Alfonso Ribeiro has danced in place of Tom Bergeron not once, but twice. And if the new co-host of Dancing with the Stars had his way, he would like to fill Bergeron’s shoes over and over and over again. Ribeiro talked to Matt Cohen about co-hosting DWTS and how he’s used to following in Bergeron’s footsteps before the season 31 premiere on Disney+ on September 19.
Ribeiro took over Bergeron’s job as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos in October 2015, after Bergeron had been in charge for 15 seasons. Ribeiro has also co-hosted DWTS in the past. Also in October 2015, Ribeiro took over for Bergeron in one episode because Bergeron had to be with his sick father. When he got the call this summer that they wanted him to be a permanent co-host, Ribeiro said he called Bergeron to talk about it. They joked about Ribeiro once again following in Bergeron’s footsteps.
Ribeiro tells channel, “Tom and I talk every once in a while.” “I was thinking, “Tom needs to get another big show, because when AFV and Dancing With the Stars end, I’ll need another job.” Listen, I don’t care. Get a good one, and I’ll come get that one when you’re done. We always make jokes about that. I really do follow in his steps.” Bergeron talked about how happy he was when Ribeiro was named the new co-host. But Ribeiro’s longtime friend and co-host of DWTS, Tyra Banks, might be the most excited person about it.
Banks explained why the show needed a second host when it moved from ABC to Disney+. “So, now that Disney+ is here, there’s a whole new way to do the show, and I can’t host it by myself,” says Banks. “We knew we needed a co-host because there would be no commercials and we would need to clear the sets. They told me one name. One. The one. Ribeiro, you were not at the bottom of the list. The first time, I told him to stop right there. I thought, “Everyone is going to be crazy about this.””
That’s right. Ribeiro and Banks worked together on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which was Banks’s first acting job. Banks says, “I love this man.” “I remember that we would fight on set. I had just turned 19. He would make fun of me. I would tease him right back. It went well.” Banks says, “I remember two things very clearly.” Those aren’t the only things she remembers. “One is that you would hear Will Smith before you saw him. So, he was a great boss.
He’d walk in and say, “What’s up, everyone?” The way he said that he saw energy was just like this. I was also young and not sure of myself. First job as an actor. I had no idea what I was doing, and this was a family. And it wasn’t just the Banks family; they were a real loving family. So, it was great to hear his voice. Alfonso came along next. Alfonso was great, and I felt a weird warmth with you, but I also felt like I was teasing a brother.”
But they know each other outside of the NBC show. When they went to the same middle school in Los Angeles, Ribeiro was in the seventh grade and Banks was in the fourth grade. She remembers Ribeiro doing commercials for Michael Jackson and other TV work that made him popular at school.
“At lunchtime, he always had these fans around him,” Banks said. “Even though you didn’t know it, I took your picture, and I still have it. It was crazy. Then Gary Coleman came to our school the next year. It was like the school for stars. I wasn’t a famous person, but I was after all of you.”
Banks thinks that Ribeiro’s past success on DWTS (he won season 19 with Whitney Carson as his partner) will only make him a better host. Banks says, “He knows everything about this show, from how it works to how it makes people feel. I mean, he really knows it. So when he spends time with these dancers and stars, he’s like, ‘I’ve been in your space.'”
Dakota Cameron is a seasoned web content writer and covers the Hollywood movies for the MovieThop Website
Ms. Cameron began his professional life as a freelance blogger. Later, he worked for Witbe as a content writer for two years. His interests include blogging, reading, movies and travel.
Ms. Cameron graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication from University State of Georgia University. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and other languages.