Bruno Tonioli has been a presence on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” for years, but he has missed the past two seasons of the latter due to travel restrictions and logistics.
Tonioli chose to stay on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2021 alongside judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Derek Hough. That took both Goodman and Tonioli away from “Strictly Come Dancing,” which featured judges Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.
During the late 2021 season of “Strictly Come Dancing,” one professional dancer, in particular, called for Tonioli’s return to the show. Read on for more details.
One Pro Thinks Tonioli Is Needed On ‘Strictly Come Dancing’
Gary Edwards, who has been both a pro and a judge, talked to Express after an episode where there was scoring that fans and pros thought was questionable.
“I know Bruno inside out on Strictly and I still think for Strictly Bruno is the ideal judge,” the dancer told the outlet, adding that the pro who replaced Bruno was much more like Len Goodman than he was like Bruno, who adds more of a fun aspect to the show and is less likely to judge a dance harshly.
“I hope Bruno does come back, they need to keep a diverse panel,” Edwards said. “It’s whether Bruno will replace Anton [du Beke]. Anton gave some excellent critiques on ballroom and he is a ballroom expert. He disagreed with the judges and he was right. The good thing is they have a great pool of judges to choose from.”
He added, “For me, it needs Bruno. The original setup had the banter. This year it’s a little bit forced. With Bruno, what you see is what you get and I, for one, hope he comes back.”
The Show May Be Bringing Back Tonioli
According to a new report by The Sun, Tonioli may return to “Strictly Come Dancing,” but that doesn’t mean that du Beke would be leaving for good. Instead, the executives may offer the 55-year-old pro dancer a huge pay raise to stick around as a pro.
“The last thing bosses want is to lose [Anton] if they do welcome Bruno back,” one source told the outlet. “They appreciate it’ll be hard for him to go back to the day job, so they’re keen to offer a sweetener.”
This all comes out on the heels of one “Strictly Come Dancing” professional dancer leaving the show and saying they are unlikely to ever return. Oti Mabuse has joined ITV “Dancing On Ice” as a judge, which means that she will likely not return to “Strictly” after winning the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the show.
“It is very rare that talent would switch between BBC and ITV shows, this would have been an almost too good to be true offer for Oti – one she couldn’t refuse,” celebrity PR Harry Rutter told Metro. “I can’t imagine a return to Strictly after joining a primetime ITV show,” he said. “There definitely comes a point where stars just fancy a change.”
“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it does get renewed, the show will return sometime in mid-September of 2022.