Everything that I have been able to read and research - while not giving me the exact statistics I wanted - indicates that the impact of reality tv as a genre on the tv industry is huge! In fact, one article stated that much to their particular disgust, more people tuned in and watched American Idol and DWTS in 2008 than voted in the Presidential election.
Every single article indicated that reality tv as a genre takes a large share of the television industry, and it is continually growing larger. In one survey quoted of 5 top favorite shows, 4 of them were reality tv shows.
With statistics like these, it only makes sense for the producers of DWTS to include a reality tv star or two here and there in their line-up of 11 or 12 people.
Jelle on the Bachelor Board stated "The Bachelor is (according to TIME Magazine, the 3rd most successful reality show)". The Bachelor/ette series will begin its 20th season in May. It is hard to argue with that kind of success, and it is an ABC show!
To me, it therefore, is not far out at all that DWTS would invite a Bachelor/ette contender or lead as one of its participants.
Producer Conrad Green - the man with a plan - let us know unequivocally in an interview a couple of seasons ago that he likes to have on his show "people with a story." He said this rather matter of factly as he explained why he had contracted Jerry Springer, the JackA** guy, the rapper who had been to prison, and somebody else rather startling.
In this vein, Kate and Jake fit in and might even have been his first choices.