Julianne Hough shocked Dancing with the Stars fans this week when it was confirmed that she will not be returning as a judge for Season 25 when it debuts on September 18. But will she ever be on the show again?
While fans wondered why the star, who first began her relationship with the ABC show as a professional dancer a decade ago in 2007, had decided it was time to leave after 10 years, the real reason for her departure is now being revealed.
According to reports, it was very much Julianne's decision not to sit on the DWTS judging panel again alongside returning judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, as she decided it was time to go because "she's working on other projects and focusing on her acting career" right now.
That's according to Entertainment Tonight, who also confirmed that her decision to quit the popular dancing series – at least for the upcoming season – had nothing to do with her husband, Brooks Laich, whom she married in a romantic ceremony in July.
"It has nothing to do with her husband's schedule. She is so not that person," a source confirmed, denying that being a newlywed is the reason Derek Hough's sister decided to sit out Season 25. "She would never ever sacrifice her career for her husband."
Confirming that it was very much Hough's decision to leave, the source also noted that DWTS producers were left feeling "surprised" when Julianne told them that she didn't want to be a judge on the upcoming round of shows, debuting on ABC next week.
But it sounds like it's not all bad news for fans of the dancer and actress, who are hoping to see her back on the show.
The site also revealed that those behind the scenes believe Julianne will more than likely return to the show at some point in the future and the show would, seemingly, be happy to welcome her back.
"Often these dancers try to move on to what they hope are greener pastures only to realize that's not the case," said the DWTS insider.
"For Julianne, she is still on very good terms with everyone over at DWTS and no bridges were burned," the source continued. "Perhaps she'll be back in the future."
A Dancing with the Stars rep confirmed to Us Weekly on September 13 that Hough will not be back on the series later this month, but noted that Len, Bruno and Carrie all will.As for Julianne herself, she's yet to publicly comment on quitting the show. But while Hough may not be present on Season 25, there's no doubting that there's a huge number of big names ready to hit the ballroom this year. Celebrities throwing on their dancing shoes for DWTS this year include Nick Lachey and wife Vanessa Lachey, WWE star Nikki Bella and former Malcolm in the Middle actor Frankie Muniz.
Dancing with the Stars Season 25 is set to debut on ABC on September 18.
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