September 8, 2020
Derek Hough Says He Hopes To Be A 'Fair' & 'Fun' Judge As Fans React To His Return To 'Dancing With The Stars'

Dancing with the Stars fans are reacting to the news that Derek Hough will be returning to the show as a judge alongside Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. The six-time mirrorball trophy winner will replace veteran judge Len Goodman for the upcoming 29th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition.

After the big news was announced on Good Morning America, Derek shared the teaser video of his DWTS return to his Instagram page, in a post that can be seen here.

In the caption to the post, the Emmy-winning choreographer, who last appeared on the series in 2016 before he exited to join the cast of NBC's World of Dance, wrote that DWTS gave him many memories and "priceless" experiences.

"I look forward to returning as a judge," Derek wrote. "I hope to be fair, fun, encouraging, honest, helpful, compassionate and I look forward to watching these amazing journeys unfold."

Many fans commented on the post to welcome Derek back to the show that made him a household name after he joined the cast as a choreographer in 2007. Some described his return as a full-circle moment, although some expressed disappointment that the talented pro dancer will be seated at the judges' desk instead of showing his moves on the dance floor.

Derek Hough dances with Dancing with the Stars pros.
ABC | Eric McCandless

Things got a little more heated in the comments to the same teaser video shared on the official Dancing with the Stars Instagram page, seen here.

While one viewer noted that getting Derek back is the "only smart move" producers made this season, others predicted it may not be enough to save the ABC dance-off amid the controversial casting shakeup that has America's Next Top Model alum Tyra Banks replacing longtime host Tom Bergeron. Longtime viewers are furious over the unexpected firing of the series'original emcee after 28 seasons.

"Had to bring him back to counter Tyra," one commenter wrote of Derek.

"And it's still not enough," another replied.

"Trying to make up for the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mistake..." a third commented.

"Sorry not even Derek can make up for losing Tom #bringbackTom," another added.

Derek recently admitted he was shocked by the sudden hosting change because he considered the television veteran to be a "staple" of DWTS. In an interview with Extra TV, he added that while he was surprised by the move, but he felt it could be time for a change from the show's long-running formula. Derek noted that producers may have wanted to "switch things up" and "reinvigorate" the competition.

In the same interview, Derek teased that he could return to Dancing with the Stars at some point. He credited the celebrity ballroom competition for launching his career.