DWTS’ Derek Hough Talks Returning as a Pro

Derek Hough poses with the award for Outstanding Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming for "Dancing With The Stars" at the Creative Arts Emmys

Getty Derek Hough poses with the award for Outstanding Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming for "Dancing With The Stars" at the Creative Arts Emmys

Longtime “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Derek Hough started judging on the show in 2020 for season 29, but now he has some ideas about changing his role on the show. Read on to find out how he would love to return to the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom and how he thinks he and head judge Len Goodman are getting along this season so far.


Hough Wants to Work More With the Contestants


Derek Hough’s Horror Night Performance – Dancing with the StarsDerek Hough and Hayley Erbert dance the Tango to “Deadwood/New Blood” by Really Slow Motion/Zayde Wølf on Dancing with the Stars Horror Night! Subscribe: goo.gl/T7bg3N Watch Dancing with the Stars Mondays at 8/7c on ABC and Stream on Hulu!2021-10-26T01:52:59Z

It sounds like even though Hough enjoys his role as a judge, he misses his time as a professional partner, a role he held from season five until season 23 (winning the Mirrorball Trophy a record six times). He told Parade in an interview that he feels “very lucky” to be where he is, but he would also like to be more involved.

“I feel I’m very lucky right now where I can get the best of both worlds. I get to have those performances and those moments to dance, but I’m also very happy to be like, ‘Alright. Show me what you guys were working on all week,'” said Hough.

But he added, “I would love to just have an hour with each one of the celebrities. I would love that because I have so much more to share and to give and I feel like I could add some value to their experience in the process. So, I would love to have like 30 minutes to an hour with them and just give a little spiel and, hopefully, add some value to them.”

Indeed, fans think he has a lot to offer as a judge, so it would make a lot of sense if he were to step into some kind of coach or mentor role for the contestants.

“Honestly now that Len’s back, I realized that I didn’t really miss him. I much prefer Derek’s constructive criticism,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

Another added, “Len makes me so mad that he picks on the dancers that are good without giving constructive criticism. Give them notes like Derek does.”

“Derek gives constructive criticism but he feels like he actually cares about the contestants, love him,” wrote a third.


Speaking of Len Goodman, How Is It Working With Him Back on the Judges’ Panel?


Derek Hough's DWTS Audition – EXTENDED VERSIONCheck out Pro Derek Hough's initial audition for Dancing with the Stars way back in 2006! Subscribe: goo.gl/mo7HqT Watch Dancing with the Stars Mondays at 8|7c on ABC! Learn more about Dancing with The Stars: facebook.com/DWTS twitter.com/DancingABC instagram.com/DancingABC pinterest.com/DancingABC plus.google.com/+dancingwithth… DWTSABC.tumblr.com abc.com/DWTS Official Hashtag #DWTS2014-09-18T19:59:01Z

Parade asked Hough what it has been like with four judges on the panel this year — in 2020, due to pandemic travel restrictions, Goodman had to sit out season 29, so that was when Hough was tapped to fill in. In season 30, they kept both men on the panel. Hough thinks it’s been going really well so far, especially considering that he expected “a lot more disagreement.”

“It’s been really good. The judging, when I look back at it, it’s been a lot of agreement. I was actually expecting a lot more disagreement with Len because I’m a little bit more open to interpretation and he’s a little more about the rulebook, but we’ve pretty much been on the same page,” said Hough.

Prior to the season starting, Hough said he was “looking forward” to Goodman’s return, but he also admitted he was a little nervous about them being “very different” in their judging styles, so it’s nice to see he feels like it has gone smoothly this season.

Hough also dished on some behind-the-scenes sabotage on Goodman’s part when Hough was a pro — Goodman told him to incorporate something into a dance, Hough did so, and then Goodman scored them low anyway!

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.

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