ABC’s efforts to turn the next season of Dancing With The Stars into a full-blown ritual of redemption—in which our culture’s most scandal-ridden shake off their sins to lounge versions of pop hits—have failed to attract either Lance Armstrong or Lindsay Lohan, who are simply not ready to be reborn. In Armstrong’s case, the show has apparently approached him “every year since its inception,” each passing season injected with some new, powerful subtext that keeps the offers going. The 16-time champion of turning down Dancing With The Stars was reportedly “flattered” anew by the attention currently being shown to him by the series and everyone else on Earth, but humbly turned down the offer to have his performance judged on a weekly basis, probably because of the modesty.
Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan—despite a financial quagmire that led to her accepting $100,000 in pity money from Charlie Sheen—similarly turned down a reported $550,000 from the show, insisting “she wants to stick to films,” rather than lowering herself to the tabloid miasma of reality TV she’s otherwise so deftly avoided. The series also requires the intense physical commitment of actually showing up, and unfairly creates its schedule by using the arbitrary definition of “time” set by a “clock,” which also likely contributed to her refusal—as did the revelation that the show would not finally set Lindsay Lohan free to dance among the heavens, entering a coy celestial pas de deux with the planets that could just go on forever. “You mean I’ll still be shackled to this terrestrial plane?” Lohan probably said, sighing longingly skyward at the grand cosmic ballet. “Tell them no deal.”