The final petal has fallen for controversial Bachelorette Ali Oetjen, as NW hears whispers that Channel Ten are considering dumping the blonde beauty from the lead role following fan backlash and shock claims she cheated on her Bachelor In Paradise beau Grant Kemp!
Indeed, it appears producers were seeing Ali, 32, through, err, rose-coloured glasses, because as soon as news broke that she and Grant had ended things after recommitting to each other at the Paradise finale, they were quick to sign her on as the Bachelorette.
"Everyone was devastated for Ali," a production insider spills to NW. "Reports emerged that Grant had cheated on her when he went home to LA, and after she'd already had her heart broken by Tim [Robards, the Season One Bachelor] and her ex-fiance Dave [Waldeck], it seemed like the obvious choice."
But six days after it was announced that Ali would be looking for love on TV again, Grant, 29, revealed his own allegations about their split, insisting it was actually the Adelaide blonde who strayed.
"I had left to go and find my friends," Grant claims of the night it all went down. "I came back inside and [a man] was going down on her on my stairs. So I kicked her out of my house that night. She was like, 'Please, please, I hate myself for this. I'm so sorry, I can't believe I did that. That's not me.' [But] it's like, 'Dude you did it, I don't care if you were drunk or not, that's no excuse.'"
Since Grant's claims, Channel Ten have been feeling the pressure to reconsider their decision and have even issued a statement saying Grant's comments were "false and misleading".
"There's been a lot of backlash," says the insider. "Before Grant's story even came out, fans were already outraged, calling her boring. It's a bit of a disaster!"
Now NW can reveal that the network have been in damage control, holding crisis meetings to try and save the series before it begins filming later this year.
"There have been calls to bring back Nikki [Gogan]," an insider spills. "It would be a brutal move to replace Ali after she's been announced, but Nikki will bring in the ratings without a doubt – everyone is still obsessed with her finding The One."
And it's not too late either, as NW can confirm that casting is still underway in Sydney and no men have been selected yet to appear on the show.
"Agents are basically casting for two girls right now – just in case Nikki comes through," claims the source.
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