'Dancing With the Stars' Producer Defends Tyra Banks Following Awkward Elimination Blunder

Dancing With the Stars executive producer Andrew Llinares and judge Bruno Tonioli are praising host Tyra Banks for how she handled a behind-the-scenes mistake that led her to announce the wrong teams in danger of being eliminated during Monday's Top 13 show. Llinares told Entertainment Tonight Tuesday he thought the new host dealt with the situation "amazingly," emphasizing that the error was "not Tyra's fault."

During Monday's show, Banks incorrectly announced that that Vernon David and Peta Murgatroyd were in danger of going home before revealing there was "an error in our control room" and that she needed Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy, previously announced as safe, to come back on stage. The Cheer coach and her partner were actually the second team in jeopardy, but ultimately it was Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe who ultimately were eliminated. "This is live TV, right? This is the craziness of live TV!" Banks said at the time, apologizing for the mix-up.

Tonioli told ET that Banks was getting different information from producers in the control room than what was on her cue cards. "It's live television, things like this happen, especially with information coming in from all over the country, voting and calculating in such a small amount of time," he said. "Tyra was brilliant ... she was really good because she took control of the situation."

The judge continued that he wishes people hating on Banks after she took over hosting from Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews would stop. "Oh, please. Tyra did a fantastic job. She is doing it the way she wants to do it," he said. "It's a bit tiring, all the negativity, in not even giving people a chance. Just let her be who she is. It's great to work with her."


"We're in a world that always focuses on the negative and I found that quite upsetting," he continued. "You can't compare apples to pears, you know? You get different things, and you have to allow someone to do things their own way. The show is good, we're having a great time, the viewing figures are great, and we all get on. We are trying to give two hours of entertainment and fun to the people, so why don't [they] focus on that?"

Llinares added, "I think we were a little shocked and stunned by what was going on, but this is live TV and you have to deal with situations like this all the time. There was a technical issue as the actual votes were coming in last night. What happened was, Tyra actually had the wrong names on her card." The EP added that Banks did an "amazing job rectifying" what happened live on the show. "It's not an easy thing to do, what she did," he continued. "There's a lot of undue criticism, I think, around Tyra. I just think she's doing an amazing job on this show. And I could not be more thrilled with the way that she dealt with this moment on the show."