When Erin Andrews found out that she was fired from Dancing With the Stars, she was as shocked as the rest of the world.
“It was a surprise. I got a phone call,” the sportscaster, 42, told Extra on Tuesday, September 1. “I answered the phone. I was like, ‘This isn’t good.’”
Since then, Andrews has stayed in touch with the pros from the ABC dance competition as well as her former cohost Tom Bergeron, who was also ousted.
“I text Tom, like, once a week … and the dancers as well. That’s a family,” she said. “I obviously danced on the show [in 2010] and then worked on the show for so many years. I always call it a Dancing With the Stars mafia — once you’re in, it’s really hard to break away. That’s a very, very tight-knit group. Sasha [Farber] and I will DM. I’ve gotten lovely messages from the dancers and so forth.”
The Fox NFL sideline reporter went on to call Bergeron, 65, her “ballroom quarterback” and the “end-all, be-all of that show.”
ABC and BBC Studios announced in a joint statement on July 13 that the series will be embarking “on a new creative direction” without Andrews and the former America’s Funniest Home Videos host. The next day, Tyra Banks signed on as their replacement.
“Tyra’s got that down perfectly,” Andrews told Extra on Tuesday. “She can nail the smizing and the walking in gowns and heels, so good for her.”
A number of DWTS pros, judges and past contestants have spoken out against the switch-up, with mirrorball trophy winner Alfonso Ribeiro and his season 19 competitor Lea Thompson going so far as to call for the show to be canceled.
Still, the network is pressing forward with season 29. The cast was unveiled on Tuesday, September 1, and includes Tiger King star Carole Baskin, former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, The Real cohost Jeannie Mai, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, rapper Nelly and Desperate Housewives alum Jesse Metcalfe.
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Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC Monday, September 14, at 8 p.m. ET.
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