By Quint Forgey
Sean Spicer, who gained national notoriety for his rocky tenure as President Donald Trump's first press secretary, will compete in the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars."
The network announced the latest celebrity lineup for the popular reality television dance show Wednesday morning on ABC's “Good Morning America.”
“Straight from the briefing room, it’s Sean Spicer!” proclaimed ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee during a glitzy segment introducing the contestants.
Two black-shirted production assistants rolled out a lectern to the applause of an in-studio audience waving gold cheer poms, and Spicer offered a wave and a single clap before taking his seat in a director's chair alongside country music singer and former “American Idol” aspirant Lauren Alaina.
“Now that everybody is assembled, honestly — and ignore the fact we're on live television — how many of you are having second thoughts already?” asked host Tom Bergeron after the contenders had been revealed. Spicer raised his hand.
“The nice thing is, Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size,” Bergeron later quipped.
In a brief exchange of on-air pleasantries, Spicer asserted he is a significantly less talented dancer than his mother-in-law, and revealed he was kicked out of his school's band in the sixth grade.
"The quote was, 'You have the sense of beat of a steamroller,'" Spicer recalled, adding that his strategy on the show would be to "work really, really, really, really hard."
But Trump’s ex-spokesman struck a merrier tone on Twitter, writing: “It’s time to have some fun. Excited to join a great cast and show @DancingABC.”
Spicer resigned from the White House in July 2017 after six months on the job in protest of Trump's decision to name Anthony Scaramucci as communications director, who was fired from that position within 11 days.
News outlets including POLITICO reported following Spicer's exit that “Dancing With the Stars” had expressed interest in him joining the show. Trump's Energy secretary, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, competed on the program in 2016 and was voted off in that season's second week.
Since leaving the administration, Spicer signed with Worldwide Speakers Group, made a self-deprecating cameo appearance at the Emmy Awards, was interviewedby former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators, and unveiled a life-size wax likeness of first lady Melania Trump at Madame Tussauds New York.
The new season of “Dancing With the Stars” featuring Spicer premieres Sept. 16, but it remains unclear just how popular the Republican operative will prove among viewers.
A survey conducted in April 2017 by E-Score, a polling company used by major talent agencies and TV executives to assess celebrities, found that 64 percent of respondents had a negative opinion of Spicer, compared with 36 percent who liked him. Spicer’s overall score — based on awareness, appeal and attributes — was 13 out of 100.