Why Paula Deen Should Do Dancing With the Stars Season 17
It was only a matter of time before the embattled Paula Deen was asked (again) to do Dancing With the Stars. Whether your knee-jerk response was “Great idea” or “Hell no,” here are five reasons why Paula should just drawl “Yayussss” to DWTS Season 17.
1. She should’ve said yes a while ago
If Paula signs on for Season 17, people will assume it’s damage control for her racially charged comments — and it would be, in part — but it’s also just something she should consider anyway. Back when she admitted she had diabetes (and was a spokesperson for a company that sells insulin, all while promoting her high-sugar products), it seemed like the perfect time for her to go on DWTS and turn the situation into a positive. She reportedly turned down an offer to do Season 14 because “fat girls don’t look good sweating,” but all the more reason to now swallow her pride and use the show to get healthy. Paula is a firecracker with a huge fan base, and you never know what she’s going to say (clearly). She was always a great candidate for DWTS, and even more so now when she apparently has plenty of time to devote to the show.
2. Derek Hough needs a challenge
Do you remember that cute cooking segment with Paula and Derek Hough on Live! With Kelly? It was December 2011 and Kelly Ripa was pushing Paula to go on DWTS. Paula was more concerned with "that little dancer guy," calling Derek "precious." At the time, we tilted our heads and squinted, wondering if Paula and Derek might make a good DWTS pair. Now that Paula is in a bit of a pickle, and Derek just won his fourth Mirror Ball trophy, they should definitely become a team. Derek is known for being partnered with young and/or fit and experienced partners. Paula, age 66, is none of those things. She's the kind of partner that — bless his heart — Tony Dovolani usually gets. Derek would have his work cut out for him with Paula, but he may enjoy that. He likes a good challenge, and they'd probably have a lot of laughs together as she alternated between flirting with him and trying to win over any “haters” watching the show.
3. DWTS is good for an image reboot
Have you even seen the list of things Andy Dick did, back when he wasn't sober? How many times he was arrested for exposure and groping? Here's just one example. And yet, he was one of our favorite contestants on DWTS Season 16. When we think of Andy now, it's with fondness. DWTS did its job for him — and Kelly Osbourne, and a lot of people who needed a new direction in life, whether they had troubled pasts or just wanted to earn themselves new reputations. Some celebs’ reps go south on DWTS, but only if they show a bad attitude, lack of effort, or commit the cardinal sin of outlasting better dancers. If you just show a positive attitude and try hard, DWTS fans are usually welcoming (especially if you’re dancing with a beloved pro). Besides, Paula’s too savvy to miss an opportunity to win over a primetime audience right in her own demographic. (Back in 2012, Nielsen said 11.86 million DWTS viewers, almost three-quarters, are over 49 years old. The median age of a DWTS viewer is nearly 61.)
4. DWTS loves controversy
If you saw Paula crying to Matt Lauer on the Today Show — “I is what I is!” — you know she’s good for drama. She’ll give DWTS laughter and tears and soundbites galore. Judge Bruno Tonioli may propose by Week 2. Some viewers might be disgusted with her casting, and root for her to fail. Others would root for her to do well, defending her place on the show. DWTS loves this. It gets people talking, whatever the reason. Kate Gosselin was a big headline on DWTS, but mostly for her fight with Tony. Bristol Palin made headlines just for being cast, and stayed in headlines for managing to stay on the show long past the point of reason. The common denominator is headlines/attention/discussion. DWTS is in its 17th season, bleeding viewers. It’s getting its own image reboot, and if it can cast someone who already brings her own talking points, all the better.
5. This too shall pass
Right now, Paula’s dominating headlines for all the wrong reasons, but she probably won’t by the time the Season 17 cast is announced, never mind in September when everyone starts dancing. The herd will have moved on by then. Her “scandal” will be recent enough that she’s still a talking point — so #4 will still apply — but she probably won’t be the biggest talking point of the season. We’ll be discussing the Season 17 changes (please be gentle, Powers That Be!), the pros who are and aren’t dancing, and other things. Paula wouldn’t have to worry about being the center of the DWTS universe, that will still probably be the pros and all the things we love about the show.
What do you think? Should Paula do DWTS or not? Sound off in the comments below!