The real reason Tom Bergeron left Dancing with the Stars

Over the years, Dancing with the Stars has become an American television phenomenon. It's essentially the dance equivalent of American Idol. Since its inception in 2005, the dance competition has showcased notable celebs season after season, including Lisa Vanderpump, Zendaya, and Kim Kardashian. While the celebrities (and even some of the professional dancers) are switched out every season, there was always one familiar face we could count on: Tom Bergeron. From day one, the lovable, charismatic Bergeron has hosted the award-winning show

As one of the few consistent elements of the show, it certainly came as a shock when news broke that Bergeron would not be returning for the competition's 29th season. According to Parade, in May 2020 ABC confirmed that the show would be returning for Season 29 as part of its fall 2020 lineup. That being said, it's unclear if the network had plans to out Bergeron as host at the time of the show's renewal announcement.

As of this writing, the only Season 29 contestant who has been announced is Bachelor Nation alum Kaitlyn Bristowe. While we're not sure who will be joining her, we do know that Bergeron won't be around to cheer any of the contestants on. So why the sudden change? Let's take a look.

Tom Bergeron was also surprised about the sudden news

You'd think that Tom Bergeron — the only host who has been with Dancing with the Stars from the start — would have been given a heads up about the fact that Season 29 was going to go on without him, but it seemed like he was just as surprised as everyone else. On July 13, 2020, the legendary TV host tweeted the following to his more than 200,000 followers: "Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?"

In a joint statement with BBC Studios, ABC stated (via Deadline): "As we embark on a new creative direction, [Bergeron] departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success." Along with Bergeron, Erin Andrews — who has co-hosted alongside Bergeron since Season 18, per People — won't be returning for Season 29 either. In a tweet posted on July 14, 2020, the sportscaster said, "I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn't the best at walking in heels."

Fans were surely curious to find out who will fill Bergeron's big shoes, and thankfully, they didn't have to wait too long for an answer.

Tyra Banks will replace Tom Bergeron on 'DWTS'

It didn't take long for Dancing with the Stars to replace Tom Bergeron and his co-host Erin Andrews with a brand new host. On July 15, 2020 — one day after Bergeron announced via Twitter that he won't be returning to DWTS for Season 29 — ABC announced via Twitter that model and former daytime talk show host Tyra Banks will be the new host of the dance competition show.

"Please join us in welcoming @tyrabanks as #DWTS host. Thank you to @Tom_Bergeron and @ErinAndrews for so many seasons of glitz, glamour, and good times!" read the tweet.

The Life Size actress released a statement through ABC and BBC Studios (via USA Today), saying, "I've been a fan of DWTS since its beginning. The 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."

As for Bergeron's next move, he's found other ways to keep busy.

Tom Bergeron is already working on a new project

Just because Dancing with the Stars gave Tom Bergeron the boot, that doesn't mean he's done making big TV moves. With DWTS out of the way, the charismatic host can focus on his new project. On his IMDb profile, Bergeron is — as of the writing this article — co-producing a new scripted comedy television series, Down the Middle.

The show is described as a six-part digital series about an odd couple: Karen, who is an uptight workaholic "who lives for the job," and Aurora, who is a "bohemian trust fund baby who has never had to punch the clock." The plot line will include Karen and Aurora working together to keep Aurora's father's ad agency, The Gregory Agency, alive after his retirement.

Since Bergeron knows a thing or two about comedy — he did produce America's Funniest Home Videos between 2006 and 2015 — this direction is right up his lane. He may even find something to do with all those glitter masks.