Tiger King's Carole Baskin Says She's Excited to 'Redeem' Herself on Dancing with the Stars

She also responded to Lady Gaga's reaction to her premiere dance

Carole Baskin Dancing with the Stars
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty

Carole Baskin is ready to carve out a new image for herself while competing on Dancing with the Stars.

The Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness star appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday, and opened up about her first couple of weeks on the popular ABC dance competition show.

"I’m so excited to have this opportunity to redeem myself on the dance floor," Baskin said.

During the Sept. 14 season 29 premiere, Baskin made her debut on the dance floor, performing a paso doble to the tune of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger."

Her performance caught the eye of none other than Lady Gaga, who shared a video of her reaction to the dance on her Instagram Story.

"That was just so far out of anything that I thought could happen, she’s such an icon and I just admire her so much," Baskin told GMA of Gaga. "I know that she was laughing about me and making fun of me but I don’t care I think it’s wonderful that she’s brought DWTS and the fight of the tigers to her fan base."

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Unfortunately, much of the reaction Baskin got to her dancing was on the negative side, but she isn't letting that affect her.

"About 75 percent of the comments were really hateful and cruel which tells me people just don’t know me at all," she said. "As long as it keeps the cats in the spotlight I’m more than happy for people to make all the rude comments they want."

Earlier this year, the animal activist — who runs an exotic big-cat sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, in Citrus Park, Florida — rose to fame on the seven-part show, which focuses on the long-standing, increasingly bitter rivalry between herself and Joseph Maldonado-Passage (also known as “Joe Exotic”), the now-imprisoned founder of an exotic animal park in Oklahoma.

Much of that public attention surrounded the mysterious 1997 disappearance of Baskin's late husband, Don Lewis — a 60-year-old millionaire and animal sanctuary owner. At the time that he went missing, Lewis and Baskin were married.

Speaking with PEOPLE back in April, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that Baskin is not a suspect in her late husband's death.

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