Dancing With the Stars competitors better practice their smizes, because Tyra Banks is heading back to the ballroom as the host of the landmark 30th season of the ABC dance competition show. Banks made her debut last season as the host to middling reviews as she starred on the series alongside judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli.
Longtime judge Len Goodman will also be returning after taking Season 29 off from the judging panel due to COVID-related travel restrictions. The head judge occasionally participated virtually last season amid the pandemic. He'll be joined by Derek Hough, who was a pro competitor from 2007 to 2016 on Dancing With the Stars, and made his return to the ballroom to replace Goodman during the last season.
Season 29 also eliminated the live audience from the ballroom as part of COVID-19 safety precautions and wrapped up in November with Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and her pro partner Artem Chigvintsev taking home the Mirrorball Trophy.
Last season was Banks' first as a host after replacing longtime emcees Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, a controversial decision which executive producer Andrew Llinares defended as an "evolution" of the show. "Any show that has been on like this for many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve," Llinares told reporters at the time. "It was about making the show feel fresh, feel new, maybe make it reach out to a new audience" while also "not alienating anyone who's been watching the show for many, many years."
"I think it's really refreshed the pace of the show," he continued of switching from two co-hosts to one lone host. "There's a real danger, when a show's been on for a long time, that the audience almost gets bored of the rhythm of it. It's changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way. Tyra's doing an amazing, amazing job."
Dancing With the Stars has yet to announce a season premiere date, as well as all of the famous faces and their pro partners who will be competing for the win this season. Competing last season were celebrities such as Nelly, Nev Schulman, Johnny Weir, Justina Machado, Chrishell Stause, Jeannie Mai and Carole Baskin, and the pro lineup included the return of Sharna Burgess and Chigvintsev and Keo Motsepe, who had last competed in Season 27. Two new pros, Daniella Karagach and Britt Stewart, also competed for the first time after previously participating as members of the dance troupe.