It looks like Season 30 of Dancing With The Stars will not have the perfect casting score that fans were hoping it would. Earlier this month, the reality dancing competition announced that influencer JoJo Siwa would part of the first same-sex dance team in the show’s history. The news was largely celebrated, as was the unveiling of the second celeb name to compete this season – US Olympic gold medal gymnast Suni Lee.
While the first announcement got a high score from fans, Wednesday’s full lineup reveal included a major misstep. Season 30 will feature the typical mix of singers and dancers (Spice Girls’ Mel C, country singer Jimmie Allen and Broadway star turned The Talk host Amanda Kloots), actors (Beverly Hills 90210’s Brian Austin Green, The Office’s Melora Hardin and Cobra Kai’s Martin Kove), reality stars (Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kenya Moore, Bling Empire’s Christine Chiu and The Bachelor’s Matt James) and athletes (WWE’s Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, NBA player Iman Shumpert and Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby), there was one name that stuck out. YouTuber Olivia Jade, who is known best known for her parents’ involvement in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal, is also joining this season’s cast. Huh.
Jade’s parents are Hallmark and Fuller House star Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. The pair were charged in 2019 and pled guilty in 2020 for spending $500,000 to get Olivia and her younger sister into the University of Southern California under the guise that the teens would be members of the rowing team. Loughlin served two months in prison while Giannulli was sentenced to five months, serving two months in prison, and completing the remainder of his sentence at home. Prior to her parent’s involvement in the scandal, Olivia Jade had created a sizeable YouTube following and scored a sponsorship deal for her own makeup line with Sephora, which cut ties with Jade soon after the story broke.
Jade returned to her YouTube channel in January 2021 and has been attempting to rebuild her image and brand, although many DWTS fans are not ready to forgive and forget.
The fact that this season is featuring an Olympic gold medalist, whose parents came to the US as refugees and worked tirelessly to pay for their daughter’s gymnastics lessons, and a disgraced college student who lied about being on the rowing team, has not been lost on fans.
Like most reality shows, Dancing With The Stars often focuses on the participant’s personal lives and their struggles. Jade’s segments will likely be less endearing than others.
During a press event following Wednesday’s full cast announcement, Jade said Loughlin has been a “huge support,” adding “She’s in total mom mode, like, ‘Make sure you take an Epsom salt bath.’ She’s trying to get me to take an ice bath!” So, to be clear, this appearance is rehabbing two images.
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