Derek Hough Defends ‘Tough’ Criticism On ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Derek Hough attends the 24th annual Keep Memory Alive 'Power of Love Gala'
Bryan Steffy / Getty Images

Derek Hough has faced backlash for what some fans say is overly tough criticism of the contestants on Dancing with the Stars. He defended his critiques, saying that he is aiming to help everyone improve.

As Us Weekly reported on Sunday, Hough explained that fans had confronted him about his “tough” attitude.

“I was like, ‘Was I?’ It’s so funny,” Hough said. “I had no intention to be tough or anything like that, but I guess what I realize, for me, is that I think I just have a lot of respect. I have a lot of respect for these celebrities and what they’re doing and I genuinely want to give them some feedback.”

He added that when he was performing professionally, he wanted the same kind of treatment.

“‘Cause I know for me when I was a pro, I wanted actual feedback. I want to learn how to be better. So that’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.

He added that his intention was never to be overly mean, but to provide useful information that the contestants can use to improve their performance.

“My intention is I really, genuinely want them to be better,” Hough said.

Hough joined the show for its 29th season, along with co-stars Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Rather than just filling the judge’s seat, he is trying to act as a coach, he said.

He also explained that one of the biggest challenges he has been facing is how to provide as much information as he can after a performance, given the short timeframe that he has.

The dancer reiterated that he would be dancing with his girlfriend, Hayley Erbert, on the competition later this season. It will be his first time doing so in three years, as The Inquisitr previously reported. He said that the two have been practicing and planning their big return to the stage.

In addition to providing help to the individuals appearing on the series, he has also been filming YouTube videos for his new channel that sees him cooking and hanging out with Erbert. The two have been known to bust out a dance or two while working in the kitchen.

Derek Hough, Jennifer Lopez, Jenna Dewan, and Ne-Yo attend a photo op for NBC's 'World Of Dance' at NBC Universal Lot on January 30, 2018 in Universal City, California.
  Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Hough surprised fans when he left Dancing with the Stars to head to a rival show, World of Dance. After four years, he returned to the show where it all started, reportedly angering his former co-star, Jennifer Lopez.