Tyra Banks just added another amazing hosting job to her long resume. The 46-year-old has been announced as the new Dancing with the Stars host for season 29. Tyra will be replacing the show’s OG host Tom Bergeron, 65, who presided over the ballroom for 15 years and 28 seasons. He announced on July 13 that he wasn’t asked back to the show, and ABC later revealed that his co-host of six years, Erin Andrews, was out as well.
— Dancing with the Stars #DWTS (@DancingABC) July 15, 2020
Tyra excitedly said in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife.com, “I’ve been a fan of ‘DWTS’ since its beginning…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.” Tyra will also serve as the show’s executive producer in addition to her hosting duties. She gave a nod to her predecessor, saying, “Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”
Tom delivered the surprising news that he’d been let go via a July 13 tweet. The amiable host announced, “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?”
The news caught fans, viewers and the show’s pro dancers by total surprise, and Erin confirmed her exit the following day in a July 14 in an Instagram message. Along with several photos from her time co-hosting the show, the 42-year-old former contestant added a slide that read, “Thank you ABC and the entire Dancing with the Stars family for 6 memorable seasons. Those years wouldn’t have been as special without my loving host, Tom Bergeron, the talented dancers, and witty judges. I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking in heels.”
Tyra has plenty of time working on competition shows under her belt. The onetime Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover model was the creator, executive producer and head judge of the iconic WB/CW series America’s Next Top Model. She most recently took over hosting America’s Got Talent ‘s 12th season after Nick Cannon‘s departure. Tyra also had her own syndicated daytime talk show, TheTyra Banks Show, that aired from 2005 – 2010.
As we previously told you EXCLUSIVELY, the show’s producers wanted to add more diversity to the program by way of the hosts. “The show absolutely loved what both Erin and Tom have done and they will be missed. But the producers were also looking to mix things up since this season is going to be the most unique version of Dancing with the Stars ever. The show wants to add some diversity to the hosts,” a source close to the show told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY.
“An important decision is to have a person of color and that is highly being considered and will likely be the new host or hosts,” our insider added. At this time, a replacement for Erin has not been announced or confirmed. With ABC hoping for a Fall 2020 start date for season 29, there’s a good chance the show will be done remotely, with the host and judges in different locations than the contestants. That could eliminate the need for a co-host. The setup would be similar to how ABC handled American Idol‘s return after the COVID-19 outbreak shut down production in March.
After Tom made the announcement that he wasn’t asked to return to DWTS, ABC and BBC Studios put out a joint statement which read, “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.” It continued, “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 humor has become a hallmark of the show.”