“I loved Tom and Erin,” the Dawson’s Creek alum, 43, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, August 19, while celebrating Criminal Minds’ 15th anniversary. “That is such a crazy experience that show. I mean, it’s a hundred percent live. It’s just a dance floor and a couple of judges and a dance thing you learned six days prior. One shot, no do-overs, no nothing.”
Despite the hectic environment, Van Der Beek — who competed on season 28 of the ABC series in 2019 with pro Emma Slater — found comfort in Bergeron, 65, and Andrews, 42.
“In the middle of that was this guy who was so quick on his feet, so funny and so big-hearted,” the Varsity Blues star said. “Then you would go to Erin who just kept it a hundred percent real and also equally quick on her feet and just as big of a heart.”
He added, “So, I count myself lucky that I got to do the show when they were there. ‘Cause I really, really appreciated just how they approached it and what they were for us in the eye of that storm.”
Van Der Beek shared that one of his favorite moments on the show was when Bergeron helped him create an unforgettable memory with his mom, Melinda, who passed away in July.
“After the contemporary [dance], he looked over, saw her and put a hand in my back and just kinda nudged me to go over knowing that we had the time,” the Connecticut native recalled. “And so I did and I gave her a hug right afterward and it was my top memories. I’m always grateful to Tom for creating that moment.”
Although he cherished Bergeron and Andrews’ time on the show, he’s interested to see how the dynamic will change with new host Tyra Banks.
“Tyra brings a whole different skillset and energy and vibe to the proceeding,” Van Der Beek said. “So it will be wild.”
Bergeron — who has hosted Dancing With the Stars since its debut in 2005 —announced his departure from the show in July via Twitter. Andrews, who has hosted since March 2014 after competing on season 10, followed suit with her own exit statement. Two days later, Us confirmed that Banks, 46, would be taking over the role from the longtime hosts.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi