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Tom Bergeron Firmly Declines Return to “Dancing with the Stars” After Feeling ‘Betrayed’ by Sean Spicer Casting

Tom Bergeron
Tom Bergeron (Credits: TV Line)

Tom Bergeron, the former long-serving host of “Dancing with the Stars,” who bid farewell to the show in 2020, has unequivocally stated that he has no intention of returning to the ABC competition program.

In an intimate conversation on Cheryl Burke’s podcast, “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans,” Bergeron explained his reasons for this resolute decision. He conveyed his sentiments by reflecting on the transformation he witnessed in the show’s dynamics. “It’s not the same show. It’s not the same world,” he lamented, alluding to the profound shifts in the show’s character.

Bergeron candidly articulated his departure, emphasizing that the show he left behind no longer resembled the one he held dear for the majority of his tenure, which he characterized as “wonderful.” The catalyst for his estrangement from the show commenced in the final year of his hosting tenure, following what he described as a profound sense of betrayal.

Tom Bergeron

Tom Bergeron (Credits: CNN)

This perceived betrayal stemmed from the controversial casting of former Donald Trump aide Sean Spicer for Season 28. According to Bergeron, he had prior discussions with “DWTS” showrunners where they agreed to steer clear of politics, especially during a contentious presidential election cycle. He stressed that his concerns were not politically motivated but were rooted in his vision of what the show should be. “This, to me, felt like a darker period of our history, and we were fueling that fire. And I just felt it was wrong. I felt it was a disservice to the show,” he asserted.

Bergeron’s disillusionment reached a point where he even suggested taking a season off, but this idea was met with an offer to release him from his contract, which deeply frustrated him. His public opposition to Spicer’s inclusion in “DWTS” created headlines, and he revealed that neither ABC nor the show’s producers were aware of his statement beforehand.

In a statement made in August 2019, Bergeron underscored the prerogative of the show’s producers and the network to make decisions in the best interests of the franchise. Amid his disagreements with the showrunners and the network, he foresaw that it was likely his final season on the show.

Although he endeavored to remain impartial during his hosting tenure, he admitted to experiencing profound frustration and discomfort throughout Season 28. He credited his co-host Erin Andrews for her unwavering support but confessed that he was profoundly dissatisfied with the experience.

Ultimately, in 2020, “DWTS” parted ways with both Bergeron and Andrews. They were replaced by Tyra Banks, who has also moved on from the show. Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough now serve as the current hosts of the program.

Looking back, Bergeron expressed relief that the show had found its footing once more, thanks to the new hosts. He conveyed his happiness for everyone currently involved with “DWTS.”

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