Why Is Alfonso Ribeiro Filling In For Tom Bergeron On ‘Dancing With The Stars’?

Dancing With the Stars will look a bit different on Monday night, as long-time host Tom Bergeron will be missing from the ballroom. As People reported on Sunday evening, Bergeron is stepping back from the stage to tend to his ill father. Alfonso Ribeiro, who won the competition last fall with pro partner Witney Carson, will fill in as host for the evening.

Bergeron paid tribute to his father on Twitter over the weekend, posting an old picture of himself with his Dad.

Tom Bergeron hails from Haverhill, Massachusetts, and returned to the town in 2009 while on a tour to promote his book, I’m Hosting as Fast as I Can! Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood. A report from the local publication Eagle Tribune said many of Bergeron’s old friends, and a teacher, showed up to praise the favored son. The well-wishers included Bergeron’s parents, Ray and Kay, who came early. Kay told the Tribune they were happy to be present when the mayor bestowed an honor on the Dancing With the Stars host.

“We wanted to be here when they give him the key to the city.”

The mayor said Bergeron never forgot his roots and the man himself had kind words for Haverhill.

“It’s nice to wrap up the tour at home. You know, it’s always nice to come back home to Haverhill, and it’s particularly flattering to be greeted as warmly as I am when I do come back.”

The People report did not provide details about when Bergeron might return to his Dancing With the Stars gig. Co-host Erin Andrews will still be on-hand to do the post-performance interviews and to share hosting duties.

After posting the picture of his father, Bergeron tweeted a note of thanks to fans who had expressed their well-wishes to his family.

Alfonso Ribeiro was a fan favorite when he won the mirror ball trophy with relative newcomer Witney Carson, who got the top prize with the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star in just her second season on the program. Carson, who is paired this season with Carlos PenaVega in an interesting husband-and-wife matchup — Alexa PenaVega is also competing this year with Mark Ballas — made news Sunday with news of her engagement.

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson 'Dancing With the Stars'

Since Alfonso won the mirror ball, he’s been back on the show a couple of times. He did the Dancing With the Stars Live! show with Carson. He also dropped by to provide moral support when chemistry with Carson’s next partner, former Bachelor Chris Soules, seemed to be lacking. Alfonso also showed up as a judge this season.

Ribeiro posted a message on Instagram confirming he’ll be stepping into Tom Bergeron’s role. He captioned the picture of Bergeron with his father and expressed emotion at the reason for the temporary casting change.

“I will be filling in for @tombergeron tomorrow night on@dancingabc. I will be there with a heavy heart for my friend Tom and the Bergeron family.”

Although no one expects Bergeron to bow out of his Dancing With the Stars role, ironically, Ribeiro did formally take over another long-running gig of Bergeron’s. As Zap2It reported in May, Ribeiro became the new host of America’s Funniest Videos, a job that was long synonymous with Bergeron.

After Alfonso expressed thanks for Bergeron’s love and support over his taking over the Videos gig, Bergeron answered with a humorous quip, taking aim at Ribeiro and his Dancing With the Stars partner.

“I only have one thing to say — and you already know from having to dance with Witney (Carson) — wear a cup.”

Last week, no one was eliminated on Dancing With the Stars due to Kim Zolciak’s health-related withdrawal.

Dancing With the Stars airs Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.

[Left image: Angela Weiss/Getty Images Entertainment; Right image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment]