Dancing is definitely not in Carole Baskin's comfort zone, but that is not stopping her from taking the stage with pro dance partner Pasha Pashkov on Dancing With The Stars for a third night on Monday. In fact, Baskin did not even grow up dancing because she was taught it was a "sin." The Big Cat Rescue owner does not feel that way anymore, of course, and she will be dancing to a Samba set to The Lion King's "The Circle of Life" at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
"I went to a Christian school, so at home, I couldn't dance, at school, I couldn't dance. [There] was no part of my life when I was allowed to dance," Baskin said of her childhood in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. She said she was taught dancing was a sin, "so it was something where I tried to resist it in every way." It still shows hin her dancing today, she said with a laugh. "I really have a hard time embracing it," she added.
Baskin's dance scores have not been great, but she did survive the first elimination. She earned an 11/30 for her first dance to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" and a 16/30 for her week two dance to Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat?" However, great dance routines are not her top priority. She wants to raise awareness for big cats living in America.
"I really am single-focused, and I think that has led to the success that I've had in different areas in my life because I do just like laser-focus on something and only do that," she told ET. "I believe that you can only do one thing really well. Pasha is an amazing dancer because that's where he puts his focus. I think each of us has an ability to find to do what we do best." Even after the show is over, dancing is not suddenly going to become a top priority for her.
Baskin also noted that this is the longest she has spent away from Tampa, where Big Cat Rescue is located, in some time. "It's the longest I've been away for sure, and I really miss seeing the cats and being among them," she explained. "But we do live presentations of Facebook with the cats every day, and so I go on Facebook and I follow around our keepers as they do their evening meds and the snacks and their feeding and their keeper tours and all of that."
Baskin has been the most controversial member of the DWTS cast this season. The animal rights activist gained fame after she appeared in Netflix's Tiger King, which centered on Joe Exotic, who is in prison for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill Baskin. The disappearance of Baskin's second husband, Don Lewis, remains a mystery, with Exotic theorizing she was involved in his death. Baskin has maintained her innocence and has never been charged.