The former Mirrorball champion will join Tyra Banks and the entire production as it shifts from ABC to Disney+ this fall.
A new network home isn’t the only big change coming to “Dancing with the Stars” when it returns this fall for a new season exclusively on Disney+. The veteran reality show is also welcoming back a familiar face.
Last week, it was announced that Alfonso Ribeiro would be joining Tyra Banks as a co-host when the series kicks off its 31st season. Banks has been getting mixed reviews since taking over as host in Season 29.
Alfonso Ribeiro Joins Tyra Banks as Dancing with the Stars Co-Host
Two seasons in and she’s still very awkward and stilted, while many argue she makes the moment more about herself and sucks the fun out of the room. Well, that’s exactly what the addition of Ribeiro is hoping to resolve.
Of course, long-time fans are still not over the fact that “DWTS” had a perfectly good hosting pair in place. Tom Bergeron had helmed the show since its first season with great charm and affability. The addition of Erin Andrews in Season 18 created a rock-solid duo.
They were shockingly dumped in favor of Banks when ABC sought to revamp the show as it aged and its audience aged right along with it. Unfortunately, the retooling didn’t do much to change its trajectory, and negative reactions to Banks’ hosting ability didn’t help.
So what do Bergeron and Andrews think of this latest tweak to a formula many would argue didn’t need fixing? Well, Bergeron thinks the hiring of Ribeiro is the second thing the production has gotten right.
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Sharing a collage of Ribeiro’s time on the show to his Instagram (he was the eventual winner of the 19th season), Bergeron’s caption read, “Now, getting Conrad Green back as DWTS showrunner is only ONE of their smartest decisions. Here’s the other one 👏🏼.”
“I agree on both,” Andrews wrote in the comments, with both offering their congratulations to the “Fresh Prince” alum. And Ribeiro jumped into the comments himself, telling Bergeron, “I just hope I can make you proud.”
Bergeron’s response to that? “I have no doubt 😉👍🏼.”
Ironically, this marks the second time that Ribeiro will take over hosting a show from Bergeron. After the latter stepped down from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” in 2015, Ribeiro took over that role.
One thing this new pairing does have going for it is a long, genuine friendship between Banks and Ribeiro, who’ve known one another for nearly 20 years now after she appeared on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
“Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as cohost warms my heart,” said Banks in a statement. “Bantering back and forth with him live is going to be so much fun!”
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For Ribeiro, the new gig is like a homecoming, as he developed real friendships with the team over at “Dancing with the Stars.” He hinted that he’ll be performing more of the patter with dancers and celebrities (one of Banks’ weakest parts), much as Andrews did during her tenure.
“My goal is to bring back a sense of the happy and the fun, and the family atmosphere, that this show has always felt like for me,” he told People upon the announcement.
“I want to become friends with all of the contestants this year, and allow myself to kind of be able to really just sit and talk with them,” he continued. “And after their dance, I want to get honest, and true feelings from them and make people laugh and make people smile again.”
“Dancing with the Stars” has already been picked up for Seasons 31 and 32. Airing for the first time as a live show on Disney+, the new season is expected to premiere this fall.