The battle for the ballroom? Tom Bergeron was asked about a possible return to Dancing with the Stars a few days before Alfonso Ribeiro and Tyra Banks were announced as co-hosts of season 31.
Tom Bergeron! Tyra Banks! The hosts of the show “Dancing with the Stars” for many years
“Thursday on @GMA, a special announcement about @officialdwts. I hope this is the new owner! @Tom_Bergeron, will you be in New York??????” — asked a social network user of the former 67-year-old host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on Tuesday, June 12. Bergeron quickly refuted the rumor with a simple answer: “No. I’m sorry.”
Two days after Bergeron denied returning to the long-running dance competition, Ribeiro, 50, announced that he would team up with Banks, 48, to direct the 31st season. “Dancing with the Stars has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I’m thrilled to be officially rejoining this close—knit family as a co-host,” the Season 19 winner and former guest host said in a press release on Thursday, July 14. “Tyra and I have a long-standing friendship, which I hope will resonate with all the fans at home when we start this new season on Disney+.
Banks, who became a presenter in 2020 before the 29th season, spoke about her new co-host in her own statement. “I’ve known Alfonso since I was 19, and he always makes me smile when I see him,” the former “America’s Next Top Model” personality said at the time. “Having such a cheerful old friend as a co-host warms my heart. Making fun of him live will be a lot of fun!”
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In July 2020, Bergeron, who started hosting DWTS in 2005, announced on Twitter that he and co-host Erin Andrews had been dropped from the reality show. “Just informed that @DancingABC will continue without me,” he wrote at the time, shortly before Banks was appointed the new host. “It was an incredible 15-year run and the most unexpected gift in my career. I am grateful for that and for a lifelong friendship. However, what should I do with all these shiny masks now?”
After the scandalous departure of the Hollywood Squares graduate, Ribeiro exclusively told Us Weekly that he could not imagine the show continuing with anyone other than Bergeron. “I corresponded with Tom. I would never make such a decision, obviously. I think Tom and Erin make up the backbone of the show,” the Fresh Prince of Bel—Air graduate said in July 2020. “I have no idea where they are going to go and what changes they want to make, and why and how these decisions were made. But I think people like me will miss Tom and Erin. It will be difficult for me to see the show in whatever new form it is.”
He continued: “Sometimes I look at things and say, “Why don’t we just do a new show?”…We love Tom, and for me Tom is the best presenter on television. …I hope [Tyra] does a great job. But it’s hard. It’s going to be hard for me to watch this without Tom.”
At the time, the Silver Spoons graduate also joked that he didn’t want to “give all [Bergeron’s] concerts after he became the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos in 2015.” “And, in the end, there was no AFV [exit] shooting. It was he who left, and that allowed me to leave,” Ribiero told us. “I never want to take someone’s job like this. Yes. Of course, it has nothing to do with who you are hiring, but since I am so close to him, it would be wrong if they approached me.”
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Despite all the drama surrounding his departure, Bergeron has made it clear that he holds no grudge against his former DWTS family or fans of the show. “When people say: “I’m not going to watch until you get back,” I reply, “Well, there’s really no ‘bye’ here,” he told TV Guide in December 2020. “This train left the station. . I appreciate this feeling and I don’t hold a grudge against anyone if they [look].”