“I love Tyra,” the 31-year-old ballroom dancer told Us Weekly exclusively on Thursday, April 1, shortly after the ABC competition show was renewed for its 30th season. “I feel like, you know, when you’re used to something all the time — [when] you’re used to the same people, the same energy … it’s a shock to everyone.”
The network announced in September 2020 that Banks, 47, would be taking the place of Tom Bergeron, who had hosted since the show’s first season in 2005, and cohost Erin Andrews, who joined in 2014 after previously competing on DWTS four years prior. After the initial “shock” of the change wore off, Motsepe was ready to welcome the America’s Next Top Model alum with open arms.
“You have to give that person the same energy that you gave the last person,” the South Africa native told Us. “Dancing With the Stars is not — I always say this — it’s not about one person. It’s a production. There’s so many people that are behind-the-scenes that people don’t know about. … We all come together and that’s what people get to see every night.”
When season 29 of DWTS kicked off last fall, some episodes didn’t go so smoothly for Banks. The Daytime Emmy winner suffered a wardrobe malfunction and even misread one couple’s elimination results, leading some fans to wish Bergeron, 65, and Andrews, 42, would return to the ballroom. However, Motsepe thinks Banks deserves a little more credit. (The network later revealed that they printed the wrong name; Banks didn’t misread.)
“[It was] her first season. She did a good job, you know, and I think people at home have to allow the change,” he said on Thursday. “They should be open to a different judge, a different host, a different dance. … It’s hard sometimes when there’s a change because you’re used to one thing, but I think change is always good.”
Banks owned up to making mistakes during her first few episodes last season, telling Us exclusively in September that it’s “normal” to flub every now and then.
“If I didn’t want to mess up, if I wanted to be perfect, I know how to do that,” the True Beauty creator said at the time. “There’s a very clear way as a host that you just read the words and you’re perfect and you know exactly how to do that. But when you’re relaxed and you keep it real, the mess-ups happen. … It’s live, and it’s real. It’s better than being like a doll.”
ABC confirmed on Tuesday, March 30, that Banks is expected to return for season 30 later this year, along with longtime judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Derek Hough, who was a pro partner on the series from 2007 to 2016, will also take a seat at the judges’ table after stepping in for Goodman, 76, for season 29, when he was unable to be there in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While no celeb competitors have been announced just yet — and many DWTS pros aren’t sure if they’ll be asked back this fall — Motsepe has high hopes for who he’ll see in the ballroom.
“It’s season 30, they should have A-list [stars]. I feel like they should have been Brad Pitt or Justin Bieber, you know, maybe Kendall Jenner,” he told Us, noting that his dream partner is Beyoncé. “Maybe next season. You never know!”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi