Tom Bergeron Denied Returning “DWTS” Before Host News Season 31

Tom Bergeron and Alfonso Ribeiro. Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock; Jim Smeal/Shutterstock

A fight for the ballroom? Tom Bergeron was asked about a possible return to Dancing with the stars days before Alfonso Ribeiro and Tyra Banks have been announced as cohosts for season 31.

“Thursday on @GMA, special announcement via @officialdwts. Hope it’s a new host! @Tom_Bergeron will you be in NYC??????” a social media user asked the former America’s Funniest Home Videos host, 67, on Tuesday 12 June. Bergeron quickly shut down the speculation with a simple answer: “No. We’re sorry.”

Two days after Bergeron refused to return to the long-running dance competition, Ribeiro, 50, announced he would be teaming up with Banks, 48, to helm season 31.Dancing with the stars has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I’m thrilled to officially rejoin this close-knit family as a co-host,” said the Season 19 winner and former guest host in a press release on Thursday, July 14 “Tyra and I have a longstanding friendship that I hope will resonate with all fans at home as we launch this new season on Disney+.

Banks, who took over as the host in 2020 ahead of season 29, gushed about her new co-host in a statement of her own. “I’ve known Alfonso since I was 19 and he always puts a smile on my face when I see him,” said the former America’s Next Top Model Personality said then. “Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as a cohost warms my heart. Joking back and forth live with him will be so much fun!”

In July 2020 Bergeron – who started hosting – started DWTS in 2005 – announced via Twitter that he and Cohost Erin Andrews had been ousted from the reality TV series. “I just shared that @DancingABC will continue without me,” he wrote at the time, just before Banks was named the new host. “It’s been an incredible 15 years of running and the most unexpected gift of my career. I am grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships. So what am I supposed to do with all these glitter masks now?”

In the wake of Hollywood Squares Alum’s controversial departure, Ribeiro told exclusively Us weekly that he couldn’t imagine the show happening with anyone other than Bergeron. “I texted back and forth with Tom. Of course, I would never have made that decision. I think Tom and Erin are the backbone of the show Fresh Prince of Bel Air alum said in July 2020. “I have no idea where they are going and what changes they plan to make and why and how those decisions were made. But I think people like me will absolutely miss Tom and Erin. It’s going to be hard for me to watch the show in whatever new form.”

He continued, “Sometimes I look at things and I’m like, ‘Why don’t we just do a new show?’ … We love Tom and for me Tom is the best presenter on TV. … I hope so [Tyra] does a great job. But it is difficult. It’s going to be hard for me to see it without Tom.”

Back then, the silver spoon Alum also joked that he didn’t “want to do everything [Bergeron’s] Gigs after joining as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos in 2015. “And at the end of the day, the AFV [exit] was no shot. It was he who left and that made it possible for me to go,” Ribiero told Us. “I never want to take on someone’s job like that. Yes. That has nothing to do [with] Whoever you hire, of course, but because I’m so close to them, it just didn’t feel right for them to approach me.”

Despite all the drama surrounding his departure, Bergeron has made it clear that he doesn’t hold a grudge against his ex DWTS Family – or the fans of the show. “When people say, ‘I’m not going to watch until you get back,’ I say, ‘Well, there’s really no ‘until here,'” he said TV program in December 2020. “This train has left the station. I appreciate the feeling and I don’t blame anyone when they do it [watch].”

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