Regular viewers of Dancing With the Stars are used to the comfortable chemistry between regular hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. That mix has been shaken up already once this season, as Tom Bergeron took time off to be with his father as he confronted illness and Alfonso Ribeiro filled in. Now, Erin Andrews is set to take some time off from Dancing With the Stars and a former contestant, actor Leah Remini, is taking her place.
But this time, it’s for a mere scheduling-related reason. Andrews does double-duty as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports in addition to her gig on Dancing With the Stars. She’ll be participating in the Fox World Series coverage and will come back to the ballroom once that event is over. As People reported, it may be a bit of deja-vu for DWTS fans, as Remini also filled in for Andrews during the World Series last year.
Leah Remini has long been part of the Dancing With the Stars family. She and Tony Dovolani were eliminated just before the finals in season 17. This year, Dovolani was paired with Kim Zolciak, but the Real Housewives star had to withdraw after suffering a minor stroke in September. Remini reminded her Instagram followers of her relationship with Dovolani by posting a picture of them together.
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) October 16, 2015
As E! reported, Remini won’t be the only guest on Monday night’s program. As part of “Famous Dances” week, pop icon and Grease star Olivia Newton-John will be a guest judge. Newton-John joins a long line of guest judges this season, which has included Ribeiro and former pro, Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Andrews also made news over the weekend for her lawyers’ request to increase damages in a civil lawsuit filed after she was unknowingly videotaped through a hotel peephole in 2008. The suit was originally filed in 2010 and names Marriott International, West End Hotel Partners, Windsor Capital Group, and Michael David Barrett — the man who taped her — as co-defendants. Andrews is asking for damages of $75 million, up from $10 million, according to Sports Illustrated. As the stars and hosts gear up for another week of Dancing With the Stars, Remini and Bergeron have been tweeting the action. She also made a subtle joke about how she’ll be welcomed back by Bergeron.
Bergeron responded by reminding Remini what’s really important.
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) October 18, 2015
Dancing With the Stars is now down to nine contestant pairs. They have already survived the dreaded “switch up,” when celebrities are paired with different professional partners. They have also gone through the emotional upheaval of the “Most Memorable Year” week, when celebrities recount a significant period in their lives. There are many front runners these season, including wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin, former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, and Tamar Braxton.
Dancing With the Stars airs Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.
[Main image (left) Aaron Davidson / Getty Images Entertainment; (right) Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images Entertainment]