Caitlyn Jenner could be about to sign on the dotted line to appear on the upcoming Season 26 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. According to reports, producers are allegedly keen to get Caitlyn on board for the upcoming 2018 season, which the network announced last year would be much shorter than usual and will only consist of current and former athletes.
According to a new report, Caitlyn could be joining the ranks of her former stepchildren Kim Kardashian and Rob Kardashian by competing on the show, as sources alleged to Page Six this week that “ABC is actively in talks to land Caitlyn” for the upcoming season.
Allegedly, producers are well aware that casting Jenner – who would follow in the footsteps of Chaz Bono who became the first transgender contestant on the show in 2011 – would be huge for ratings, but they’re supposedly also worried about the backlash having someone so politically outspoken could bring to the family show.
“Insiders are worried about potential backlash because of her political views,” the outlet’s source claimed, noting that Jenner “has been confronted before over her opinions” in the past which could distract from what the series is all about.
Amid the latest rumors, Page Six reached out to a rep for Dancing with the Stars, though they refused to comment on all the latest speculation surrounding Caitlyn right now ahead of the DWTS Season 26 premiere later this year.
“We do not confirm or comment on casting rumors,” a statement said regarding rumors Jenner could be one of the contestants on the show this spring, adding that ABC will officially announce the cast “closer to our premiere date.”
The outlet also spoke to Caitlyn’s rep, who reportedly played coy amid the rumors and responded “not true,” though Page Six appears to be standing by its original story that ABC are allegedly interested in signing up the former Olympian.
If Jenner – who called out the Kardashians in a pretty scathing interview with Piers Morgan earlier this month – does decide to join the cast in the spring, she’ll no doubt have her work cut out for her if she wants to best her former family members.
Though Kim didn’t see much success with the series (Kardashian came in 11th place in 2008 when she competed with Mark Ballas), her brother Rob Kardashian did pretty well in the competition and came in second place with partner Cheryl Burke when he showed off his moves on the ABC dancing series a few years later in 2011.
But while Dancing with the Stars fans will just have to wait and see if Caitlyn really does make her way to the ballroom on the new season – which will feature 10 athletes and will only run for four weeks as opposed to the usual two months of competition – she’s not the first athlete to be linked to the next round of shows.
Hollywood Life alleged back in November that producers also had a few other ideas about who could compete on DWTS when the series returns this year. The site claimed that both football star Colin Kaepernick and retiring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. are two athletes they’d allegedly already set their sights on.
l recently had the honor of sitting down and sharing time with John Carlos and Tommie Smith. l have read about them, studied their public protest, admired their courage, and like many others, l have emulated them, raising my fist as both a symbol of celebrating my Blackness, and acknowledging our connected struggles. But this was different. Hearing them tell their stories, sharing behind the scenes insights into the sacrifices that they willingly made, and the ostracization that was forced upon them...all that I️ could do was listen, take notes, and soak in the elders wisdom.
“Colin is just obvious with him being in the news for all the guy’s activism,” claimed a source, referring to the controversy surrounding Kaepernick after he refused to kneel during the U.S. national anthem before football games.
The insider then noted at the time that DWTS producers were supposedly looking for contestants who were a little more controversial after Deadline claimed that the most recent finale to close out Season 25 saw a pretty big dip in ratings.
“The show really wants to make a splash,” the source alleged prior to reports alleging that producers were considering asking Jenner to compete, adding that “they really want to get some major sports stars on next season.”
Season 26 of Dancing with the Stars is expected to debut on ABC in spring 2018.