Leah Remini To Return To ‘Dancing With The Stars’ For This Surprising Role

The 'DWTS' alum will take a prestigious seat at the judges' table this season.

Actress Leah Remini
Lou Rocco / ABC

The 'DWTS' alum will take a prestigious seat at the judges' table this season.

Leah Remini is headed back to the ballroom, but it’s not as a celebrity dancer or even a co-host. Instead, the former Dancing with the Stars competitor will take a seat alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli as a first-time guest judge on the 28th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, Entertainment Tonight reports.

The actress joins some prestigious company as a guest judge on the show. Past celebrity judges have included Cher, Donny Osmond, Paula Abdul, Pitbull, and Shania Twain.

Remini’s first time as a Dancing with the Stars guest judge comes as part of ABC’s “Cast From the Past” Week, which will feature favorite cast reunions on various shows on the network.

While this will be Remini’s first foray as a judge, she has plenty of experience in the Dancing with the Stars ballroom. The former King of Queens star competed during Season 17 of the show with pro partner Tony Dovolani, landing in fifth place behind that season’s winner, Amber Riley.

In addition, Remini filled in for absentee co-host Erin Andrews three times during Seasons 19 and 21. The Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath star gave longtime DWTS host Tom Bergeron a run for his money when it came to on-camera quips.

Still, on Twitter, some fans took issue with Remini as a guest judge due to her lack of experience.

“Nothing against Leah Remini, but I have lost all respect for #DWTS,” one viewer tweeted. “She is not a professional dancer; she should not be judging dancers.”

Extensive dance experience or not, Leah Remini is one of the most animated stars ever to grace the set of the celebrity dancing show. Fans may recall that she even took one for the team when she filled in as the guest host for a Halloween-themed episode while Erin Andrews covered the Major League Baseball playoffs four years ago.

During the 2015 Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars, then-troupe member Sasha Farber dressed as an evil clown and scared Remini so bad she jumped and fell to the ground in the middle of an interview on the live show. Farber told Fox 411 that producers put him up to the gag.


“I feel a little bit bad because I didn’t realize I would scare her that bad,” the DWTS star told Fox 411 of Remini. “She literally fell on the ground and screamed so I think I did all right. I did apologize to her.”

Now that Remini is a judge and Farber is a mirrorball trophy contender — the pro dancer is partnered with pop singer Ally Brooke for Season 28 — there could be payback.

Leah Remini joins Dancing with the Stars as a guest judge on Monday, October 7 on ABC.