DWTS hosts Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro explain how the Disney+ move changed things for the better

Season 31 of Dancing With the stars is bigger and better than ever.

The new season of the hit reality competition will debut on September 19, but not on its longtime ABC home. Instead, the show will air on Disney+ as the streamer’s first-ever live reality show, a move that hosts Tyra Banks and Alphonse Ribeiro think it’s a good one.

Why? Well, the streaming format means no ads, which means more dancers.

“No publicity…allowed us to have more contestants with the time we have now,” Ribeiro told E! New. “We don’t have to fly through the show as quickly as we used to. We can let this thing live and breathe a little longer.”

This year there are a record 16 competitors competing for the Mirrorball Trophy, including real housewife Therese Giudice and jerseyshore star Vinny Guadagnino. But because of that extra time, Ribeiro added, the show will dive even deeper into those contestants’ stories.

“One of the things that I think is so important that people don’t recognize about this show is that it’s actually a show about a trip,” the host noted. “It’s a story, and we tell 16 individual stories every week. And our goal is to make sure we can tell their story. What are they going through? What does this week look like?”

Dancing with the stars Season 31 cast

Behind the scenes, the move to Disney+ is also a relief for hosts. Banks explained that she wore an earpiece during filming and the producers told her when to ban the judges from speaking and go to a commercial break.

And while there won’t be any more commercials, Banks said executive producers would still advise her to move on with the show.

“They were like, ‘Tyra, we’re gonna say that again. We’re still gonna make you tell the judges to tie it up, but they’re gonna have more time,'” she said. “It hurts my soul to have to interrupt the judges because of this period, but by not having the commercials, we’re going to be able to see a little more breath and air.”

ABC/Sebastien Kim

Watch the 16 contestants go head-to-head when Dancing with the stars premieres September 19 on Disney+.

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