ABC officially announced the news — which was rumored earlier this week — this morning on GMA and in a press release. This announcement also doubled as confirmation that Len Goodman will return this season, despite hints that he might want to retire, since the press release confirmed that Julianne will be a full time fourth judge, joining our regular panel of Len, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli.
“I’m so excited to be back with my Dancing with the Stars family again on a regular basis," Julianne said in the announcement. "I've always aspired to be an all-around entertainer, whether I'm acting, dancing or singing, and I’m thrilled for this opportunity that will allow me to continue all of those pursuits.Derek and I just finished our Move Live on Tour, which reminded me how much I miss the interaction with the dance fans that have been so supportive of me in my career. I am warming up the paddles and the sass, and I’m ready to have fun in this new role."
Len also released a cute Instagram vid welcoming Julianne back to the fold. "I want you to be a buffer between me and Bruno," he joked.
Does this mean that Maksim Chmerkovskiy will not be returning to the show as a judge, at least this season? That certainly appears to be the case, which we know will disappoint some fans. Unless the show decides to go for five judges? Or maybe Maks can sub in if Len takes a few weeks off, which he has done in the past when he wanted a break from traveling back and forth between L.A. for DWTS and the UK for Strictly Come Dancing, which he also judges.
Are you happy or disappointed with Julianne as a judge? Let us know in the comments below!