Dancing With the Stars season 29 premieres on September 14, and this season is sure to look and feel a bit different. In addition to new rules and formatting in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the set, the show will be missing two DWTS longtime cast members: hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the two had been fired from their roles on the show so that DWTS could take on a “new creative direction.”
In a statement to Us Weekly, DWTS producers confirmed that Bergeron would not be returning as a host for season 29. They said, “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.” They also confirmed Andrews’ departure, adding, “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.”
Bergeron and Andrews will be replaced by a new host for season 29: Tyra Banks.
Bergeron Was the Host of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Since its Premiere, & Andrews Joined as His Co-Host in Season 18
The news that Tom Bergeron would not be returning to the ballroom as a host of Dancing With the Stars was especially shocking to fans, since Bergeron had been with the long-running show since its very first season in 2005. Of the shows 29 seasons, season 29 will be the first season without Bergeron serving as a host.
Bergeron tweeted about the news of his unexpected departure from Dancing With the Stars, writing, “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?”
Bergeron had a few different DWTS co-hosts over the years, with Erin Andrews joining him in season 18. Before becoming a host on the show, Andrews competed as a celebrity contestant in season 10, partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
In a statement on Twitter, Andrews wrote, “Thank you ABC and the entire Dancing With the Stars family for 6 memorable seasons. Those years wouldn’t be 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.”
Andrews told People that she was not expecting to be fired from the show. She said, “It was a surprise. I got a phone call and I answered the phone. I was like, ‘This isn’t good.'”
Banks Said That Replacing Bergeron & Andrews as the New ‘DWTS’ Host Will Be a ‘Challenge’
Banks told Us Weekly, “I think the challenge is stepping into shoes. I mean, you know, Tom Bergeron and Erin. They lead the show, this is one of the top-rated shows in the world. So [I’m] respecting the stage that they have set and then adding my icing to that. I feel confident about that, but of course, it’s a challenge, but I don’t back away from challenges.”
Andrews talked about her exit from DWTS as a guest on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. When asked how she felt about Banks’s remarks about stepping into the new role in place of Andrews and Bergeron, she replied, “That’s better than her saying, ‘It’s gonna be easy taking over for this broad.’ So I guess that’s great? I don’t know.” Continuing, she added, “I think that Tom’s shoes are a little harder to fill. He’s the guy, the quarterback of the ballroom. So, that’s nice of her, but he’s the man, and he was the man on that show.”
Dancing With the Stars season 29 airs on Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.