Erin Andrews admits the news that she had been let go from Dancing With the Stars came as a "surprise" after six seasons co-hosting alongside Tom Bergeron. ABC announced in July that both Bergeron and Andrews would not be returning for the upcoming Season 29, with supermodel Tyra Banks taking over as a solo host come Sept. 14.
"It was a surprise," Andrews said in a new interview with Extra on Tuesday. "I got a phone call and I answered the phone. I was like, 'This isn’t good.'" Despite the sudden exit from DWTS, the FOX Sports personality said she is still staying close with her ballroom family. "I text Tom, like once a week… and the dancers as well. That’s a family," she told the outlet.
"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," she joked. "That’s a tight-knit group. Sasha [Farber] and I will DM. I’ve gotten lovely messages from the dancers and so forth." Andrews also gushed over working with Bergeron. "Tom was my ballroom quarterback. He was that show’s ballroom quarterback… He was the end-all, be-all of that show," she said, adding of Banks, "She can nail the smizing and the walking in gowns and heels, so good for her."
Wednesday, the full celebrity cast was announced for the season on Good Morning America: former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, Emmy-award winning talk show host Jeannie Mai, Netflix's Cheer coach Monica Aldama, Grammy-winning rapper Nelly, Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause, Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, One Day at a Time actress Justina Machado, Tiger King's controversial subject Carole Baskin, Desperate Housewives alum Jesse Metcalfe, Catfish host Nev Schulman, Volcano actress Anne Heche, NBA All-Star Charles Oakley and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir. Also competing are The Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, who were announced previously as stars taking to the ballroom.
Competing as a pro this season are veterans Sasha Farber, Pasha Pashkov, Jenna Johnson, Emma Slater, Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Val Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, Gleb Savchenko, Cheryl Burke and Keo Motsepe. Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvintsev will be returning this year after sitting out Season 28, and newcomers Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach will make their pro debut after previously dancing in the show's troupe. Dancing With the Stars Season 29 premieres Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For more on this upcoming season from PopCulture, click here.