Tom Bergeron Reacts to Alfonso Ribeiro Hosting ‘DWTS’ Season 31

Tom Bergeron, Alfonso Ribeiro
ABC (2)

Passing the ballroom baton Tom Bergeronwas quick to congratulate the newcomers Dancing With the StarsHost Alfonso Ribeiro ahead of the show’s 31st season.

“Now, getting Conrad Green back as DWTS showrunner is only ONE of their smartest decisions. Here’s the other one 👏🏼,” Bergeron, 67, captioned an Instagram collage of throwback photos from when Ribeiro, 50, competed on the ABC series shortly after the casting switch was announced on Thursday, July 14. “Congratulations, buddy!”

Bergeron’s former cohost, Erin AndrewsThe comments also supported the news. “I agree on both! Congrats @therealalfonsoribeiro,” she gushed.

The Bel-Air: The Fresh Prince alum returned the loving tribute, telling Bergeron in a sweet response, “I just hope I can make you proud.” The Massachusetts native replied, “I have no doubt 😉👍🏼.”

Ribeiro, who was previously the winner of the mirrorball trophy in 2014 together with his pro partner Witney CarsonOn Thursday, he announced that he would be joining Tyra BanksThis fall, the competition will be streaming from the ballroom. “Dancing with the Stars has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I am ecstatic to officially re-join this tight-knit family as cohost,” he noted in a press release. “Tyra and I have a longstanding friendship that I hope will resonate with all of the fans at home as we kick off this new season on Disney+.”

Banks, 48, was just as excited. “I’ve known Alfonso since I was 19 years old and he always puts a smile on my face whenever I see him,” the supermodel gushed in a statement of her own. “Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as cohost warms my heart. Bantering back and forth with him live is going to be so much fun!”

The Life-Size star took over hosting duties in July 2020 ahead of season 29 — and Bergeron hinted that he was blindsided by the shakeup. “Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” the former America’s Funniest Home VideosThe host tweeted the following at the time. “It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I’m grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?”

Many viewers had doubts about the show’s ability to continue without Bergeron, 44, and Andrews. After a difficult transition period in which Banks settled into the role of the lead, the Hollywood Squares alum shed some light on his exit.

“In all candor, the show that I left was not the show that I loved,” he said during an October 2021 appearance on “Bob Saget’s Here for You” podcast. “So, the end of the season that turned out to be my last season [in 2019]I knew, at least in part. So I took everything from my dressing room that I wanted. … It was kind of obvious that we were kind of butting heads.”

The comedian went on to say he “wasn’t surprised” by his firing, reassuring fans that he wasn’t trying to sound like “a whiny millionaire” with his quips on social media. “I mean, look. I had great fortune,” Bergeron added. “I mean, I had two network shows running simultaneously for the better part of a decade and a half.”

He was the new king long before he was officially named. DWTSRibeiro was supported by his former partner. “Tom has been around for so long. He is really the heart of the show,” Carson, 28, exclusively told UseAugust 2020. “He’s like an uncle to me too. … I texted Alfonso and I’m like, ‘You’re the new host, aren’t you? Tell me!’ And he’s like, ‘It’s not me.’ … He loves the show. He is so well-versed in dance and in hosting. So I just thought he’d be a perfect fit.”

Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as the editors break down the most important entertainment news stories each week!
Listen on Google Play Music