Legally Blonde — The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods is an MTV program created in order to cast an actress to replace Laura Bell Bundy in the role of Elle Woods in the Broadway production of Legally Blonde – The Musical. The show debuted on June 2, 2008.
The winner of the show, Bailey Hanks, in addition to being cast in the role, was given the opportunity to record her own single of the musical's first-act closer, "So Much Better". The show concluded on July 21, 2008. Autumn Hurlbert was the runner up. She served as Hanks' understudy and performed in the ensemble of the show. Bundy's last performance in the musical was on July 20, 2008. Hanks began performances on July 23, 2008 and remained with the show until it closed on October 19, 2008.
Two other show finalists — Rhiannon Hansen and Lauren Zakrin, performed in the Legally Blonde National tour. Hansen played Margot in the musical and Zakrin performed in the ensemble as well serving as understudy to Becky Gulsvig as Elle Woods.
The show began with 15 contestants. All except the winner were eliminated over nine episodes, in which they performed songs and faced other challenges. A three-judge panel made the elimination decisions. Most episodes involved a small prize for the winner of the challenge.