Sean Spicer isn't the first problematic person to seek redemption on reality TV.
When the 28th season of Dancing with the Stars was announced, one name in particular elicited the exhausted groans of the collective public: Former Donald Trump White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Soon afterward #BoycottDWTS began trending on Twitter. Even Tom Bergeron, the longtime apolitical host of the series, released a statement alluding to the fact that he was disappointed with the decision. Though it's a stretch to consider him a star, and he dancing ability is in no way high enough to warrant softening and normalizing a man who peddled lies to the American public for a racist, immoral president—Spicer will almost certainly appear on the show next season.
But the thing about Dancing with the Stars is that this is hardly the first time the series has cast a controversial character and definitely not the first time it's stretched the definition of star. In fact, Dancing with the Stars is practically a redemption vehicle for stars who need to win back the graces of Baby Boomers who tout the biannual series as their Monday night guilty pleasure. Paula Deen rebounded after her plantation party snafu with a ninth place finish a few years back. Ryan Lochte's all-American seventh place finish helped erase some of the damage of allegedly fabricating a Brazilian robbery. And lest we forget, former Presidential-hopeful-turned-Trump's Secretary of Energy Rick Perry lasted two weeks on his season just a short three years ago.
So let's go back and revisit the worst contestants tapped to quickstep their way into the good graces of the American public. How do you achieve the American Redemption Dream? With a blouse adorned with fringe, of course.