Dancing With the Stars is getting ready to begin on its next chapter, and Mirrorball champion Alfonso Ribeiro is coming along for the ride.
On July 14, news broke that Tyra Banks is returning to host Dancing With the Stars season 31, accompanied by her new co-host Alfonso. Dancing With the Stars fans may remember the 50-year-old Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor winning season 19 of the competition in 2014. A year later, he took over for Tom Bergeron as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. In a twist of events, history is repeating itself as Alfonso will once again be stepping into the shoes of the comedian, who co-hosted Dancing With the Stars from 2005 to 2020.
Apart from Dancing With the Stars fans showering Alfonso with congratulatory messages, judge Bruno Tonioli virtually greeted Alfonso with open arms on Twitter. “Welcome back to the family @alfonso_ribeiro can’t wait for the fun to begin,” he wrote.
Over on Instagram, Bruno continued the celebration by sharing Alfonso’s exciting news in his Instagram Stories. The judge posted a screenshot of Alfonso’s special video announcement, which was shared on Instagram and Twitter. “I love Dancing With the Stars so much, this season I asked for a front-row seat,” Alfonso said in the clip. “Well, guess what, Alfonso? You got it. I cannot wait to see you in the ballroom!” Tyra added.
“I am so excited to be the new cohost of Dancing With the Stars, and I’m excited as all of you to see this season’s contestants compete for the Mirrorball,” he concluded.
So far, it appears that Bruno is the only judge to speak out about the hosting news. As of Friday afternoon, Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek Hough hadn’t shared their thoughts on social media. As for head judge Len Goodmanhe isn’t active online, but he’ll also be in the ballroom in September.
Alfonso’s announcement comes about two years after Tom and Erin Andrews were let go as long time co-hosts. In July 2020, Tom shared that the competition series would be “without continuing [him].” Erin thank you ABC and the Dancing With the Stars family for six seasons on the show, which “wouldn’t have been as special without [her] loving host Tom” and others.
Tom later revealed that he “wasn’t surprised” by the decision because “the show that [he] left was not the show that [he] loved.” What’s more, Alfonso also spoke out about the casting change.
“I would’ve never made that decision, obviously. I think Tom and Erin are the backbone of the show,” Alfonso told Us Weekly at the time. “I have no idea where they’re going to go and what changes they want to make and why and how these decisions were made. But I think people like myself will absolutely miss Tom and Erin. It’ll be hard for me to see the show in whatever new form it is.”
That said, he still rooted for Tyra as the new solo host. The two go back to their acting days together. “I definitely wish Tyra the best,” he told the outlet. “I’m hoping that she does a great job. But it’s hard. It’s going to be hard for me to watch it without Tom in there.”
In case you’re wondering, Alfonso will continue hosting AFV when Dancing With the Stars makes its historic debut on Disney+ later this fall.
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