Julianne Hough: New ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Judge Won’t Go Easy On Brother Derek

Julianne Hough may have spent years dancing beside — and against — her brother Derek, but now that she’s made the move to behind the judge’s table she’s not about to take it easy on him.

The 26-year-old former Dancing With The Stars pro has made a shift in Season 19, leaving the dance floor and joining the judging panel. She now has the chance to critique her brother Derek as he competes with YouTube sensation Bethany Mota, and said she’s ready to treat him like any other competitor.

“Everyone’s fair game at this point,” Julianne tells Hollywood Life.

“It’s not me judging my brother — it’s me judging the collaboration and connection that he has with his partner and the growth that I see her do,” Julianne adds. “If I see something where I’m like, ‘Yo Derek, you didn’t up your game with your partner, she could have done better this week,’ then I will call him out for sure. I’m not afraid of that. But he knows and hopefully everybody else knows too, it’s never to diss anybody or call anybody out, it’s because I really do want to see the people improve.”

Julianne almost never got the chance. Derek Hough said it was a tough decision for him to return to Dancing With The Stars this year.

In a blog post for TV Guide, he wrote, “I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back, not because I didn’t want to, but because I was exhausted. I think I’ve had a 24-hour vacation! I’m not complaining, but it’s been full-out. But after going on tour, I met all these people who are all huge fans of the show. Almost every single question I got was, “Are you gonna come back this season?” I don’t wanna let anyone down, I suppose.

Julianne Hough added that she’s not just some celebrity guest sitting at the judge’s table.

“I do have some knowledge, as far as technique goes. But also, on the other hand, it’s all about performance, too, and I’ve been on that other side, and I know how important it is to connect with the audience and the fans,” Julianne says. “I’m going to be honest and direct, but I’ll let things slide every once in a while.”

Fans can check out Julianne Hough and her brother Derek when Dancing With The Stars returns this week.

[Image via ABC News]