Did Chrishell Stause consider roses before real estate?
During the Oct. 27 episode of The Viall Files, Robert Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials and Late Night Programming, revealed the Selling Sunset star was considered for The Bachelorette over a decade ago.
"I actually have had lunch with Chrishell—this was about 10 or 11 years ago—to talk about being the Bachelorette," he told host and former Bachelor Nick Viall.
It all started when Mills and his team were trying to decide what program to debut over that summer. "Summer's where a lot of alternative programming starts," he explained. "We had been doing stuff that wasn't really working. So, we were like, 'Well, what's something that we could do that we know would work?'"
And while ABC regularly alternates between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette today, Mills explained this wasn't always the case. "There was a time when Bachelorette was sort of done just, like, every so often when they decided to do it," the executive shared, noting "there was, like, four Bachelors for every one Bachelorette."
Still, Mills and his co-workers decided to give the show a shot. "The bar for success is lower in the summer," he said. "Because that's, I think, why Bachelorette wasn't done as much—because it didn't do as well as Bachelor did."
So, they started searching for a lead. The casting director then suggested they meet with Stause. "We had this incredible lunch—I think it was at the Beverly Hills Hotel—and just she was awesome. And I was convinced. I'm like, 'This is the Bachelorette.'"
However, it was around this time that Brad Womack sent home both DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft during The Bachelor season 11 finale. Fans soon started rooting for Pappas to take on the rose distribution duties.
"I remember Ellen DeGeneres actually calling the president of ABC at the time saying, 'This woman needs to be the Bachelorette,'" Mills said. "This was before we even said we were going to do a Bachelorette. And, at that point, it's like, 'Well how do we not do that?'"
It turns out, Stause was an actress on All My Children at the time. And while she didn't make it to the Bachelor mansion, her journey to find love did lead her to marry Justin Hartley in 2017. However, the This Is Us actor filed for divorce in 2019.
Stause still ended up on ABC, though, and is currently a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.
To hear the full interview, check out The Viall Files.