Dancing With the Stars Finds the Perfect Guest Judge to Fill in for Derek Hough

Ahead of the Dancing With the Stars season 30 finale, it was revealed that a guest judge will be filling in for Derek Hough, who is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

By Alyssa Ray Nov 23, 2021 12:04 AMTags
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Keeping it in the family.

E! News has learned that Julianne Hough will be filling in for brother Derek Hough on the judges' panel for the season 30 finale of Dancing With the Stars, which airs tonight, Nov. 22. This news comes almost a week after Derek announced that he was diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.

"I feel okay," he shared in an Instagram post from Nov. 16. "I feel strong, but I'm currently taking advice from medical professionals. Doing everything I can to get better as fast as I can. I'm currently in quarantine and I'll make sure I keep you guys all updated with what's going on. I just wanted to send a lot of love out there to all."

At the time, it was unclear what Derek's diagnosis would mean for the finale, but it was unlikely that he would be physically present for the season 30 closer. Now it's confirmed that Derek's sister and fellow Dancing With the Stars vet will be returning to the ballroom, four years after she departed her own judge's seat.

Keeping Score of Dancing With the Stars Season 30

Julianne teased her DWTS return on Instagram, as she filmed herself calling Derek from his dressing room. During the conversation, Derek assured Julianne that he was "feeling like myself again."


Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

He also made sure to hype Julianne up before the season 30 finale, noting, "You are already got it. You know what's up!"

While we're certainly excited by Julianne's addition to the finale, we do have a happy update about Derek to share. Though Derek is still recovering, he's still slated to virtually participate in the finale, according to Entertainment Tonight.

Julianne certainly has a lot to look forward to tonight, as the finale includes JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy; Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten; Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke and Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach. As for who will take home the coveted Mirrorball trophy? You'll have to tune in to find out.

Dancing With the Stars' season 30 finale airs tonight, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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