Samantha Harris is speaking out about her time on Dancing With the Stars. The 50-year-old TV personality co-hosted the ABC competition series with Tom Bergeron from season 2 to season 9.
On the latest episode of Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans, Harris tells former DWTS pro and podcast host Cheryl Burke that she was not asked back for season 10, and was told they wanted some new energy on the show. Harris was replaced by Erin Andrews, who was later let go from DWTS, along with Bergeron, in 2020 after season 28.
Harris, who was also a correspondent at Entertainment Tonight when she was co-hosting DWTS, says that she and ABC decided that she would say she was leaving the reality competition series after season 9 to focus on her job at ET.
“In reality, [DWTS executive producer] Conrad [Green] said, ‘Look, we’re going into season 10, network executives have decided that they need something to look different on the show,” Harris tells Burke of her apparent conversation with the then-showrunner and EP. “They need something really different to keep eyeballs watching. So, the thing that the network came up with is, ‘Well, the first thing you see when you turn on the TV are the hosts. So let’s change one of them.'”
Harris also claims that she was once called into a meeting to address her appearance. “It was my interpretation they said to me, ‘You need to be pasty and pudgy,'” she quips.
Harris adds that the higher-ups of DWTS allegedly told her that she was “getting too tan and too toned” and that viewers were having trouble differentiating her from the professional dancers and that was “confusing for them.”
“Usually you’re told to lose weight, I was actually told to gain weight,” Harris tells Burke, who is in disbelief. “…Little did they know, I was pregnant so I wasn’t going to be tanning, and I was going to be gaining weight. So there ya go.”
Harris says she was “absolutely stunned” when she was allegedly told to gain weight, adding, “I took a lot of pride that I was tanned and toned.”
As for when Bergeron left DWTS, Harris tells Burke that “wasn’t surprising” given what had allegedly happened to her. Bergeron was replaced by Tyra Banks in season 29, and Harris says she attempted to watch that season but “couldn’t watch it.”
In season 31, former DWTS competitor Alfonso Ribeiro co-hosted with Banks, and by season 32, he was the sole host of the show.