When DWTS season 31 premieres, Tyra Banks will have a new co-host, Alfonso Ribeiro. She reveals why she couldn’t do the show without him.
Dancing With The Stars season 31 host Tyra Banks will be joined by Alfonso Ribeiro, and she explained why she could not do the dance competition series without him. As DWTS makes the unprecedented move from ABC to the streaming service Disney+, many changes to the show have been announced. One of the biggest is the addition of Alfonso as Tyra’s co-host. Alfonso, who is best known for starring as Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, joins his long-time friend Tyra, who has faced harsh criticism as the DWTS host for the past two years. Alfonso won DWTS season 19 with his professional dance partner Witney Carson.
One of the most exciting aspects of DWTS moving to Disney+ is that the show will now air without commercials on the streaming service. This will pose a challenge to the cast and crew because they use commercial breaks to transition from one dance to another, changing costumes and sets. The extra time will allow for more room on DWTS for the professional troupe, who performs dance numbers on the show. The skybox, where interviews are conducted, will also return for DWTS season 31.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Tyra explained why the new DWTS format required a second host. She said, “The new ‘no commercials’ format is intense and exciting. There’s no way I could handle this new format alone.” She explained that because DWTS no longer has commercial time to clear the sets, “it’s nonstop action. So having a new host allows for cutaways from the stage so that the crew can get the next act ready.” Tyra explained that her post will be on the ballroom floor, while Alfonso focuses on interviewing the contestants. She said, “He’s been through what the stars will be going through, so he will shine talking to them and knowing all the emotions running through their veins.” Presumably, Alfonso will be stationed in the skybox.
Tyra said she believes Alfonso will be perfect as her DWTS co-host. She said, “When the team brought up the idea of Alfonso with me, I was like, ‘Yes, yes and yes. Let’s stop right there and look no further.’ Nostalgia is everything these days, so I felt that Alfonso and I being together on a stage again after those fun Fresh Prince of Bel-Air times will be fun for so many to see–and fun for Alfonso and I too.” Tyra played Jackie Ames, Will’s ex-girlfriend from Philadelphia, in eight episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air season 4 in 1993. Tyra and Alfonso have been friends since they were in junior high school, so they have a longtime friendship.
The new commercial-free format of DWTS will allow for even more excitement in the ballroom. Although fans have accused Tyra of stealing the spotlight in the past, her admission that she needs a co-host in order to make DWTS season 31 the best it can be proves that she has the show’s best interest at heart. Alfonso is a welcome addition to DWTS, and he and Tyra should be an entertaining duo.
Dancing With the Stars season 31 premieres Monday, September 19 on Disney+.