‘DWTS’: Tyra Banks Reveals Her Dream Contestant and What She’d Do Differently Next Time (Exclusive)

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That’s a wrap on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars! The ABC dancing competition came to a close on Monday night with an exciting finale that ended with a new pair of champions — Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev. 

This season of DWTS was unlike any other, with COVID-19 restrictions, a new judge, Derek Hough, and new host and executive producer, Tyra Banks.

“We broke a lot of records when it comes to the ratings for this show. And yes, there was change, but the change meant hell of a lot of big ratings,” Banks told ET’s Lauren Zima after the finale. “In the end, this is a business and that’s what matters, making sure that people are coming and that new people are coming.”

In her role as host, Banks got to announce the winners, something she did after taking a long pause and letting out a dramatic gasp.

“I had so much fun… I’m obsessed with the pause, by the way. I’m serving pause. I want America to be like, ‘Say it! Say it! Say it! Say it!’ So the pause is everything,” she mused. “The gasp was the Academy Awards gasp. Honestly, I didn’t know if it was gonna be Kaitlyn or Nev, so either would’ve been a gasp. They both kind of deserve it. They were both so amazing.”

While she wasn’t sure who would ultimately come away victorious, Banks knew Bristowe would “go very far” in the competition.

“She’s just so on it. The judges just had an issue with her not attacking and hitting it, but after she got the critique, then she was attacking and hitting it. So I knew she would go far, I just didn’t know who would be the final final,” she explained. “I think she did really good. I really think she did good. She also wanted it so badly. She was very vulnerable. She shared a lot of herself.”

“I think that America voted for somebody that wasn’t just a great dancer, but somebody that was vulnerable and showed that she has challenges and issues just like everybody else,” Banks added.

Whether she was introducing a dance, delivering an elimination, or announcing the winners, Banks always looked fierce on the dance floor. The host estimated that she sported a total of 23 outfits over the course of the season, but admitted that she would do some fashion-related things differently should she return.

“Toward the end [of the season] we realized we had to write down [the steps of outfit changes]. It’s written down, so they’re yelling it to me as we go,” she disclosed. “There were a couple of instances where I was holding my clothes up and hosting live TV and not everybody necessarily knew that.”

“Another thing is more comfy shoes,” she added. “I had my second and third toe go numb on me for five days after last week’s outfit because those shoes were not comfy.”

While Banks speculated that she “might get up to 30” outfits if she were to return and pointed to Colin Kaepernick as her dream contestant, the model’s not sure if she’ll be back in the ballroom next season.

“I don’t know. We shall see! I don’t know,” she said of her possible return. “I had a good time. We’ll see.”

Whether she comes back or not, this season has been one to remember, largely thanks to Banks’ family, which includes her 4-year-old son, York, and her mom, Carolyn.

“My family’s super supportive. My son’s obsessed with Dancing with the Stars. He sings the song to me… He’s remixing the song,” Banks shared. “My mom was the first person to ever tell me to watch Dancing With the Stars, so she’s so proud to see me host the show.”

“My mom gets on me when I come home now and she tells me sometimes I’m hunching when I have on something strapless. ‘You did good, but you were hunching!’ I’m like, ‘Thanks mom, keeping it real,'” she added. “It’s been really fun for my family, for us to be a part of it.”

Tune into Entertainment Tonight on Monday to hear more from the remaining contestants. Check your local listings here.

 

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