Len Goodman, head judge of DWTS from the start, mentioned at the end of Season 18 that he might not return to the show. He also judges Strictly Come Dancing in London in the fall (so does Bruno Tonioli) and at 70, he was reportedly looking to limit that crazy commute.
Many fans hoped Len would either change his mind or work out some kind of relaxed schedule between both shows, and it sounds like that might be what’s happening. Cheryl Burke recently mentioned the idea of DWTS going to four judges in Season 19, since Len was thinking of taking a few weeks off. That at least sounded like he did plan to return for the fall season.
Glamour just talked to new showrunner Rob Wade — who is returning to DWTS after a few years away — and asked if Len, Bruno, and Carrie Ann Inaba would all be coming back. “Absolutely,” Rob said. “We want all of the judges back.” But want is not that same thing as definitely coming back.Glamour asked if it was a done deal that the original trio would return. “We’re talking at the moment because we’re in the off-season," he said, "but I’m very confident that they’ll be back.”
Glamour also asked host Tom Bergeron about the guest judging situation, since there were more guests than ever in the spring season. Does he want more guest judges in S19? Does he like having them in the lineup? “Sometimes,” Tom answered. “I thought Julianne Hough did an incredible job, and I’d love to see her come back.” Julianne Hough did make her mark (on Mark Ballas and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, especially).
Are you glad to hear the boss is confident Len, Bruno, and Carrie Ann will return? Do you hope they leave the panel with just that trio or do you hope for more guest judges or a “permanent” extra judge?
DWTS Season 19 premieres Monday, September 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC.