“Dancing With the Stars” is switching things up for season 29, as the dance competition show welcomes a new host.
ET has learned that Tyra Banks will be hosting the upcoming season, taking over for Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. She’ll also be serving as executive producer alongside showrunner Andrew Llinares. Daily Mail was first to report the news.
“I’ve been a fan of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ since its beginning,” Banks said in a statement to ET. “The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances… it’s always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk.”
“Tom has set a powerful stage,” she added. “I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”
The show welcomed Banks in a tweet, in which they also thanked Bergeron and Andrews “for so many seasons of glitz, glamour, and good times.”
— Dancing With The Stars #DWTS (@DancingABC) July 15, 2020
Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, added in her own statement that “Tom has been an integral part of the ABC family for nearly two decades, from hosting ‘AFV’ to ‘Dancing with the Stars’ — we are grateful for all he and Erin have done to make ‘Dancing’ a success.”
“As we gear up for the show’s 29th season, we can’t wait to welcome Tyra Banks to our ‘Dancing’ stage,” she added. “Tyra is an award-winning multihyphenate whose fierce female prowess and influence across many industries have made an indelible mark. Her fresh take on America’s favourite dancing competition will surely bring more than a ‘Smize’ to fans everywhere.”
Valerie Bruce, general manager for LA Productions and BBC Studios, shared similar sentiments. “Tyra Banks is an icon whose powerful presence, trademark confidence, and industry-leading achievements inspire us,” she said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with ABC to welcome her as the new host of ‘Dancing with the Stars’.“
“This represents a landmark moment in our 28 seasons producing ‘Dancing with the Stars’ as we take this iconic show in a new creative direction,” the statement continued. “We offer our sincere thanks to Tom and Erin, whom we will always consider part of the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ family.”
Banks spoke about the announcement on Wednesday’s “Good Morning America”, saying: “I am excited about hosting and executive producing, live TV, getting in there… you never know what happens on live TV right?”
She added when asked about being the first Black female host, as well as the first solo host: “I like breaking those doors down so we don’t have any more firsts, but it’s nice to be first so you can open that door and let so many in after you.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 15, 2020
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” he tweeted. “It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I’m grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?”
Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) July 13, 2020
“ABC opted not to pick up Tom’s option,” his rep added in a statement to ET. “In the fine tradition of Hollywood clichés, they’re ‘going in a different direction.'”
Additionally, a joint statement from ABC and BBC Studios revealed that Andrews would also not be returning.
“Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success,” the statement explained. “Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humour has become a hallmark of the show.”
Andrews broke her silence one day later, writing, “Thank you ABC and the entire ‘Dancing With the Stars’ family for six memorable seasons.”
“Those years wouldn’t have been as special without my loving host, Tom Bergeron, the talented dancers, and witty judges,” she continued. “I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking on heels.”
Not much is known about the show’s 29th season just yet, including how production will safely make it work amid the ongoing pandemic. However, fans seemed to be extremely psyched over the first celeb casting of former “Bachelorette” star Kaitlyn Bristowe, who has expressed her interest in competing for the Mirrorball trophy many times over the years!
“I’ll be happy with whoever they partner me with. I just feel like they’re all incredible,” she said, marvelling over the pro dancers. “They have to be to be on that show!”
Bristowe said at the time that her all-time dream partner would be Derek Hough, despite the fact that he hasn’t competed on the show since season 23.
“So, my dream partner could be just whoever they put me with,” she shared, adding that Gleb Savchenko is another one of her favourites.
Hear more in the video below.
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