The two-time mirrorball champ opened up about her “dance dad” in a new interview, and she also gave her thoughts on the addition of Tyra Banks as the new host of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition that Bergeron, 65, hosted for 28 seasons before being unceremoniously cut last month alongside co-host Erin Andrews.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Cheryl, 36, told Us Weekly. “Tom is like my dance dad and that’s what I would call him on set… And he was there for our wedding and he’s been a part of my life for 15 years.”
Cheryl, who started on Dancing With the Stars in Season 2 in 2006 and won back-to-back mirrorball trophies that year with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith, added that she “never” imagined he would be let go from the show.
“I never thought that that was going to happen. I know that Tom will be a part of my family [forever].”
The pro dancer added that her longtime friend has been “super positive” amid the casting shakeup. She also described the veteran TV personality as one of her mentors and dished that he taught her about meditation, which he would always do before the live shows.
With Bergeron out, Banks will now rule the glitzy DWTS stage. But despite her close connection with the fired host, Cheryl said she’s ready for the former supermodel to work it in the ballroom.
“I think Tyra is going to be great. I mean, she is so full of energy and she’s already, like, she’s got that whole head whip thing ready to go. She’s so full of personality.”
Cheryl has been vocal about her sadness over Bergeron’s firing, although her new interview gives a bit more context to just how close their friendship is. Last month, she told Extra TV that her “heart sank” when she found out the shocking news about her pal. She said the only reason she could think of for the move was that Dancing With the Stars is going into its 29th season and perhaps the show’s executives thought it was time to “evolve a little bit.”
Cheryl added that she has “only heard great things” about Banks, but has never met her in person.
Cheryl and the other pro dancers are pumped for the new era of Dancing With the Stars. In a promo, the supermodel, who also scored a DWTS executive producer credit, has promised “next level” entertainment. Regardless, fan reaction has been mixed. Some longtime viewers have threatened to boycott the show amid Bergeron’s firing.