‘DWTS’ Host Reveals the Season 31 Contestants Who Surprised Him the Most

Tyra Banks Alfonso Ribeiro

ABC/Christopher Willard Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro on Dancing With the Stars.

Alfonso Ribeiro opened up about 31st season of  “Dancing with the Stars”  in a recent interview.

In July 2022, Ribeiro was announced as a “DWTS” co-host alongside Tyra Banks, who replaced veteran host Tom Bergeron after he was fired from the show in 2020. Ribeiro is also “DWTS” champion after winning the mirrorball trophy in season 19 eight years ago.

On September 30, 2022, Ribeiro was a guest on Sherri Shepherd’s daytime talk show, “Sherri,” where he talked about his family life and his two TV hosting jobs on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Dancing With the Stars.”

Ribeiro told Shepherd that his role as co-host in the “DWTS” skybox is a “very specific job to help the contestants sell themselves to America.” He also revealed two stars who are surprise standouts to him.


Alfonso Ribeiro Revealed Who Surprised Him the Most in the ‘DWTS’ Ballroom

Daniel Durant competes on season 31 of “Dancing With the Stars.”

ABC/Andrew EcclesDaniel Durant competes on season 31 of “Dancing With the Stars.”

The “Dancing With the Stars” cast includes several stars who have no dance experience, including actor Jason Lewis and “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice, who were the first two contestants eliminated.

But when asked to name who surprised him the most in the ballroom, Ribeiro admitted that when he first saw the cast list, he was unsure that a few of the contestants would last on the show.

“The two people that surprised me the most is Daniel Durant, who is deaf,” Ribeiro told Shepherd. “And the ability to dance without hearing the music. To not be able to hear the music…and he is so right on the beat. Total surprise for me.”

“The other is Joseph Baena,” Ribeiro added. “He’s a big boy. That’s Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son. He’s a big man. It’s hard to make proper lines and look graceful when you’re that muscular. And Daniella [Karagach] does such a great job with him. Those are the two surprises, like,  I didn’t expect.”


Daniel Durant & Joseph Baena Have Talked About Their Challenges on ‘DWTS’

Joseph Baena and Daniella Karagach

ABCJoseph Baena and Daniella Karagach.

Durant is the third deaf person to compete on “DWTS,” according to People. In 2016, deaf model Nyle DiMarco took home the mirrorball trophy. And like DiMarco, Durant has also impressed the judges on “DWTS.” On The Elvis theme night, he received an impressive 29 points for his jive with pro dancer Britt Stewart. In an interview with Parade, Durant said he “struggled” a bit with the complicated dance and that his high score “made” his night.

In an interview with The Daily Moth, Durant revealed that he actually told both his agent and his manager that he wanted to join “Dancing With the Stars,” and two weeks later he was asked to be on the show.

“Part of my personality is that I love dancing to each beat, especially with heavy bass,” Durant revealed. “I just love dancing and feeling the beats just like deaf people normally do, right? So, I told my team that I wanted to be part of DWTS. A check off of my bucket list!”  Durant also vowed that his “goal” is to win the mirrorball trophy.

As for Baena, he has admitted that his muscular physique has been a bit of a detriment to him in the ballroom.

“I feel really heavy,” Baena admitted to E! News. “It’s not the best feeling. I usually feel pretty light with 300 pounds on my back. It’s not too bad. But moving around, jumping, it’s a lot!”

Schwarzenegger’s son added that he is up for the challenge on “Dancing With the Stars.”

READ NEXT: Reality Star Reveals She’d Like Another Chance on DWTS

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