Tyra Banks is twirling back to the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom with a partner!
Alfonso Ribeiro will join the TV personality as the celebrity dance competition relocates from ABC to Disney+ for its 31st season.
Banks should have fun showing Ribeiro the ropes of hosting the show as it will be her third season holding down the gig and being an executive producer.
Alfonso Ribeiro Is “Super Excited” About Joining Tyra Banks As Co-Host
Ribeiro — best known from his days on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as Carlton Banks — is no stranger to “DWTS.”
When the show aired its 19th season, the comedian and actor won the Mirrorball trophy as a celebrity competitor along with professional partner Witney Carson.
Several years later, he will wear co-host shoes, which is no small feat. The “In the House” star spoke about his excitement at working alongside Banks, crew members, and dancers during a conversation with PEOPLE.
Ribeiro also has a plan as he makes his way to the dance floor. In his words:
“My goal is to bring back a sense of the happy and the fun, and the family atmosphere that this show has always felt like for me.”
He added that he wanted to cultivate a friendship with the season’s contestants that allowed him “to really just sit and talk with them.” He also said he wanted to make people laugh and smile after dancing. He concluded by claiming:
“I feel like sometimes it gets a little serious and while it needs to be that also, it also needs to be light and fun and cheery.”
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Although the news is a step in the right direction for the 50-year-old actor, it is even better news for his 48-year-old co-host. You will recall that The Blast reported Banks losing her footing as a “DWTS” host in April.
A source claimed that even though there was no official word on who would be hosting the competition series’ 31st season, it did not look like the “America’s Next Top Model” alum would make the cut.
It’s no longer news that Banks received a lot of backlash during her time hosting the competition series for its 29th and 30th seasons, which subsequently resulted in low ratings.
One source assumed that the show’s low ratings might have something to do with the presentation style. The insider said:
“Production has been a mess, with no clear direction of where [the show] was going, which is why certain producers have been axed in recent months.”
The insider explained that ABC did not feel like the series was “worth the investment anymore, but didn’t want to drop it as a whole” following “the mix of the behind-the-scenes chaos and the historically low ratings.”
Banks took over after ABC let go of its longtime hosts, Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, in July 2020.
Ribeiro Sued “Fortnite” Makers For Using His Signature Dance Without Permission
As for Ribeiro, the “Silver Spoons” actor tried making some extra cash following his lawsuit against the makers of “Fortnite” for using his “Carlton Dance” as an emote in the hit game.
Fans familiar with “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” know Carlton usually did his nerdy, arm-swinging dance to Tom Jones’ 1965 hit track, “It’s Not Unusual.”
According to legal documents obtained by The Blast in 2019, the former “Catch 21” co-host sued Epic Games for what he referred to as an “unauthorized use” of his signature move.
Ribeiro, who said he was in the process of copyrighting the dance, claimed Fortnite’s “Fresh” emote is “identical” to his popular dance, and the name gave it away. The lawsuit asserted that:
“The reaction from many players worldwide was immediate recognition of the emote as embodying The Dance and, in turn, Ribeiro.Indeed, by naming the emote ‘Fresh,’ Epic intentionally induced a direct connection between the in-game purchase and the show where The Dance started, ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’ That connection implied an endorsement of that in-game purchase by Ribeiro.”
The lawsuit, however, suffered a blow shortly after filing thanks to federal officials denying Ribeiro copyright of the “Carlton.”
Ribeiro eventually dropped the suit claiming that he was “voluntarily dismissing” the legal battle against the video game developers. The actor did not specify a reason for the suit’s dismissal.