TV Insider interviewed Tom Bergeron about Dancing With The Stars and what makes it possible and if he sees himself hosting for another 10 years. Read on for more…
Do you believe Dancing With the Stars is a good venue for certain celebrities to rehabilitate their image?
Yes, and I think it’s proven to be over the years. Gail Collins had an op-ed piece in The New York Times, and she lists a number of them, like [current-season contestant Rick Perry] and Tom DeLay, and people like that who’ve come on with hopes of having another shot at being embraced by the public.
What do you think it is about DWTS that makes that possible?
I think to agree to do the show, you agree to be vulnerable right out of the gate. You’re outside of your comfort zone. You are putting yourself in the position of being a student. You’re in the position of potentially embarrassing yourself on live television in front of millions of people. There is a vulnerability to that decision that I think is, at its core, fairly endearing.
You’ve done Dancing With the Stars for more than a decade now. How has it evolved over the years?
I’m constantly in awe of not only the technical differences but the production value too. The show now, just from a pure production standpoint, makes the original seasons look like regional theater. It’s just amazing what the visual effects are able to do.
Do you have a personal wish list of future contestants you’d like to see?
Yeah, the No. 1 guy is that retired pope [Benedict XVI]. You know, I think it’s been like 600 years since a pope said, “I’m done here. I’m out of here.” And what’s he doing? I haven’t heard anything, so as far as I know, he’s got the time. And who would better appreciate a redemption narrative than a former pope?
Can you see yourself hosting this show for another 10 years?
I’m under contract for three more years, so I can certainly see me doing it for that long. I genuinely love the people here. We are, in the work sense anyway, a family of sorts, and we are all very fond of each other. The talent that assembles the show—I’m just the beneficiary of all the work that they do. So for someone that loves live TV, it’s an incredible environment.
More at TV Insider including Tom’s thoughts on Ryan Lochte, the protester incident, and more. Thanks to DWTSGossip for the find.