‘Dancing With The Stars’ Host Tyra Banks Says Derek Hough Is Returning To The Show In A ‘Very Interesting’ Way

The new judge of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition teased the return of the six-time mirrorball champ.

Derek Hough poses for a Dancing with the Stars press photo.
Craig Sjodin / ABC

The new judge of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition teased the return of the six-time mirrorball champ.

Tyra Banks has confirmed that Derek Hough will be returning to Dancing with the Stars in a unique way.

Days after Good Morning America teased the mysterious return of the six-time mirrorball champion to the ABC ballroom, the show’s newly crowned host made it pretty clear he won’t be a surprise 16th pro dancer. But the fan-favorite will apparently be back in a different role.

“Yeah, Derek is coming back in a very interesting way,” Tyra told ET Online. “I am very excited about that because I know Derek and he’s fun. But you just gonna have to wait and see how he’s coming back. You’ll know next week!”

Tyra’s tease comes amid buzz that Derek could possibly be a judge on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. Fans know that he is currently a coach on the NBC competition show World of Dance alongside Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo. But it does sound like there could be the possibility of Derek joining the judges’ panel on DWTS in the way that his sister Julianne Hough did for several seasons.

In the ET interview, Tyra seemed to hint that there could be room for Derek at a table that may not be so crowded this season. The supermodel confirmed that veteran DWTS judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will both “definitely” be back in the ballroom this fall, but she did note that producers were still trying to figure out how to “incorporate” OG judge Len Goodman back to the fold because he is in England and there are so many travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dancing With the Stars judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli hold their paddles.
  Eric McCandless / ABC

With Len’s status on the show seemingly in limbo, it certainly sounds like a situation that could bring Derek back as a judge in some capacity. However, Tyra’s mention that his return will be “very interesting” does seem to point to a scenario that would not include him in the actual studio next to the two veterans who judged his dances for 17 seasons.

DWTS fans would love to see Derek back in any way for the new season. The Emmy-award winning dancer, who competed on the show from 2007 to 2016 and won a record number of mirrorball trophies, previously told Extra TV that he would never rule out a return to the TV ballroom competition that launched his career when he was a young dancer.

Derek’s official role on Dancing With the Stars will be revealed next Tuesday on Good Morning America.