Julianne Hough Returning to DWTS… As a Fourth Judge — Yea or Nay?

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Should we brace for ABC to greenlight Keeping Up With the Houghs before Labor Day?

Hot on the heels of Derek Hough joining Season 3 of the network’s drama Nashville for a multi-episode arc, his sister Julianne appeared Thursday on Good Morning America to confirm the widespread rumor that she’s returning to Dancing With the Stars as a fourth judge for the show’s upcoming 19th season.

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Hough rose to fame during five seasons as a DWTS pro — taking home the Mirrorball Trophy with Apolo Anton Ohno and Hélio Castroneves in Seasons 4 and 5, but failing to make the finals in her three subsequent seasons.

Following Season 8, Hough exited DWTS to pursue careers as a country music singer and movie actress, scoring roles in musicals like Burlesque, Footloose and Rock of Ages, as well as the Nicholas Sparks romance Safe Haven.

Asked why she’s returning to her reality TV roots, Hough said she’s looking forward to “the camaraderie between the judges and being part of the show again” — and assured GMA‘s hosts that she can be objective when it comes to critiquing her brother, who is entering his 13th season as a pro (with five wins under his belt). “It’s not necessarily about Derek,” Julianne argued. It’s about “the celebrity and what they can do to improve each week.”

Hough will be seated alongside the show’s long-running trio of panelists Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.

How do you feel about Hough as a fourth judge? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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65 Comments
  1. ktbanks says:

    I’ll preface this by saying I loved her as a dancer on the show. However, I’m upset because the last two times she’s guest judged, she’s basically had a personal vendetta against certain pros. She couldn’t have made it more obvious if she tried. It came off rather snotty.

    • Thilia says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • robinepowell says:

      Right on.

    • Faye says:

      I agree with ktbanks, this was was not a good choice. I may watch one or two shows, haven’t decided yet.

    • Juju says:

      Agree completely. She was a terrible judge. The last thing the show needs is more of her.

    • Melissa says:

      Totally agree, Julianne simply can’t be objective. Besides that, DWTS should’ve learned from watching American Idol that 4 judges flat out doesn’t work.

    • cyclone says:

      @ktbanks I was all set to write my rant until I read yours and I was like nevermind you said it all. She seemed to have a very harsh personal vendetta against Mark in particular and I am not all that find of Mark myself and even I thought she was rough on him. Julianne tried and failed to launch a music and movie career so of course she was going to have big bro Derek pull some strings to get her that judging spot (cause you know he’s a Producer on the show now) because being a dancer again would be beneath her. I don’t know what it is about the Houghs that the DWTS people believe them to walk on water but in a few years time it may as well be renamed “Derek Hough presents Dancing With the Stars.” I think I will stop here before I go into my rant of why Derek should have gone home early last season and why he never gets the lame dancers.

  2. scout says:

    Zzzzzzzzzz followed by Zzzzzzzzz!

  3. anoninga says:

    Isn’t this the Hough that dressed in blackface? Yep, she’s a great pick. Some things you can’t forget, especially with what is playing out on tv everyday with Ferguson. I can’t justify watching a show that’s hired someone to judge others when the person has exercised questionable judgement in her own life. **eyeroll** DWTS has lost me as a viewer and I’m in the coveted demo. And Wango tango foxtrot, when did judging family members ever become okay. I guess the mirror ball trophy engravers can be proactive – go ahead and engrave the next one for Derek.

    • Lena says:

      I agree. Every time I look at her, I think about the “blackface” incident. Definitely won’t be watching and considering the ratings, DWTS can’t afford to lose that many viewers.Hope this is the show’s last year.

      • lechatnoir says:

        she should be punished severely. I am sure next time she’ll try a native american slutty look then a holocaust diet look .

  4. K2 says:

    The last thing this show needs is another voice to add to the cacophony of noise behind the judges’ table. The three existing judges are already fighting for time to speak. Viewers at home want to see less talking and more dancing. On top of that, the person they chose has proven herself to be catty and condescending in her two guest judge appearances. And don’t even get me started on her ignorant choice of Halloween costume. Surely a person who thinks blackface is a good idea is not qualified to judge anything else. I won’t be watching.

  5. Boiler says:

    I have no idea whether Julianne is a good choice as I don’t generally watch the show. However it seems like all these “reality” talent shows have moved to make the judges the most important part and whenever a performance can get fit in, great.

  6. ray says:

    I have to agree with other comments. I have never been a huge fan of Julianne, but was extremely turned off by her on her last two stints at the judges table. Besides not adding anything of value, both times she managed to take pot shots at different pros for no real reason, other than just I suppose to drum up some attention for herself. I’ve not even a big fan of Mark or Maks, but both shots were uncalled for, especially in a situation where she was supposed to be judging the celebs. Plus am I really supposed to trust the judgment of someone who thinks dressing in blackface is okay?

