This week on Dancing with the Stars will witness the return of a familiar face, professional Mark Ballas, but he won’t be showing off any fancy footwork. The current star of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys will be taking the stage to sing while Derek Hough and Marilu Henner perform a samba.
As People reported, Ballas is just one of a few notable names that will drop by the ballroom on Monday night. Idina Menzel will perform and act as guest judge, and Leona Lewis will sing a classic from the play Cats while Calvin Johnson, Jr. and Lindsay Arnold dance a waltz.
Hough wrote in his TV Guide blog that Ballas took time out from his Broadway work to make a return to the Dancing with the Stars stage. He left the show on a high note, getting second place with partner Paige VanZant during Season 22, but chose to pursue other projects this fall instead of chasing the mirror ball one more time.
“Mark is actually going to take a break from ‘Jersey Boys’ this weekend to come out and sing during our number, which is awesome of him to do. The samba is going to be pretty straightforward. I feel like nowadays, there’s so much production going on in a routine that it’s unique to strip it down and not do the extra stuff, whereas it was the reverse back in the day.”
The couples will each perform two dances on Monday. For their second number, Derek and Marilu will pair up with Terra and Sasha for a jazz routine. The celebrities will perform solo without assistance from their pro partners, and Hough said his colleague came up with an interesting sequence.
“There’s a really funny and clever thing Sasha came up with for Marilu and Terra’s solo. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I think it’s going to be good. It’s a pretty cool visual thing.”
Derek also took the chance to rile up a bit of controversy by talking about the show’s editing of behind-the-scenes footage of himself and Marilu. The Taxi star took a tumble during week 7, which Hough told Fox News was likely the result of foot soreness. But the show did not make mention of her physical injuries until this past week, in the process showing a conversation between her and Derek that implied she wanted more time to rehearse and Hough was not willing to budge.
“[I]t came off like I was dismissing her and didn’t care, which is far from it. That quote was taken out of context; I was reassuring her that we had already put in a lot of hours, so she shouldn’t worry. Plus, with her injured feet, I didn’t want to push her and hurt her even more. But since her injury was virtually ignored on the show, most people wouldn’t have known about it.”
Hough recalled that Marilu teased him earlier in the season that perhaps the pair was getting along too well, as their pre-performance packages were a little thin on the usual drama. The couple has gotten well past the midpoint of the competition, as they are one of the final six contestant pairs. In addition to Terra Jole and Calvin Johnson, they are also up against Laurie Hernandez, Jana Kramer, and James Hinchcliffe, the race car driver who’s been a surprisingly strong contender.
In addition to working on Dancing with the Stars, Hough is also getting set for the television special Hairspray Live! People also reported he and his sister Julianne — a current DWTS judge — will host “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” on Thanksgiving. Julianne is also putting in some executive producer duties on the ABC network’s holiday celebration specials.
Dancing with the Stars airs Monday nights on ABC.
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]