Lauren Alaina Is Watching the New ‘Dancing With the Stars’ — And She’s Got Thoughts on Carole Baskin
Standing in front of a Zoom screen, in the 2020 ACM Awards' virtual press room on Wednesday night (Sept. 16), Lauren Alaina had an important announcement to make.
"I have been asked this question a million times, and when I did the [ACM Radio Remote interviews] I had not seen the show," she prefaced. "But I would like to announce that last night I watched the premiere [of the new season of Dancing With the Stars]. I have so many thoughts."
Alaina competed on DWTS in 2019, teaming with her partner Gleb Savchenko to learn and perform elaborate dances including the tango, the samba and contemporary style. She ended her time on the show in November of 2019, placing fourth in her season overall.
On the 2020 season premiere, no performance was more eye-catching or buzzed about than that of Carole Baskin, who — fittingly enough — danced a pasodoble to "Eye of the Tiger" with her partner, Pasha. Baskin, an animal sanctuary owner, became an overnight viral sensation earlier in 2020 after the release of the Netflix documentary Tiger King, a look into the truly bizarre world of big cats and the people who love them.
"Carole Baskin...wow," Alaina commented, seemingly at a loss for words. Baskin took the DWTS wearing a hot pink, tiger-striped ensemble — not a huge leap, for someone whose wedding photo shows her wearing a white dress and carrying a leash attached to the collar of her kneeling, tiger stripe-clad husband.
"But you know, she was smiling the whole time, which I appreciate," Alaina pointed out about Baskin's dance number. "Every time they showed her, she was smiling. Her dancing...Pasha is going to have to work hard, and so is she."
As for highlights from the show? Alaina says she was impressed by actor Skai Jackson, as well as Backstreet Boy and country performer A.J. McLean.
"[McLean] came and mentored me last year, and that's who I want to win. Sorry for everyone else! You're all wonderful and beautiful," Alaina added with a laugh.
Alaina has been pretty busy herself since departing DWTS in 2019: She's been hard at work on new music, most recently releasing her Getting Over Him EP early in September. It's a heartbreak-focused project, and Alaina has been through a couple of highly public breakups in recent years. The first was the ending of her engagement to longtime boyfriend Alex Hopkins; the second was her split from Christian comedian John Crist.
While Alaina's staying vague about the more personal specifics behind Getting Over Him, it's safe to say that the project is based in real life. Fortunately for Alaina, she says that no exes have come out of the woodwork since the release of the EP.
"Thank you Jesus, I have not heard from any of my exes, especially the one that this EP's about," she told journalists, laughing, before adding a quick message specifically to the guy in question. "So if you see this, keep it that way!"
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