Julianne Hough hints at replacing Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars

Julianne Hough close up
Former DWTS pro Julianne Hough said she would love to be back in the ballroom. Pic credit: ©

Could Julianne Hough fill Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman’s shoes, sitting next to her brother, Derek Hough, on the next season of DWTS?

Earlier this month, when longtime Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman announced he would be leaving the show after nearly two decades, it wasn’t clear who would replace him.

In his goodbye speech, Goodman, who is 78, said he would miss the action – and the California sun – but felt it was time to retire. 

“I haven’t fallen asleep or started dribbling yet on the show,” the former professional dancer joked to People, “so I thought it’s best to go before I start to do so!”

Goodman joined DWTS as head judge for its first season in 2005. He was joined by Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, both of whom have continued to serve as judges for all 31 seasons.

Over the years, the trio has also been joined by former DWTS pros Derek and Julianne Hough. Derek, who won the Mirrorball Trophy a record six times as a dancer, has been a judge since 2020. Julianne joined the judges’ panel from 2014 to 2017.

When he announced his retirement on the November 14 episode, Goodman received a standing ovation. Last week’s Season 31 finale, which ended with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio taking home the trophy, was his final episode.

DWTS alum Julianne Hough hints at return to the ballroom

The question of his replacement was not for him to decide, Goodman told People but said that any of the other current judges on the show “would make an excellent head judge.”

And who knows, he added, “maybe a fourth judge will be employed to replace me.”

Julianne referenced the possibility in a recent interview.

Shortly after Goodman shared his announcement, the former pro told E! News, “That would be amazing.”

Julianne Hough pays tribute to DWTS ‘legend’ Len Goodman

Hough also paid tribute to Goodman, whom she called a “legend.” The two have known each other since Hough was ten years old.

Goodman “has just completely changed the narrative of ballroom dancing and made it what it is today,” she told reporters.

Those are big dancing shoes to fill, but Hough – who took home the Mirrorball Trophy two times as a pro – seemed open to the challenge.

“I would love to be back in the ballroom at any point, just because that’s my family,” she told E! News. “Who knows what’s next, but I love that show. I love that family so much, so you never know!”

Dancing with the Stars is currently on hiatus.

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