Who wouldn’t want to hear “Liiiiiiiiiive” shouted with unparalleled gusto once more?
Ambushed in front of a Santa Monica Whole Foods TMZ, Tyra Banks has announced her exit from Dancing with the Stars. The showrunner for the past three seasons appeared to break the news before BBC Studios or Disney+ producers made an official announcement. “I think it’s time to move from the dance floor to the stock market … from the ballroom to the boardroom,” he said. The move comes after original judge Len Goodman, who has been on the show since its inception in 2005, announced his retirement from the show.
This writer and “Dancing with the Stars” superfan has only one answer for who the next host should be: Tom Bergeron. The host of the first 28 seasons was the heart, soul and DNA of the glittering series and deserves a chance to return. (When asked if Bergeron was approached about the concert, his representative did not comment.)
Change can be good, and there’s no doubt that Banks has grown into the role. It got even better when co-host and former DWTS winner Alfonso Ribeiro was the foil. And the move to Disney+ resulted in the best creative collaboration in the show in years, getting rid of annoying commercials and simplifying everything. With commercials, “DWTS” was the ultimate “DVR and watch it later” show.
Continuity is a key part of the “DWTS” formula, as we see the same pros return year after year to put the D-listers in their dancing shoes — I still don’t know that Jenna Johnson and Sharna Burgess weren’t part of the team. last season. We can also witness new stars emerge from the ranks of the dance troupe performing as stand-ins between competitions, and see some rise to ‘pro’ status – such as the great Britt Stewart. It’s fun to follow people over time and see how they develop.
The same is true at the judge’s table. Goodman’s departure is especially sad because it represented the greatest continuity for the reality show’s judges. He, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli served together for 17 years and 31 seasons. Longtime pro Derek Hough joined the table later.
For a show built on continuity, the way Bergeron was fired after 28 seasons didn’t sit well with me and many viewers. HE then he hinted that it was because he protested for producers who like political firebrands (or their relatives) as contenders to generate heightened TMZ-level interest. They were almost always right-wing: Tom Delay, Tucker Carlson, Bristol Palin, Sean Spicer—perhaps to court even more of the show’s (very large) older demographic. It’s always been an odd strategy. In order to appeal to the people who wanted to “keep politics out” of mindless entertainment—the same people who opposed black athletes kneeling during NFL games—politics were injected into mindless entertainment.
The show has moved away from leading the controversy over the past three years, meaning it would be the perfect setting for Bergeron to return. His exhortation: “Liiiiiiive!” every episode was the primal scream of reality TV, a scream from the screen into everyone’s living room that TV’s greatest ongoing exercise at camp was taking place in an increasingly sequined, non-spray-tanned, and lackluster world. The “Liiiiiiiive” cry, as essential to the show as the Mirror Ball Trophy itself, deserves to be heard again.
We deserve to hear it again. Come back, Tom.
The ballroom needs you.
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