Erin Andrews Right at Home on Dancing With the Stars

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People reports: That was my first thought as ABC’s long-running ballroom competition began its 18th season Monday – although that’s precisely the sort of thought the producers probably don’t welcome as they tweak and freshen an entertaining hit that has softened in the ratings.

The most newsworthy, even controversial change was hiring Erin Andrews, Fox Sports personality and former contestant from season 10, as co host.

The addition of Andrews would be less interesting if prior cohost Brooke Burke-Charvet hadn’t been let go last month with no official reason or apparent fault. According to cohost Tom Bergeron, Burke-Charvet has been a good sport about the whole thing, but her initial response was an attention-getting Tweet: “weird day….Shocking pre-season elimination #DWTS…ME.”

A well-timed Tweet can be like a stream of boiling water poured on a tightly organized community of ants.

Burke-Charvet, 42, always struck me as pretty, likable and pleasant, in the manner of a princess having the kingdom over for a garden party, and also nonthreatening, as perhaps she should have been. It would be unseemly and self-defeating to try to upstage Bergeron, who is flippant, charming and very much in command.

You couldn’t say Andrews, 35, staged a coup, but she wasted no time establishing herself on Monday.

Andrews talks with the flat, unhesitant delivery and slanginess of an experienced announcer, and she casually plants herself on the floor with a kind of no-nonsense strength. She is angular and even willowy, but her center of gravity appears to be unshakable. If you covered the Super Bowl, wouldn’t you be the same way? How would you survive otherwise?

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