Fan-favorite “Dancing With the Stars” cast member Derek Hough, who became a full-time judge in season 29, has confirmed that he is returning for season 31 when the show moves from ABC to Disney Plus. He and fellow cast member Cheryl Burke have also given interviews where they weigh in on how exactly they feel about the Disney Plus move.
Hough Said He’ll Absolutely Be Back on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” at the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick” on May 4, Derek was asked if he will return to the show now that it is moving to Disney Plus and he said he will definitely be back.
He also said he doesn’t “exactly” know who else is returning, but added, “I’m sure a lot of familiar faces will be there, of course.”
Fans have definitely been wondering if all of their favorite pros will be back for the first Disney Plus season — and they’ve also wondered about a few pros who were there in recent years but were not a part of season 30, like Peta Murgatroyd and Keo Motsepe, though Peta recently revealed that she and her husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy are trying to get pregnant, so she may be done with “Dancing With the Stars,” at least for a while.
There is also the fact that Sharna Burgess will have just given birth in July, so her participation might be up in the air, and fellow pros Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold have both started talking about having baby No. 2, so that could also be a factor.
And of course, there are retirements to consider. Val Chmerkovskiy has said several times that season 30 was his last; veteran pro Cheryl Burke has also talked about retirement, though she wants one more crack at earning her third Mirrorball trophy before she hangs up her dancing shoes.
Cheryl & Derek Both Weighed in the Disney Plus Move
“Entertainment Tonight” also asked Derek about the show moving ot Disney Plus and he said that he was shocked at first but he’s “very, very excited.”
“At first, I was like, ‘Wha? What does that mean?!’ But within 10 seconds, I was very, very excited about it. I think that’s where a lot of things are moving toward,” said Derek, adding, “‘Dancing With the Stars’ has always been a trailblazer, they’ve always been the first to do things. So to move into this area is very bold, very brave, and I’m very excited about it, to be a part of that new phase in television!”
He also said that since the show will no longer be constrained by the rules and regulations of broadcast television, it may allow for some bursts of creativity that the show hasn’t had before.
“It’s more opportunity for more performances, more dances, more creativity… so I’m excited about that too,” said Derek.
Cheryl expressed a similar sentiment during her May 4 appearance on “The Tamron Hall Show,” saying that she’s excited that the West Coast audience will be on the same footing as the East Coast audience for a change.
“I think [we’ll find] a new audience on top of our loyal fans as well. It’s the first time — this is live, still the same format, it’s going live, voting. At least West Coast and East Coast can vote now together and West Coast won’t have to just base it on a popularity contest, right? It’ll be completely even in that sense,” said Cheryl.
She also added that this is a “huge deal that we need to all celebrate.”
“Imagine Disney Night! It’s gonna be huge,” said Cheryl.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for season 31 in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.