Tyra Banks Defends ‘Brave’ Olivia Jade Giannulli’s ‘DWTS’ Casting

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Tyra Banks and Olivia Jade Giannulli.
ABC/Adrienne Raquel; ABC/Maarten de Boer

Whether America roots for Olivia Jade Giannulli on Dancing With the Stars remains to be TBD, however Tyra Banks has her again. The host defended Lori Loughlin’s daughter becoming a member of the cast after the nationwide school dishonest scandal.

“I think Olivia is so brave. I think people don’t know her, they know what happened to her,” the 47-year-old mannequin instructed Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, September 15. “She has said that she did not know about what was going on and it’s really sad, and it’s very hurtful when something publicly happens but you had nothing to do with it. So I trust that she says she didn’t know.”

Loughlin, 57, and husband Mossimo Giannulli each served jail time after pleading responsible to fraud prices after they had been accused of paying bribes to make sure Olivia, 21, and sister Bella Giannulli could be admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits. News broke earlier this month that the YouTuber could be taking up the ballroom.

“She is having to deal with that and I think she’s coming to Dancing With the Stars to be able to tell her story and show her vulnerability,” Banks instructed ET earlier than addressing whether or not Olivia is legendary sufficient for the ABC present. “And is she a celebrity? Not traditionally, but what is a celebrity today? If that’s the case, then there’s no Instagram influencer that is a celebrity. We are in a whole different world and celebrity has taken a turn and a change.”

Banks concluded, ”If persons are speaking about you, you’re well-known. And you might be on Dancing With the Stars.”

Olivia joins 14 different stars, together with JoJo Siwa, Suni Lee, Melora Hardin, Melanie C., Matt James, Kenya Moore and Brian Austin Green, because the cast for season 30 of DWTS. The actuality sequence marks the influencer’s first main project after hitting pause on her YouTube channel and dropping sponsorships within the aftermath of the faculty scandal.

“We had the means to do something and we completely took it and ran with it. It was something that was wrong,” Olivia mentioned on Red Table Talk in December 2020. “It really can’t be excused. On paper, it’s bad — it’s really bad. But I think what a lot of people don’t know is my parents came from a place of just, ‘I love my kids I just want to help my kids — whatever is best for them — I worked my whole life to provide for my family.’ I think they thought it was normal.”

Dancing With the Stars season 30 debuts on ABC Monday, September 20, at 8 p.m. ET.

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