The judge told “Extra” that his dream contestant is “obviously” Meghan Markle. “She’d be great!” he exclaimed (watch above). “It’d make her look accessible and funny, and it’d be brilliant. Meghan, if you’re watching this, please! We’d love you to do it.”
The Duchess of Sussex does have some experience with unscripted TV: She got her started as a suitcase model on “Deal or No Deal.” But doing “Dancing” may be a bridge too far and too much of a commitment from the “Suits” alum, who has relocated to Los Angeles after she and Prince Harry announced they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family in January. Markle has since narrated the Disney+ nature documentary “Elephant,” her first credit since her final episode of “Suits” in 2018.
The former actress is just the latest name on the “Dancing” celebrity wish list. In December, Rob Mills, ABC’s head of alternative programming, said he was interested in Charlie Sheen, who turned down an offer for Season 28, former Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Ryan Shazier, and Christie Brinkley (again), who withdrew days before Season 28 started after breaking her arm.
“Dancing” was officially renewed for a 29th installment last month, but the coronavirus pandemic has put plans in flux. Last week, Tom Bergeron told a fan on Instagram, “ABC has renewed the show for a Season 29 but when (& how) still being discussed as far as I know (which, admittedly, is not much).”
Doing a virtual season or filming without a studio audience have been bandied about, the latter of which Tonioli supports. “If you can recreate the sense of excitement, I’m sure it’s possible,” he said. “Hopefully very soon we’ll all be back there ready. Ready to rumba!”