  7. wrstlgirl says:

    Irritating as h*ll.

  8. NEMO says:

    I think the judging panel is fine as is – occasional guest is okay. Not interested in JH at all.

  9. Ashley says:

    If that question allowed multi-choice, I’d have chose all but excited. I don’t know. My interest in this season will highly depend on the “celebrities”. Although, I love Allison Holker, but I could always YouTube her dances.

  10. Tran says:

    DWTS continues to be more than an EPIC FAIL.

  11. MattArmando says:

    Keeping Up with the Houghs! LMAO!

    Funny. This is going to be interesting, she tries WAY too hard to be snarky & picky when she’s a judge. Meh.

  12. CDM says:

    Well, with this new change on the show, I am done. Julianne is just irritating, and we don’t need a 4th judge. I hated it last season with fourth guest judge every week. Most of the time the guest judges were voting on emotion and “awwwwww” factor and not the actual dance and celebrity improvements. Julianne in general just gets on my nerves. So at this announcement, I consider it done and I will no longer watch. Also especially since so many of the good pros have left.

    PS Also, didn’t Derek announce a few years ago that he was going to leave the show? But then he came back for the all-star season, and has been back ever since. So what’s up with that? He gets on my nerves too.

    • Delaina says:

      I could not agree more. I was mostly done when Maks said he wouldn’t be back but this…I’m really done.
      I agree with everyone who has said she has no business being behind the judges table and that Derek must have sold his soul to the mirror ball devil.
      I’m really sorry her career has stalled but this is most certainly not the way to win more fans.

  13. robinepowell says:

    I want her back as dancer. She didn’t win for the last three seasons she was on so she left. Thought she would make it as singer and actor but that didn’t work out.

    Stick with what you know – dancing.

  14. Sam says:

    Not a good move for DWTS. She wasn’t objective in her critique of some of the pros when she guest judged. Why not bring in Louis Van Amstel if you needed a 4th. He’s taught so many, and is far more knowledgeable than Ms Hough. And he doesn’t have a brother dancing.

    • angel says:

      YES! Bring in Louis! Not JH, she’s already proved how awful she is at judging.

    • Tpo says:

      I so agree with this. If you’re going to go with someone who has a sibling on the show I’d far prefer Maks, Corky or Shirley – they have way more experience. However, to keep it fair and have no relatives on the show Louis Van Amstel would’ve been a FANTASTIC judge. He has experience, taught many students and knows what to look for and what he is doing. He would’ve been gracious, tough, criticial, supportive and knowledgeable all the things you SHOULD have in a judge.

  15. Steve says:

    She will either be too hard on him or give him a break! Hard to judge a sibling with out bias.

  16. angel says:

    Wow, is ABC trying to get this show canceled? Her first two rounds as a “judge” were met with a lot of criticism and unhappy viewers. As it is, DWTS loses more and more viewers per season. This isn’t going to help, unless they are counting on people tuning in to see which pro she’ll try to bash that episode. Honestly, without Maks, I’ll be out as a viewer anyway. When he left the first time – so did I. I only watched a few episodes last season to see him – and half the time I just watched him and Merrill on youtube (DWTS second hour was on against Sleepy Hollow – I’ll take Ichabod and his donut tax outrage over DWTS any day!). And with celebs that barely rate as celebs and all my favorite pros gone, I’m out for good.

  17. Foshi says:

    So I now know I WONT be watching DWTS this season. She sucks as a judge and will only try to stir the pot to bring in viewers.

  18. Tpo says:

    I wish there would’ve been a poll option of: What Were They Thinking – no longer on the tv or dvr think I’ll switch to the voice.

    How can she judge her brother fairly (frankly the writing is probably on the wall for him to just get the trophy this year no matter what other dancers do). Will she continue to take pot shots and criticize the pros in a way that will get people talking about her not the show or dancer as she has the last two guest judge stinks (with Mark and Maks)? She seems to make some of her comments more personal about things that aren’t the dance, celeb or pro – like I would’ve chosen this or I would’ve done that – yeah well you weren’t the pro or the dancer so judge what you saw not what you think should’ve happend or what you think you would’ve done. Perfect example her “phoning in” comment last year she didn’t even think about the fact Danica had a broken rib and the music got goofed and oh yeah she commented that when he did the jive with Meryl it was more detailed and had more stuff – yeah well it was a Swing with Meryl in week 2 which allows lifts and more stuff so you know different dances. So she couldn’t said a swing and a jive were the same so that should make her a great judge of dances.

    She also chose to wear a distasteful Halloween costume and attempted some weird pc version of blackface – which didn’t work – it was offensive. So yeah I don’t trust her “judgement” on anything and won’t be watching and displeased abc and dwts went this route.

