Olivia Jade Goes From Admissions Scandal to 'DWTS'

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Inside Edition 21 September, 2021 - 05:20pm 22 views

Is Olivia Jade on Dancing with the Stars?

For Olivia Jade Giannulli's debut on “Dancing With the Stars,” the show's fans on social media couldn't put aside her alleged complicity in the college admissions scandal. ... For her first dance, Olivia Jade performed the salsa with her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy. The Mercury NewsOlivia Jade Giannulli annoys, amuses ‘Dancing With the Stars’ fans

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Olivia Jade's Salsa – Dancing with the Stars

Dancing With The Stars 22 September, 2021 - 11:10am

Olivia Jade’s Dancing With The Stars debut was a spectacular misstep

The Independent 22 September, 2021 - 11:10am

Olivia Jade Giannulli made her <em>Dancing With The Stars</em> debut last night. This would be the same Olivia Jade whose parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty in the college admissions scandal last year. Both parents were accused of paying half a million dollars in bribes to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and her sister Isabella, into the University of Southern California as rowing recruits.

Loughlin and her husband served two and five months in prison respectively and have both been released. Olivia Jade made herself scarce for a while, before re-emerging on YouTube and on Instagram (she was a well-known beauty vlogger and influencer prior to the scandal). In December last year, she broke her silence on Red Table Talk, the talk show co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith, and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “I’m 21,” Olivia Jade said at the time. “I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself, to show I’ve grown.” Norris, meanwhile, described Olivia Jade (as she is known publicly) as “the epitome of white privilege”.

Dancing With The Stars (the US equivalent to the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing) is the next step in Olivia Jade’s return to public life. It’s an odd move, and – judging by the reception to last night’s episode – one that will serve neither Dancing With The Stars nor Olivia Jade.

“I’m probably best known for being an influencer,” she said in her introduction video. “But the last few years, I’ve been – I guess you could say wrapped up in a scandal.” There was some on-screen acknowledgment of what the scandal in question was, by way of archive news reports, but it’s fair to say that Dancing With The Stars didn’t exactly dwell on the whole “criminal conspiracy that ran so deep it warranted its own code name once the feds starting looking into it” thing.

“After everything happened, I did step back from social media and just soaked in what everybody was saying,” Olivia Jade added in her pre-performance segment. “I’m not trying to pull a pity card, but I’m just trying to move forward and do better.” She was then shown training with her professional dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy, explaining: “I just really want to show people that I have a different side to me. I have a strong work ethic.”

There is a problem we haven’t collectively solved yet when people go from famous to infamous – and when their livelihood was tied to their previous fame. Olivia Jade will turn 22 in a few days. She does need to figure out a way to live her life post college admissions scandal. But is Dancing With The Stars the best way to demonstrate a “strong work ethic”? I realise there’s a good amount of rehearsing involved (which the show frequently highlights), but come on.

This isn’t Dancing With The Stars’ first unpopular casting decision. In 2019, the programme recruited Sean Spicer – yes, Donald Trump’s former White House Press Secretary. The same Sean Spicer who lied about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd, among many other things. And in 2010, they cast Bristol Palin (Sarah Palin’s daughter), who somehow reached the finals despite being possibly – per NPR’s assessment at the time – “one of the three worst dancers of the season”.

Maybe these casting moves make for good ratings, but honestly? They also make for bad television. This is a ballroom dance competition! I’m here to have fun! I’m here for glitzy costumes, fun moves, and the underlying threat of a mishap. I want to watch it without feeling gross. And I want to watch it without feeling like I’m making excuses for anyone, or whitewashing their past.

Dancing With The Stars is over the top by nature. Ballroom dancing itself is pretty over the top by nature too, if you ask me! The aesthetics of the show are so intense that it’s easy to be jarred out of them. That’s why the programme needs to be able to grab viewers by the hand and lead them into a smooth televised tango. Throw a Sean Spicer, a Bristol Palin, or an Olivia Jade Gianulli into the mix, and you’ve just broken the fourth wall. I’m no longer watching the dancing. I’m staring into the abyss and trying to untangle America’s unbelievably messy relationship to showbiz and fame.

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There were many enjoyable moments in last night’s episodes of Dancing With The Stars. Mel C of the Spice Girls dancing the Cha Cha to “Wannabe”? Yes! Peloton star instructor Cody Rigsby opening his tango on an exercise bike? Also yes. Ditto Olympian Suni Lee’s Jive and JoJo Siwa’s Quickstep. Those are the moments I’m here for. But glossing over Olivia Jade’s (or Sean Spicer’s) past? That’s a record scratch I want no part in.

