Tyra Banks knows she has some big shoes to fill as the new host on Dancing With The Stars and she hopes to make Tom Bergeron proud when she steps on the ballroom floor in less than two weeks. Banks even hopes Bergeron will offer up some critiques during the season. When DWTS Season 29 premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, it will be the first time in the show's history without Bergeron hosting.
Banks, who has experience with competition shows thanks to her time on America's Got Talent and America's Next Top Model, told Entertainment Tonight she has nothing but respect for Bergeron. "Tom, I respect you so much. What you have done for Dancing With the Stars, there's a reason why it is a successful show," she told the former America's Funniest Home Videos host. "Yes, amazing producers, yes, amazing concepts, but [you]. I hope to do you proud, and if I make mistakes, I want you to hit me up in the DMs and let me know. Like, 'Girl, you messed that up.'" Banks said she wants to make Bergeron proud, adding, "Thank you so much."
Bergeron announced on Twitter he would not be returning to DWTS before ABC said it plans to go in a different direction for Season 29. Erin Andrews, Bergeron's co-host since 2014, is also not returning. Just a few days later, Banks was picked to host. Banks said she received a call "many months ago" from producers, who approached her with the idea of joining the show. Banks thought about it for months, but it was not until her mother told her to jump at the opportunity that she finally said yes. "I asked my mom, I was like, 'Mom, should I host and executive produce Dancing With the Stars?'" Banks recalled. "She's like, 'Should you? Girl, please, that's Americana, they need you. This isn't even a question, honey.'"
Elsewhere in the interview, Banks confirmed Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli will be back as judges at the Los Angeles studio. However, Len Goodman will have to judge from his home in England due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Banks also said former pro dancer Derk Hough is back in a "very interesting way." DWTS fans will have to wait until Good Morning America on Tuesday to find out what his role will be.
Banks said her main goal for this season will be to make DWTS a show everyone of all ages can enjoy. It is important to "continue to make sure that younger people are watching the show with their older family members, that co-viewing, of bringing everybody together," she told ET. "So I have some ideas on having a little popular dance mixed [in], we have some ideas, we'll be testing that and seeing how people are feeling that."