Karina Smirnoff Isn’t Sure It’s “Ethical” For Julianne Hough to Judge Brother Derek
Two-time Dancing With the Stars pro champion Julianne Hough certainly has enough experience to judge Season 19, but you can’t really dance around the elephant in the room: She'll be judging her brother Derek Hough on a weekly basis. Is that going to be an issue?
Julianne guest judged the fall 2013 Season 17 and spring 2014 Season 18 and got tough on pros Mark Ballas and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. But what about her five-time champ of a brother? As a now permanent judge — and one with a history of calling out pros — will Jules be more or less tough on her own bro? And will she be accused of bias either way, no matter what happens?
Longtime DWTS pro Karina Smirnoff, who won Season 13, talked to Us Weekly about the unusual situation. She and Julianne have known each other for many years and Karina said Julianne is “wonderful, gorgeous, and talented.” However, Karina added, “I don't know if it's ethical that she is judging while her brother is competing."
Karina brought up some interesting points, telling the magazine, "I may be the most fair person in the world, but if my mom is dancing and she trips, I would be like, 'Well, I didn't see that…' That is my mother, and I will go stand by her side and support her regardless. Do I think it's fair? No. But it is a TV show. That is what we have to remember. It's not necessarily the Bible, it's just a TV show."
Yep, it’s not a professional ballroom dance championship, it’s a TV show. But it’s also a competition with a prize at the end — a Mirror Ball trophy, but also increasing amounts of money for the celebs, the longer they stay in play. So it’s fair to question the system. Then again, there really is no one unbiased in the group at this point. If Maks were on the judges panel, the same thing would be said about Maks judging his brother Val Chmerkovskiy. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba used to date new competing pro Artem Chigvintsev, which she mentioned herself when he joined the pro troupe last season. Julianne grew up with Mark, and she’s known most of the pros for a long time now. It’s one big happy and occasionally dysfunctional family and you get what you get. Besides, the judges are supposed to judge the celebs, not the pros. And it’s not like the fans at home are unbiased either — and we have the bulk of the power.
Do you think it’s wrong for a judge to raise paddles for a family member, or do you think they can be fair and/or who cares, it’s just a TV show?
DWTS Season 19 premieres Monday, September 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC.