Derek Hough is returning to Dancing With the Stars as a judge
Derek Hough is stepping off the dance floor and behind the judges' table.
The six-time Dancing With the Stars champion is returning to the ABC series as a judge for the upcoming 29th season, four years after he departed the show. Hough, who is also a judge on NBC's World of Dance, was a professional dancer on DWTS from 2007 to 2016, and still holds the record for most wins.
"Coming back to the show, it feels like coming back home," Hough said during a virtual press conference. "The joy it brings, the pure entertainment, I think it's much needed right now… To be a part of that once again is a privilege."
Hough's sister Julianne was also a judge on DWTS for seasons 19-21, 23, and 24, after an earlier stint as a professional dancer on the show.
This news follows a shakeup at DWTS, with Tyra Banks taking over hosting duties from Tom Bergeron, and cohost Erin Andrews out as well. Banks previously teased big changes for the upcoming season, saying, "[We're] keeping the stuff that we know America loves, but you need to get ready because it's going to be different!"
Those differences will include measures to ensure a COVID-proof production, with contestants and their partners quarantining together to protect against coronavirus. "You're gonna get very close to your partner real quick, because that's gonna be pretty much the only person you're gonna see for the next few months," Hough said. "It's gonna make for some either really great relationships, or it's gonna get pretty tense pretty quick."
DWTS is set to return Sept. 14, with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, and Tiger King's Carole Baskin among this season's celebrity contestants.
Dancing With the Stars