Beep beep. That’s the noise Carole Baskin’s car probably made as she pulled into Television City Studios Thursday morning, sporting her very own Carole Baskin-branded merchandise. Surprise! Carole Baskin is in Los Angeles because Carole Baskin was cast on Dancing with the Stars, where she will probably attempt to shimmy and spin her public image away from the pesky rumor that she (allegedly) killed her ex-husband.
Dancing with the Stars announced Wednesday that alongside Baskin, other stars this season will include AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys, the head coach from Cheer, Monica Aldama, a Bachelorette person, some athletes, Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause, and legendary Disney Channel star Skai Jackson. (Oh, Nev Schulman is also around, but who’s really watching for Nev fucking Schulman.)
Most of the cast is predictable. It’s Baskin, and by association, Cheer star Aldama, that sound out the most in this sea of D-listers. Both, coincidentally, hail from the bountiful programming lineup at Netflix, where they starred in highly controversial, immediately viral docuseries. The hype for Cheer has worn off—if only because a billion other things have happened and released since it dropped in January—but the intrigue and scandal around Carole Baskin have not.
Besides being a viral TikTok star, with parody songs, cosplayers, and memes about her dead husband rampaging across the internet, Baskin has also made national headlines quite consistently since Tiger King dropped. Most recently, she wormed her way back into the news after the release of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” which featured tigers.
Now, she’s getting papped around Los Angeles. The photos aren’t particularly scandalous, sans her very presence, but they are revealing of the new age of celebrity that has overtaken Hollywood. Tiger King was always going to be a success, probably, but its unique release while the world was under quarantine led to... this!—Carole Baskin, in her t-shirt and capris, and a “Hey All You Cool Cats and Kittens” mask, posing for photographers outside the Dancing with the Stars studio. She is a “star” now, in an industry that once wholesale rejected the offerings of streaming services. Carole Baskin is a person who BBC Studios believes it can make some money off of.
What a weird world we’re living in!