Derek Hough Explains Song Drama With Marilu Henner On 'Dancing With the Stars'

Sarah Field

It's not uncommon for the viewers of Dancing With the Stars to immediately recognize the songs that accompany the celebrity-pro dances. Whether it's a live performance by a noted music star, a cover version of a well-known classic or an original, fans usually hear a song they know before casting their votes. As the new TV Guide blog post by Derek Hough reveals, that's probably partly by design, as he had to fight with producers to get permission to use his chosen song for his most recent performance with Marilu Henner.

ABC reported that Derek and Marilu scored an impressive score of 27/30 (three 9s from the judges) for the emotional Viennese Waltz. It was on Most Memorable Year night when Marilu recalled 1978, which marked a great high and a great low. Her mother passed away just weeks before Marilu had her last audition for the 1970s sitcom Taxi, which would become her breakthrough role. People described Henner's videotaped package before the performance as "tearful."

"[T]he producers wanted to use a different song. I asked why and they were like, 'No one knows it.' But I stood my ground. It was the perfect song for Marilu and the dance. Plus, even if the song is not well known, people might search for it afterward and make it well known. It only helps everyone. We got so many messages afterward asking us what the song was. It was the same thing with my freestyle with Kellie Pickler -- no one knew that song either, but everyone asked afterward about it."

"We're calling it a 'chalsa.' The song is so salsa that I feel like I have to incorporate some salsa moves into it. Plus, it's Latin Week, so we want to make it fun and vibrant."
"[I]t's a harder with the cha-cha because there's more visible technique with the dance that you can see. But as an overall dance, I want to try to find moments where she can enjoy it and focus on the technique of the dance without over-thinking it."

[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]