I’m sure that social media influencer Olivia Jade can relate to that sentiment. When she was cast on DWTS, there was an immediate backlash. While Olivia may be a popular influencer, she is more often associated with the college admissions scandal.
Her parents, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli and popular actress Lori Loughlin, paid out $500,000 so that Olivia and her sister would be accepted to the University of Southern California. Both were admitted as members of the crew team. Neither one had ever participated in the sport before.
Both Lori and Mossimo served time in prison for their involvement in the bribery scheme. Before the scandal, Lori and her family were supposedly offered their own reality show. Talk about timing! There were also rumblings that Lori would be joining Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which Andy Cohen promptly shot down.
Host Tyra Banks stood up for Olivia being cast on the show. “I think Olivia is so brave. I think people don’t know her; they know what happened to her,” Tyra stated. “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.”
Olivia was partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy, and she seemed to shine in the ballroom. The judges praised Olivia’s technique and her connection with Val.
In fact, the duo’s connection sparked some speculation that maybe they were getting a little too close. A Tik-Tok user posted a video alleging that a contestant was hooking up with her married pro. Olivia and Val were never mentioned by name, but Olivia decided to respond anyway.
RELATED: Tyra Banks Defends Casting Olivia Jade On Dancing With The Stars Following College Admissions Scandal
She posted her own Tik-Tok video and addressed the rumors. Olivia stated, “I’m just going to be super blunt and straight up, and just say that Val and I are not hooking up. We’ve never hooked up. This is a complete rumor; we are genuinely good friends and I adore his wife,” she added.
Val has been married to fellow pro Jenna Johnson since April 0f 2019. Jenna is competing this season with singer JoJo Siwa. They are the first same-sex couple in the history of the show. Jenna acknowledged the gossip as just part of their job.
Olivia’s DWTS journey ended just shy of the semi-finals on November 8, 2021. Olivia and Val were immediately sent home because they had the lowest combined judges scores and fan votes.
Olivia and Val spoke to Page Six, and other reporters, following their elimination. “Hard work really does pay off, and when you really give something your all and that joy you genuinely feel from doing so, there’s nothing really like it. It’s so rewarding,” Olivia shared.
She continued, “I really found a drive and a work ethic that I think I’ve had since I was young, but maybe I haven’t been able to execute in the last few years. So it’s been really nice to find that again.” Olivia plans to keep the same drive going forward. “I’m just going to continue to work my absolute hardest at anything that’s thrown at me in the next few years,” the influencer added.
So, how does Olivia feel about her DWTS experience? “I am honestly shocked I even made it this far,” she remarked. “It’s been such a journey, and I’m just so grateful I did the show.”
Olivia added, “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It gave me this newfound confidence that I don’t even really know if I could put that into words.” Olivia seemed to grow and improve every week in the ballroom. “I’m just very, very happy I said yes and that I got Val as my partner. I literally wouldn’t change a single thing,” Olivia commented.
Olivia revealed that she talked with both of her parents after her DWTS elimination. She recalled, “They both were like, ‘Hey, you did it, you tried your best, we’re proud of you for putting yourself out there and we love you.’ They’re great, obviously very supportive.”
Val also praised Olivia for her dedication. “We did win some folks over. We did get a chance to shed a different light on her and show her in a different spotlight, and then also show that she earned it,” Val said. “She earned her stay here for eight weeks, and it’s been a blast.”
RELATED: Dancing With The Stars Pro Jenna Johnson Reacts To Rumors That Olivia Jade Is Hooking Up With Her Husband Val Chmerkovskiy
TELL US- WHAT DID YOU THINK OF OLIVIA’S PERFORMANCES ON DWTS? DID SHE EARN HER SPOT?
[Photo Credit: ABC/Maarten de Boer]