Not all major single-talent reality competitions on TV involve “idol” singing. In 2004, British network BBC launched a competitive dance program featuring contestant pairs – a celebrity and a professional dancer each. “Strictly Come Dancing” was adapted in the US by ABC the following year as “Dancing with the Stars” in 2005. Since its first season, the program has been hosted by Tom Bergeron, who with the panel of judges remained a constant fixture even as co-presenters came and went. On Monday, July 13 however, Bergeron announced that the network was dropping him ahead of the upcoming 29th season. The following day, his replacement was announced.
Entertainment Weekly tells us that model and TV personality Tyra Banks has been chosen by ABC to become the new host of “Dancing with the Stars” following the departure of longtime presenter Tom Bergeron. This was announced Tuesday, July 14, following which Banks released a statement expressing her fandom for the show since its beginnings, and paying tribute to her predecessor. “The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances,” she remarked, adding that it reminded her of her modeling days. Of Bergeron she adds, “Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”
Bergeron has been the presenting face of “Dancing with the Stars” for 15 years by the time ABC decided to let him go. Also not coming back for season 29 is his co-host Erin Andrews, who came in on season 18 back in 2014. Analysts opine that the removal of the 65-year-old Bergeron and replacement with Banks, 46, was the network’s way of giving the long-running competition series a makeover. Some observers note that his departure notably came in the wake of Bergeron competing in season 3 of “The Masked Singer” on rival network Fox.
Tyra Banks’ TV hosting record ranges from her own self-named talk show (2005-10), the “America’s Next Top Model” reality show along with its international editions (as guest judge), and two seasons of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC. For Tom Bergeron, he is grateful for the time he spent on the show, where he says he has made a lot of friendships. The 29th season of “Dancing with the Stars” is expected to kick off in fall of 2020 on ABC.
Image courtesy of E! Online