Former “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Derek Hough will always have fond memories of working on the reality competitions series with former hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.
The dancer, 35, spoke with Bevy Smith on her radio show “Bevelations” about the recent shakeup in casting. It was announced earlier this month that the hosts’ contracts were not renewed and Tyra Banks was hired to replace them.
“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 revealed. “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.”
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Hough appeared on the ABC series for 17 seasons and won the Mirrorball six times. Now he’s a judge on NBC’s “World of Dance” with Jennifer Lopez.
The Emmy winner added that he’s sure Banks, who formerly hosted “America’s Next Top Model” and “America’s Got Talent,” will fit right in.
“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.”
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Hough added, “For me, I’m always sort of a cheerleader for shows to succeed. 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.”
Earlier this month, “DWTS” judge Carrie Ann Inaba had a very different reaction to the news.
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“I feel like it was just such sudden news,” she shared on “The Talk.” “My heart breaks for Tom and Erin.” Inaba added that as of right now she and fellow judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli plan on returning to the show.