Bergeron, 65, broke the news on July 13, tweeting that he was “just informed” the show would be going on without him. “It’s been an incredible 15-year run and the most unexpected gift of my career,” the comedian, who had hosted the show since its 2004 debut, tweeted. “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?”
Shortly after his tweet, ABC revealed in a statement they were going in a “new creative direction,” which also meant ousting Bergeron’s cohost, who competed on the show in 2014 and then joined as a host.
“I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking in heels,” the sportscaster, 42, tweeted.
Following the news, many pros, judges and past contestants spoke out about the news, admitting they were shocked. Lea Thompson, who competed on season 19, tweeted that the show isn’t the same show without Bergeron, adding, “They might as well cancel it.”
Season 19 winner Alfonso Ribeiro echoed the statement, noting that the hosts are “the backbone” of the competition series. “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,” he told Us Weekly exclusively. “Sometimes I look at things and I say, ‘Why don’t we just make a new show and then just make that show and then cancel the one that you’re chopping up.'”
Although disappointed, both Andrews and Bergeron have had lighthearted responses to the news. Scroll through the gallery below to see everything that they’ve said about leaving.
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"I guess I won't be getting back my monogrammed towels," the former America's Funniest Home Videos host tweeted on July 15, following the news that Banks — who has the same initials as him — is taking over. Andrews then responded with, "You got towels?"
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Bergeron reflected on his career in an Instagram post on July 16, posing alongside Dick Van Dyke. "My ‘career,’ which only seems to have a logical progression when viewed in hindsight, is, to me, a story of friendships rather than shows. And if, in the course of making those friends, one of them happens to be someone you’ve idolized since childhood, you damn well better realize how blessed you are,” he wrote. “To all of you friends I’ve yet to meet, thank you for your kind words this week. I’m humbled. And now, overwhelmed by your flattery, very likely impossible to live with.”
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When a fan tweeted at the TV personality begging him not to retire, he replied, "Not to worry. I live to be fired another day," with a wink face emoji.
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Why It Happened
Many fans speculated via social media that the show made its changes to increase diversity. "Thank you for the support but that wasn’t the reason," the Massachusetts native tweeted on July 25. He later added, "Hadn't planned to say any more about my departure yet but, as a supporter of the @Blklivesmatter movement, I can assure you that wasn't the reason."
Credit: Shutterstock (3)
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In August, the longtime host shared his gratitude for the fans' nice messages. "I have read them and I have been truly humbled," he tweeted. "Whenever I looked into the camera’s lens, regardless of which show I was hosting, I imagined a connection with a single person; not a mass audience. It appears the connection was made. You can’t beat that."
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In September, Bergeron changed his Twitter bio to read "Former Co-Host of 'Footwork With the Famous.'"
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A Phone Call
During an interview with Extra, Andrews detailed her firing. “It was a surprise. I got a phone call,” the sportscaster, 42, said September 1. “I answered the phone. I was like, ‘This isn’t good.’ ... I text Tom, like once a week and the dancers as well. That’s a family. I danced on the show 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 tight-knit group. Sasha and I will DM. I’ve gotten lovely messages from the dancers and so forth."
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America’s Next Tom Model
Bergeron put his own spin on Banks’ Dancing With the Stars poster, tweeting a photo of himself holding a mini mirrorball up to his mouth. “This Just In: National Association of Lip Safety cautions against applying multiple small mirrors on the mouth,” he quipped on September 2. “One bad chew and it’s 7 years of bad luck.”
Credit: Courtesy of Tom Bergeron/Twitter
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During a podcast interview on September 14, Andrews shared that while she's looking to the future, being cut from the show wasn't easy. “Nobody wants to be let go when it’s not on their terms, but I do think there’s something on the horizon. I’m definitely working my people to find something and put something on the horizon," she said on the "Token CEO" podcast. "I didn’t have much time to deal with it. I got a phone call — we were on the putting green with my dog and my husband — and I got a call that said, ‘You know, so-and-so from ABC wants to talk to you,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, s–t,’ like, this is it. I felt sorry for myself, and I kind of was like, ‘This is a terrible time to lose my job,’ because we don’t know when live television is coming back. These are hard jobs to get. I was like, ‘Oh no, I’m a loser, this is really bad,’ and then you just start talking to other people from other networks and people that have production groups and they’re like, ‘You’re gonna find something.’ … Yeah, it was a super big bummer."
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Done for Good?
Bergeron implied that he will never return to the show in a December 2020 interview with TV Guide magazine. "When people say, 'I'm not gonna watch until you're back,' I say, 'Well, there's really no 'until' here,'" he explained at the time. "This train has left the station. I appreciate the sentiment, and I don't hold it against anybody if they [watch]."