Former “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was once asked about the craziest or most memorable moments from the show. Here’s what he chose.
Bergeron Said He’s Glad He Had an Earpiece For One Infamous Moment
In an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Bergeron said that while he was glad the show did away with scripted material after season one and just let the hosts ad-lib, he is glad to have an earpiece in for emergencies — like Nancy Grace’s wardrobe malfunction during week two of season 13.
“It does help on this show to have an IFB (interruptible foldback earpiece),” said Bergeron. “Typically I would kind of bristle at it, but it is helpful … for example if somebody has popped out of their costume and I don’t see it.”
He then recalled how during Grace’s infamous wardrobe malfunction, he wasn’t watching the dance closely enough and he then heard in his ear, “Nancy Grace, breast alert! Breast alert!”
“With her, I had to actually lift her dress up. She denied vehemently that it happened, and I said well … Nancy. [mimes I see you]” said Bergeron with a laugh.
He Loves the Emotional Moments
Bergeron said there were a couple of times that really touched him emotionally, like “Jerry Springer having learned the waltz to dance it at his daughter’s wedding and she was there [in the audience].”
“Laila [Ali] did a similar thing to her father when Muhammad Ali was there, emotional moments like that where it’s not about being on a TV show, it’s about being a father or a daughter. Those are very sweet moments,” said Bergeron.
Marie Osmond Fainting Was a Big One
During the fifth week of season five, Marie Osmond and partner Jonathan Roberts took to the floor for a samba and afterward, came over to the judges’ table for their critique. But Osmond passed out while standing there between Roberts and Bergeron and Bergeron said it was “a really tense moment … I knew we needed to get the paramedics in there.”
But he said the TV host part of him “kicked in” because he knew he needed to diffuse the tension when they came back from the commercial.
“As she regained consciousness, she locked eyes with me and I think it dawned on her what had happened … and she looked at me and went, ‘Oh crap!’ and I knew I had a line. I knew coming back from the break everybody was gonna be freaked out at home … I had a line to diffuse the tension.”
So once it was apparent that Osmond was OK, he said he told the viewers that “Marie is backstage and I just want you to know as she opened her eyes, she looked at me and said, ‘Oh, crap!’ and big laugh.”
Bergeron Sets the Record Straight on Boo-Gate
There was quite a kerfuffle during season 11 because Bristol Palin was in the cast and so her mom, Sarah Palin, came to the show a lot. One week, it seemed as though the audience, led by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, was booing Palin. But they were not. Bergeron explained that they were booing the low scores given to Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough.
Grey/Hough, the judges had scored it low, I thought too … [the scores] came in a little low and Jamie Lee started booing the judges because she’s not bashful, Jamie Lee Curtis, which I love about her … so she starts booing the judges and you can hear the booing over Brooke [Burke] trying to talk to Derek and Jennifer and they kind of go, ‘Oh, what’s that?’ and they cut to me sitting with Sarah Palin. And by the way, Sarah booed the judges too! So that created the look that oh, they’re booing Sarah Palin and Tom didn’t even respond to it, but I knew what was going on, it didn’t even occur to me [to say anything].
So there you have it — Jamie Lee Curtis and the “Dancing WIth the Stars” audience was not booing Sarah Palin, they were booing the low scores.
“Dancing With the Stars” season 30 is expected to premiere in September 2021 on ABC.
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