Will Paula Deen trade in her recipes for a rumba?
Rumors are swirling that the former butter queen is being wooed by ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." An insider was even quoted comparing the fallen Food Network star to past controversial contestants like Kate Gosselin and Bristol Palin.
ABC won't comment on casting rumors, but the celeb chef has apparently been on the producers' list before.
In a 2010 interview with Extra, Deen revealed that she's a fan of "Dancing With the Stars," but turned down an offer to compete on it. "They did ask me and I said no," she said. "Fat girls don't look good sweating. I've got catfish arms... And I've got -- is that a muffin top right there?"
In 2012, Hollywood Life reported that producers were seriously considering the southern star for Season 14 of the show in the wake of her diabetes reveal. An insider said at the time, "'DWTS' suits love good stories. It's good timing. Paula just confirmed she has diabetes and this could help her a lot."
While she didn't sign on in the past, Deen may want to reconsider her decision for Season 17. In the wake of her ceased partnerships with the Food Network, Ballantine Books, Smithfield, Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Sears, Walgreens, Caesars Entertainment, and Novo Nordisk, the 66-year-old needs to sign onto something to save her crumbling empire following her racial slur scandal.
Deen's fans would surely back her on the show, regardless of her dancing prowess. While older contestants generally get voted off early (80-year-old Buzz Aldrin lasted only two weeks back in Season 10), Deen's loyal fan base could have her following in Cloris Leachman's footsteps. In Season 7, the then-82-year-old TV star danced her way past the halfway point in the competition, despite low scores from the judges.
The business mogul reportedly cited the show's "great format for reinventing and re-establishing careers." For example: Bret Michaels and Arsenio Hall both made career comebacks on the show. Trump added, "Paula Deen's reputation has taken a big hit and what better way to make a comeback than by raising money for charity?"
Of course, the sassy cook would have to be very careful under Trump's watch. In 2006, the sharp-tongued "Apprentice" boss skewered Martha Stewart after her comeback attempt on a revamped version of his show following her prison sentence for insider trading.
Trump blasted the lifestyle guru in an open letter, writing: "It's about time you started taking responsibility for your failed version of 'The Apprentice.' Your performance was terrible in that the show lacked mood, temperament and just about everything else a show needs for success. I knew it would fail as soon as I first saw it…Putting your show on the air was a mistake for everybody - especially NBC."
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