Derek Hough may not be returning to Dancing with the Stars — at least not anytime soon. The professional dancer, who last appeared on the ABC show in 2016, hinted that he probably won’t be back on the show again after revealing that he’s already got big plans for the year ahead.
Hough, who’s been appearing on the Jennifer Lopez-produced series World of Dance this year, opened up to Us Weekly about his big plans and appeared to suggest that he’s now moved on to bigger and better things after appearing on DWTS for close to 10 years.
Speaking to the magazine in a new interview, Hough revealed that his plans for 2018 likely don’t include a return to the ABC dance floor.
“It was fantastic as far as going on new adventures and they worked out very well, so that was very good career-wise,” Derek said of 2017, his first full year away from Dancing with the Stars since he made his debut on the show a decade ago in 2007. “I feel great, this year was a very transitional year for me.”
Hinting that he won’t be back on the dancing series next year either after a “transitional” 2017, Derek then added, “I’m excited for 2018 — 2018 is jam-packed already. It’s already laid out.”
As fans of the show will already know, professional dancers for the new seasons usually aren’t locked down until just a month or two before the show starts, so Derek’s admission that he’s already got his 2018 fully planned out appears to hint he has no plans to return again next year.
Fellow professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd confirmed last month that she and husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy both had their DWTS contracts expire this year, adding that neither will know until a few weeks prior to the premiere if they’ll be dancing on the ABC show again for Season 26 in 2018.
Hough also revealed that he has big plans to travel over the coming months, appearing to suggest that a DWTS return isn’t on his radar right now.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to mix business with pleasure and going on these amazing trips, ventures, and traveling,” Derek continued to Us Weekly of what he’ll be trying his hand at next. “[I’m] going to Petra next week, then Jordan and Israel. I’m excited!”
And it sounds like it could be all change on Dancing with the Stars when Season 26 kicks off next year, as ABC revealed after Jordan Fisher took home the mirrorball trophy last month that the upcoming round of shows will actually be a mini-series made up entirely of athletes and sports stars.
In addition to Peta, Maksim, and Derek potentially leaving DWTS in 2018, another of the show’s most famous faces, Hough’s friend Mark Ballas, also recently teased that he may not be back again, either.
“I don’t know if I’ll be back in the future,” Mark told Closer last month when asked about returning to the series again after dancing with Lindsey Sterling during the recently wrapped season prior to Derek’s recent confession. “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
But while it could potentially be a new sweep of professionals, unconfirmed names already linked to DWTS Season 26 include football player Colin Kaepernick and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dancing with the Stars is set to return to ABC for an athlete only mini-series in 2018.