Tyra Banks began hosting Dancing With the Stars in season 29 following former hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews parting ways with the show. Throughout the season, Banks received mixed reviews from viewers, but pros on the show have spoken out in defense of Banks.
No matter what fans have said about Banks, the ratings of the show have held steady and even improved in some ways over the course of the transition. According to Hollywood Reporter, the ratings for the finale were down from 2019, though the show improved overall throughout the season.
Dancing With the Stars was the top-rated show in the entertainment category for the 18-49 demographic in 2020, meaning that it’s likely the show will be renewed, though that has yet to be announced officially.
Read on to learn more about what the professional dancers on the show have said about Tyra Banks.
Jenna Johnson Said Banks is a Tyra Banks ‘Superfan’
In an interview with the Hollywood Life podcast, professional dancer Jenna Johnson opened up about filming Dancing With the Stars season 29 and how she felt about Tyra Banks as the host, saying that Banks is really sweet.
“The only times that we really get to interact with [Banks] are on show days and she is so sweet, such a gem,” said Johnson. “She is so grateful to be there and you feel it from her energy every time she’s there and interacting with you.”
Johnson added, “I’m also such a superfan of her. I mean, Tyra freakin’ Banks, are you kidding me?! I told her, I was like, ‘Tyra, I would just die if one time you flipped your hair and said, ‘Wanna be on top?’ That was my childhood, you know? To see her hosting our show and to be like eight feet apart from her, it’s a childhood dream, it’s crazy.”
Derek Hough Appreciated Banks’s Performance
In an interview with Extra early on in the season, former Dancing With the Stars pro and current judge Derek Hough said that he thought production was happy with her and he thought everyone liked her, even after a mistake was made in the announcement of the bottom two in the third episode of season 29.
“You know, the producers came up afterwards and were actually thanking Tyra,” he shared. “They were like, ‘Thank you so much,’ like, ‘You handled that so well.’ There was a technical situation happening in the booth.”
Hough said that people behind the scenes were both happy and relieved with the way that Banks handled certain situations during live shows.
Britt Stewart Really Likes Banks
Britt Stewart shared her support for Banks in an interview with Pop Culture Magazine.
“You know, I really like Tyra,” she said. “She’s a really awesome woman. She goes out of her way to stay connected with us. She personally called all the celebrities, she called us before the season, throughout the season just to check in. So, I know that she really cares about being on the show and doing a great job. I think sometimes that goes unnoticed.”
Stewart also pointed to the fact that some people simply don’t like change as a possible reason for the hate directed at Banks, especially in light of the fact that Tom Bergeron had been hosting the show since season one.
“Tom Bergeron, he’s been there or he had been there since season one,” Stewart said. “And sometimes I feel kind of bad because people gave her a really hard time, and she’s just trying to bring in … her twist on what hosting Dancing With the Stars looks like to her, and that’s going to be different from Tom’s.”
She continued, “I think she held in there like a champ. I think she had a lot of negativity coming at her the whole season. And I think she kept her head up high and continued on.”
Cheryl Burke Has Said Banks is ‘Very Real’
Pro dancer Cheryl Burke has also shared her love for Tyra Banks, according to Us Weekly.
“It’s really refreshing, I think, to see her just basically call herself out from certain things,” she shared.
She also added, “I think she’s really great. She really is. And I look forward to seeing what she’s wearing every week!”
Dancing With the Stars will return in 2021 for season 30.