When Paula Deen introduced herself as one of the eponymous celestial bodies on the 21st season of Dancing With the Stars, she did so with the understated enthusiasm you might expect from a Food Network host. “Hello, my name is Paula Deen,” she told the ABC show’s live audience, grinning, “and I’m probably most known for cookin’.”
This was, of course, false. Deen was at the time most known for a series of racist comments and actions that, when revealed in 2013, horrified many of the people who had looked up to her (or at least who had looked to her for advice on the perfect way to make a flaky buttermilk biscuit). Deen had come to the Dancing With the Stars stage to do what so many others in her situation had done before: to rehab her reputation, one bedazzled cha-cha at a time.
Rumor has it that, now, another celebrity will soon be joining the show’s redemption-seeking ranks: Ryan Lochte, who in the wake of Drunkenlyvandalizingagasstationbathroomandthensayinghewasrobbedatgunpoint-gate finds himself in need of some good PR. (Going on the Today show not to admit that he lied but rather to declare that he “over-exaggerated” his story turns out, unsurprisingly, not to have cut it.) The reports of his appearance are unsubstantiated at this point—“the cast of celebrities for the upcoming season of the ABC dancing competition has not yet been announced and reps for the show never comment on casting rumors,” US Weekly notes—but “an insider” tells the magazine that “doing DWTS will be great for Ryan’s image!”