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Earlier this week, fans of Dancing With the Stars saw the long-running competition crown its winners for Season 29, former star of The Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and her professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev. This makes the second winner in a row from Bachelor Nation, with 2019 winner Hannah Brown having starred on her own season of The Bachelorette earlier that year. But, prior to being invited to compete on DWTS in June, Bristowe had thought that her time to be a part of the dancing celebs had passed her by, and now she's revealed why.
Kaitlyn Bristowe recently spoke with Variety about her win, and revealed that when Bachelorette host Chris Harrison invited her to join the DWTS cast over the summer (during a taping for the summer special The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever!), she thought that such an opportunity was "long gone." Here's what Bristowe had to say:
I thought it was long gone. When you come off a show like The Bachelorette, it’s so relevant and people are so invested in what you’re doing, so to be five years removed and having the opportunity and then it not happening, I thought it was something that was never going to happen, which just makes everything so much sweeter.
For those of you who aren't up on your Bachelorette timelines, while Kaitlyn Bristowe and Hannah Brown were both leads, Brown competed on Dancing With the Stars in the same year that she was Bachelorette. Bristowe, meanwhile, handed out roses on her season way back in 2015. And, according to her it just seemed like too much time had passed for her to even be considered for the reality competition.
If you know anything about Bachelor Nation, her words make a lot of sense. As Kaitlyn Bristowe said, each season of The Bachelorette and the other family of shows in the franchise can bring a lot of fame (or infamy) and popularity to those who appear, especially the leads. Even though several of them, like Bristowe, have turned that fame into other opportunities away from the franchise, their popularity is usually very much based on continuing to be well-liked by fans of those shows, as opposed to more wide-spread fame. So, if your time on The Bachelorette was several years ago, non-Bachelorette fan viewers of DWTS will be unlikely to know who you are.
Basically, Kaitlyn Bristowe thought that she simply didn't have enough heat from her Bachelorette fame anymore to be offed the chance to show off her cha-cha on DWTS, but it turns out that she was wrong.
Of course, Bristowe has spoken out about wanting to do DWTS before. In 2017 a fan asked her, on Twitter, why she'd never been on the show, and Bristowe responded, noting that she was offered the show right after being The Bachelorette, but alleged that franchise creator Mike Fleiss wouldn't let her do it, because "he didn't want people wanting fame after his show." This, supposedly, was even though two male leads of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe and Chris Soules, were allowed to compete on DWTS during the same year of their seasons (2013 and 2015, respectively).