DWTS Producer Explains Tom Bergeron firing, Derek Hough to Dance

(ABC/Eric McCandless) TYRA BANKS

During an ABC press conference, Dancing with the Stars producer Andrew Llinares defended his move to replace long time hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews with Tyra Banks.

Changing the host is all about evolution, says DWTS chief

“It’s all about evolution,” he told reporters Wednesday (Sept 30) during Day 2 of ABC’s virtual fall press day. “Any show like this that has been on for many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve. So I think changing that host is all about evolution. It was all about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new and make it reach out to a new audience — as well as the audience that’s been there for years.”

Despite a noticeable backlash from fans to Tyra’s hosting skills, or lack thereof, Llinares believes switching from a two-host format to one has been “working brilliantly.” And indeed, he may have a point. Dancing with the Stars ratings have improved year over year for all three weeks so far. 

It gets a little boring, says chief about hosting change

“I think it’s really refreshed the pace of the show. It’s taken it to a new place, in terms of moving fast and feeling different. I think that there’s a real danger when a show has been on for a long time that the audience almost gets bored of the rhythm of it. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with it, just that it gets a little boring,” he said. “I think it’s changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way. I think Tyra is doing an amazing, amazing job. It’s been wonderful having her energy in the ballroom and her expertise as a host in the ballroom. She’s brought a new life to everything.”

Llinares insists ditching Tom and Erin was necessary to keep the show “relevant.”  

Does the show feel fresh, exciting and new?

“When a show’s been on for this many seasons, it’s very easy to stay in a place where it doesn’t feel like there’s anything wrong but does the show feel fresh, exciting and new? It’s really tough… We’ve always been successful on all those shows where we continue to evolve and continue to move things on. That’s something we’ve been doing right across the board with this show,” Llinares explained. “The host is part of it, bringing Derek [Hough] in is part of it, but also throughout the fabric of everything on the show — the set has been updated, it feels more current and the way we’re filming the packages… all of those things take the show into a place where it feels more current. We wanted to make the show feel relevant, but still hold on to the heart of the show.”

Hm. Tyra’s clunky hosting doesn’t make for a great pace. But the ratings are up, and in the end that is all that matters.

Derek Hough and girlfriend Hayley Erbert will perform on Oct 19

Some more notes from the virtual session, which also included Tyra and Derek Hough:

  • Derek Hough and his girlfriend and DWTS alum Hayley Erbert will perform a routine on October 19. It will be his first in-show dance since 2o17.
  • Theme weeks are taking place every other week. The next one is 80’s Night on October 12. It will be a combination of 80’s fashion, movies and music. October 26 is Halloween aka “Villains Night.” The dancers will take on a famous fictional villain.
  • Llinares said the original plan was to have four judges. But COVID restrictions means only “sprinkles” of Len Goodman this season. Travel restrictions are keeping him in the UK. Additionally, at 80, he’s part of a vulnerable population.
  • Llinares says” “Everything is more focused on the couple [dancing] than it has been in a long time.” Agreed. Keeping the focus on the two dancers has been a refreshing change.


About mj santilli 34837 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!