There were some major change ups to ‘DWTS’ this season due to COVID-19, but Jenna Johnson told HL that ‘one of the best’ was Derek Hough becoming a judge!
If you haven’t been keeping up with Dancing With The Stars this season, Jenna Johnson and her partner Nev Schulman are absolutely slaying the ballroom dance floor! The duo have captivated the audience and judges, alike, week to week with their boundless energy and chemistry. Jenna spoke to HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE podcast interview about this season of DWTS, the major changes that have been made and living apart from her husband Val Chmerkovskiy while the show tapes. LISTEN TO THE FULL HOLLYWOODLIFE PODCAST HERE!
Of all the crazy changes that have been put in place for this season of DWTS, like no live audience and the shortened rehearsal times, Jenna admitted that ‘one of the greatest’ was the addition of Derek Hough on the judges panel! “I absolutely adore Derek. I feel really grateful because when I joined the show, I was only 19 years old, and I felt like I looked up to him so much. He was still on the show when I joined and so I got a few seasons of watching him, learning from him, working with him and partnering with him,” she explained on the HL podcast. “I think he is brilliant and I absolutely love that there is someone from our end now sitting in the judges seat because they can relate. They know what the process is like, they know what we’re feeling what we’re going through, they know how difficult it is come up with these routines, teach a celebrity partner, and then show up on Monday night and perform it.”
Recall, Derek replaced former judge Len Goodman, who was unable to come film the show due to COVID restrictions because he is UK-based. “This show has been and will always be incredibly special to me,” Derek said in a statement about his return. “Coming back feels like coming home and I couldn’t be more excited to be back in the ballroom.”
This week, Jenna revealed that she and Nev would be doing a jazz dance, which she teased would bring out “really different side” of the Catfish host that “people aren’t going to expect of him.” She added that his Catfish experience has really prepared him well for the pressure of the show. “Oddly enough, he’s so comfortable in front of the camera and I think that’s honestly the biggest hurdle for some of our celebrities is being confident and comfortable in front of a flashing red light saying ‘we’re going live now.; You got to look alive, you’ve got to look like you’re enjoying yourself and you’ve got to perform, and that has helped him the absolute most,” Jenna explained of Nev.
We can’t wait to see what these two have up their sleeves tonight when Dancing With The Stars airs on ABC at 8 PM ET! Be sure to tune in and vote for Jenna and Nev!