Alfonso Ribeiro will co-host Season 31 of Dancing with the Stars with Tyra Banks.
Despite speculations to the contrary, Tyra Banks will continue to host Dancing With the Stars for Season 31. While many believed Banks would leave the show as it moved from ABC to Disney+, such belief appears to be incorrect. Banks’ reappearance was tucked away in a Wednesday night PEOPLE article.
The publication announced the model’s return for Season 31 while also revealing that she will have a co-host this time around. Fans of Dancing With the Stars, or really any TV fan in general, will recognize Alfonso Ribeiro as the co-host in question.
Ribeiro is best known for playing Carlton Banks on the television show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Since 2015, he has also hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos. He and professional Witney Carson won the 2014 season 19 of the DWTS. Since then, he has become a familiar presence on the program, making appearances as a trio partner in 2017 and even serving as Tom Bergeron’s replacement as host of one episode in 2015.
Ribeiro told PEOPLE, “I’m really excited. “It is very meaningful for me to be asked to co-host with Tyra and to be a part of the fantastic crew, dancers, and friends. I am honored to be able to share the stage with them and to be a part of that family once more. I mean, at this point, these dancers are my pals. Outside of that show, we actually hang out together and converse.
“My aim is to restore the joyful, enjoyable, and familial vibe that this show has always felt like to me. This year, I want to make friends with all of the competitors and give myself the freedom to simply chat with them. I also want to hear their honest, unvarnished emotions after their dance, make people laugh, and rekindle smiles. Although it must also be serious at times, I think it should also be lighthearted, enjoyable, and upbeat.
When Banks and Ribeiro collaborate for the live dance competition, it will be like a reunion of the Fresh Princes. In the fourth season of the NBC sitcom, Banks appeared in eight episodes. She portrayed Jackie Ames, the primary character’s childhood friend who leaves for California and eventually develops a romantic interest for Will Smith.
The hiring of Ribeiro comes at a crucial time for DWTS. Many fans were disappointed when Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were fired from their roles as co-hosts in 2020. Many fans have criticized Banks’ hosting approach, which has made her tenure as the new host less than seamless.
While transitioning from ABC to Disney+, the show will also try to retain its current and attract new viewers. Additionally, DWTS Season 31 will likely be Disney+’s first comprehensive attempt at live streamed material, which is bound to have some issues. With Ribeiro joining the team and Conrad Green, the previous showrunner, also coming back, it appears that the producers aim to smooth out some of the upcoming bumps in the road.
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