I used to love tigers. They used to be my favorite beast of the animal kingdom. That is, until that crazy-a** documentary, “Tiger King” swept up America in a swirl of tragedy made of trailer park drama, bad mullet haircuts, and disappearing husbands.
The world of reality show docu-dramas has a way of scraping the bottom of pop culture’s barrel and somehow resurfacing it to the top, thus allowing the most unlikely pop culture heroes to emerge. Such is the case with Tiger King star Carole Baskin – full-time animal rights activist, part-time suspected spouse killer, and now a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, which returns to the airwaves Monday, September 14.
I’ll admit, when I first heard that Baskin was cast on the show, I clutched my pearls. I mean, seriously, was there nobody else available? Not that the show hasn’t cast controversial figures in the past. As Rob Shuter of the Naughty But Nice Podcast reminded me on Friday’s show, high-profile but questionably-popular figures like Kate Gosselin, Bristol Palin, and even disgraced press secretary Sean Spicer have all waltzed across that show’s stage.
However, this is different. Part of Baskin’s allure and claim to fame is mainly due to public opinion that she was somehow involved in her husband’s disappearance, presumably a murder. In fairness there’s been no evidence presented to support this claim and Baskin was ultimately declared the beneficiary of her missing husband’s 5 million dollar estate.
Fast forward to Baskin becoming one of the most popular tabloid characters -in the flesh, set to make an additional over $1,000,000 by recording personalized messages for fans (why does she have fans?)
Lately, Baskin’s even gotten into high profile internet feuds with Cardi B, who quipped, “I’m not about to get into it on Twitter with Carole Baskin, YOU KILLED YOUR HUSBAND!” Between celebrity feuds, big media interviews, and one of the most-watched docu-reality series in history, now Baskin has become one of the most anticipated contestants on DWST.
It’s all pretty bizarre from a real-life assessment, but from a pop culture point of view, the rise of Carole Baskin is campiness at its best. I mean, the only thing that could push it over the top and make it more puuuuurrrr-fect would be if Baskin’s debut number on DWTS was choreographed to the 1982 hit ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor – HINT! HINT! HIIIIIIIIIIINT!
Rob Shuter & Corey Andrew spill the tea on Carole Baskin and more celebrity news on the Naughty But Nice Podcast! Presented By Iheartradio!
Tune in to the return of Dancing With The Stars on Monday, September 14. Check your local listings for showtimes.