Julianne Hough will guest-judge Dancing With The Stars later this season. The two-time champion and sister of current professional dancer Derek Hough will replace Len Goodman on Oct. 7. Goodman is taking the week off to concentrate on the British version of the series Strictly Come Dancing, where he is also a judge.
Julianne Hough was a professional dancer during the early years of Dancing With The Stars. She appeared in Seasons 4–8, winning her first two seasons with Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves, respectively. But she left the series several years ago to concentrate on her budding movie career. She has since starred in the musical films Footloose and Rock Of Ages and will soon appear in Paradise alongside Octavia Spencer and Russell Brand.
Some may wonder if Julianne Hough can be an impartial judge, especially since her brother, Derek Hough, is still competing on the series. He and Glee star Amber Riley are early favorites to win this season, so he should be around when his sister takes over as judge in Week 4. But the 2013 Emmy-winner told Zap2It that he thinks his sister will actually be harsher towards him.
"She's gonna kill me," Derek Hough said on Monday. "She's gonna absolutely kill me. She's gonna be all like, 'Remember that time when we were kids when you pulled the head of my Barbie? Guess what? 4! That's what you get!'"
While this would be hilarious, Derek Hough admitted he was only kidding with this comment. He unsurprisingly defended the selection of his sister Julianne as a Dancing With The Stars judge. "She'll be an amazing judge," he continued. "She's been on the show before and was amazing on the show. And she's got a really good mind and a phenomenal eye, and she's gonna judge it fairly."
Fellow pro Mark Ballas, who has known the Hough family for years, also thinks Julianne will be fair judge. "She'll be honest, whether you're family, a friend, or whatever to her," he told EW.com after Monday's episode. "She's gonna keep it real."
Still, it's hard to imagine Julianne Hough being harsh or blunt with her former cast members. And that, according to contestant Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, is a good thing.
"I am very excited," the Snooki & JWoww star said. "I'm a huge fan of hers, she's amazing, she's talented, she's gorgeous. And I feel like she's going to be a nice judge, which is refreshing."
Check out video of Julianne Hough's most famous Dancing With The Stars routines and judge her skills for yourself.