Dancing with the Stars fans were shocked to learn earlier this month that Julianne Hough had quit the show and would not be returning as a judge for Season 25, and now professional dancer Sharna Burgess is revealing how she really feels about the star quitting the show.
Speaking out in a new interview, DWTS pro Sharna revealed if she really misses seeing Julianne in the ballroom – and it sounds like she’s actually hoping to see her back sooner rather than later.
Burgess confirmed that she and her fellow dancers actually do miss seeing Julianne sitting alongside judges Carrie-Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Len Goodman on the judging panel because of the positive spin she would put on her criticisms when critiquing the dances.
“I miss [Julianne’s] energy up there, her knowledge on ballroom dance and the way she would critique the information she would give,” Sharna said of her former DWTS co-star in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I think she was such a wonderful part of our panel, and she is seriously missed by all of us.”
“We don’t have that bubbly, bright positivity sitting in the middle, and I’d never even thought of that,” Sharna continued of why Julianne is so missed by this year’s crop of Dancing with the Stars dancers.
Ok D we see you giving all the fire all the power and #allthethings to this paso !!!! The scores will come @dereklfisher , especially when you have a beautiful combination of work ethic, passion and patience like you do. Remember... it's all about the long game. Tortoise and the Hare my friend ???? I love our team and I'm so freaking proud of us. #teamhoopsandheels ALL DAMN DAY!! ???????? Loverz we are so so grateful for you keeping us in, and truly we need your votes, we are at the bottom of that leader board and while we work our butts off to climb it we need your help to keep us here. We love and appreciate every single one of you. Please vote all the ways ❤️#dwts @dancingabc
“Even if Jules was to give a six, she always had something [nice] to say about it,” she added.
While Julianne has stayed seriously tight-lipped about her departure from the ABC show and is yet to publicly address her decision to quit, sources told Entertainment Tonight earlier this month that she decided it was time to leave the show because she wanted to focus more on her acting career.
The star, who’s previously had big roles in the 2011 remake of Footloose and the 2013 romantic comedy Safe Haven alongside Josh Duhamel, allegedly wanted to step away from the ballroom in order to put her focus back on acting.
The insider claimed Hough’s also been working on a number of undisclosed “other projects,” which likely includes the upcoming movie Bigger which she just announced on Instagram this week that she is “excited” to be a part of.
Julianne famously started as a professional dancer on the show in 2007 and then became a permanent judge seven years later in 2014.
But while she’ll be absent for the current season, it sounds like everyone missing Hough at Dancing with the Stars may not have to wait too long to see her back on the show.
The source admitted that producers were “surprised” when Derek Hough’s sister told them that she would not be returning for Season 25 but claimed that they believe she’ll be back as a judge at some point.
“Often these dancers try to move on to what they hope are greener pastures only to realize that’s not the case,” the outlet’s insider said after it was confirmed that Hough would not be back to judge Burgess and her fellow pros this year.
“For Julianne, she is still on very good terms with everyone over at DWTS and no bridges were burned,” the Dancing with the Stars source continued before musing, “Perhaps she’ll be back in the future.”
As for Sharna, she’s currently heating up the ballroom with her former NBA player partner Derek Fisher.
Burgess and Derek are competing against a slew of other big name stars, including former Malcom in the Middle actor Frankie Muniz, WWE diva Nikki Bella, and singer Nick Lachey, for the mirror ball trophy.
Dancing with the Stars Season 25 airs on Monday and Tuesday nights on ABC.
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]