TLC's notorious child star, Honey Boo Boo, is making her big return to TV by joining the Dancing with the Stars: Juniors cast. The young beauty pageant star – Honey Boo Boo, also known as Alana Thompson – will compete against other child stars on the Dancing with the Stars spinoff.
Honey Boo Boo became a household name after the then-six-year-old's appearance on TLC's reality show Toddlers & Tiaras – a series that focused on the bizarre world of child beauty pageants. Alana's outlandish antics and odd family dynamic helped her rise to fame quickly, eventually warranting her own TV show: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Although, after a short two year stint, Alana's dreams of stardom came to a crashing halt amidst rumors that her mother, June Shannon, had begun dating a registered sex offender. Already having filmed episodes for a fifth season, TLC aired the footage in a special called: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: The Lost Episodes.
TVLine reports that Alana had been cast in the new Dancing with the Stars spinoff alongside Miles Brown from Black-ish, Mackenzie Ziegler from Dance Moms, and Sarah Palin's grandson Tripp Palin, amongst others. The amalgamated cast includes a combination of child stars, young performers and also the relatives of celebrities. Judging these starlets are Olympic figure skater, Adam Rippon, This Is Us star Mandy Moore, and Dancing with the Stars regular, Val Chmerkovskiy.
Throughout its short run at TLC, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo dealt with a never-ending slew of controversies, which continue to this very day on social media. Well before the sex offender scandal, the phrase "child exploitation" practically became synonymous with the show. "Mama June", as Alana's mother was referred to, fed Alana a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew regularly before pageants – a decision fans criticized ad nauseam and helped earn them the reputation that they still have.
Dancing With The Stars remains a popular, beloved reality television show; undoubtedly, the juniors spinoff will capitalize on the brand's popularity as well as the unique charm and innocence of its stars. Yet, the whispers of child exploitation that surround Alana and her family will surely begin again given the re-emergence of the - still quite young - reality show star.
Dancing with the Stars Juniors premieres Sunday, October 7.