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Tyra Banks tapped to host Dancing With the Stars

Tyra Banks will be showing off her moves as solo host of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.

The supermodel, actor and producer, who co-created America’s Next Top Model, will replace longtime host Tom Bergeron. She will also take on the role of executive producer, ABC said late Tuesday.

In a statement, Banks said she’s a fan of the show’s approach of “fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances … it’s always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk.”

Banks also commented on her new role on Twitter.

“So excited to be hosting and producing the new @DancingABC. There’s so much legacy. Can’t wait to bring the fierce, the fun and the SMIZE,” she posted, referring to an expression she has used to denote “smiling with your eyes.”

She described having ambitious plans for the upcoming season in an interview Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“It’s gonna be next level. We’re doing all this crazy stuff, taking to the next level, but still keeping the stuff that we know America loves. But you need to get ready, ’cause it’s gonna be different,” she said.

Banks also teased on Good Morning America that she “cannot confirm or deny” whether or not Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was approached to compete.

“I don’t know if he would do this right now. But I can imagine, once we have our cure [for COVID-19], once we have our vaccine, I don’t know, he might have to come on and do a little cha-cha-cha to celebrate,” she noted.

Banks lauded Bergeron, host of the show since its 2005 debut, as having set “a powerful stage” and said she’s excited to continue the legacy. Banks will be the reality series’ first solo host, as well as its first African-American host.

Banks replaces former co-hosts Tom Bergeron, left, and Erin Andrews. (Associated Press)

Co-host Erin Andrews also is leaving the series, which ABC said is getting a “creative refresh” while honouring America’s affection for it. Andrews was not expected to be replaced.

When the show will get to unveil its new approach in season No. 29 remains clouded by the pandemic-caused production halt affecting the return of most TV series.

The announcement that Banks is joining the show followed news Monday of Bergeron and Andrews’ exits. In a Twitter post, Bergeron called working on Dancing With the Stars an “incredible 15-year run and the most unexpected gift of my career.”

Last year, Bergeron drew attention when he expressed concern over the show’s decision to include former White House press secretary Sean Spicer among the contestants for last fall’s season.

Bergeron tweeted then that he had suggested to producers the new season be a “joyful respite from our exhausting political climate” and urged them to avoid “divisive bookings.”

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