RedEye

Will Paula Deen waltz onto 'Dancing With the Stars'?

Paula Deen has had a rough week, but maybe she can cha-cha her way out of scandal on "Dancing With the Stars."

The celebrity chef has been approached to join the cast of ABC's dance contest this fall, according to a report on VH1.

Whether Deen will actually break out her boogie shoes remains unknown. ABC declined to comment, while a Deen spokeswoman did not immediately return an email. In 2010, Deen said she'd been asked to do the show but declined, adding: "Fat girls don't look good sweating."

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But such a move could now be good for both parties. "DWTS" saw ratings erosion this past season as the celebrities failed to ignite much enthusiasm among viewers. A polarizing figure like Deen -- who became embroiled in scandal after admitting to using the N-word in the past -- could give the show the kick it needs to become relevant again.

Deen, meanwhile, would be able to stay in the public eye without reminding people of what got her into trouble. "DWTS" has a long history of exploiting famous people with divisive personas, including Bristol Palin and Kate Gosselin.

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The former host of "Paula's Best Dishes" may need some good exposure. Food Network, Wal-Mart and other partners dropped her in the wake of the scandal. And on Friday, Sears and Kmart announced that they, too, would no longer sell Deen-related merchandise in their stores.

Would you watch Deen on "DWTS"?

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Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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