Her final bow in the ballroom? Tyra Banks hinted that she’s ready to leave her duties as Dancing With the Stars host after nearly three years.
The model, 49, weighed in on her future with the ABC dance competition on Thursday, March 16, telling TMZ, “I’m really focused on business, like, crazy, crazy focused on business. … I think it’s time to graduate from the dance floor to the stock market floor. Mic drop.”
Banks explained that she wanted to spend more time on her SMiZE and Dream ice cream brand, which she launched in 2021, and other ventures. “I feel it’s time for me to really focus on my business and my entrepreneurship,” she added. “I think it’s time. I think my heart and soul are in my business and in producing TV … and you can’t do that hosting a show. So you’ll see me creating things, not just hosting things.”
The former America’s Next Top Model host noted that she wanted to stay involved in entertainment on a “behind-the-scenes” level but called herself “an entrepreneur at heart.”
DWTS was previously hosted by Tom Bergeron, who signed on for season 1 in 2005. He was joined by cohost Erin Andrews nine years later after she competed on season 10. ABC shocked viewers in July 2020 when it announced that the pair would no longer appear on the series. Days after the big reveal, Banks was confirmed as the new host.
As news broke of the show’s major transition, Banks exclusively told Us that she felt “pressure” to follow Bergeron, 67, and Andrews, 44. “[I’m] respecting the stage that they have set and then adding my icing to that. I feel confident about that, but of course, it’s a challenge, but I don’t back away from challenges,” she said at the time.
The California native is no stranger to the reality TV world, but she hit a few snags during early on in her DWTS stint. “Tonight I hosted the second episode of Dancing With the Stars that I’m hosting this season, and it wasn’t perfect,” she said in a September 2020 TikTok. “Yeah, I had a lot of fun, but I messed up, I said the wrong words. But the thing is, I kept, kept going.”
Despite wardrobe malfunctions and elimination flubs — Banks announced the wrong competitors’ names during an October 2020 episode — the actress returned for season 30 in 2021. The following year, she was joined by Alfonso Ribeiro as the show moved to Disney+ for season 31.
Viewers have been divided on Banks’ performance as host, but many members of the DWTS family have shown her support throughout her tenure. In April 2021, Derek Hough praised the Life-Size star’s “outrageous, crazy and fun looks,” exclusively telling Us that Banks was “a lot of fun” in the ballroom.
“It’s a big role to fill, for sure,” the six-time DWTS champ, 37, told Us. “I think that she did a great job and live TV is extraordinarily difficult. … I think she did a phenomenal job.”
Former cohost Brooke Burke, however, was somewhat more critical of the “tough transition” one year later. “It’s [just] not the place to be a diva,” she said on David Yontef’s “Behind the Velvet Rope” podcast in April 2022. “Your pros are the diva[s], your winners, your perfect 10 score dancer who’s never done it, that defines diva in the ballroom.”
Burke, 51, teamed up with Bergeron from season 10 to season 17 of DWTS before Andrews took over. Following her controversial comments, the Connecticut native clarified her feelings toward Banks. “‘Diva’ is not a negative thing. ‘Diva’ is a fabulous thing,” she exclusively told Us in November 2022. “If I would’ve said ‘queen,’ it would’ve been OK.”
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DWTS will return to Disney+ for season 32, but an official premiere date has not yet been announced.