'I remember why I love that person!'"
What do you say? Would you like to see Deen doing a paso doble?
Paula Deen is passing on the paso doble. In the Aug. 19 issue of Us Weekly (on stands Friday), a Dancing With the Stars source says the former Food Network star, 66, turned down an offer to compete on the ABC smash.
"The dance floor is not the appropriate forum for her," explains a Deen source. (The Paula's Best Dishes host was dropped by the Food Network in June after she admitted to once using the N-word during a videotaped deposition. The Southern star has also lost multiple endorsement deals.)
Dancing With the Stars co-host Tom Bergeron, for one, would love for Deen to reconsider. "We've seen career resurgences after the show," he tells Us. "People go, 'I remember why I love that person!'"
Professional dancer Cheryl Burke has also expressed interest in casting Deen, saying in June, "Right now, lots of controversial things are happening around her and her situation, and I think coming on something light and fun would be good for her."
Season 17 of Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Unlike previous seasons, there will be no results show on Tuesday nights. The new cast will be announced Sept. 4 on Good Morning America.
Republicans in Georgia were asked to choose between two public figures from Georgia–TV chef Paula Deen and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr–and Deen overwhelmingly won the popularity contest. According to Public Policy Polling, the celebrity chef has an overall 73% favorability rating with Georgia Republicans; Martin Luther King, Jr. has a 59% favorability among self-identified Republicans in Georgia.
Favorability ratings with Georgia Republicans: Paula Deen 73/11, Martin Luther King Jr. 59/28— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) August 7, 2013
After a lawsuit deposition disclosed that she had used a racial slur, Deen lost numerous sponsors. The Food Network announced in June that they would not renew Deen’s contract.
Deen told NBC’s Matt Lauer on the Today show that she used the N-word only once and that she is not a racist. “The day I used that word, it was a world ago. It was 30 years ago,” she said about being held at gunpoint during a bank robbery. “I had had a gun put to my head.” She also posted apologies on Youtube.com. Apparently many fellow Georgians have forgiven her.