Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Samantha Harris Says DWTS Producers Wanted Her “Pasty & Pudgy”

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Samantha Harris Has a Message for Women

Samantha Harris is waltzing up to the mic.

The model alleged that producers of Dancing With the Stars asked her to gain weight while she hosted the ABC competition show with Tom Bergeron from 2006 to 2009.

“I remember—I won’t say who in the network or executive team said this—but I remember I got a note,” she said on the Dec. 10 episode of the Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans podcast. “I got actually called into a meeting and they said, ‘So Samantha, going to the next season…’ My interpretation was they said to me, ‘You need to be pasty and pudgy.'”

Harris, 50, said the producers wanted her to look different from the dancing pros on the show.

“Really what they said to me was you’re getting too tan and too toned,” she alleged. “The viewers are confusing you with the dancers because you’re too tanned and too toned.”

While Harris gives the audience more “credit,” she said producers told her that her appearance was “confusing” for viewers “and they need to be able to relate to you as the host being basically a complete dichotomy next to the dancers.”

Their request, according to Harris, was to stop self-tanning “and to gain weight.”

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The former E! News correspondent recalled being “stunned” by the alleged comment because she “took pride” in staying so fit. 

However, Harris accepted their feedback, in part because she was pregnant with daughter Josselyn Sydney Hess, now 16.

“Of course, I said, ‘Okay, of course, no problem. I got that covered’ because little did they know—it was too early for me to share yet—I was pregnant,” she explained. “So I wasn’t going to be tanning, because I didn’t know what the chemicals were that would be seeping into my body, and I was gonna be gaining weight.”

E! News has reached out to ABC for comment but hasn’t heard back.

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For more behind-the-scenes secrets about DWTS, keep reading to see which celebrities have turned down an invite to compete in the ballroom.


Nick Carter

Backstreet Boys Nick Carter finally got to show off his moves in season 21 after years of not being available. “I was approached for like 4 to 5 years in a row,” he tells E! News. “Unfortunately, and fortunately, I was on the road with the Backstreet Boys touring and doing album cycles, so now that I have some time, that we’re in between, I could take the advantage of doing it.” 


Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin, Australian TV personality and daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, also joined season 21. However, this wasn’t the first time she had the chance to hit the dance floor. “I was approached once before, and I said, oh my goodness!” she tells E! News. “We were in the middle of our Crocodile research trip and it was all happening, so it worked out really well that we were able to join this season, so I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”


Demi Moore

After her daughter Rumer Willis won season 20 of DWTS, with her mom in the audience at almost every taping, Moore was close to joining the season 21 cast, sources told E! News, but she decided to turn down the offer.

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Caitlyn Jenner

Former champ Alfonso Ribeiro revealed to E! News that the show was interested in having the I Am Cait reality star compete for the trophy but that she said no, choosing not to follow in Kim Kardashian and Rob Kardashian‘s footsteps. 

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Lindsay Lohan

The Mean Girls star was reportedly approached to do the show back in season 16 but said no. 

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Paula Deen

The controversial celeb chef had previously turned down the chance to dance two times before finally joining the cast in season 21, as E! News exclusively reported

“They did ask me,” she told Extra in 2010, “and I said no.”

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Tiffani Thiessen

Though several of her former Saved By the Bell co-stars have competed, Thiessen declined DWTS‘ offer. “I’ve been asked a few times,” she once told The Huffington Post, “but my response to that is that I am an actor, not a dancer.”

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Bobby Flay

Paula Deen isn’t the only celeb chef DWTS has courted. Flay said he also turned down the show, with the Food Network star once explaining to Zagat that he didn’t want to “be known as that guy on Dancing with the Stars.” Another reason? “My wife told me that she would divorce me if I did it.” (He and ex-wife Stephanie March have since divorced.)

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Geraldo Rivera

While sources told E! he said no to DWTS, he said yes to appearing on Celebrity Apprentice.


Kirstie Alley

Though she went on to become a fan-favorite in the ballroom, the now-late actress originally said no to DWTS, tweeting she was “too chicken.” 

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Gayle King

The CBS This Morning host and Oprah Winfrey‘s BFF turned the the show down not once, not twice, but THREE times. “I think it’s good to keep my public humiliation to a minimum,” she told US Weekly. “I would never want to embarrass my children ever…or myself! I can’t dance.”

Adela Loconte/WireImage

Ricky Shroder

DWTS producers called in a favor to Alfonso when it came to the NYPD Blue star, asking the former champ to find out if he would join the show. Too bad it didn’t work, as Ribeiro told E! News, his pal said, “Eh, I don’t dance!”

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Jamie Lee Curtis

The Oscar winner has vowed to never do the show. BUT she did admit there is a way they could possibly get her to join. “I’ll tell you how I would do Dancing With the Stars,” she once told E! News. “If they gave me a million dollars to give to charity…I would only do it if there was a big charity component. “


Queen Latifah

“No truth to the rumors of me doing Dancing With the Stars,” Queen Latifah tweeted back in 2011. “Love the show though so I’ll be watching just like you!” However, the Grammy winner has been a guest performer on the show.

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