Is it too soon for Paula Deen to mount a comeback?
That's what many are asking today after the disgraced chef's tearful return to the spotlight this weekend, just three months after her empire came crashing down when she admitted using the "N" word in her past.
Fifteen hundred of Deen's die-hard fans gave their idol a ten minute standing ovation at the cooking demonstration in Houston, Texas. They paid up to $400 each to attend the event.
Deen tearfully said, "These are tears of joy y'all. I said all along, the place I wanted to make my first step back out was Texas."
Stephanie Young and Kelly Eldridge were there. They even made beauty-style sashes to welcome Deen back.
Eldridge told INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander, "I think she was a little nervous maybe, early on, but with all the support everyone was giving her, I think she was very thankful for that."
Alexander asked, "Do you think it's too soon to see Paula Deen?"
"No, not at all. It was perfect timing. For us, it was perfect timing," replied Eldridge.
Young said, "We all make mistakes. How many times do you have to apologize?"
And the folks on the Today show, where Deen gave that disasterous apology interview, seem ready to welcome Deen back.
Natalie Morales said, "Hopefully, people can move on and see that she, perhaps, can move on."
But crisis manager Mike Paul says Deen still has a lot of work to do, telling INSIDE EDITION, "In my opinion, she is not ready yet," said Paul.
He says he was troubled that Paula Deen appeared to downplay the scandal, describing it as a "rough patch."
On the cooking show, Deen said, "I had a rough patch this summer."
Mike Paul said, "I think it was classic Paula Deen. The problem was, we didn't talk about the crisis. We didn't talk about the problem. Own up to what you did wrong. Make sure it's heartfelt and consistent. She didn't do any of those things yet."
Deen seems to have lost weight during her time away, no doubt from all the stress.
Young told INSIDE EDITION, "I believe in forgiveness and I think we need to just get past it and move on."