“I feel like it was just such sudden news,” Inaba, 52, said during an upcoming episode of The Talk, which will air on Tuesday, July 21. “My heart breaks for Tom and Erin.”
The Hawaii native, who’s been a judge on the competition show since 2005, revealed that she “cried when [she] heard the news, as well as, I think a lot of our fans did.”
The former DWTS hosts announced on Tuesday, July 14, that ABC didn’t ask them back for the upcoming 29th season of the dance competition series.
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” Bergeron, 65, who has been part of the show since its 2005 premiere, tweeted. “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.”
The Maine native, 42, who became his cohost in 2014 after competing on the show, tweeted her own statement after Bergeron’s reveal, adding, “I will always cherish my time on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking in heels.”
Hours later, Us Weekly confirmed that Tyra Banks would be taking over as host and serving as an executive producer moving forward.
Inaba addressed Banks’ addition in The Talk chat.
“People have been saying that Tyra is the first black host of Dancing with the Stars, and I just want to clarify, because season one we had Lisa Canning,” the TV judge explained. “Also, I don’t think that’s how we should be labeling her. She’s our new host. Period. It has nothing to do with the color of her skin.”
The Primetime Emmy nominee added: “I think it has to do with all that Tyra Banks is. All the energy she has. She’s like a visionary, she’s a strong, powerful woman … I think we’re in good hands. It’s different, the fans are going to have to get used to it, I understand that, but I think we should welcome her.”
Banks, 46, honored Bergeron in a statement following her announcement.
“Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats,” the former America’s Next Top Model host said in a statement to Us on Tuesday.
Bergeron and Andrews, for their part, joked about being replaced so quickly on Twitter on Wednesday, July 15.
Dancing With the Stars is set to return to ABC in the fall.
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