She’s trading in her roses for the foxtrot. Former Bachelorette lead Kaitlyn Bristowe has joined the next season of Dancing With the Stars, a casting decision that comes years after Bristowe claimed that the franchise actively sabotaged her chances to compete. The announcement came during Monday’s episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!, with Chris Harrison revealing the news to Bristowe and her Bachelor Nation boyfriend, Jason Tartick, on-air. “I feel like this is back to the moment where you told me I was the Bachelorette. That is the last thing in the world I thought you were going to say. I thought you were going to ask me to take over your job,” she said in response. “I’m so honored to say yes.”
While seeing Bachelor and Bachelorette alums compete on DWTS has been relatively common over the past few seasons (Hannah Brown is the most recent winner), Bristowe claimed in a podcast interview last year that Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss ensured she was blacklisted from ever getting the opportunity. “They won’t let me, ever,” she explained. “I’ll tell you exactly why I can’t go on Dancing With the Stars. Anybody that listens to this podcast knows why I cannot go on Dancing With the Stars. And it’s because, and I will say this with a mic in my hand and a smile on face, that Mike Fleiss is a piece of shit. He is the creator of The Bachelor, and he hates women.” In 2017, she also addressed Fleiss’s actions on Twitter, claiming that she was offered a DWTS spot immediately after her Bachelorette tenure.
“I was offered it, had the contract and Mike Fleiss told me I wasn’t allowed,” she wrote. “He said he didn’t want people wanting fame after his show.” Fleiss defended himself at the time, tweeting that Bristowe “has my total support if she wants to appear on DWTS!” Besides Brown and now Bristowe, only one other Bachelorette lead has cha-cha-chaed on the show, with Trista Sutter participating during the inaugural season in 2005.