According to the two-time champ, the pros were told of the massive shake-up on a Zoom call shortly after Bergeron and Andrews were handed their pink slips last week.
“To be honest, I was shocked. I was sad,” Murgatroyd told “Us Weekly” (watch above). “I was sad that chapter of the show is done and it made me emotional on the call. I was, like, ‘Oh, my God, Tom’s not going to be there anymore? Like, he is the show.'”
Bergeron had been with the show since “Dancing” premiered in 2005. Andrews, who finished in third place on Season 10 in 2010 with Murgatroyd’s husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy, joined as co-host in Season 18 in 2014 (which was incidentally won by Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis). “I’m not disregarding [Erin]. She’s been incredible and an amazing host and somebody who had been through the show before with my husband, Maks,” Murgatroyd gushed. “The way that she gave insight into celebrities and she could relate to them, I think really took the show to another level.”
Murgatroyd has talked to Bergeron and Andrews since the news and says they’re doing “OK.”
Tyra Banks will take over hosting duties for the 29th installment, becoming the show’s first solo host, and will also serve as executive producer to push the series into a “new creative direction.” Murgatroyd met Banks when she was partnered with “America’s Next Top Model” champ Nyle DiMarco in Season 22, which they won.
“I’m excited to see what she brings to the show, and she’s an incredible name,” Murgatroyd said. “I have met her before [when I danced] with Nyle. She came to show with him, and she was lovely.”
It’s unclear how Season 29 will be produced due to COVID-19, but Murgatroyd shared that she’s been told they will follow “very, very strict” protocols, including daily temperature checks, quarantining, and no travel during the week.
“We’re going to be temperature-checked every day. We’re going to get COVID tests maybe every two days or something like that, so it’s going to be pretty strict,” she said. “They’re expecting us to do some sort of quarantine, not go to Vegas on a trip, not do the regular things that we might normally do. I think that it’s going to be OK. I think we need this positivity to come back into America and I think we need the show. I mean, people love it and people are at home right now, kind of doing nothing. So why not bring it back, give it a go. If we don’t succeed, we don’t succeed.”
“Dancing” is scheduled to air Mondays at 8/7c this fall.