‘Blonde’ winner set for Broadway

Bailey Hanks steps into role on July 23

Reality TV competish winner Bailey Hanks steps into the lead role of “Legally Blonde” July 23.

Hanks came out on top in the finale of MTV casting skein “Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.” Episode aired Monday night, although Hanks prepped for her Rialto debut in the weeks between the taping of the finale and its air date.

Fellow contestants Autumn Hurlbert (the runner-up), Rhiannon Hansen and Lauren Zakrin also nabbed gigs with “Blonde.” Hurlbert will appear in the show’s ensemble on Broadway, while understudying the role of sorority sister-turned-lawyer Elle Woods.

Hansen will be ensemble/understudy in the touring incarnation of “Blonde,” with Zakrin playing one of Elle’s sorority sisters.

Broadway box office of “Blonde” has seen a noticeable boost since the casting competish began airing earlier this year. Last week box office jumped $80,000 to more than $850,000.

Skein marks the second team-up for “Blonde” and MTV, which aired the complete musical several times last fall.

Legit producers have been exploring the benefits of reality TV with increasing frequency in recent years, with a casting-show trend that began in the UK (with series related to revivals of “The Sound of Music” and “Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”) catching on Stateside.

Last year the “Grease” revival launched with an “American Idol”-style competish that aired on NBC. The two winners recently played their final perfs in “Grease,” with two runners-up, Derek Keeling and Ashley Spencer, stepping into their spots.

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