The just-ended round of “Dancing With the Stars” was as much fun for Tom Bergeron as for anyone.
“While I tend to know on a week-to-week basis who is going home, on the finale, I never want to know,” the Emmy-winning host tells Zap2it after Season 18 of the ABC competition concluded Tuesday (May 20) with Olympic-medalist figure skater Meryl Davis and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy taking the mirrorball trophy.
“I was looking at Amy [Purdy] and Derek [Hough] on one side, and Meryl and Maks on the other side, knowing it could really go either way,” the ever-amiable Bergeron reflects. “I was really pleased with the result, and it takes nothing away from the incredible performances and the inspirational element of Amy and Derek’s season.
“I was personally pleased for Maks, after 13 shots at this, to take it in such a wonderful way in a season that was quite magical for him and his partner.”
The presence of sportscaster Erin Andrews, Chmerkovskiy’s Season 10 “Dancing” partner, as the show’s new co-host also added pleasure to the job for Bergeron.
“She’s a hoot!,” he says. “She breaks me up. I told her early on to just trust her gut. There are always the Internet trollers who are cranky about everything initially, but I watched people fall in love with her as the weeks went on. I just think she”s done a wonderful job, and she keeps me on my toes. And that’s a healthy thing.”
Approaching his final season on another ABC staple, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Bergeron will be back for the third consecutive year as host of the PBS holiday-concert special “A Capitol Fourth” Friday, July 4. For now, he’s going into the summer very satisfied by “Dancing.”
“It was an important season for the [ratings] numbers to start heading north again,” Bergeron allows. “No show lasts forever, and you always want to think you’ve got viability and an audience that enjoys what you do. In this case, I think people came back to the show and found it to be reinvigorated, so that speaks to a strong Season 19 and Season 20 coming up.”