Earlier this month, fans of the ABC reality television competition “Dancing With The Stars” were shocked when host Tom Bergeron, who had been with the show since it premiered back in 2005, was abruptly fired and replaced by supermodel Tyra Banks. Now, former “DWTS” professional dancer Derek Hough has broken his silence to address the firings of Bergeron and his cohost Erin Andrews.
“My initial reaction — I guess I was pretty shocked. Tom Bergeron is such a staple of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ and he’s a good friend of mine. We’re friends, and he’s a good man and he’s been there since the beginning, and he’s just a great guy,” Hough said, according to Fox News. “But you also understand that we’re in the entertainment industry, nothing is certain, and there’s always these efforts to reinvigorate and switch things up. So, you look at that and go, that’s also understandable, I think.”
Hough appeared on “DWTS” for seven seasons, winning six of them before moving on to become a judge on NBC’s “World of Dance” with Jennifer Lopez. He went on to add that he is sure Banks, who has hosted shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “America’s Next Top Model,” will do a great job.
“To be honest, Tyra Banks, I actually… I think she’s fantastic. I thought she was a fantastic host on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ I thought she did an amazing job. So, I feel optimistic for that switch-up,” he said. “I think she’ll be fantastic. But as far as my history and my friendship, I was definitely shocked about Tom Bergeron, for sure.”
“For me, I’m always sort of a cheerleader for shows to succeed,” Hough explained. “For me, especially for shows I’ve been a part of, that I love and I hold dear to my heart, I want ‘Dancing With the Stars’ to succeed and do well, so I hope it does.”
This comes weeks after former “DWTS” winner Alfonso Ribeiro of “Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” fame blasted ABC for firing Bergeron.
“I’ve texted back and forth with Tom. I would’ve never made that decision, obviously. I think Tom and Erin are the backbone of the show,” Ribeiro told Us Weekly. “I have no idea where they’re going to go and what changes they want to make and why and how these decisions were made. But I think people like myself will absolutely miss Tom and Erin. It’ll be hard for me to see the show in whatever new form it is.”