The results are in … and Carrie Ann Inaba knows exactly who will be returning to the Dancing With the Stars judges’ table next season.
Earlier this week, fans of the ballroom competition were shocked to hear that longtime hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were axed from the series ahead of its upcoming 29th season. During a new episode of The Talk, airing July 21, Inaba, 52, reassured loyal viewers that “as of now,” she still plans to be part of the show — along with Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
“I just want everybody to know Len, Bruno and I — that is the plan, that we’re coming back,” she explained. “But they’re going make the official announcement in a few weeks. They’re just going to keep letting us know all the details. I don’t want people to worry. It seems like everything is okay.”
On Monday, July 13, Bergeron, 65, announced via Twitter that the ABC reality competition series didn’t ask him to return for its next season. The Massachusetts native began hosting the series in 2005 and received nine Emmy nominations for the gig over the course of his career. He was joined by Andrews, 42, in 2014 after she appeared as a competitor on the show.
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” Bergeron said on Monday. “It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I’m grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made.”
ABC and BBC Studios later confirmed the casting shakeup in a joint statement to Us Weekly. “Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing With the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success,” the producers said. “Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.”
Hours after news broke of Bergeron and Andrews’ exits, Us confirmed that Tyra Banks would be taking over as host. “I’ve been a fan of DWTS since its beginning,” the America’s Next Top Model alum, 46, said in a statement. “Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”
Inaba, who has been a DWTS staple since 2005, was moved to tears by the news that her close colleagues wouldn’t be returning to the ballroom.
“I feel like it was just such sudden news,” she said on The Talk. “I cried when I heard the news, as well as, I think a lot of our fans did. … I think we’re in good hands [with Tyra]. It’s different, the fans are going to have to get used to it, I understand that, but I think we should welcome her.”
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Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC for its 29th season this fall.
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