Days before she’s set to helm the long-running TV dance-off, the supermodel told Glamour that she has a hard act to follow in the aftermath of exiting star Tom Bergeron’s 28-season reign.
Banks said she hasn’t been in contact with Bergeron, or fellow fired co-host Erin Andrews, since she was announced as their replacement, but that she wants to touch base.
“I want to call Tom so bad and tell him that I have some serious shoes to fill and he’s very, very talented.”
Banks is also aware of the many outraged viewers who are angry about Bergeron’s firing and are planning to boycott the upcoming 29th season of the show. She told the outlet she hopes to change their tune.
“I hope they say, ‘You know what, I’m going to stick with this.’ Like, ‘Wow…I was wrong about that.'”
Banks admitted that taking over an American institution like Dancing With The Stars is a huge “responsibility.” Because outgoing emcee Bergeron was such a comedic genius, she knows she will have to find a way to bring something new to the table while “respecting” what her predecessor has already done.
“Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy,” she said.
Despite nasty internet chatter, the America’s Next Top Model alum also made it clear that she was not hired for the DWTS role due to her skin color. Banks said she was in talks to host the ABC series “many, many months” before racial tensions began to dominate headlines. She finally came around when the offer of an executive producer credit was placed before her, but she maintained her hiring had nothing to do with the fact that she is a Black woman.
She added that following Bergeron’s long and successful run, she will simply be coming into an already-established show and making a few “tweaks.” Banks credited longtime DWTS showrunner Andrew Llinares for most of the work behind the scenes.
Last week, Banks said she has much respect for Bergeron. She credited him for the success of the show’s 28 glitter-filled seasons and even told Entertainment Tonight that she hopes to make him proud when she takes on his role. She also invited the seasoned TV personality to hit her up “in the DMs” if she makes any mistakes as the new host on Dancing With The Stars.