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ET Online: Derek Hough Opens up about His New Role as a Judge on 'DWTS'

Lois Oladejo
Sep 10, 2020
10:30 A.M.
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Derek Hough has been announced as a judge for Season 29 of "Dancing With the Stars," and the professional dancer opened up about his new role in a recent interview.


On Tuesday, ABC announced that Derek Hough would serve as a judge in the next season. In a recent interview with ET's Keltie Knight, the 35-year-old dancer talked about the new role. He said:

"It was something that was talked about; I thought maybe last year." 

Derek Hough visits Hallmark's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on March 08, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


Hough later expressed concern about how the season would go through because of restrictions and protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the dancer said it excites him saying:

"I like that uncertainty; I like that unknown."

The choreographer revealed that the show is outstanding to him. He said his return to the show is like going back home, saying that he couldn't be happier to make his return to the ballroom.


Hough said, unlike Len Goodman, he would not be too strict on the contestants when assessing them. Goodman, a judge on the show, would not appear physically in the ballroom this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since Hough has the highest DWTS wins, he shared the secrets of winning the competition.

Speaking about Goodman, Hough said he does not know how the latter will be part of season 29 but thinks he will appear digitally. He emphasized the fact that he is not Goodman's replacement, saying that the old judge is still a part of the show.


The record-breaking dancer said he would be fair, honest, and soft on the competitors. He described himself as being energetic and very physical. He confessed that his compassion would come with honesty.

Hough said: "I know what it takes, and it's tough. It's hard, and to go all the way, it is not going to be easy." He has competed in the DWTS 17 times, winning six times in all, which is the highest any contestant has ever won. 


The six-time ballroom winner started his dancing career in his childhood, being born to a family of dancers — Hough's parents and grandparents were dancers. 

His parents took him to London when he clocked 12 to learn the skill under the supervision of Corky and Shirley Ballas, the parents DWTS professional, Mark Ballas.


Since Hough has the highest DWTS wins, he shared the secrets of winning the competition. He revealed that everything matters, including music, routines, costumes, and the story.

He explained that contestants have to connect with America, and they need to be playful. He opined that forming a link with the viewers at home will earn them votes. With Hough as a judge, the new DWTS season is sure to be entertaining.