Credit: ABC

It’s close to mid-February, which means the Dancing With the Stars pros should soon be learning their fates for the spring Season 18.

We recently speculated about the returning pros, but there’s always a question mark about Derek Hough. In the past he’s talked about other opportunities he wants to pursue — and he was actually rumored to be skipping last year’s spring season, then he showed up when his schedule was free. Derek won that Season 16 (with Kellie Pickler), plus this past fall’s Season 17 (with Amber Riley).

Derek has now won five seasons, which is three more than any other pro. To some fans, Derek is a huge reason they watch the show, and it doesn’t matter how many times he’s won, he should keep coming back. But, as Steph Pham noted in a Q&A with Derek’s fellow pro Tristan MacManus, some viewers thinks it’s time for Derek to give the other pros a chance. She asked Tristan if he thought Derek should take off Season 18 or maybe join the judges’ panel next season.

“It’s really up to Derek and where his ambitions lay, I guess,” Tristan answered. “Either way he is a great appeal and would be a great loss — maybe he has a lot of good offers, but not what he wants has come up yet, we will never know! People might say it's the right time to go, but every season everyone has as much chance as Derek to win. It’s funny when people suggest who is going to win before it even starts! You can only do what you can and everyone is always too quick to assume who is the best. There is no doubt that Derek is unbelievable, but I don’t think it’s right to suggest that he has to leave to ‘give the rest of us a chance.'.”

Yeah, it is a little backhanded to suggest Derek has to get out of the way for anyone else to shine. It’s not like he wins every single season — he’s not won seven of his competing seasons — and it’s not like he won his five trophies on his own. He had five phenomenal champion partners. Derek totally owned 2013 — even winning an Emmy for choreography — but he also had back-to-back powerhouse celeb matches. Maybe Tristan would’ve won if he had been partnered with Kellie or Amber too. That we will also never know.

It would be great to see both Derek and Tristan return for Season 18, but with the kind of partners the other tends to get.  

What do you think? Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on Derek, one way or the other, so do you think he should return to compete on Season 18? Go into judging? If he competes, what “type” of celeb should he dance with? Do you like when he gets a Nicole Scherzinger type so he can really show his stuff or is it time for him to get, say, a Cloris Leachman?

Source: Steph Pham