Talk about an emotional ending. “Dancing With the Stars” concluded Week 5 of the hit ABC series on an tearful note Monday as show co-host Tom Bergeron paid a touching tribute to his father, Raymond Bergeron, who had died earlier in the day.
“My dad loved this show. Never missed an episode,” Bergeron said of his father while the Season 21 credits of the hit ABC dance series rolled. “And I’d like to think somewhere that he didn’t miss this one.”
Prior to the death of his dad, Bergeron had handed over his microphone and co-hosting duties to “DWTS” Season 19 champion Alfonso Ribeiro for the Week 4 installment so he could be by his father’s side.
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) October 5, 2015
The longtime host thanked Ribeiro, co-host Erin Andrews, fans and the rest of his “DWTS” family on Twitter for their “loving, unwavering support” and kind comments. One of the empathetic statements for which Bergeron was so grateful came from Derek Hough’s partner Bindi Irwin, who lost her father, Steve Irwin, in 2006.
“I was hugging [Tom] in dress rehearsal,” Irwin told People magazine after the live show ended. “It is a really, really tough club to be in, and my heart and soul and energy go out to him.”
The Aussie added losing a loved one is “the most challenging thing you can ever experience in life, but you have to remember that when someone passes away, they never leave you,” she continued. “They are always with you no matter where you go, and I hope that [Tom] remains strong and just surrounds himself with the love and light that is there for him, because we are all supporting him.”
After Week 5 of “DWTS” ended, Bergeron posted a sweet photo of father and son on Instagram with the caption “At my wedding and in my life, The Best Man. RIP.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.