The Last Dance?Tyra Banks Would've Been Fired From 'DWTS' If She Didn't Give Into Producers' Ultimatum: Source
Ever since Tyra Banks stepped in as the host of Dancing With the Stars, she's been plagued with negative accusations, from insiders claiming she acted like "a queen bee" to being hailed as "difficult to work with." And according to Radar, it was her poor behavior that prompted execs to bring on former contestant and champion Alfonso Ribeiro as her cohost.
The source claimed the model, 48, was given an ultimatum: "Tyra was basically told that she would have to co-host the show with Alfonso or not host the show at all."
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"Tyra tried to host the show solo, and it just didn’t work. She thought her personality and talent would be enough, but viewers didn’t agree," the insider continued. "Focus groups showed they missed the chemistry of two hosts working together. Obviously, Tyra wasn’t happy about the decision, but she had no choice, if she refused, she would have been shown the door."
Fortunately, Banks' bad rep hasn't scared off the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor, 50.
"Alfonso has worked with Tyra before and knows what he is getting into. She might not [like having] him around, but the good news is everyone else does," the source noted. "Firing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and replacing them with Tyra was a huge mistake. They can’t get Tom and Erin back but bringing back Alfonso might work. If it doesn’t, the show will be canceled."
And while the Life Size actress may be driving the crew crazy — one source said she has "wild demands" and is "disrespectful" towards her colleagues — producers are simultaneously scrambling to revive the show's popularity amid decreasing viewership.
As OK! previously revealed, the downfall has forced the program to cut spending, so dancers will now earn around $1,600 per episode instead of $5,200. The series has also been kicked from the ABC lineup and will instead stream on Disney+.
"With the show moving from the network to streaming, the budget has been vastly reduced. Sure, they would love to see as many familiar professional dancers return as possible but that isn’t likely to happen when the cast sees how big the pay cut is going to be," the insider disclosed. "After all these years, the fans of the show know the dancers better than the 'stars,' but the new economics of the show makes it impossible to pay them what they have earned in the past."