Tom Bergeron‘s got jokes, and Tyra Banks loves them. In July, the former “Dancing with the Stars” host had a cheeky response to the supermodel replacing him and Erin Andrews, dryly tweeting that he wouldn’t “be getting back my monogrammed towels.” And you can bet Banks saw it.
“I haven’t heard from them specifically. However, I do have to tell you, Tom Bergeron, that I feel like you speak to me through Twitter,” Banks told “Us Weekly (watch above). “I’ve enjoyed that so much. And he made a really beautiful, highly intelligent — ’cause [the] man’s genius — highly intelligent joke. And on Twitter, he said something like, ‘Well, it looks like they’re not going to return my monogram towels.’
“You know, that’s a deep joke. You got to go two levels down,” she continued, explaining their shared initials in case you still haven’t figured it out.
The “America’s Next Top Model” creator tried to respond to Bergeron — “kind of joking back with some respect and deference to him” — but she gave up when her tweet wouldn’t go through for hours because, as luck would have it, that was the day that Twitter was hacked, preventing verified accounts from tweeting.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, I thought Tom Bergeron was blocking me.’ I was like freaking out, like ‘What is happening?!'” Banks recalled. “I started trying to tweet a bunch of friends and stuff and I saw nothing was going through, so I was like, ‘Phew.’ So I wanted to joke back that I would give him his towels or keep them or something, but I also told him I’m going to mess up, I’m human … and for him to slip into the DMs and let me know, ‘Yo, you could’ve done that better.’ So I have huge shoes to fill and I respect him so much.”
Banks knows that it will be a “challenge” to follow the beloved Bergeron, who had hosted since “Dancing’s” 2005 inception, and Andrews, who joined as co-host in 2014. “They lead the show. This is one of the top-rated shows in the world,” she said. “So me respecting the stage that they have set and then adding my icing to that, I feel confident about that. But of course, it’s a challenge, but I don’t back away from challenges.”
She also understands that many fans are upset about the massive shake-up, but is hoping that they will tune in and give her a chance.
“I think change is inherent in life,” Banks, who will also be an executive producer, said. “Change is one of the most difficult things, like, scientifically proven, to accept — change from your kid, you know, empty nest syndrome and your kid leaving the house or changing jobs or changing a host of a show that you liked. These are like the things that are like, ‘Ah!’ But I think the important thing is to say, ‘You know what? Let me check this out.’ This is what I have no problem with. … It’s just a part of how I’m made. I tend to prefer a challenge. Oftentimes, the wind has been at my face. I’m just kind of used to that and so it’s my job to show everybody that I can do this so that I can entertain you. And that I could give you the show that you love with some ice cream sprinkles on top that you didn’t even know that you wanted.”
“Dancing” premieres Monday at 8/7c on ABC.