'Dancing With the Stars' Winner Bobby Bones Would 'Love' to Have Competed Alongside Carole Baskin (Exclusive)

It's been two years since Bobby Bones won his Mirrorball Trophy, but he would "love" to have competed on this year's season of Dancing With the Stars alongside one of Tiger King's controversial figures, Carole Baskin. In an exclusive interview on PopCulture @ Home, Bones joked that it isn't the notoriety that Baskin brings to the ballroom, but her dance skills that have him looking back on his own season.

Filming Breaking Bobby Bones and broadcasting The Bobby Bones Show is busy work, but the country radio star made sure he "slid through" last week's premiere on DVR to see performances by his friends, Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and Cheer coach Monica Aldama, as well as the Big Cat Rescue founder. "I wanted to see Carol Baskin from Tiger King, obviously, just to see If she would be bad," he joked. "And she was!"

Baskin did earn the lowest score of the premiere night, earning an 11/30 for her paso doble to "Eye of the Tiger" alongside pro partner Pasha Pashkov. Bones, who even now said he gets hate for his performances alongside pro Sharna Burgess during his season, quipped that his first thought if he was cast on a season with Baskin would be, "Finally there's someone worse at dancing than me."

In all seriousness, Bones said he wouldn't mind dancing alongside Baskin, as he doesn't buy the theory that she killed husband Don Lewis and fed him to her tigers. "If I did [think she killed her husband], maybe it would be different," he continued. "I also like to talk to people and see how notoriety has changed their life, because her life has taken a big turn, you know?" The American Idol mentor also doesn't think the Netflix docuseries "did her exactly right" when it came to the premise, but at the end of the day said he would just love another target for dancing critiques: "Listen, I would just love for people not to be hating on me for my lack of dancing skills, so that would be good."

Aside from McLean and Aldama, Bones has also been loving watching rapper Nelly take to the dance floor, as he's a "big Nelly fan." Olympic ice skater Johnny Weir will be "tough to beat," he added, as ice skating is "basically dancing." Watching the competition on his DVR instead of from the ABC ballroom has been a relief. Bones admitted, "I think I like watching it better than doing it, honestly."


Bones and Baskin certainly share a love of animals, as the radio star partners with Purina Dog Chow for their Service Dog Salute campaign to help veterans connect with service dogs. "So many of our vets have been over, and they fought, and they come back, and a lot of them have PTSD, or they have other issues and service dogs ... help them so much in adjusting back to a normal life," he explained. "The thing is — service dogs, they're about $20,000 apiece."

With less than 1 percent of veterans in need able to afford a service dog, Purina is raising money to purchase dogs for veterans. If you buy a specially-marked bag from now through Thanksgiving, Purina will make a donation, up to $100,000, to their two partner service dog organizations: the Pets and Vets program at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and Got Your Six Support Dogs. For more information on the Service Dog Salute, click here.