Fans of “The Bachelorette” have had mixed feelings about Gabby Windey competing on season 31 of “Dancing With the Stars.” One reason fans have objected is because co-Bachelorette Rachel Recchia also wanted to compete, but only Windey was chosen.
Both women expressed interest in being on DWTS in an August 24 interview on E! News Daily Pop. “Maybe it could be the first time me and Gabby compete against each other,” Recchia teased.
Why Windey Was Cast
It turns out that Recchia campaigning for Windey is the primary reason the ICU nurse landed a spot on the popular dance competition show. According to Entertainment Tonight, in a recent episode of the “SiriusXM Julia Cunningham’s Bachelorette Recap” podcast, which is available to subscribers with streaming access, ABC executive Robert Mills credited Recchia for putting Windey on their radar.
According to ET, Mills stated, “Gabby is actually on — and this is the God’s honest truth — she’s on because of Rachel. When we were at CMA Fest in Nashville in June, we were having dinner and Rachel said, ‘You have to put Gabby on Dancing With the Stars. This is her dream. She would be so good. Please, please put her on.'”
Despite the fact that Windey was a Denver Broncos cheerleader, and has both cheerleading and dancing training under her belt, Mills went on to say, “”We were not thinking about Gabby for Dancing With the Stars at all. For whatever reason she wasn’t really [on our radar], and then I was like, ‘Why didn’t we think of Gabby?'”
Windey is certainly not the first Bachelor Nation contestant to compete on DWTS. According to ET, “Melissa Rycroft, Trista Sutter, Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe, Chris Soules, Nick Viall, Joe Amabile, Hannah Brown, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Matt James have all taken spins around the ballroom.”
Some Fans Are Not Happy
Some fans are tired of seeing “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” stars compete for the mirrorball trophy. “No more Bachelor people on the show!” one Facebook user commented.
Another fan posted, “At least give us a breather.” One viewer posted on Reddit, “for the love of Christ please no! Give us a damn break from that franchise! Please Dancing with the Stars I’m literally begging and praying there’s no alum from the Bachelor(ette) this year.”
In spite of these complaints, ABC does not seem inclined to separate the franchises anytime soon, especially since crossovers has been successful in the past. On the SiriusXM podcast, Mills explained the casting decision process with previous Bachelor Nation contestants: “With Hannah Brown, we were sort of like, we have to put her on. It just felt like a natural. Kaitlyn [Bristowe], when we put her on, that was actually because … Kaitlyn’s a good entertainer. Let’s put her on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ So that’s why we put her.”
Mills went on to explain, “Matt [James], the last year, was one of those ones that’s like, ‘How did we not think of Matt? He’s so good looking. He’ll be fine. He’ll be great.” James ended up placing 12th in the competition, however Bristowe and Brown both won their seasons.
Season 31 of DWTS premieres Monday, September 19 on Disney+. The second part of “The Bachelorette” finale will air the next night, Tuesday, September 20, on ABC.