For season 29, the Dancing With the Stars judges panel had a new face on it in the form of professional dancer Derek Hough, who is himself a six-time winner of the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Hough took the place of judge Len Goodman, who was quarantined in England due to global travel restrictions. In a recent interview, professional dancer Jenna Johnson, who partnered runner-up Nev Schulman this season, was asked about Hough as a judge. Here’s what she had to say.
Johnson Said Hough As a Judge Is One of the Best Things to Happen to the Show
On a recent episode of the Hollywood Life podcast, Johnson said that Hough is one of the greatest things about this past season.
“[Hough as a judge] is one of the greatest things to have happened this season. I absolutely adore Derek. I feel really grateful because when I joined the show I was only 19 years old and I felt like I looked up to him so much,” said Johnson. “He was still on the show when I joined, so I got a few seasons of watching him, learning from him, working with him, partnering with him.”
She went on to say that Hough is “brilliant” and that it means a lot to the professional dancers to have someone judging them who has danced in their shoes.
“I absolutely love that there is someone from our end now sitting on the judges’ seat because they can relate, they know what the process is like, they know what we’re feeling, what we’re going through, how difficult it is to, week in and week out, come up with these routines, teach a celebrity partner and then show up on Monday night and perform it,” said Johnson.
She also said that Hough’s feedback was “perfect” every week.
“I think [his feedback was] so constructive in the most positive way and it’s realistic for you to then take back to the rehearsal studio and then work on for the coming week,” said Johnson.
Will Hough Remain A Judge For Season 30?
The official answer to whether HOugh will return as a judge in the future is that no one knows for sure yet — in fact, Dancing With the Stars technically hasn’t even been renewed for season 30 as of the writing of this piece.
However, it is sort of assumed in the TV world that ABC is going to bring the long-running reality competition series back. But the question is, will Hough return as a judge?
According to The Sun, the show wants him back. Inside sources told the newspaper that the show wants him back because he “knocked it out of the park” this past season, bringing “a fresh energy to the role and show, and is hugely popular with his screen stars, contestants and crew.”
One thing is certain — fans definitely want Hough back.
Dancing With the Stars season 30 should return in 2021 but ABC has not announced when it will premiere yet.