“The Bachelorette” could get some major star power. On the heels of the less-than-stellar ratings for Katie Thurston’s season of the ABC dating show, an insider told OK magazine that producers are looking to give the show a big ratings boost with a big name as the lead.
The source revealed that two-time “Dancing With the Stars” mirrorball champ turned judge Julianne Hough is at the top of the wish list to be the next leading lady on the rose-filled reality franchise. The OK insider said “ABC execs are desperate to shake things up,” following Thurston’s low-rated season.
ABC loves to recycle its talent, and the casting of Hough would be a major shakeup for the franchise as it finds its footing following the recent exit of former “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison.
The buzz about Hough as “The Bachelorette” comes amid reports that Harrison is in talks to compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
The Newly Single Hough Has a Long History With ABC
Hough started as a pro dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2007 and won mirrorball trophies with partners Apolo Ohno and Helio Castroneves. After leaving the show as a pro dancer, she returned as a judge in 2014 and held that role until 2017, per IMDb.
The insider told OK: “Now that Julianne won’t be returning to ‘Dancing With the Stars’ this fall, they think people would love to see her somewhere else on the network. And she would definitely add some spice to [The Bachelorette.]”
The source also dished that Hough “would no doubt be excited by the prospect” of starring as “The Bachelorette.”
Last fall, Hough, 32, filed for divorce from her husband, former hockey pro Brooks Laich, after two years of marriage.
Hough Would Not Be the First ‘DWTS’ Pro to Be Considered For ‘The Bachelorette’
“Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer Sharna Burgess has long talked about joining “The Bachelorette.” In a Facebook Live interview with Entertainment Tonight she confirmed she would consider a starring role on the ABC dating show.
“Yeah! Sure, why not?” Burgess said. “Who doesn’t want a bunch of beautiful men all pining for your attention? I would love to!”
The pro dancer was also in consideration to star as “The Bachelorette” in Australia shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Last year, Burgess told Entertainment Tonight that she had been leaning toward saying “yes” to the gig before the pandemic and that if the offer “comes back around again and I’m still single and it’s still an opportunity then yeah, probably.”
Burgess later teased that she would be better off on the American version of the dating show becausae she lives in the U.S.
“I live here, you know?” Sharna told Us Weekly. “So it also makes more sense for me to do it here. I don’t have plans to permanently move back to Australia … My life is based here. I want to raise my kids here. … It feels like it makes more sense. There’s less questions at the end of it for me, like, ‘OK, well where do we live? And what do we do?’ It makes more sense for me.”
Burgess has since found love with actor Brian Austin Green.
In addition to Burgess, two-time ”DWTS” mirrorball champ Cheryl Burke once told People magazine that she would love to star on “The Bachelorette.”
“My dating record hasn’t been great the past couple of years so if I have a chance to go on [‘The Bachelorette’] I will,” Burke said in 2012. “It would be fun to have a pool of guys around you and getting to know someone. I think if I had people setting me up with different guys I think it would be easier for me to meet someone to date.”
Burke found love the old-fashioned way and married husband Matthew Lawrence in 2019, per People.