DWTS Judge Derek Hough to Perform with Girlfriend Hayley Erbert for the 1st Time since 2017

ABC surprises "Dancing With the Stars" fans with news of judge Derek Hough returning to the dancefloor to perform with his girlfriend, Hayley Erbert.

"Dancing With the Stars" fans are going to get a fantastic surprise in an upcoming episode of the show's ongoing 29th season. 

Derek Hough, a 17-time pro and six-time Mirrorball champion, who now serves as a judge on the show, would return to the stage to dance with his girlfriend, Hayley Erbert.

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

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

Hough, who last competed on the stage in 2017, revealed that he was very excited to get up there and dance with his lovely girlfriend, Erbert. He added that they were already planning for the special day.

He also said that he wanted to bring his all to the dance floor and give viewers the best entertainment and joy. That was what made him happy, and that was why he loved the show.

Early in the month, the 35-year-old shared why this was the perfect time for his return for an in-show performance. 

The idea had been discussed several times, and according to him, it was even brought up the year before. However, finding the perfect time stood in the way of that.

Hough's appointment was a long-overdue homecoming for him.

They chose now because of how different everything was this season. They had no idea how the season was going to turn out and end up with all the COVID-19 restrictions. 

Interestingly, the dancer and judge found the uncertainty and air of mystery exciting. He loved the unknown, and he was ready to bring the heat to the dancefloor.

On September 8, it was revealed that Hough was returning to "Dancing With the Stars," but instead of returning as a dancer, he was going to wow fans by serving as a judge.

"Good Morning America" announced on Twitter: "BIG NEWS @DancingABC FANS! @derekhough is coming back to #DWTS…this time as a judge!...#DancingOnGMA.”

Hough joined returning judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on the panel. Sadly, longtime head judge Len Goodman could not return to serve alongside the three of them.

Due to the pandemic, Goodman had to chip in and offer his services and expertise all the way from the United Kingdom, much to the disappointment of many fans.

Hough's appointment was a long-overdue homecoming for him and the ABC show after his last appearance as a pro during the 23rd season. 

The 35-year-old also recently signed an overall deal with ABC Entertainment, which would have him host and commandeer several projects for the broadcaster. It seemed that Hough and ABC were forming a stronger and possibly long-lasting bond.

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