ABC has officially named Erin Andrews as a new co-host on "Dancing with the Stars". The news first broke on Sunday, February 23, but the network only confirmed the story on Monday via a press release.
Speaking about her new gig, Andrews realizes that it's going to be an adjustment. "I don't blame the audience at all. How could you?" she tells PEOPLE. "I know that I have huge shoes to fill."
Praising Brooke Burke-Charvet whom she replaces, the Fox Sports reporter adds, "I'm a fan of Brooke. She was very wonderful toward me in my season. She was so caring and so fantastic. I can only hope I can emulate somebody like that and use her for guidance."
The 35-year-old, who was a contestant in season 10 of "DWTS", promises that she will be herself when doing the ballroom interviews. As for her style role model, she looks to Cat Deeley who hosts "So You Think You Can Dance".
"Dancing has always been a family. I call it the 'Dancing with the Stars' mafia. Once you're in that mafia, you're always in. It's always so much of your life. I'm just excited to be coming home," she gushes.
Andrews will juggle her job as Fox Sports reporter and her new "DWTS" co-hosting stint. "When they approached me, I really didn't even know if it was going to be possible because I'm fully committed to Fox Sports. That's my love," she recalls. But Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks has given his consent to Andrews taking on the role on the ABC reality series, with the cable sports network stressing, "Fox Sports responsibilities remain the top priority."
Burke-Charvet, meanwhile, continues showing her positive attitude despite her shocking firing. "Here's the skinny-The show found out Harold Wheeler, the band, Rob & me were putting together our own road show, so they fired us all!" she recently tweeted. "Off to bed with my sense of humor. I was totally kidding Tweeties. Night nite! Sweet dreams."
The 18th season of "DWTS" kicks off Monday, March 17 at 8 P.M. ET with Andrews joining Tom Bergeron as host. The all-new celebrity cast will be revealed Tuesday, March 4 on "Good Morning America".