Photo Credit: Larry Marano/Getty Images
Wow. Dancing with the Stars is kind of like the television equivalent of ambulance-chasing lawyers.
Take their recent attempt to wrangle Paula Deen, whose racist remarks have tarnished her sweet, grandmotherly persona (and cost the chef her Food Network show and most of her endorsement deals). DWTS producers contacted her with an offer to participate on the show, and we imagine the conversation went something like this:
"It's a win-win! Your tabloid notoriety pumps up our ratings. And we put you in lots of makeup and sequins, and let you dance your way back into America's heart!"
Deen didn't bite. When the DWTS Season 17 roster is announced Sept. 4 on Good Morning America, her name won't be on it. "The dance floor is not the appropriate forum for her," a Deen source told Us Weekly. Fair enough. In fact, Kate Gosselin could have probably used this advice back in Season 10. Her presence did raise ratings, but people kept right on thinking of her as an angry control freak -- just one who also can't dance.
Apparently, several people at DWTS were hoping that Deen would say yes. "We've seen career resurgences after the show," host Tom Bergeron told Us Weekly. "People go, 'I remember why I love that person!'" In fact, exposure on the show has boosted a number of flailing careers, especially for people like Brandy Norwood, Melissa Rycroft, Drew Lachey and Donny Osmond.
"Right now, lots of controversial things are happening around [Paula Deen] and her situation," pro dancer Cheryl Burke told Us Weekly. "And I think coming on something light and fun would be good for her."
By that logic, Amanda Bynes, Anthony Wiener, and Lauren Silverman (Simon Cowell's baby mama) should all be jostling for spots on the Season 17 roster. And considering their Paula Deen offer, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that DWTS producers have reached out to all three of these scandal-plagued celebs.
As Gosselin learned, your chances for a career resurgence on DWTS are pretty dismal if you're just not cut out for the paso doble. Deen made the right call by passing on this one. The 66-year-old foodie just needs to lay low for a while, and stick with what she does best: Killing people slowly with her high-fat confections.
Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.