You Wanna Be On Top? The Backlash Against Tyra Banks Hosting ‘DWTS’

Justin Jenkins
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Tyra Banks Dancing with the StarsABC/Eric McCandless

Supermodel businesswoman Tyra Banks was no stranger to reality competition shows when it was announced that she would take over hosting duties on Dancing With The Stars. Fans of the long-running dance competition show were shocked that long time hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were fired before the show’s 29th season. With an executive producer credit as well, ABC looked to revamp the show and banked on Banks as a good refresher, but fans continue to show their anger at the change in hosts. 

Banks hosted America’s Got Talent in 2017, and is the successful creator of the controversial reality show America’s Next Top Model. A once staple in households, in recent years the show, as well as its fierce leader, has come under scrutiny for the way contestants were treated.

It seems like every other day there is a new scandal that is trending that exposes the harsh conditions of filming the modeling competition show. So why would the decision makers at ABC bring Banks on board for DWTS and fire two beloved hosts? 

It is not unheard of for shows that are well into their second decade to want to bring in new energy. What is surprising is that Dancing with the Stars always brought new energy by casting exciting and relevant stars to compete. The show is in its own lane because those who watch will realize their favorite stars of today or even yesteryear are participating in a particular season. 

Is Banks Ruining ‘Dancing with the Stars’ for Longtime Fans?

Before the start of Season 29, old and new faces of the show kept an open mind about Banks joining the show, but once the season began fans quickly expressed their disappointment. 

“Tyra is a horrible host for #DWTS. The Dancers were great!  But Tyra is really out of her element, she didn’t know what to ask the dancers, the judges seemed to ignore her. It wasn’t pretty. I miss Erin & Tom!” One fan tweeted, and was quickly joined by similar sentiments.

During her first season hosting the show, Banks mistakenly announced dancing couple Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy as safe, before calling the duo back out to take their correct spot in the bottom two leading up to the finale. The fans were absolutely outraged at the host’s latest flub.

The overall reaction showed that fans never came around to the catwalk diva taking over a show about dancing. The outcry of fans meant nothing to the executives at ABC, however. Banks returned for her second year as host and continued to treat the ballroom like her personal runway, and making awkward comments that distracted from the purpose of the show.

The hype for the landmark 30th season was at an all time high, but fans were not amused to see Banks return. The backlash even had flocks of viewers sign a petition to fire her and return Dancing With The Stars to its “former glory.” The call to action is nearing 15,000 signatures. 

Can Fans Learn to Embrace the Fashionista as Host?

The strong opinions that fans expressed in Season 29 were the same this past season. Viewers were turned off by Banks constantly making post-interview questions all about her, and not giving the contestants a chance to speak. The motto the show must go on seemed to be non-existent, as Banks became known to point out every mistake that happened throughout the show. In true supermodel fashion, Banks’s extravagant outfit choices also angered fans who, again, thought the focus should be on the contestants, not the host.

There is an art to hosting a live competition show, a skill that many do not think Tyra possesses. It seems to be in her nature to want to be the center of attention. Banks dominated in the modeling industry, which was all about getting eyes on her. Having to always be seen, and to be a canvas to sell the fashion that she wore, was a part of her life for decades. It seems that Banks is having a hard time tuning that part of her character down.

Once Banks learns that she does not need to sell viewers on Dancing With The Stars and it is okay to let others into the spotlight, perhaps she can help usher in a new era of the hit show.

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