Pitbull is getting ready to heat up the Dancing with the Stars judges’ table. The Grammy-winning rapper will serve as the first guest judge on the 23rd season of the celebrity ballroom competition, and he’s doing it in conjunction with the perfect theme week: Latin Night. Pitbull will join longtime DWTS judges Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Julianne Hough to critique the stars’ Latin-themed Week 6 dances.
Pitbull will be tasked with judging Latin night dances that include the cha-cha (Marilu Henner/Derek Hough and Amber Rose/Maksim Chmerkovskiy), salsa (Laurie Hernandez/Val Chmerkovskiy and Ryan Lochte/Cheryl Burke), rumba (James Hinchliffe/Sharna Burgess), Argentine tango (Calvin Johnson/Lindsay Arnold and Jana Kramer/Gleb Savchenko), Paso doble (Terra Jole/Sasha Farber), and samba (Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev).
In addition to his duties as a guest judge, Pitbull will also perform on Dancing with the Stars. The Miami rapper will kick off the show with a performance of his song “Greenlight” with pals FloRida and Lunch Money Lewis.
While Pitbull seems like an unusual choice to judge a TV ballroom competition, this is not his first stint as a guest judge on Dancing with the Stars. In November 2014, Pitbull filled in for longtime judge Len Goodman and he definitely stirred the pot with some of his comments.
Pitbull admitted that he has absolutely no ballroom training or education about dance, but that didn’t stop him from getting real with then-contestant Janel Parrish and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, when he rated their samba. At the time, rumors were flying that this hot couple was heating things up both on and off the dance floor, but Pitbull told them he wasn’t feeling their dance at all.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 21, 2014
“I don’t know nothing about ballroom dancing,” Pitbull said, according to the Washington Post. “A little bit about dancing — but I know a lot about passion…
“I’m not being mean. I’m being real. When you go to the street club and you see them dance, you see the passion.”
Julianne Hough, who is often portrayed as the bad cop on this show, said Pitbull’s comments made her look not so mean. Pitbull gave Janel and Val a lowly score of 7. (As a reference, Hough and Tonioli gave the high-ranking couple 9s).
Later in the show, Pitbull said he didn’t want to nitpick on technicality.
“I’m not a dancer so I hate to be technical about things,” Pitbull said.
— Witney Carson (@LuvWitneyCarson) October 22, 2014
Seasoned DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba later gave Pitbull credit for noticing something that the other judges didn’t when she shared her thoughts about the performance on her Parade blog.
“Guest judge Pitbull made an interesting observation last night when he said he didn’t feel the passion,” Inaba wrote. “I find Janel to be an incredibly passionate performer. But this morning I can see what he was talking about. There was a disconnect between her passion for the movements and her connection to Val. She was too concentrated on the choreography, and she wasn’t able to connect as easily to Val or to the music. This is what I believe [Pitbull] was speaking to.”
Of course, Pitbull is not the first non-dancing celebrity to guest judge on Dancing with the Stars. Other guest judges have included comedian Kevin Hart, singer Jessie J, and LMFAO alum Redfoo, who later went on to compete on the celebrity ballroom competition.
For a non-dancer, Pitbull had had an interesting connection with Dancing with the Stars. Pitbull previously recorded a music video featuring his song “Feel this Moment” with the DWTS pros, which you can see below.
Tune in to Dancing with the Stars Monday night at 8 p.m. to see Pitbull rate the Latin Night dances.
[Featured Image by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Clear Channel]