Julianne Hough to guest-judge Dancing With the Stars finale while brother Derek quarantines
The longtime pro, two-time champion, and former judge is stepping in as a guest judge for Monday's season 30 finale to replace her brother, Derek Hough, who is still in quarantine after testing positive for breakthrough COVID-19 last week. A show spokesperson tells EW that while Julianne will guest-judge the finale, Derek will still be part of the show, appearing in a pretaped skit as well as virtually. Entertainment Tonight first reported the news.
Filling in as guest judge should be easy for Julianne, who not only won DWTS in back-to-back seasons but also served as a judge for several seasons before eventually leaving the show in 2017. She'll join judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli for the finale.
Derek revealed on Instagram last week that he had to step back from appearing on DWTS due to testing positive for COVID. "Even though I've been fully vaccinated, I've just been diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID," he said. "I just found out and I feel okay. I feel strong. I'm currently taking advice from medical professionals to get better as fast as I can. I'm currently in quarantine. I'll make sure to keep you guys all updated with what's going on, but I just want to send my love out there to all. Stay safe."
Derek isn't the only person at DWTS to contract a case of breakthrough COVID this season. Contestant Cody Rigsby and his pro partner, Cheryl Burke, both tested positive earlier this season and had to perform a dance virtually from their respective homes while completing their quarantines.
The Dancing With the Stars season 30 finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are rare, but possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100 percent effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99 percent — are in unvaccinated people.