Derek Hough Is Returning to Dancing With the Stars As a Judge For Season 29

After four years away, Derek Hough is heading back to the ballroom as a judge for season 29 of Dancing With the Stars

By Lauren Piester Sep 08, 2020 12:30 PMTags

Derek Hough is making his triumphant return to Dancing With the Stars

The former pro revealed the news on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Sept. 8. 

Hough starred on the ABC reality series from season five through 23, only sitting out season 12 due to other commitments. He won the mirrorball a total of six times with partners Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley and Bindi Irwin. He came in second place with Shawn Johnson and Amy Purdy, and was eliminated in sixth place with Marilu Henner in his final season

Since leaving Dancing With the Stars in 2016, he joined NBC's World of Dance as a judge, meaning he definitely knows how to both compete in and judge a dance competition.

Hough will be following in his sister Julianne Hough's footsteps—er, two-step?—with this gig. After all, she served as a judge on seasons 19, 20, 21, 23 and 24.

Meet the Cast of Dancing With the Stars Season 29

In a conference call with E! News and other reporters, Hough revealed why he wanted to return to the DWTS ballroom.

"Oh, I just missed the rhinestones. I just, I missed the sparkles," he joked (or did he?). "I love the show so much—always have, and always will. The joy it brings, the pure entertainment. Just what it represents. I think it's much needed right now." 

It also helps that he spent 17 seasons on that set. 

"It's a very familiar sight," he said. "Coming back to the show—it feels like coming back home. I'm just very excited." 

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will return for season 29 while Len Goodman is sitting the season out due to pandemic-related travel issues. Len will still contribute to the season in some capacity, but he'll do it remotely from his home in the UK. 

Another new addition to the season is Tyra Bankswho replaces Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews as the new host. 

ABC/Adam Taylor

This season, the judges will get to hand out scores to stars including Carole Baskin, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Chrishell Stause, Skai Jackson, Johnny Weir, Nev Schulman, Jesse Metcalfe, Nelly, AJ McLeanJustina Machado, Monica Aldama, Jeannie Mai, Vernon Davis, Anne Heche and Charles Oakley.

Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC.