This next week of Dancing With the Stars will be an emotional one for Carole Baskin. The Tiger King subject narrowly avoided elimination during Tuesday's episode after another week on the bottom, with NBA legend Charles Oakley being sent home instead. Heading into Disney Night, Baskin told Entertainment Tonight she's hoping not to cry on stage during her dance to "Circle of Life" from The Lion King.
Saying she was "mortified" to be filmed crying during last week's practices as she discussed the impact Tiger King has had on her life, Baskin said she was "both delighted and concerned" to learn she would be dancing to "Circle of Life," noting, "If there is a song that can bring me to tears, it's that one, and I really don't want to cry on stage."
The Big Cat Rescue founder explained one of the rescues her team carried out of a "geriatric" bobcat whose "extensive arthritis in her spine" had led to lameness in both of her back legs, open wounds and a shattered pelvis. Helping the cat "pass on to better hunting grounds" via euthanasia, Baskin said she truly understands the circle of life.
"Making those kinds of 'circle of life' decisions are always hard; even when we are absolutely sure it is the kindest thing to do. Given the fact that we've rescued hundreds of exotic cats, and over 800 domestic cats in our foster program, I've had to make that decision far more than anyone is designed to handle," she explained. "The 'Circle of Life' song will surely flood them all back through my mind while I'm trying to hold back tears and hold my head high in the dance."
It's been an emotional journey for Baskin so far, who showed "a lot of emotion and vulnerability" during a conversation with pro Pasha Pashkov about being accused of killing late husband Don Lewis in the Netflix docuseries. While Baskin didn't think the footage would be used, she was shocked to see it teased in the promo for that week's show. "I thought I'd have plenty of time to tell my family not to worry about me crying," she said. "I thought I would be able to explain that we had talked for a long time about how hard it has been for me to see the way Tiger King's gross misrepresentation of me had caused them so much pain." Dancing With the Stars airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.