Derek Hough Nearly Breaks Down on Live Television

Derek Hough

Heavy/ABC Derek Hough got emotional during DWTS.

Viewers were treated to some amazing performances during the season 32 “Dancing with the Stars” semifinals. The judges loved the dances as well, and one in particular had Derek Hough feeling quite emotional.

After a performance from Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy, Hough referenced beloved judge Len Goodman. Hough talked about how much Goodman would have loved the dance after the pair danced. As Hough spoke, he clearly had tears in his eyes as he expressed his thoughts. His message resonated with plenty of others too.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Mirrorball Trophy Has Been Renamed to Honor Len Goodman

As “Dancing with the Stars” fans learned at the beginning of season 32, the show has renamed the Mirrorball trophy to include Goodman’s name. As People shared, the iconic judge died in April, shortly after retiring in November 2022 at the end of season 31.

After Gomez and Chmerkovskiy did a waltz to the Lady Gaga song “La Vie En Rose,” Hough shared his thoughts. “I was thinking how important this season is, what the gravity of this season means … because this is the first time that we have the Len Goodman trophy,” he noted, as Us Weekly shared.

Hough continued, “And I’ll tell you right now, Len would’ve loved that dance.” He held back tears as he shared this with Gomez and Chmerkovskiy, and it seemed other “Dancing with the Stars” cast members and fans agreed.

The “Dancing with the Stars” judge added, “That was absolutely perfect. Perfect.”

Gomez and Chmerkovskiy received a perfect score of 30 out of 30 for their waltz. Earlier in the evening, they did a samba that received a perfect score as well.

Derek Hough Wasn’t the Only One Wowed By the Performance

There were several dances during the “Dancing with the Stars” season 32 semifinals that earned high praise and great scores from the judges. There were even some performances that generated some emotional responses from the judges.

After one of Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach’s performances, judge Carrie Ann Inaba asked if she could give Mraz a hug. The judges awarded several perfect scores and stood to applaud dances several times.

However, Hough’s thoughts on Goodman loving Gomez’s dance was a big moment that impacted plenty of others as well.

“She’s already won in my heart [because] of this dance,” one fan commented on the YouTube video of the performance.

Another fan commented, “This Waltz was honestly perfection!! Xochitl and Val are definitely going to win this thing!! Val’s choreography never disappoints!! So proud of both of these two!!!!”

“This dance will forever be unparalleled, I sat beside my parents whilst we watched and there wasn’t a single dry eye on the couch,” wrote someone else.

“I’m crying right now. This was so moving in ways that only a true artist can inspire deep within us. Absolutely beautiful, Xochitl! Thank you to Val and Xhochitl for giving their everything tonight,” a different person gushed.

On Instagram, “Dancing with the Stars” pro Emma Slater commented on the post representing Gomez and Chmerkovskiy’s waltz with “I mean!! Come on Queen!!”

Harry Jowsey, who competed with Rylee Arnold and was eliminated the prior week, commented “Winners  👏👏👏.”

“I’m sobbing from Derek’s comment about Len, he really would have loved that dance, beautiful job and the scores tonight were so well deserved,” read a fan’s note.