Tyra Banks, Julianne Hough, Dancing With the Stars
Credit: ABC.

Passing the baton. Tyra Banks responded to Julianne Hough replacing her as the new Dancing With the Stars host after the model’s sudden exit following season 31.

Banks, who hosted and executive produced Dancing With the Stars from season 29 to 31, announced she was leaving the series in March 2023. Days later, news broke that Julianne — who was a professional dancer on Dancing With the Stars from 2007 to 2009 and a judge from 2014 to 2017 — would be replacing Banks as the new co-host of for season 32 alongside Alfonso Ribeiro, who was Banks’ former co-host.

“It is such an honor to be rejoining Dancing with the Stars as co-host. The show holds such a special place in my heart from the many years and different roles I have had the privilege of being a part of,” Julianne said in a statement to Variety. “The incredible team that brings the ballroom to life every night has been my family for the past 17 years. I am so excited to reunite with Alfonso, Carrie Ann, Bruno, Derek, the unbelievably talented pros, and the amazing cast on the dance floor. The energy is magnetic every time you step foot in to the ballroom and I can’t wait to feel it again — and of course to share it all with the absolute best and most loyal fans — for another exciting season.”

But what does Tyra think? Read on for Tyra Banks’ response to Julianne Hough replacing her as the new Dancing With the Stars host.

What was Tyra Banks’ response to Julianne Hough replacing her as the new Dancing With the Stars host?

Tyra Banks, Julianne Hough, Dancing With the Stars

Tyra Banks responded to Julianne Hough replacing her as the new Dancing With the Stars host in an interview with Us Weekly in March 29, 2023, in which she called Julianne the “perfect choice” to succeed her. “The businesswoman in me sees how Julianne is great on multiple levels. She’s a professional dancer. She is the sister of Derek [Hough], a DWTS multi-champion, who is now a stellar judge,” Banks said. “It’s going to be a family affair in that ballroom which people will love to watch. And she has so much personality and strong opinions backed by expertise. She’s a perfect choice! She’s gonna crush it!”

When asked what she will miss the most about her experience on Dancing With the Stars, Banks named judges Derek Hough and Carrie Ann Inaba, and her former co-host Alfonso Ribeiro (who will remain as Julianne’s co-host) as some of her favorite co-workers on the series. “I loved walking out every week in over-the-top outfits to such a hyped ballroom. Seeing Derek Hough dance in person was such a treat,” Banks said, referencing Derek’s “mind-boggling amazingness.” She continued, “I’m going to miss Carrie Ann’s kindness and warm heart and of course reminiscing with Alfonso about the good ole Fresh Prince days.”

Banks announced she was leaving as the host of Dancing With the Stars after three seasons in an interview with TMZ on March 17, 2023. “I feel it’s really time for me to focus on my business and my entrepreneurship, and also producing more TV — but behind the scenes,” Banks said. “I think it’s time to graduate from the dance floor to the stock market floor. … from the ballroom to the boardroom!” When asked if she was, in fact, leaving Dancing With the Stars, Banks — who was also an executive producer on the series — told TMZ, “Don’t you think it’s time? Yeah, I think it’s time. I’m an entrepreneur at heart. … I think my heart, my soul, is into my business, it’s also into producing new TV. … But, I really, really want to focus on my business, and you can’t do that hosting a show.”

A source told Us Weekly at the time that Banks was leaving Dancing With the Stars to focus on her ice cream brand, SMiZE Cream, which she launched in 2021 and named after her signature phrase: smize (smiling with one’s eyes.) “Tyra is constantly evolving and looking for new ways to amplify her platform, expand her brand and she always knows the right time to do it — ​ it’s part of her decades-long success,” the insider said. “Remember, she walked away from the runway to pursue hosting and executive producing. And today, her ice cream business is doing extremely well and she’s excited to focus on being an even stronger entrepreneur and launching new entertainment ventures.” The source continued, “Tyra is an innovator and a visionary so creating things from scratch is her super power. She craves spaces and places that have room for expansion and big, new ideas.”

The source also maintained that Banks still has positive relationships with Ribeiro and ABC, which aired Dancing With the Stars before its move to Disney Plus in 2022.  “Tyra so enjoyed her time doing DWTS and working with everyone involved, from production to network execs, to the cast, fans and of course, Alfonso,” the insider said. “Tyra has a really strong working relationship with ABC and has upcoming projects in the works with the network.”

Banks joined Dancing with the Stars for season 29 in 2020. She replaced former host Tom Bergeron, who hosted the series from season 1 to 28. During her first season, Banks was met with mixed reviews after she accidentally announced the wrong bottom two couples on live television, which she claimed was a mistake by production. “The world is angry at the talent, but there’s a whole control room and things happening and craziness going on,” Banks said of the moment during an appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour in August 2021. “And I’m fed certain things, say certain things that I’m told. But it is what it is.” Banks added that she felt like she had to “take darts for the team” as a result of the mistake. “I was blamed for it, and it wasn’t me,” she said. “And I think that’s very important to say.”

A source also told The Sun in October 2021 that the producers on Dancing With the Stars at the time were “on edge” due to the backlash over Banks’ casting. “Tyra is a nightmare. She is disrespectful to everyone. She gives orders and makes wild demands,” the insider said. “The viewers hate Tyra, but ABC is locked with her so they are trying.” The source continued, “Last week she wore the Britney Spears pigtails, but all the producers said she looked like the horror movie doll Annabelle. They couldn’t get her to change.”

The insider also claimed to The Sun that Banks’ alleged “energy, attitude and demands” turned Dancing With the Stars into a “toxic” work environment. “Tensions are high in the ballroom. Between low ratings, COVID outbreaks and constant managing of the Tyra backlash, the producers are on edge about everything,” the source said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if this is the last season.” The insider also noted Dancing With the Stars‘ decreasing ratings after Banks was hired as its host. “The ratings matter is of concern for executives,” the source said. “Sure headline makers are in there, but it just hasn’t as yet captured the public. Sometimes these things take time and other times the contestants do not resonate or connect to audiences.”

Dancing With the Stars is available to stream on Disney Plus.

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