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It seems the producers of Dancing with the Stars have gone digital. Hugely popular YouTube vlogger Bethany Mota has reportedly been cast for season 19, according to TMZ. If Mota’s casting is, in fact, true, the decision seems like an admission, or at least a recognition, that there’s more to a “star” than someone who appears on a TV or film screen. There’s another screen that counts these days, too.
Not only does the contagiously charming and charismatic Mota have more than nine million subscribers across her two YouTube channels (Macbarbie07 and BethanysLife), but she has 3.6 million Instagram followers, 1.9 million on Twitter, and even a line at Aeropostale. (By contrast, another rumored cast member, Duck Dynasty daughter Sadie Robertson, has some 700,000 Insta fans and 38K subscribers on her YouTube channel.) Oh, and Mota is only 18.
Mota also judged an episode of Project Runway alongside Heidi Klum earlier this year, and even scored a winning surfboard at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards for Choice Female Web Star. She’s set to dance alongside other reported celebrities: Back to the Future’s Lea Thompson, Pretty Little Liars’ Janel Parrish, Olympian Lolo Jones and soap star Antonio Sabato Jr., among others.
In another move that seems aimed at younger viewers (and maybe men?), DTWS has announced the addition of 26-year-old dancer Julianne Hough as a fourth judge. We can’t wait to see Mota’s foxtrot, but we bet the network can’t wait to see what the YouTube sensation’s #Motafam does for ratings.
ABC declined to comment when reached by The Hollywood Reporter.
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