Tom Bergeron had a heartwarming response to James Van Der Beek after the Dancing With the Stars alum called himself "lucky" to have competed on the ABC show before the longtime host and on-stage partner Erin Andrews were replaced by supermodel Tyra Banks ahead of Season 29.
The Dawson's Creek actor, who competed on the 2019 season Dancing With the Stars alongside pro Emma Slater, spoke fondly of the hosts during a recent interview with Us Weekly. The interview didn't go unnoticed by Bergeron, who tweeted out the article assuring Van Der Beek that it was he and Andrews who were the lucky ones to appear on the same season.
"I loved Tom and Erin," Van Der Beek said in the interview Friday. "That is such a crazy experience that show. I mean, it's 100% live. It's just a dance floor and a couple of judges and a dance thing you learned six days prior. One-shot, no do-overs, no nothing." Recalling the chaos of the live show's set, the actor said he saw Bergeron and Andrews as a comfort.
"In the middle of that was this guy who was so quick on his feet, so funny and so big-hearted," he recalled. "Then you would go to Erin, who just kept it a hundred percent real and also equally quick on her feet and just as big of a heart." He then admitted he counts himself "lucky" he was cast on Dancing With the Stars before their exit, "'Cause I really, really appreciated just how they approached it and what they were for us in the eye of that storm."
Bergeron played a very special part in a moment with Van Der Beek's mom, Melinda, who died in July. "After the contemporary [dance], [Bergeron] looked over, saw her and put a hand in my back and just kinda nudged me to go over knowing that we had the time," the Connecticut native remembered. "And so I did and I gave her a hug right afterward and it was my top memories. I'm always grateful to Tom for creating that moment."
Bergeron hosted Dancing With the Stars for 28 seasons since 2005 before announcing in July he had been let go from his job with ABC. Andrews, who hosted the show since March 2014 after competing on Season 10, was also let go. Two days later, Banks was announced as the new host. Dancing With the Stars Season 29 premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.