Looking to the future? Derek Hough didn’t see Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews’ Dancing With the Stars exits coming.
“My initial reaction, I guess I was pretty shocked,” Hough, 35, told Bevy Smith on the Tuesday, July 28, episode of SiriusXM’s Bevelations. “Tom Bergeron is such a staple on Dancing With the Stars and he’s a good friend of mine. He’s just a good man.”
The professional dancer added: “He’s been there since the beginning. He’s just a great guy.”
Hough, who was on DWTS from 2007 to 2016, revealed that the hosting shakeup is unfortunately part of the Hollywood game.
“You also understand that in the entertainment industry nothing is certain,” the Utah native explained. “There’s always those efforts to reinvigorate and switch things up, so you look at that and it’s also understandable.”
ABC confirmed on July 13 that Bergeron, 65, who had been the show’s host from its 2005 debut, and Andrews, 42, who joined as cohost in 2014, would not be returning for season 29. Instead, Tyra Banks would be taking over — in addition to joining the series as an executive producer.
Despite being thrown off by Bergeron’s removal specifically, Hough is a fan of Banks, 46, at the helm.
“You know, Tyra Banks, I’ve come in contact with her several times and I think she’s fantastic,” he said. “I thought she was a fantastic host on America’s Got Talent. I thought she did an amazing job.”
The World of Dance judge explained that he feels “optimistic for that switch-up,” but on a personal level he was “definitely shocked about Tom Bergeron.”
In the end, Hough wants the dancing show to come out triumphant.
“I’m always sort of a cheerleader for shows to succeed,” the Nashville alum said. “For me, especially for shows that I’ve been a part of, that I love and hold dear to my heart, I want Dancing With the Stars to succeed and do well.”
Peta Murgatroyd and Alfonso Ribeiro have also weighed in on the shift in personnel.
“To be honest, I was shocked. I was sad,” Murgatroyd, 34, exclusively told Us Weekly on July 22. “I was sad that chapter of the show is done and it made me emotional. I was, like, ‘Oh, my God, Tom’s not going to be there anymore? Like, he is the show.’ I’m not disregarding [Erin]. She’s been incredible and an amazing host and somebody who had been through the show before with my husband, [Maksim Chmerkovskiy]. The way that she gave insight into celebrities and she could relate to them, I think really took the show to another level. But, a fresh start! Let’s see what happens.”
Ribeiro, 48, told Us that “Tom and Erin are the backbone of the show” and he wouldn’t have made such a drastic decision.
“I have no idea where they’re going to go and what changes they want to make and why and how these decisions were made. But I think people like myself will absolutely miss Tom and Erin,” the season 19 champion said on July 22. “It’ll be hard for me to see the show in whatever new form it is.”
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Dancing With the Stars is set to return to ABC in the fall, but no date has been set due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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