“The businesswoman in me sees how Julianne is great on multiple levels. She’s a professional dancer. She is the sister of Derek [Hough], a DWTS multi-champion, who is now a stellar judge,” Banks, 49, exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. “It’s going to be a family affair in that ballroom which people will love to watch. And she has so much personality and strong opinions backed by expertise. She’s a perfect choice! She’s gonna crush it!”
“Tyra is constantly evolving and looking for new ways to amplify her platform, expand her brand and she always knows the right time to do it — it’s part of her decades-long success,” an insider tells Us of the decision. “Remember, she walked away from the runway to pursue hosting and executive producing. And today, her ice cream business is doing extremely well and she’s excited to focus on being an even stronger entrepreneur and launching new entertainment ventures.”
The insider adds, “Tyra is an innovator and a visionary so creating things from scratch is her super power. She craves spaces and places that have room for expansion and big, new ideas.”
Banks, for her part, tells Us that there’s a lot she will miss about the series, which moved from ABC to Disney+ for season 31.
“I loved walking out every week in over-the-top outfits to such a hyped ballroom. Seeing Derek Hough dance in person was such a treat,” she tells Us of his “mind-boggling amazingness!”
Banks adds of Carrie Ann Inaba and Alfonso Ribeiro (who will stay on board with Julianne as cohost): “I’m going to miss Carrie Ann’s kindness and warm heart and of course reminiscing with Alfonso about the good ole Fresh Prince days.”
“Tyra so enjoyed her time doing DWTS and working with everyone involved, from production to network execs, to the cast, fans and of course, Alfonso,” the source adds. “Tyra has a really strong working relationship with ABC and has upcoming projects in the works with the network.”
For more from Banks — including updates on her son, what she’s most proud of from her time on Dancing With the Stars and more — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.