“The new ‘no commercials’ format is intense and exciting. There’s no way I could handle this new format alone,” Banks, 48, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, September 15, while promoting the grand opening of The Posing Party at ModelLand. The television personality will be joined by cohost Alfonso Ribeiro for the first time this year.
She continued: “We no longer have commercial time to clear sets. It’s nonstop action. So, having a new host allows for cut-aways from the stage so that the crew can get the next act ready.”
After 30 seasons on ABC, season 31 of Dancing With the Stars will premiere on Disney+ on Monday, September 19. The America’s Next Top Model creator called the network change a “major move” for the show.
“I see Disney putting so much energy into Disney+, so it felt like a huge and groundbreaking decision. It will be the first live competition series on a streaming platform … and it’s great that the whole country will watch the show live together at the same time,” she told Us. “There’s not much like that on television now except for maybe sports and award shows. So, this is pretty special.”
The Coyote Ugly actress joined the DWTS family for season 29 in 2020, replacing hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. After two seasons of doing the gig by herself, she thinks Ribeiro, 50, will complement her nicely.
“When the team brought up the idea of Alfonso with me, I was like, ‘Yes, yes and yes, let’s stop right there and look no further.’ Nostalgia is everything these days so I felt that Alfonso and I being together on a stage again after those fun Fresh Prince of Bel-Air times will be fun for so many to see. And fun for Alfonso and I, too,” she said.
Ribeiro previously won season 19 of the show in 2014 with professional dancer Witney Carson. Banks explained that while her “post will be on the ballroom floor,” her cohort will focus on interviewing the contestants.
“He’s been through what the stars will be going through so he will shine talking to them and knowing all the emotions running through their veins,” she explained.
In addition to DWTS, the former Victoria’s Secret Angel is opening an interactive experience called ModelLand in Santa Monica, California, this summer. She gave Us the scoop on The Posing Party — where professionals teach participants how to work their angles and find their best poses.
“The experience is quite unique. We’ve got actors entertaining our guests, we’ve got dancers putting on a show, quick hair transformations for everyone, immersive shopping, special effects, pumping music, chill-out rooms, posing and lighting teachers …the list goes on and on,” she said. “I recently was on social media and saw two girls that had experienced The Posing Party and were practicing all of the poses on the street. It made me smile so big!”
Tickets to the experience, which opens on Friday, September 16, are available here. Dancing With the Stars airs Monday Nights at 8 p.m. ET on Disney+.
With reporting by Diana Cooper.