Alfonso Ribeiro is back in the ballroom: The former “Dancing with the Stars” champ will co-host the show with Tyra Banks when Season 31 premieres on Disney+ in the fall, the network announced Thursday.
“’Dancing with the Stars’ has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I am ecstatic to officially rejoin this tight-knit family as co-host,” Ribeiro said in a statement. “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+.”
“I’ve known Alfonso since I was 19 years old and he always puts a smile on my face whenever I see him,” said Banks, who recurred on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” “Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as co-host warms my heart. Plus, he’s won the competition before, so he knows exactly what the stars are going through. Bantering back and forth with him live is going to be so much fun!””
SEE Everything to know about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 31
In addition, Disney+ also confirmed that all four judges, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough will be back.
Ribeiro won Season 19 of “Dancing” in fall 2014 with partner Witney Carson and had frequently returned to the show since, including to serve as a guest judge and host. This will be the second time he’s following in Tom Bergeron‘s footsteps as he also took over hosting duties from Bergeron on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” in 2015. Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews, of course, were fired from “Dancing” in July 2020 as part of a creative revamp and were replaced by Banks, who also serves as executive producer. The supermodel’s performance over two seasons has been highly divisive (even former champ and co-host Brook Burke thinks she’s ill-fitted), so it’s not surprising TPTB would bring in a co-host to mitigate the criticism.
After 16 years and 30 seasons on ABC, “Dancing” will move to Disney+ for Seasons 31 and 32 and will be the streaming service’s first live series. A Season 31 premiere date will be announced at a later time.
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