Dancing with the Stars pro Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy spoke out about working with Tyra Banks on Season 29 after Tom Bergeron was controversially let go earlier this year. In a new interview, the dancer admitted she misses the former host and found the change “hard,” but also has a lot of love for her new co-worker.
Jenna described Tom as the “face of the show” while speaking to Pop Culture recently, referring to how he fronted every single season since the ABC series began in 2005. She added that “change is always hard” and said she’s “absolutely” missed him this season.
“I feel like Tom is all of our dance dad. I joined the show when I was 19 years old… And I feel like he took me under his wing. And so I will always have massive love for Tom Bergeron.”
But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have love for Tyra, too. Jenna explained that she’s been a massive fan of the America’s Next Top Model mogul for a long time and has enjoyed working with her over the past several weeks.
“She’s at my workplace… I’m looking face-to-face with Tyra Banks. If you would’ve told me this at 12 years old, I would have never believed you,” she said, calling the Life Size actress “iconic.”
“I adore her. I think that she is so sweet. [She’s] been a great addition to the Dancing with the Stars family.”
It was announced in July that Tyra would join the series as sole host and executive producer, replacing Tom and co-host Erin Andrews. Tom fronted 28 seasons, while Erin stood by his side from Seasons 18 to 28.
The decision was met with a wave of criticism from fans, with Tyra repeatedly having to defend herself after being put on blast by viewers calling for Tom to return.
However, he’s admitted that the chances of him hosting again are pretty slim.
He told social media influencer Jessica Madison after she urged him to return last month that the “train has left the station.”
Tyra will front her first ever DWTS finale next week, and Jenna is still in the running to potentially take home her second mirrorball trophy. She and partner Nev Schulman received perfect scores for both dances during last night’s (November 16) semifinal.
She and the Catfish host and producer performed a Foxtrot to Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times” and a Contemporary dance to “If the World Was Ending” by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels.
Jenna last won the show in 2018 with Adam Rippon.