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‘Tiger King’s’ Carole Baskin, rapper Nelly to compete on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

The ballroom lineup also will include Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean, film and TV actress Anne Heche and NBA great Charles Oakley.

Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, walks the property near Tampa, Fla. Baskin was married to Jack “Don” Lewis, whose 1997 disappearance remains unsolved and is the subject of a new Netflix series “Tiger King.”
Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, will be among the celebs competing on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP

Like all cool cats and kittens, Carole Baskin is going to “Dancing With the Stars.”

The reality TV star who became a pop culture sensation with Netflix’s docuseries “Tiger King” is joining the new crop of celebrity dancers that includes rapper Nelly, former NBA star Charles Oakley and Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean.

The new season premieres on ABC on Sept. 14.

On the Netflix series “Tiger King,” Baskin, who owns a big cat refuge, sought to shut down Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s for-profit breeding of big cats. His nickname is “Joe Exotic” and her signature line is “cool cats and kittens.”

Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year federal prison term for killing five tigers and plotting to have Baskin killed. In June, a federal judge awarded Baskin ownership of the private Oklahoma zoo run by Maldonado-Passage.

Others slated to appear on the dancing show are cheer team coach Monica Aldama, “Bachelorette” star Kaitlyn Bristowe, NFL star Vernon Davis, TV and film actress Anne Heche, Disney Channel teen Skai Jackson, “One Day at a Time” actress Justina Machado, “The Real” co-host Jeannie Mai, “Desperate Housewives” hunk Jesse Metcalfe, “Catfish” host Nev Schulman, “Selling Sunset” real estate agent Chrishell Stause and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

Producers are mum about pandemic-related production changes, although they say the pairs won’t be wearing masks or dance socially distantly, if that were even possible.

Supermodel and businesswoman Tyra Banks will host the new season after longtime co-host Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews announced their exits from the series in July.

Contributing: USA Today