Why Isn’t Julianne Hough A Judge On ‘DWTS’?

Eric McCandlessABC

Dancing With the Stars is back for its 27th season, and it looks like it will be another Hough-free one. While six-time DWTS mirrorball champ Derek Hough stepped away from the ABC dancing competition after season 23, his sister Julianne now seems to be following in his footsteps. Julianne Hough’s last judging stint on Dancing With the Stars was back in season 24 and she is not on the cast list for the new 27th season.

Last fall, Julianne Hough told Access that while she loves the celebrity ballroom competition, she needed to make room for “new chapters of life.” The then-newlywed, who married hockey player Brooks Laich in July 2017, said she will always feel connected to the show.

“I mean, I love the show. I’ll always be a part of either the show somehow – Dancing with the Stars — or just being a part of like the movement of dance.”

The former DWTS pro dancer and judge expressed gratitude for being part of the elevation of dancers on TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and World of Dance.

“Usually dancers are in the background supporting, but they’re at the forefront right now and it makes me so happy that I was a part of that journey too,” Hough said.

Julianne’s brother also had a few words to say about his sister’s step back from her seat at the DWTS judges table next to longtime judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

“We were supposed to go back on tour, she’s just newly married, she is a very focused woman,” Derek Hough told Entertainment Tonight of his sister last year.

“She has her sights set on other opportunities and other things. Sometimes you just gotta step away from something for a little bit to create those opportunities. She’s Julianne, man. She’s a beast.”

Of course, there’s always the chance that Julianne Hough could turn up to be a guest judge this season on Dancing With the Stars. The 30-year-old dancing pro returned in season 25 as a guest judge for the two-part finale.

Over the past year, Hough also kept herself busy with last year’s Move On Live Tour with Derek, her collection of workout gear for MGP Sport, and her acting career. Hough is set to star in the big screen film, Bigger, playing Betty Weider, the superfit wife of bodybuilding legend Joe Weider (played by Tyler Hoechlin). So if Julianne Hough is on a break, it’s one busy break.

Dancing With the Stars returns with a two-night premiere Monday, Sept. 24 and Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c on ABC.