It wasn't that long ago that everyone wondered how Erin Andrews could ever recover from her humiliating and scary stalker episode. Now she's rolling around in lingerie and letting people rave about her ass. Looks like she made it.
The issue for Andrews—and, honestly, every woman who has ever covered or played sports—is how much her feminine charms should be allowed to influence her job. That was true long before she was scandalized by a creep and everyone learned what she looked like naked. In the early part of her career, she generally did what she could to minimize her sexuality, in an effort to be taken "seriously" as a journalist. She dressed conservatively on the job and stayed away from salacious offers away from it. (And you know those offers had to be there.)
But watching her as she marched toward the final group of "Dancing Stars With Stars," it's clear that any pretense of Andrews hiding her sexiness is gone. Her signature dance of the season was a romantic bedroom interlude with the hunky Maksim Chmerkovskiy, set to the tune of Heart's "Alone." (Hint: It's a song about boning.) That was followed by a few sexual innuendos that also played off the "are they or aren't they" gossip rumors surrounding the partners. Win or lose, she's a star now—a real one, not just on the internet—and the fact that she's a tall, blonde babe is a big part of it.
Cynics might find it crass that she exploited the fame that arose from a terribly negative situation and spun it into a career positive. But that's how half of "Dancing With The Stars" contestants get where they are. (Remember, how Pam Anderson got her big "break"?) Is it weird that it took being totally exposed by an unknown pervert to get Andrews to open herself up to sequined bikini tops? Maybe a little. But the two events are only tangentially related. It doesn't make her better or worse than anyone else in her situation. Butt shaking is just what celebrities do.
Erin Andrews can still be a serious reporter. But now she's a celebrity reporter. It's like reporter-plus, just like how Drew Brees and Derek Jeter are more than just guys who plays sports for a living. Jim Palmer and Mark Sanchez can model underwear in their spare time, but they're still athletes. Hosting "Saturday Night Live" didn't stop Brian Williams from reading the Nightly News. The rest of it is just about promoting your brand and the brands who pay you. It's really no different than Chris Berman doing weight loss commercials or Hannah Storm and Dwight Howard doing ESPN spots together. You use whatever skills you have in your arsenal (comedy, juggling, sexy dancing) to keep your name on people's minds. With her next ESPN contract still on the table—insiders say that every week she remained on the show her price tag rose—it's just good business.
So while it may seem odd that Erin Andrews went from wallflower TV girl to sex scandal victim to dancing bombshell in just a matter of months, her recent behavior is really just so normal ... for a famous person. She got her life back and then some.