Tyra Banks: My Mom Encouraged Me to Join ‘DWTS’ After ‘Months’ of Debate

Making the right call. Tyra Banks believes becoming Dancing With the Stars’ newest host was the best move for her, but it took her time to warm up to the idea.

“They called me and were like, ‘Are you interested in this?’ This was earlier this year,” Banks, 46, said on The Late Late Show With James Corden on Thursday, October 1. “And I’m like, ‘You’re calling me and asking me this? I would never in a million years think that I’d be asked to host.’ So it took me months. I sat on it for months.”

Tyra Banks My Mom Encouraged Me Join DWTS After Months Debate
Carolyn London and Tyra Banks. Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com

The former America’s Next Top Model host continued, “I asked friends and finally, I asked my mom. She was like, ‘Girl, I’m the first person that told you about that damn show! I told you to turn on the TV. The stars is dancing.’ She was the first person to tell me and I turned it on and couldn’t look away. And so I said, ‘Yeah, I think I can bring something to this.’”

So far, Banks is “having a really, really good time” hosting the ABC competition series. “It’s bananas. I’ll be changing clothes and there’s dancing and people flipping and going home … I feel like I made the right decision,” she said.

ABC announced in July that Banks would begin hosting the long-running reality series in its 29th season. The supermodel replaced Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, whose exits were announced just days before the new host was revealed.

Tyra Banks My Mom Encouraged Me Join DWTS After Months Debate
Tyra Banks on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ ABC/Eric McCandless

On Wednesday, September 30, DWTS executive producer Andrew Llinares explained why the series chose to let  Bergeron, 65, and Andrews, 42, go from their longtime roles as hosts. “I think it’s all about evolution,” he told reporters during ABC’s VirtuFall panel. “I think any show like this that has been on many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve.”

Llinares added, “I think changing the host was all about evolution, it was about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new [and] kind of make it reach out — maybe to a new audience as well, as well as the audience that’s been there for years.”

Banks recently spoke to Us exclusively about the criticism she’s received from hosting DWTS. “Every host messes up. It’s just normal. It’s live TV. If it wasn’t live, there would be no mess-ups,” she said after the Monday, September 28, episode. “Even on America’s Next Top Model, I would mess up and tell my editors to leave it in. That’s what makes things human and makes things live.”

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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