ABC announced on Tuesday that the dance competition show has been picked up for its milestone season. Tyra Banks will return as host, along with Len Goodman, Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli as judges. A premiere date, celebrity contestants and pro dancers will be announced at a later date.
This marks Banks’ second season as host, following Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews’ surprising exits, as well as Hough’s second season as a judge, after winning the mirrorball a historic six times when he competed as a pro. The season will also welcome back Goodman as a full-time judge, who was in the U.K. and unable to travel last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The ballroom dancer did appear virtually in a few episodes, sharing his ballroom expertise in between dances.
Dancing With the Stars’ 29th season wrapped back in November, with former Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe and her pro partner, Artem Chigvintsev, taking home the coveted mirrorball trophy. Speaking with ET just moments after the show wrapped, the dance duo couldn’t seem to contain their excitement over the win, admitting that there was definitely some tears in the ballroom.
“I was thinking about where I was a year ago, exactly. Where I was not a part of last season, how I felt that [my] old dancing dreams were done and dusted, and that I was never going to be able to perform on that stage at all,” Artem reflected. “And then just standing with Kaitlyn in the final and being called as the champion of the season? I mean, it was such a surreal moment that I never thought it would be, in the reality of this world.”
“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” added Kaitlyn, of her own unique journey on the show. “But to me it’s like, if you believe in something and if you have a passion or a dream … when you think of anyone who’s gotten somewhere, I guarantee they have a story about what it took to get there.”
Looking back on the unprecedented season, Banks (who also serves as executive producer) told ET, “We broke a lot of records when it comes to the ratings for this show.”
“Yes, there was change, but the change meant hell of a lot of big ratings,” she explained. “In the end, this is a business and that’s what matters, making sure that people are coming and that new people are coming.”
Banks said at the time that she wasn’t sure if she’d be back for another season, but that she would love to see someone like former NFL star Colin Kaepernick in the ballroom if it happened.
“I don’t know. We shall see! I don’t know,” she said, playing coy about her return at the time. “I had a good time. We’ll see.”