Dancing With The Stars Season 29 is a snapshot of the shifting celebrity landscape for the new decade. Some castings never change, with Bachelorettes, boy band-ers, and Disney Channel stars taking the floor. In the good news, politicians are out (thank heaven). In better news, Netflix is in, with three celebrities from current Netflix series (and a fourth from the recently-moved-to-Pop One Day At A Time) competing this season. But the most 2020 of all the celebrity casting is undoubtedly Carole Baskin from Tiger King. And to no one's surprise, Carole Baskin's first DWTS performance song will stay true to her tiger theme.
When her casting was announced, Baskin said the decision to join the long-running celebrity dancing competition was for the tigers. She reiterated that when speaking to Entertainment Tonight, saying she hoped to bring awareness to Big Cat Rescue, the non-profit animal sanctuary she runs in Tampa.
Although Netflix's Tiger King docuseries did not present her in the most flattering light, it is notable how on-brand she's been when it comes to her love of big cats. Dancing With The Stars is shaping up to continue the trend, with her first song being one of the most obvious choices she could use: Survivor's 1982 hit "Eye Of The Tiger."
Baskin admitted she was deluged with opportunities after Tiger King's runaway success on Netflix. Even so, Baskin isn't trying to show the world she has hidden dancing skills, or reveal a new, softer side of herself by doing DWTS. She's doing this for the cats.
Speaking to ET, Baskin said:
[T]his isn't about me. This is about the cats, and they were the real losers in Tiger King. There was [little] attention paid to what those cats go through. So I am really hoping that Dancing With the Stars will keep those cats first and foremost in the front of the viewers so that they are constantly thinking about those cats being in cages and being exploited so that we can change that and end the private possession and the cub handling.
With her singular focus, "Eye Of The Tiger" was her natural first song choice. As for what she'll be wearing, she doesn't know yet. "The people in wardrobe asked me what they could do, and I told them to go just absolutely wild. So, I think you're going to be as surprised as I am."
Dancing With The Stars Season 29 kicks off on Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.