'Dancing With the Stars' May Have Just Added Celebrity at the Heart of College Admissions Scandal

Dancing With the Stars appears to be bringing on the controversial figure at the center of the college admissions scandal for its upcoming 30th season. Olivia Jade Giannulli, the 21-year-old daughter of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, will reportedly be competing in the new season of the ABC dance competition, according to TMZ, which snapped photos of a woman in a visor that appears to be the YouTuber entering the L.A. rehearsal studio.

Giannulli will reportedly be competing alongside DWTS pro Val Chmerkovskiy against stars including Dance Moms alum JoJo Siwa, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore and Olympic gymnast Suni Lee. Giannulli enters the competition almost a year after her mother and father were released from prison after serving a two-month and five-month sentence, respectively, for their role in the college admissions scandal. 

Giannulli took to Red Table Talk in December 2020 to ask for a second chance after her parents fraudulently had her admitted to USC by pretending she was a recruit for the crew team. "There is no justifying or excusing what happened because what happened was wrong," Giannulli said, asking for a chance to redeem herself for her family's mistake. "I'm 21, I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself, to show I've grown." 

Also paving the way on Season 30 is Siwa, who, after coming out as LGBTQ+ earlier this year, will be the first female celebrity paired with a partner of the same sex. "When I read the email it was like, 'Would JoJo prefer to dance with a girl or with a boy?' and I was like, 'Wait, that's an option? Let's absolutely do it!' It was a like, 'Whoa, I'm changing the future' [moment], because I have such a kid demographic," she said on Entertainment Tonight Monday. "It's making it acceptable, and I love that and I'm so proud of that."

Having first stepped into the spotlight on Dance Moms, Siwa said she was "not gonna hide" her background as a dancer, although she's "very out of practice" and doesn't have any background in ballroom dancing. "It's gonna help me in a way, but it also is a disadvantage. Because I guarantee you the judges are 100 million percent gonna judge me harder than they do everybody else," she added.