You can’t shoehorn palatability. Dancing With The Stars needs to learn that.

Olivia Jade Talks 'DWTS' Support From Sister Bella and Candace Cameron

Entertainment Tonight 21 September, 2021 - 12:58pm

The pair earned a 25 out of 40 for the night, and lots of compliments from the judges. 

"I am just really excited to be on this show. I'm still processing everything," Olivia told ET's Lauren Zima after the performance. "It was exhilarating and surreal." A longtime fan of the show, she added that performing herself has been "unreal." 

Olivia, who is likely best known for her family's college admissions scandal, is ready for this new chapter in her life. "I just like to speak very sensitively on this subject because when I take a step back and I really look at what's going on in the world -- do I have it that hard? --  No," she said. 

"But just being a human, obviously, you know, going through everything that happened, it was difficult at times. I'm really excited to start a new chapter, show a different side of myself, and I think Dancing With the Stars is a great chance for that," she continued. 

One thing that's helped Olivia along the way has been the love and support of family and friends. Her sister, Bella Rose, was in the audience at Monday's show and even made some sacrifices to be there. 

"She actually is coming to every show on Monday. She's in acting school, and she cancelled one of her classes to come to make all the Monday shows, so talk about the best support system," Olivia gushed of her sibling. 

Val agreed that having some audience support can make all the difference. 

"It's a game changer," he told ET. "When you have those people in the stands, it's different... at home is one thing but having it there, it just gives you purpose beyond just nervousness and the last thing it allows you to have a good time because you know the people you all love are right there."

Another person in Olivia's corner is actress Candace Cameron Bure, who co-starred with her mom on Fuller House and who competed on DWTS in season 18, coming in third. Candace encouraged her fans on Instagram to vote for Olivia on Instagram on Monday. 

Prior to her DWTS debut, Olivia spoke with ET's Cassie DiLaura at the iHeartRadio Music Festival about Candace's support and advice. 

"The best advice is just being patient with yourself and knowing that you're going to have these hard moments but you will overcome them, and if you don't, then you get to switch it up," Olivia recalled Candace telling her. "And you work with your partner and they want you to look good, and they want you to learn and be successful." 

The iHeartRadio Music Festival will air Oct. 2 and 3 on The CW. 

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Olivia Jade Said She's "Best Known" As An Influencer & Twitter Is Not Buying It

Bustle 21 September, 2021 - 12:53pm

“We all know what you’re best known for and it’s not that.”

She and the producers failed to mention her famous parents: Full House star Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. Her introductory clip did mention the college admission scandal that thrusted all three of them into the spotlight. They made headlines in 2019 when her parents paid a bribe of $500,000 to get her and her sister admitted into the University of Southern California. The sisters were later accepted to the school as recruits for the crew team, despite neither of them having ever participated in the sport of rowing. Loughlin and Giannulli were sentenced to prison, and Jade took time off social media to escape the backlash.

Now that she’scompeting for the mirror ball trophy, she’s already raised some eyebrows, and the reception didn’t go over so well on Twitter. “Olivia Jade said she’s best known for being an influencer ........ BESTIE PLSSSSSSSSSS. You mean a D1 rower?” Twitter user @fren_emys wrote. “Nah, we all know what you’re best known for and it’s not that,” @rosemcbridetv added.

Several other DWTS fans weighed in as well, making it clear that Olivia Jade is best known for the college admissions scandal that landed her parents in prison.

Jade didn’t address the controversy much during the premiere of DWTS. However, she did say that she’s been “wrapped up in a scandal” for the past few years and that she’s been trying to move on. “I’m not trying to pull a pity card, but I just need to move forward and do better,” she said in the prerecorded footage.

This wasn’t the first time she publicly addressed the scandal. In December 2020, Jade appeared on an episode of Red Table Talk to discuss her parents’ crimes and what life has been like since. “It’s been hard,” she told hosts Jada Pinkett-Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Willow Smith. “I think for anybody no matter what the situation is, you don’t want to see your parents go to prison. But also I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the social media star admitted to initially not understanding what her parents did wrong. “That’s embarrassing to admit,” she said. And even though it didn’t quite click, she’s since come to understand and has apologized for her own role in the scandal. “What hasn’t been super public is that there is no justifying or excusing what happened because what happened was wrong,” she said. “I think every single person in my family can be like, ‘That was messed up, that was a big mistake.’”

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