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Tom Bergeron Was the ‘Backbone’ of ‘DWTS’ Before Firing

Joey Fatone, who has competed and judged on Dancing With the Stars, continues to be puzzled by Tom Bergeron’s firing practically one year later.

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“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Tom because I don’t really know what happened. That was just weird how it all went down,” Fatone, 44, completely informed Us Weekly. “Nothing wrong with Tyra [Banks], but Tom really — and Erin [Andrews] is great, don’t get me wrong — but Tom was the freakin’ starter. He’s the backbone of all that stuff. He’s the one that was there from day one and he’s great at it.”

Bergeron, 66, and Andrews, 43, have been axed from the ABC collection in a shock transfer in July 2020. Banks, 47, changed the pair for season 29 and can return to the ballroom for its historic season 30.

Joey Fatone and Tom Bergeron
Shutterstock (2)

“I don’t think they needed to change anything,” the musician added to Us. “I don’t know why they did, but they do what they have to do and maybe they wanted to go in a different direction.”

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Indeed, ABC introduced at the time that they have been shifting in a “new creative direction” for the collection. “[Tom] departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success,” the community mentioned in an announcement at the time. “Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.”

Tom Bergeron
ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Bergeron broke his silence over his exit through Twitter days after the official announcement. “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. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?” he wrote.

The sportscaster, in the meantime, tweeted: “I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking in heels.”

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Fatone, for his half, positioned second in season 4 of the dancing competitors with professional companion Kym Johnson. He returned in season 15 for one more shot and was the second eradicated. He went on to be a visitor choose in season 28.

“As far as DWTS and coming back, they have suckered me in many times to come back. I have done the cruise. I have done Vegas, Tropicana for a few months back in the day,” the Common Knowledge host defined to Us. “I came back for All Stars and as a judge as well. I did have fun with the judges. That was a lot of fun. So I’d love to do that again.”

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