Tom Bergeron Describes Moment He Knew He Was Leaving ‘DWTS’

Tom Bergeron is opening up about his Dancing with the Stars exit.

The 68-year-old TV personality hosted the reality show from 2005 to 2020 before announcing his departure on Twitter. Tyra Banks originally replaced him and Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough have since taken over the role.

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During a recent conversation with DWTS pro Cheryl Burke on her Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast, Tom explained his exit from the show and how he felt at the time.

Tom recalled that while discussing the upcoming season with DWTS executives in 2019, he got a “phone call from the showrunner and another producer” who told him the list of celebrities set to compete.

When he found out that former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was among the contestants, Tom was displeased given that he had recommended that the execs refrain from casting any politicians.

“I said, ‘Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn’t do. Don’t go there. This is, you know, not the right time, play to our strengths, be the show that gives people a break from all this bulls—.”

Tom then suggested he “take the season off,” and the showrunner and producer responded with an offer to terminate his contract.

“That’s how strongly they felt,” Tom explained, adding that the counteroffer “really pissed me off.”

When he wrote a statement in response to Sean‘s casting to “let people know that they f—ing lied to me,” Tom realized that he would be leaving the show.

“At that moment, I knew this is probably my last season, because of that one betrayal,” he said. “Up until that point, there were people of character there.”

The former host also described his state of mind in the aftermath of his exit.

“They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them,” he said. “But I wanted the viewers to know this was a step too far to me. This was a step too far on the cusp of an election year. And again — had it been a Democrat, same statement.”

Find out what Tom had to say about his Dancing with the Stars exit back in 2021.