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DWTS’ Cheryl Burke Clarifies Tyra Banks Comments After Saying Tom Bergeron Should Return: ‘I Respect Her Very Much’

DWTS' Cheryl Burke Clarifies Tyra Banks Comments After Saying Tom Bergeron Should Return
 Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; ABC/Laretta Houston

Explaining herself. Cheryl Burke said she wanted Tom Bergeron to return to Dancing With the Stars, but that doesn’t mean that she wants Tyra Banks to get fired.

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“I respect her very much,” the dancer, 38, said on the Tuesday, September 6, episode of “Burke in the Game” podcast. “I want to be clear that when I say I would love Tom Bergeron to come back on the show, that doesn’t entail necessarily that Tyra has to be fired or I don’t want Tyra there.”

Bergeron, 67, was let go from DWTS in July 2020 along with Erin Andrews. He hinted at the time that he was blindsided by the sudden announcement that Banks, 48, would take over hosting duties for season 29.

While Burke hopes to see Bergeron back on the show, she doesn’t have any ill will toward the America’s Next Top Model host. She made remarks in August about seeing what new elements of the Disney+ competition series would “survive,” and Burke believes her opinion was “taken out of context,” explaining she was referring to all newcomers — not just Banks.

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She made her original comments in August during an interview with YouTuber Allison Kugel. “It is great to see the show evolve, and I think it’s very important, whether or not Tom Bergeron comes back, I think it’s important that we see these changes to the show,” the choreographer said at the time. “I think there is a comfort [in] knowing that the show’s foundation is still there, but it is nice to throw in some newbies. Whether they survive is another question.”

On her podcast, she added further clarification. “I was mentioning any new dancer, any new producer, any new hair and makeup person that decides to join Dancing With the Stars,” Burke explained. “They will have, probably, challenges along the way. I didn’t mean if Tyra [in particular] will survive.”

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She went on to gush about the Coyote Ugly star’s “growth” after two seasons, but she added that she would still “love for [Bergeron] to come back.”

“I think it would be so amazing,” Burke said. “It doesn’t mean that I want Tyra out. People just need to stop it.”

Banks will have help in the upcoming season. In July, the show confirmed that Alfonso Riberio will cohost.

Dancing With the Stars season 31 premieres September 19 on Disney+.

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