Derek Hough reacted to a major “Dancing With the Stars” casting rumor. In an April 2023 interview with Us Weekly, the six-time mirrorball champion turned DWTS judge was caught off guard when asked if there is any truth to rumors that “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix will be joining the show for season 32.
At first, Hough appeared confused when he heard the name “Vanderpump,” and he referenced “Vanderpump Rules” series star Lisa Vanderpump, who competed on season 16 of the celebrity ballroom competition with pro partner Gleb Savchenko.
Here’s what you need to know:
Derek Hough Admitted He’s the ‘Worst Person’ to Ask About ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Spoilers
When asked if Madix was indeed joining the cast for the season set to air this fall, Hough apologized. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m, like, the worst person to ask for that.”
“I almost purposely try not to find out because I actually enjoy when they do the announcement, I like to experience it myself,” he explained. “I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s find out.’ I’m excited to see what happens though!”
The Emmy-winning choreographer also marveled at how the DWTS casting agents “keep doing it” each season and note that every season gets better with the casting choices. “The cast are always fantastic and even the people that you’re like, ‘Who’s that?’ They end up being your favorite person,” he said. “It’s a great show.”
In March 2023, Page Six reported that Madix was in negotiations to compete in season 32 of “Dancing With the Stars,” which will premiere in September on Disney+. “ABC is in late stage conversations with [Madix] to be a contestant to join ‘DWTS’ this fall,” a source said at the time, noting that the reality TV veteran has already received all of the required sign-offs from NBCUniversal/Bravo, the home of “Vanderpump Rules.”
The rumors about Madix joining “Dancing With the Stars” comes amid her former boyfriend Tom Sandoval’s headline-making seven-month cheating scandal with their co-star Raquel Leviss. Madix and Sandoval had a nine-year relationship and own a home together in Valley Village, California.
Madix does have some prior dance experience. According to her website, she has won two dance national competitions in the past.
Ariana Madix is Not Confirmed for DWTS, But the Co-Hosts Are Set
While fans will have to wait closer to the premiere date to see if Madix is indeed part of the “Dancing With the Stars” cast, a few casting decisions have been confirmed.
According to Gold Derby, Hough’s sister, Julianne, has signed on to be a co-host with Alfonso Ribeiro for season 32. Host Tyra Banks has departed the show.
As for the judges, Hough told Us he thinks three is the magic number, meaning he expects to be back with Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli amid head judge Len Goodman’s departure.
“I think [they are] kind of realizing that three is the right amount,” he said. “And what’s good about three is that it also allows space for guest judges.”