Tyra Banks is just days away from wrapping up her first season hosting Dancing With the Stars, and she wants to go out with a bang. The 46-year-old model took a minute on Friday to hype up the final episode to her Instagram followers. She paid tribute to the season's four finalists — Nelly, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Justina Machado and Nev Shulman — and made sure people knew how hard they (and the DWTS crews) have worked.
"Let's hear it for our stars heading to the FINALS!" Banks wrote, adding that this season has been a "new experience for everyone" working on the broadcast. "I’ve hosted TV for decades but it was my first time hosting this. It was also a new experience for the team to bring joy to homes across the country during such worldwide challenging times. But through it all, the crew came together to create such an amazing season!"
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She continued, "These stars' journeys have been intense! It’s not easy and takes courage to put yourself out there every week, especially when it's something you're not used to doing. To show up on that dance floor and say 'This is Me!' Join me in applauding them and sending them some super luck for their final dances."
Banks then polled her fans to see who they believe should win it all. "It all comes down to the FINALE this Monday, where there can only be ONE winner! Who will it be?" Banks wrote. "Show ‘em some love in the comments, and let me know who you want to see win that 2020 mirror ball!"
While Banks is putting some shine on the DWTS contestants, much of the discourse around this season has focused on her. She replaced longtime host Tom Bergeron (and co-host Erin Andrews) in what turned out to be a controversial change for viewers. At the time, ABC stressed they wanted to give the series a "fresh take."
"Tom has been an integral part of the ABC family for nearly two decades, from hosting AFV to Dancing with the Stars," Karey Burke, ABC Entertainment's president, said when the network announced the switch. "We are grateful for all he and Erin have done to make Dancing a success. As we gear up for the show's 29th season, we can't wait to welcome Tyra Banks to our Dancing stage. Tyra is an award-winning multihyphenate whose fierce female prowess and influence across many industries have made an indelible mark. Her fresh take on America's favorite dancing competition will surely bring more than a 'Smize' to fans everywhere."
The Dancing With the Stars Season 29 finale will air Monday night at 8 p.m. ET. Past performances can be seen on YouTube, and full episodes are available on Hulu.