smart spending

Fame & Fortune: Tom Bergeron

Bankrate: Were you prepared for that windfall?

Tom Bergeron: We've always been very conservative with money. Yes, as the income increased as I went national and things turned into hits and franchises and the paychecks got bigger, I think we've always treated it with respect and understanding that this too could go away.

Bankrate: How difficult was it to adjust to "Dancing with the Stars"?

Tom Bergeron: That was a format that I needed to find the right way to host it. The first season and into part of the second season, I wasn't really happy with how I was doing it. I was using a lot of scripted material like they did in England with the British show "Strictly Come Dancing," and I just work better improvisationally. I finally said to the producers that I need to get rid of all this stuff, I need to just react honestly, and it will be organic. And that was a big change.

Bankrate: What's your most memorable moment on the show?

Tom Bergeron: Probably when Marie Osmond fainted. That was one of those moments where I was confident that I was completely centered and present, and the approach I was taking to hosting the show was the right one because I was able to just react in the way I want to react, which was immediate and properly.

Bankrate: What is the hardest thing about what you do?

Tom Bergeron: I think pacing, in terms of energy, particularly with a live show. We go live on the west coast at 5 p.m. on Monday and 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Just making sure that I'm aware of how I expend my energy so that in that hour or two hours of live television, that's when I peak for the day and that I haven't had my most creative energetic spurts like five hours earlier.

Bankrate: As the hardest working host in show business, is there still a challenge you'd like to tackle?

Tom Bergeron: Well, I'd better figure out a hobby because at some point when they send me to the old host's home, if I don't have a hobby, I'm screwed.

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