Former “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was once asked about the professional partners on the show and he spoke at length about them, paying Derek Hough a particularly nice compliment and explaining a running joke he had with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Here’s what Bergeron revealed in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation.
Bergeron Says They Have ‘Such Gifted Pros On the Show’
In the TV Academy Foundation interview, Bergeron was asked to weigh in on the “Dancing With the Stars” pros and he said they astounded him season after season as the dancers became “more complicated, more ambitious, bigger, more inventive with technically what they can pull off.”
He then joked that it’s the pros who are keeping him hitting the gym every week.
“[They are] an amazing array of incredibly talented young people. I say that because they keep me going to the gym. God bless ’em, if I wasn’t doing this show, I wouldn’t have a trainer … I’m standing next to these 20-somethings with two percent body fat!” said Bergeron with a laugh. “But it’s so amazing, you look at the choreography week in and week out.”
Bergeron said he doesn’t think you could throw “any concept” to Derek Hough “that he couldn’t come up with a dance for.”
“He did one of our most memorable dances to the theme from ‘Psycho.’ There’s not even a consistent rhythm in that music. It’s amazing what they do with the challenges that they are issued every week and how entertaining they make it and how compelling they make it. Sometimes in the face of really difficult partners. Some of these celebrities are not always easy,” revealed Bergeron.
Bergeron Did Say Some Pros Are Better At Working With the Celebrities Than Others
Bergeron said that all the professional dancers “know what they’re doing” and “know what’s needed,” but “some are better than others at adapting the dance to the strengths or weaknesses to whatever star they’re with.”
“[Some pros] can break it down to the component parts that you have to do in order to build the performance,” said Bergeron, adding, “Some [pros] can be more emotional than others, some are more patient.”
He also wouldn’t name names about which pros he’s closer to, but he did say “there are some [he’s] closer to just by nature of personality.” Those are the ones he sees more and stays in touch with more.
What Was Up With Maks Chmerkovskiy Grabbing Bergeron’s Butt All the Time?
Bergeron did mention Maksim Chmerkovskiy specifically as someone he has a fun relationship with, calling him “a Ukrainian who grabs my a** every week.”
He went on to explain:
It started because he and his partner at the time, Mel B of the Spice Girls, thought Tom is too comfortable on live television. Nothing seems to throw him. So they came up with an idea — what if Mel B just came up and slid up and down my body while I was talking to the judges? … so she did that, she came up and started slithering up and down and I instantly broke into a sweat and they thought, “We got him!”
So then it turned into a**-grabbing … it became sort of a running gag, then every partner he had, he’d try first to get them to do it and if they didn’t for whatever reason … then he just started doing it. Then I think he was OCD, then he couldn’t stop [grabbing my butt].
Bergeron added that he thinks Chmerkovskiy enjoyed everybody wondering, “What is that about?!”
Bergeron has recently been teasing a return to TV hosting. We think it’ll turn out to be that he’s the host of the new CBS dance show “Come Dance With Me,” but fans will just have to wait and see.
“Dancing With the Stars” season 30 is expected to premiere in September 2021 on ABC.