Olivia Jade Giannulli is competing on Dancing with the Stars this season, and she hopes that it will give the public a chance to see a different side of her beyond the 2019 college admission bribery scandal. Giannulli became a household name when her parents, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were accused of bribing officials to get their daughters admitted to prestigious schools. Giannulli is now looking for a second chance to make a good impression on the public.
"A lot of people don't know that I have a strong work ethic," Giannulli said on Monday in a new interview with E! News. "Obviously this is a really tough contest, you are in rehearsing for hours. I don't know, I just feel like people don't know my personality yet, except for maybe the people who watch my YouTube channel. I'm excited to show just who I am truly at my core, just have fun and learn how to dance." At 21 years old, Giannulli will be competing alongside DWTS pro Val Chmerkovskiy.
"You should have seen her at the dress rehearsal," Chmerkovskiy teased in the same interview. "She had one of the craziest wardrobe malfunctions and she kept going." Giannulli responded, "Shut up, stop!"
Kidding aside, Chmerkovskiy also vouched for Giannulli's work ethic. He said: "There are a few things when she showed up to rehearsal, I questioned the pretty face, but the hard work has always been there, very consistently."
Giannulli's work as a social media influencer was one of the most sensational parts of the college admission bribery scandal - known as "Operation Varsity Blue" by the federal agents who conducted it. Although her parents have been convicted of bribing officials to get her into the University of Southern California, Giannulli was openly disinterested in her education in her YouTube videos beforehand. She joked about doing the bare minimum amount of school work while putting more effort into her makeup tutorial videos.
"I do want the experience of like game days, partying ... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know," she said in one video before the scandal broke. Many people are also still preoccupied with how much Giannulli may have known about the bribery scheme herself. She was admitted to USC as an athletic prospect for its competitive rowing crew, though she had no background or interest in the sport. She did, however, pose for a photo of an ergometer rowing machine as part of her application.
In all likelihood, Giannulli will not be shedding any new light on this mystery from the stage or the dance floor. Regardless, she will be a cast member of Dancing with the Stars this season, every Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.