Rapper Nelly, and big cat advocate, Carole Baskin continue to have success on “Dancing With the Stars”


“Dancing With the Stars” might be an acquired taste for some viewers. But when the show’s representatives feature favorite stars from other genres, unlikely viewers tune in. That is exactly what is happening with the presence of Nelly and Carole Baskin. Albeit the draw would be even greater if the two were dancing with each other, but that is not how “Dancing With the Stars” works.

Instead, Nelly and Baskin are paired with professional dancers. While neither scored super-high scores, they received enough points to continue. Because of this, their fans (and perhaps their detractors as well) have tuned in to see what they can do.

Unlikely “Dancing With the Stars” success of Nelly and Carole Baskin

What Nelly and Baskin have done, at least in this second week of the competition, is to redefine themselves just slightly. It is as though they (or their stylists) are acknowledging the show’s aesthetics, while incorporating their own.

For example, Nelly wore custom dance shoes that look like fashionable, pricey sneakers. But, they were crafted like dance shoes. Baskin’s ubiquitous floral wreath was gone, but a bronze-looking tiara-wreath took its place.

As for the success of Nelly and Baskin, Baskin’s is more contentious than the rapper’s. Week two marked the first in which eliminations would be held. The dancers in the last two slots were former NFL player Charles Oakley and Baskin. The show’s judges opted to keep Baskin, and online, fans declared the move as a ploy for ratings.

While Nelly’s muscle-bound physique and urban dance capability give judges items to critique, they have nothing but effusive remarks for his sense of rhythm. This week, Nelly and Daniella made Latin dance moves to “Let’s Groove” and the scores were not bad. Hopefully for fans of Nelly, the rapper will be able to loosen up, make even smoother moves, and surprise everyone by winning this season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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