Justin Borucki, MTV
Rhiannon Hansen is a finalist on MTV's "Legally Blonde."

"I do have a secret. I don't know if I should tell you."

Perhaps she shouldn't. Rhiannon Hansen, the pretty blonde from Logan, has made it to the top three finalists on MTV's reality TV show, "Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for the Next Elle Woods." (The show will be Monday at 11 p.m., MTV.)

The show is looking to cast the next leading lady of the popular Broadway show based on the hit movie about a Malibu blonde who heads to Harvard to win back her love.

"When I'm around other people and I'm singing the songs, I'll sing it really goofy and weird or in a goofy voice," Hansen said, chuckling. "If I do it like that, then I feel like they don't know what I have to offer. I feel like that way I have a hidden weapon. Then in my head I'm thinking about what I'm going to do in the real audition."

Her strategy was more important than ever in this audition. Which, like most reality shows, has the contestants living together in the same house, eating together, practicing together and finally competing against one another.

"We were in such a tense situation and all competing together and it was really hard sometimes 'cause the tension was high."

Hansen's journey, like many forays into the reality TV world, happened almost by accident.

"My roommate told me about it." Having seen "Legally Blonde" in L.A. before it moved to New York, Hansen was very interested until she found out it was a reality TV show. "I thought I wasn't tough enough for reality TV."

Her roommate persisted, so Hansen flew to Los Angeles to audition. She got a callback and then a phone call inviting her to New York.

"I got on a flight to New York — I'd never been. It was my first time going to New York, so to actually be there was so exciting."

The "Elles" were put through a series of workshops: singing (while on a stationary bike); dancing (in 4-inch heels); and acting (with their acting partner "forgetting" a line) — the classic triple threat.

Members of the current cast worked with the competitors, and they were also coached by Tony Award-winning choreographers and directors. "A lot of people auditioning for shows don't even get to meet Bernie Telsey (prominent casting director and one of the judges). They'll audition for his assistant. I was able to audition in front of Bernie Telsey and now he knows my name, he knows who I am, and he knows what I can do."

"I felt really prepared," said Hansen, who began dancing at 3, singing at 5 and acting at age 11. "I've trained for this since before I can remember."

"'Legally Blonde' is my favorite musical of all time," she said, admitting that she'd gotten a bootleg copy of the soundtrack long before it was available. "I had it memorized."

And she still loves pink, "I love it!! And I have even more now."

So, once again, another Utahn is on reality TV. Hansen will find out Monday night on MTV if she will be the next Elle Woods on Broadway.

But regardless of the outcome, "I'm prepared to move to New York City in August. I feel like Broadway is really where I'd love to be. It's my turn to take on the Big Apple!"


E-mail: ehansen@desnews.com