“Now, getting Conrad Green back as DWTS showrunner is only ONE of their smartest decisions. Here’s the other one 👏🏼,” Bergeron, 67, captioned an Instagram collage of throwback photos from when Ribeiro, 50, competed on the ABC series shortly after the casting switch was announced on Thursday, July 14. “Congratulations, buddy!”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum returned the loving tribute, telling Bergeron in a sweet response, “I just hope I can make you proud.” The Massachusetts native replied, “I have no doubt 😉👍🏼.”
Ribeiro, who previously won the mirrorball trophy in 2014 with pro partner Witney Carson, announced on Thursday that he will be joining Tyra Banks in the ballroom this fall when the competition moves to streaming. “Dancing with the Stars has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I am ecstatic to officially re-join this tight-knit family as cohost,” he noted in a press release. “Tyra and I have a longstanding friendship that I hope will resonate with all of the fans at home as we kick off this new season on Disney+.”
Banks, 48, was equally excited. “I’ve known Alfonso since I was 19 years old and he always puts a smile on my face whenever I see him,” the supermodel gushed in a statement of her own. “Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as cohost warms my heart. Bantering back and forth with him live is going to be so much fun!”
The Life-Size star took over hosting duties in July 2020 ahead of season 29 — and Bergeron hinted that he was blindsided by the shakeup. “Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” the former America’s Funniest Home Videos host tweeted at the time. “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. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?”
Longtime viewers were skeptical about how the show could carry on without Bergeron and Andrews, 44. After a rocky transition period as Banks settled into the role, the Hollywood Squares alum shed more light on his exit.
“In all candor, the show that I left was not the show that I loved,” he said during an October 2021 appearance on “Bob Saget’s Here for You” podcast. “So, the end of the season that turned out to be my last season [in 2019], I kind of knew. So I took everything out of my dressing room that I really wanted. … It was kind of obvious that we were kind of butting heads.”
The comedian went on to say he “wasn’t surprised” by his firing, reassuring fans that he wasn’t trying to sound like “a whiny millionaire” with his quips on social media. “I mean, look. I had great fortune,” Bergeron added. “I mean, I had two network shows running simultaneously for the better part of a decade and a half.”
Long before he was officially dubbed the new DWTS host, Ribeiro had support from his former partner. “Tom has been around for so long. He is really the heart of the show,” Carson, 28, exclusively told Us in August 2020. “He’s like an uncle to me too. … I texted Alfonso and I’m like, ‘You’re the new host, aren’t you? Tell me!’ And he’s like, ‘It’s not me.’ … He loves the show. He is so knowledgeable in dance, and in judging and hosting. So I just thought he’d be a perfect fit.”
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