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Dancing With the Stars executive producer Andrew Llinares and judge Bruno Tonioli are showing their support for host Tyra Banks following Monday night’s elimination blunder.
In case you missed it, Top 13 Night ended with Banks mistakenly calling out one of the wrong bottom 2 couples, as three dance duos — Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko, Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd and Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe — were still onstage awaiting their fate.
After incorrectly announcing that Vernon and Peta were in jeopardy, Tyra said that there was “an error in our control room” and that she needed Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy (who thought they were safe from elimination) to come back to the stage. Turns out, Monica and Val were actually the couple who placed in the bottom 2, along with Anne and Keo, who ultimately went home.
“This is live TV, right? This is the craziness of live TV!” Tyra quipped at the time. “Again, we apologize for this.”
Speaking with ET just moments after the show wrapped, Bruno explained that what Tyra was hearing in her ear from producers in the control room was different than what was printed out on her cue cards.
“It’s live television, things like this happen, especially with information coming in from all over the country, voting and calculating in such a small amount of time,” he said. “Tyra was brilliant … she was really good because she took control of the situation.”
As for all the criticism Tyra has received for taking over hosting duties from Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, Bruno says he wants people to just stop and “let her do it her way.”
“Oh, please. Tyra did a fantastic job. She is doing it the way she wants to do it,” he said. “It’s a bit tiring, all the negativity, in not even giving people a chance. Just let her be who she is. It’s great to work with her.”
“We’re in a world that always focuses on the negative and I found that quite upsetting,” he added. “You can’t compare apples to pears, you know? You get different things, and you have to allow someone to do things their own way. The show is good, we’re having a great time, the viewing figures are great, and we all get on. We are trying to give two hours of entertainment and fun to the people, so why don’t [they] focus on that?”
Andrew spoke similar sentiments in an interview with ET over the phone on Tuesday, saying, “I think Tyra dealt with it amazingly. I just want to be really clear, this was not Tyra’s fault. It was a behind-the-scenes issue.”
“I was in the control room when this happened. The votes and results coming in is one of the most dramatic moments in the show, but it was a little more dramatic than we were hoping for last night, in a very unexpected way,” he joked. “I think we were a little shocked and stunned by what was going on, but this is live TV and you have to deal with situations like this all the time. There was a technical issue as the actual votes were coming in last night. What happened was, Tyra actually had the wrong names on her card.”
“As soon as we realized what was going on, and we got the correct voting information, we immediately rectified that on air. We spoke to Tyra, we got her to guide us through that,” he continued. “I think she did an amazing job rectifying what happened live on the show. It’s not an easy thing to do, what she did. There’s a lot of undo criticism, I think, around Tyra. I just think she’s doing an amazing job on this show. And I could not be more thrilled with the way that she dealt with this moment on the show.”
In a statement to ET early Tuesday, DWTS producers shared, “There was a technical error as the votes and scores were tabulated. This was immediately rectified on-air. Measures will be taken to prevent this going forward.”
Andrew told ET that he’s “having meetings today with everybody that’s involved in our voting to make sure that nothing like this happens again.”
“We’re figuring all that out,” he shared. “We’ve never had an issue like this before and we’re very confident we won’t have an issue like this again. But we are definitely going to take measures to make sure we’re in a really rock solid place around this moving forward.”
“We’re so thrilled with where the show is,” he added. “I think the competition is tighter than I think it’s ever been this early. It’s an amazing cast, they’re so so talented. I feel like we’ve got a really exciting competition that’s starting to kick in. So, we’re super excited about that.”
Dancing With the Stars returns next Monday for ’80s Night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, tune into Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday to hear more from the season 29 couples.
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