ABC Executive Responds To Rumors That Olivia Jade Has Immunity From Dancing With The Stars Elimination

Dancing with the Stars is only a few episodes into Season 30, but it didn’t take long for fans to start debating about whether or not scores were wholly earned, although the consensus seemed to be that Cobra Kai’s Martin Kove was the right choice for the first elimination. Controversy has swirled around Olivia Jade ever since she was announced as a celeb dancer, with some doubting whether her status as a social media influencer qualified her for Dancing with the Stars, and rumors began to circulate that she has immunity from elimination. Now, ABC executive Rob Mills has responded. 

The rumors seem to have their roots with a Blind Item posted on gossip site Crazy Days And Nights back in early September by the blogger known as “ent lawyer,” which claimed that because of expectations that Olivia Jade would be voted off the first week, she was guaranteed to remain until the third week, after which she would no longer be protected from elimination. The rumor picked up some traction on social media, where ABC unscripted executive vice president Rob Mills addressed it. He tweeted

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The show is a competition and as such is subject to legal and broadcast standard regulations.

According to Rob Mills, there is absolutely no truth to the rumors of Olivia Jade having immunity from elimination. And while Jade may not have earned the top scores in the earliest performances of Season 30, her place in the middle of the pack seems fair. Plus, Martin Kove was a pretty obvious choice for elimination, no matter who he could have been put up against for the judges’ choice. 

The rumor is seemingly fueled at least somewhat by the Dancing with the Stars feature that allows the judges to select which of the bottom two couples stays and which goes home, but Olivia Jade and partner Val Chmerkovskiy haven’t placed in the bottom two just yet, so there hasn’t even been the possibility of Jade needing that option to stay in the running for the Season 30 mirrorball trophy. I do have to wonder if anybody would have given any credence to these rumors to the point of needing a response from ABC’s unscripted EVP if not for what Jade is best known for. 

Although the announcement of the cast of celebrities for Season 30 listed Olivia Jade as “social media star,” it’s probably safe to say that if she’s a household name for many people, then it’s more for the college admissions scandal that resulted in mom (and Fuller House actress) Lori Loughlin and dad Mossimo Giannulli going to prison. Jade herself wasn’t guilty of any crimes, but her parents used bribes to get her and her sister into the University of Southern California as part of the rowing team, despite neither of the young women being rowers. 

It’s true that Olivia Jade has a large following on social media, however, and Dancing with the Stars host Tyra Banks defended Jade’s addition to the cast of stars. And DWTS doesn’t hold itself just to movie, TV, or music stars. I can’t be the only one who remembers Sean Spicer in his blindingly yellow shirt, right? See how Jade continues (or doesn’t) her DWTS journey with new episodes on ABC on Mondays starting at 8 p.m. ET. Season 30 has already delivered an injury and some positive COVID tests after just a few weeks, so who knows what’s coming next?

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).