Does 'DWTS' Really Need to Cast Another 'Bachelor' Contestant?
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
With Season 24 of Dancing With the Stars just around the corner, I am expecting the leaks to start flowing about casting. Every time I hear a name whispered lately, I keep crossing my fingers that it isn’t The Bachelor, Nick Viall.
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of the franchise. I don’t love the message it delivers to young women and I know plenty of people who have worked behind the scenes on the show and how they manipulate the contestants isn’t pretty.
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Niall has somehow managed to secure a spot on four cycles of the franchise from two seasons on The Bachelorette to Bachelor in Paradise and now, The Bachelor. He also has been open about his desire to be on DWTS. I call that thirsty.
Here’s what he told Entertainment Tonight in early January:
"I mean, I haven't given it much thought. I think it would be fun, you know?" Viall said. "Who wouldn't wanna do it?"
"Right now I am focused on being The Bachelor," he shared. "[But] if they asked -- I mean, I don't think I would say my first thought wouldn't be no, but I think anyone would feel lucky to even be considered."
Deena Katz, DWTS’ co-executive producer, spoke to Glamour just a few days later and said the show is open to having another Bachelor cast member in a future season.
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I do think [The Bachelor franchise] is the same built-in audience [as DWTS], and it’s a great crossover and synergy for the network,” she said. “I’m sure that we will [have a Bachelor contestant] again. We’d love to.”
We haven’t seen anyone from the series since Season 20 when Chris Soules finished in fifth place with partner Witney Carson. Is this the season we see a Bachelor compete?
From a business standpoint, it makes sense. It’s a great cross-promotion for ABC: they own the footage from The Bachelor so using that material for packages is cost-effective and there is a fan base for the contestant.
On the flip side, DWTS is about the journey and I rarely feel like the Bachelor cast members are there to grow — they are there to extend their 15 minutes of fame. I would rather make room for contestants like Alek Skarlatos, Terra Jolé or Nyle DiMarco – people who are going to give the audience an emotional story through dance.
The show has seen Trista Sutter, Melissa Rycroft, Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe and Soules dance across that ballroom floor. Sutter was the first voted off in Season 1, so it’s hard to know how she would have progressed had she competed in a later season. Other than Season 8 third-place finisher and Season 15 winner Rycroft, the competition from the reality show personalities has been weak.
Out of the men, Soules did the best by showing some small week-to-week improvement. He’s also stayed in the dance mix by performing with Ballroom With a Twist and Mohegan Sun appearances over the past few years.
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Which leads me back to the fact that bringing Viall onto the show seems like uninspired casting. If they want to mix it up, bring on Rachel Lindsay after her Bachelorette season is over. As the first person of color to lead the show in the franchise’s 33-season history, this would be a reason for DWTS to jump through hoops to cast her.
Lindsay is accomplished; smart, beautiful and someone who I would like to get to know through DWTS. She represents a long-overdue change in diversity for the franchise and hopefully, a shift in focus for ABC as a network.
The rumblings on Viall continue, so he’s definitely in the casting mix for Season 24. The official Good Morning America announcement is March 1 in New York, but I have a feeling we will know about Viall’s fate before then.
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