Bruno Tonioli Breaks Silence About Leaving Show

Bruno Tonioli on 'Dancing With the Stars'

ABC Bruno Tonioli on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Longtime “Dancing With the Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli has spoken out about the fact that he is leaving “Strictly Come Dancing” to focus on the U.S. counterpart.

Here is what Tonioli had to say:

Tonioli Said the Travel Is Too Unpredictable

News broke on May 18 that Bruno Tonioli is leaving British ballroom dancing competition series “Strictly Come Dancing” to focus on “Dancing With the Stars,” according to the Daily Mail. He was a judge on “Strictly” since its inception, pulling double duty by flying back and forth between England and Los Angeles when the shows aired at the same time.

However, when the pandemic forced countries to implement travel restrictions, it became untenable and now Tonioli is staying put in California for the foreseeable future, he told BBC’s “The One Show”, breaking his silence about the ongoing drama surrounding who will be sitting on the “Strictly Come Dancing” judges’ panel in the upcoming 20th season.

Bruno said that travel has just become too difficult and “Strictly Come Dancing” needs the continuity of having the same judges throughout the season.

“Getting through the airports is not like it used to be, so it created a situation that was unsustainable,” said Tonioli, adding, “Because of the travel situations I cannot really guarantee that I’m going to be there because anything can happen. Two years ago, I changed my tickets every week and they need continuity.”

Bruno Also Said He Misses ‘Strictly’ So Much, But He Thinks Anton Du Beke is Doing a ‘Fantastic Job’

When the Italian dancer had to miss a couple of seasons of “Strictly Come Dancing” due to the travel restrictions, he was replaced in season 19 by longtime “Strictly” professional dancer Anton Du Beke, whom Tonioli said is doing a “fantastic job.”

“I miss it so much,” said Tonioli of “Strictly Come Dancing,” adding, “I absolutely support them, it’s my decision. And I think really Anton has done a fantastic job and deserves to be on that seat.”

Tonioli then turned to the camera, got out a judges’ paddle, and said, “Anton, you’ve done a fantastic job, you deserve it. It’s a 10 from me. Carry on. Do me proud — but you’ve already done it anyway.”

He also had a message for the other “Strictly” judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.

“Shirley, my love, you’ll be much safer with Anton next to you, no more bruising from me. Motsi, don’t worry about Craig. He’s only jealous because he cannot wear your clothes. And Craig, well, he’s Craig, isn’t he? I actually adore him, he’s such a good — he’s actually more fun than me behind the scenes. I’m literally full-on, ‘This has to be that, that has to be that!’ … he’s so cool and so laidback. Give [him] a glass of wine, he’s fine,” said Tonioli with a laugh.

Tonioli also said that “Strictly” fans should not count him out “forever.”

“I may do the tour. I’m not gone forever! Never count me out, never say never,” said the judge. Fans should remember that Tonioli did participate in the “Strictly Come Dancing” 2022 live tour that ran from January 20 to February 13, 2022. Unlike the “Dancing With the Stars” live tour, the “Strictly” live tour includes the judges, and Tonioli was asked to participate alongside fellow judges Ballas and Revel Horwood.

On “The One Show,” Tonioli also seemingly confirmed that he is returning to “Dancing With the Stars” season 31, saying, “You see, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ has moved on to Disney Plus, it’s gonna be streaming live on Disney Plus, which is a big deal, it’s very, very exciting.”

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.

READ NEXT: Jimmy Kimmel Makes Fun of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Getting ‘Shuffled Off’ to Disney Plus

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