Emmy winner Derek Hough is currently taking Dancing With the Stars by storm (and topping the Leaderboard) with partner Amber Riley, but it’s been nine seasons since his sister Julianne Hough took the ballroom floor. However, that’s all changing tomorrow, October 7 when Julianne makes an official return to DWTS!
She announced the exciting news with Tom Bergeron on the September 23 show (while cheering on Derek from the audience), but unfortunately, it won’t be as a pro dancer. Instead, she’ll be at the judges’ table, stepping in for Len Goodman while he judges DWTS’ “mothership show,” Strictly Come Dancing in England.
An ABC press release confirms the exciting news, and Julianne will guest-judge for the first time alongside Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on Monday, October 7 at 8 p.m. ET! The two-time champ will lend her experience and advice to the dancers, and, in a video update on September 30, she promised that she won't go easy on anyone.
Of course, we also have to factor in that she has an obvious bias toward brother Derek, but we think she’s professional enough to give him the proper criticism and scores. The same goes for Maks Chmerkovskiy, who brother Val wants to return. In fact, in his TODAY blog, Val said that Maks is in talks to dance back into the ballroom — at least at the judges' table.
After Val raved about Julianne returning, even though he never danced with her, he said of Maks guest-judging: "My brother said to me that that was definitely a conversation that was had, and that it was something he would be very, very interested in doing. If the right people sit down and come up with the right plan and a common language, I think it could work out incredibly for the show. I wish that we could get my brother there eventually, but not as my brother, but as Maks, somebody who would be an incredibly professional judge, a very refreshing voice, and a pretty cool, pretty fresh perspective.
Sounds like a plan to us! Are you excited for Julianne to return to DWTS? Who else do you want to see guest-judge while Len is gone? Maks? Sound off below!
Catch the next episode of Dancing With the Stars on Monday, September 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.