There was no way ABC would bring back Derek Hough for Dancing With the Stars and not ask him to dance. Fans waiting for the new judge to put on his dancing shoes with girlfriend Hayley Erbert were rewarded for their patience as the two gave a breathtaking performance. Hough returned to the show this season to fill in for judge Len Goodman, who could not travel to the U.S. due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
Hough's dance on Monday night's episode was hyped up for weeks and even teased in the taped cold open. Hough was brought in for a mid-season evaluation and was asked how he'd rank his judge commentary so far. Hough thought he was doing a good job as a judge. When he was asked how he would rate his overall performance, he thought that meant it was time to dance. He rushed out of the room to prepare for his dance.
Erbert and Hough have been dating since 2015 and previously danced on DWTS together in 2017. There was speculation he might propose to Erbert during Monday's episode, but they both denied it in the works. "No," Hough said in an episode of their YouTube show. "That's not us," Erbert added.
GO DEREK!!!! EFf it up then!! #DWTS— Aesthetic Archive (@idolchanel) October 20, 2020
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Hough confirmed they were not going to get engaged on the show. "I'm just going to be straight up, that's not happening," he said. "Just because, that's just not my style I don't think, you know?" Hough later said it was exhausting to keep the details of his dance under wraps.prevnext
"It's just tiring. It was liberating, honestly, just being like, 'Hey, this is our relationship. This is cool. This is what it is and it's great,'" he told ET. "I think I just kind of got almost conditioned to feel or believe that I have to hide everything. When in reality I was just like, 'You know what? There's a freedom to just being open about it.'"prevnext
DEREK AND HAYLEY TIMEEEE!!!!!!! 🥳🎉 #DWTS— 𝔾𝕒𝕓𝕪 ミ☆CNCO3 (@beckyssecrets) October 20, 2020
This is Hough's first time dancing on the show since 2017. He has won two Emmys for Outstanding Choreography for his work on the show and has won the most mirror ball trophies with six. He won with Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley, and Bindi Irwin.prevnext
That said, I'd like to see Derek and @pashapashkov86 have a paso-off.— Andrew Kim (@akhoya87) October 20, 2020
"Someone said, 'Are you nervous about the expectations people might have for you, or that you might have for yourself?' And it's a sort of great expression -- of trading your expectation for appreciation," Hough told Entertainment Tonight. "That's how I feel. I just feel appreciative of being a part of this beautiful show once again and to have the opportunity to dance. I feel like that's the part that I'm taking with this one and I'm looking forward to it."prevnext
I would not want to be the contestant that has to follow Derek Hough. 😂😂😂 #DWTS— Arpita Venkatesh 🏳️🌈✊🏾 (@orcalover93) October 20, 2020
One person thought it would be really hard to follow-up Hough. That job landed with contestant Jeannie Mai.prevnext
Most of the responses to the dance were overwhelmingly positive. "Like damn....Derek!!!! That was some intense dance moves there. So quick and fast!!" one person wrote.prev