ET spoke with the new host and executive producer of the dance competition show this week, where she revealed what fans can expect ahead of the premiere on Sept. 14. While the pro dancers and celebrity contestants have already been announced, some fans have been wondering whether judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will be returning to the ballroom.
"Carrie Ann is definitely back, and Bruno, who I can't wait to vibe with because he is just as crazy as I am," Banks, 46, confirmed to ET. "At the moment, we're trying to figure out how to incorporate Len Goodman because he is in England and there's all these travel restrictions because of COVID-19. So we're trying to figure that out."
Banks, who previously was a judge for shows like America's Next Top Model, added that having to sit back and simply watch the dances isn't going to be an easy feat.
"That's going to be the hardest thing in the world. I'm not a professional dancer but I still know performance and I know it well," she explained. "So to have to hold back and not be able to [critique], like, that's not my role. My role is to be the cheerleader, to be the champ, to be that ringmaster and to be, I call it, the hype-man DJ. To keep the room pumped."
Banks joked, however, that she "might have to cuss out a judge every now and then" though.
"I'm going to so get with the judges," she said. "And it's live TV, so you just never know what's going to happen."
"I'mma be like, 'Bruno, sit yo a** down, right now, OK? Because you are saying that they needed to twist and turn and dip more but I think that it was amazing, so why don't you dip, baby, dip back into that seat,'" she joked. "I love you, Bruno!"
ET reported on Thursday that six-time mirrorball champion Derek Hough will also be returning to the ballroom this season, though his role has yet to be revealed. Fans on social media are speculating that if he's not returning as a pro dancer, perhaps he could be added to the judges panel, or co-host alongside Banks? Obviously, we had to go straight to the source!
"Yeah, Derek is coming back in a very interesting way," Banks shared, playing coy. "I am very excited about that because I know Derek and he's fun. But you just gonna have to wait and see how he's coming back. You'll know next week!"
Hough's official role will be revealed next Tuesday during Good Morning America.
As for what new innovation Banks plans to bring to the show? She told ET her top priority is making sure there's something for everyone.
"I think it's important to continue to make sure that younger people are watching the show with their older family members, that co-viewing, of bringing everybody together," she said. "So I have some ideas on having a little popular dance mixed [in], we have some ideas, we'll be testing that and seeing how people are feeling that.
"And there's some other things I'm not supposed to share, but, trying to turn it up a notch!" she added. "But not too much, because the show is a hit. I'm not coming here with a sledgehammer... that'd be dumb. So just adding some sprinkle pixie dust to it."
Plus, with her background in modeling and fashion, we imagine Banks will bring some sort of new "style" to the ballroom.
"I had a Zoom meeting with all of the dancers, and I told them there's like a 'Mmm' [in fashion]," she revealed. "Some of the dancers were like, 'Oh my god, that's so exciting,' and Cheryl Burke was like, 'Uhhh, OK?.' She probably got off that Zoom and was like, 'Damn, that Tyra! Making us do things that are not exactly our specialty.'"
"So we're going to be trying a couple of new things," she teased. "We're going to see how the dancers feel it, and how the audiences feel it, but I got to come in and do a little something different."
Later in the interview, Banks also opened up about how she managed to take over the Dancing With the Stars hosting role from longtime hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.
"I got a call many months ago, and [producers] just kind of threw the idea out there," she shared. "I was like, 'Hmm.' I thought about it and thought about it and so there were conversations going on for a couple of months. The sealer was my mom. I asked my mom, I was like, 'Mom, should I host and executive produce Dancing With the Stars?' She's like, 'Should you? Girl, please, that's Americana, they need you. This isn't even a question, honey.'"
Banks also gave a loving shout-out to Bergeron, who until this season, had hosted the show since the beginning.
"Tom, I respect you so much. What you have done for Dancing With the Stars, there's a reason why it is a successful show. Yes, amazing producers, yes, amazing concepts, but [you]. I hope to do you proud, and if I make mistakes, I want you to hit me up in the DMs and let me know. Like, 'Girl, you messed that up.' Because I want to make you proud. Thank you so much."