Tyra Banks has been hosting season 29 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. After it was announced that Tom Bergeron, who had been the host since the show’s start in 2005, and Erin Andrews, who joined in 2014, wouldn’t be returning, Banks not only became the host but also an executive producer for the show.
“Dancing with the Stars is one of the biggest shows on TV, with a huge audience, and I really respect that,” Banks said in a statement to People about her new gig. “I can’t come in with a battering ram and try to change everything. That would be a bad business decision and dumb leadership. So I’m not doing that. I listened to research, I listened to the fans, I killed half of my ideas and then I doubled down on some of them,” she added. “We want to implement those ideas but still respect the show — and add a little pixie dust!”
Viewers Have Criticized Banks’ Hosting Abilities
Banks, 46, made her debut as host on September 14, and since then she hasn’t been a fan favorite. Many viewers have voiced their displeasure with Banks on social media.
User @NicolesFandoms wrote: “I adore Tyra and she’s a wonderful host…when it’s her OWN show lol, so right now I’m not a fan, hopefully she’ll be better adjusted. But Tom and Erin are MISSED they brought so much heart to DWTS!”
On the second episode of DWTS, Banks had some hiccups during the live broadcast that she addressed in a video via TikTok.
“Tonight I hosted the second episode of Dancing with the Stars and yeah, it wasn’t perfect,” she said. “Yeah, I had a lot of fun but I messed up, I said the wrong words, but I kept, kept going.”
In addition to criticizing Banks, fans have expressed how much they miss Bergeron and Andrews.
Twitter user @Sandym tweeted: “Tyra Banks needs to stay in her lane. She is awful on DWTS. It’s ALL about her! Miss Tom and Erin so much! Really bad decision on ABC’s part. I love the show and have watched since season one, but it’s going to be a real struggle with Tyra as host.”
@TeamBobbyEwing wrote: “I am still having a lot of trouble accepting Tyra Banks as the new host of Dancing with the Stars!!! @ErinAndrews and @Tom_Bergeron were the perfect hosts, no one can ever replace them!!”
User @Glitter_Pixels said she won’t be watching anymore since Bergeron is no longer the host: “Dancing With The Stars has been a part of my childhood for years, and @Tom_Bergeron has always made the show exciting and fun. But now, with him gone, I honestly don’t see a point in watching anymore. Sorry #DWTS but this is where we part ways. Farewell, old friend.”
Fans have also said they feel Banks has an awkward way of interviewing and makes the show about her instead of the contestants.
Banks Responded to People Saying She Was Only Hired by ABC Because She’s Black
In a recent interview with Glamour, the former America’s Next Top Model host expressed being hurt that people assumed she was only hired by ABC as a token to add diversity to the network:
It actually hurts my feelings a bit that people think that I was hired because I’m a Black woman. [The show] reached out to me many, many months ago before any of the [racial] unrest happened. I knew that there’s a lot of responsibility coming in to an institution. Tom Bergeron is a genius host, a comedic host. I had to make sure that I could bring something new, [while] respecting what he’s already done. And that could I really bring my audience to the show.
Despite the criticism from the audience, Banks added that she hopes fans of the show give her the chance to win them over.
“I hope they say, ‘You know what, I’m going to stick with this.’ Like, ‘Wow … I was wrong about that.”