There’s a Dancing With the Stars surprise on the way! New DWTS host Tyra Banks, 46, revealed during a press junket that Derek Hough, 35, will be returning to the show in some capacity. “We are excited that Derek is going to be doing something next week,” Tyra told media outlets, including HollywoodLife. “It is revealed what he’s going to be doing and coming back because he’s Dancing With the Stars royalty. He started with the show as a pro and has made it really big. So for him to be coming back, I think is honoring his roots and the fans are going to be crazy excited.”
Tyra is right. Derek is Dancing With the Stars royalty. Derek last competed on the show in season 23. He’s won a whopping 6 mirrorball trophies over the course of his time as a pro. After it was teased by Good Morning America that Derek would be returning, fans began to speculate whether he could be a judge or a co-host with Tyra. The official announcement will be revealed Sept. 9.
Some fans are wondering if Derek will be filling in for longtime judge Len Goodman, who lives in the U.K. Tyra revealed the latest about the Len situation. “I know that we’re trying to figure out how to incorporate Len in this season because of the travel restrictions right now. There are some challenges, but we’re trying to figure that out,” Tyra said.
Derek is no stranger to judging. He has been a judge alongside Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo on World of Dance the past 4 seasons. When Derek left after season 23, he didn’t harbor any ill will towards DWTS. Back in 2019, Derek told reporters, including HollywoodLife, that he had “no plans” to return to DWTS. “But I never say never. I love the show. It’s great.”
DWTS season 29 will be a very different season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the health protocols, there will be no live audience and the married pros will have to live apart. The season 29 cast includes Carole Baskin, Nelly, Monica Aldama, Jesse Metcalfe, AJ McLean, Anne Heche, Johnny Weir, Vernon Davis, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Justina Machado, Charles Oakley, Jeanne Mai, Skai Jackson, Chrishell Stause, and Nev Schulman. Dancing With the Stars season 29 will premiere Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC.