'Dancing With the Stars' Alum Derek Hough Joins as Judge as Len Goodman Returns in Different Role for Season 29

Dancing With The Stars legend Derek Hough has officially been tapped to return for Season 29 of the beloved ABC dancing competition, though this time around he won't be battling it out on the dance floor. On Tuesday, the official Instagram account for DWTS announced that Hough will be rejoining the series at the judge's table, taking over for longtime judge Len Goodman, who will be trying his chops at an entirely new role.

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Last appearing on the dancing competition as a pro in Season 23, Hough will be joining returning judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli to judge pro dancers Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, Val Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Keo Motsepe, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, Brandon Armstrong, Sasha Farber, Pasha Pashkov, Emma Slater, Gleb Savchenko and Artem Chigvintsev, as well as newcomers Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach. They will be paired with celebrities including Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean, Tiger King subject Carole Baskin, Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause, and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, among several others. Pairings have not yet been revealed.

"This show has been and will always be incredibly special to me," Hough, a six-time Mirrorball trophy winner and current judge on NBC's World of Dance, said in a statement, according to PEOPLE. "Coming back feels like coming home and I couldn't be more excited to be back in the ballroom."

Goodman, meanwhile, will be returning to the show, though things will be slightly different than in season's past. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected numerous productions, Goodman is no longer able to judge the competition live in the ballroom and will instead continue to be part of the show by sharing his expertise from the U.K.

The shakeup at the judge's table marks just the latest to hit DWTS and follows the announcement earlier this summer that co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews would not be returning for Season 29. They will instead be replaced by reality TV show veteran Tyra Banks as the series looks to "embark on a new creative direction." During an episode of Bevelations on SiriusXM's Radio Andy in July, Hough weighed in on the shakeup, stating that he believes Banks will be a "fantastic" addition to the show.


Dancing With the Stars Season 29 premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest updates.