Tyra Banks & Alfonso Ribeiro Explain Larger DWTS Cast

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

The newest season of the hit reality competition is premiering Sept. 19—but not on its longtime ABC home. Instead, the show will air on Disney+ as the first-ever live reality show on the streamer, a move that hosts Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro think is a good one.

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

“No commercials…gave us the ability to have more contestants because of that time that we now have,” Ribeiro explained exclusively to E! News. “We don’t have to fly through the show as quickly as we used to. We can let this thing live and breath a little bit longer.”

This year, there are a record 16 contestants competing for the Mirrorball Trophy, including Real Housewife Teresa Giudice and Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino. But because of that extra time, Ribeiro added that the show will get to dive into these contestants’ stories even deeper. 

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

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