  19. Cassandra says:

    Awful decisions are being made for DWTS season 19! First, ABC left out Sharna Burgess as a pro and replaced her with people not even in the troupe for season 18. Sharna is such a beautiful dancer and amazing choreographer. Now leaving Maksim Chmerkovskiy out as a judge?!? Maks just gave ABC the most beautiful season partnered with Meryl Davis and pulled up their ratings! Not a good move by ABC, as I am sure they will lose more viewers than they gain with her addition. They should have had Maks and Julianne alternate weeks and see who the viewers prefer as a judge as a test run for season 20. I am pretty confident Maks will win the viewer vote, as most viewers are female.

    I guess the replacement producer wants this to be his first and last season as producer.

  20. Andrea Broussard says:

    She was great as a dancer but ran for the door to become a star. I’m not sure if it was her minute of fame or what, bit she turned into a bit of a I’m better than you, snob. She was pretty harsh with some of the pros the last season she judged, her personality stinks and tbh I don’t want this turning into the dancing with the Hough show.

  21. Lina says:

    The one place in life where the average citizen has true freedom of choice and some measure of control of their environment is in the entertainment field. Disney made some bad mistakes when they first took over the show, and now they’ve made another one. The home viewer can just change the channel. I’m sorry to see this happen. They need to get to know their demographic. My real first rule of business is to know the demographic of your ‘customers’, and not to defy that demographic when trying to add new elements to it. This is a rule all too often broken. I think Val might save the show if they give him the right partner, because he is so fiercely talented. Remember his Argentine Tango with Meryl Davis?

    • angel says:

      IMO, Val and Meryl’s Argentine Tango was the best dance DWTS has ever had. I can’t watch it without breaking out in goose bumps due to its absolute spine-tingling (in a good way) perfection.

  22. Gayle says:

    I did not care for her style as a guest judge, she was rude and added no value. I will dislike having to hear it week after week.

  23. Sabeee says:

    No no and again I say no! Became interested again last year with Maks and Meryl. Won’t watch this year. She was rude and disrespectful when judging. I watch for relaxation and enjoyment. Don’t need snide remarks. Interesting that DWST added diversity in the pro ranks, but added a racially insensitive judge.

  24. jleam says:

    ABC might have kicked themselves in the but by hiring Julianne Hough as a judge, Obviously her acting and singing career got her nowhere so back to ABC where they will hire anyone with the last name Hough. JH has a nasty attitude toward the pros which directly effects the stars. She’s rude and incredibly mean to the pros. Her nickname should Abby Lee II, I certainly won’t watch DWTS,

  25. l says:

    Stupid decision. 1st she couldnt even tell difference between a swing and a jive. 2nd hello who trusts someones judgement who thought blackface ok… 3rd Must’ve been part of deal to keep Derek together with a promise of a role on Nashville. Too much Hough Hour. Yawnfest. 4th They clearly learned nothing from feel good season last season. She throws other pros under bus over personal vendettas IMO . Lost all respect.
    95% negative comments on fb and dwts twitter feed

  26. nobody special says:

    No. she’s already proved she can’t be unbiased, and i don’t think she should do it.

  27. broncfanwa says:

    Haven’t missed an episode yet, but i’m going to miss Dancing with the Stars.

  28. Joyce says:

    I just don’t think we should have a judge that will be judging her brother I know derek is close to his sister I think it’s unfair I would not want my sister or brother judging me derek is one of the best dancers how is she going to be fair with out viewers thinking she might not be we do not need a fourth judge I think you made a bad choice

  29. Mary says:

    Horrible. She was just horrible as a judge and I will not be watching. I don’t know if ABC thinks the “controversy” she brings is going to bring in viewers? The 4th judge is a horrible idea anyways but going with Julianne is too much. I don’t even know why she’s doing this – I thought she was a “movie star” or a “singer”?

  30. joe says:

    wondering if she will wear her “BEARD”

  31. DavidSask says:

    This makes zero sense budget wise or just in general without getting rid of judge first!!! Bonehead move!

  32. Carrie says:

    If she is not returning to dance I am not interested – she was fantastic as a pro. She was snarky as a judge, too young to have any gravitas and it did seem a bit personal against some of her fellow dancers – and not right for her to be a judge if Derek is still competing. No. just no. With Maks not returning, neither will I.

  33. Jon says:

    Wow that’s NO SURPRISE that over 47% are against Juliana as a judge.

  34. Bonnie Madley says:

    Terrible choice!! What were you thinking? Almost any one else would be a better choice and be more mature. Sorry, Julianne…need to grow up!!

  35. JP says:

    I think it is a bad decision by the producers. She proved as a guest judge last year that she is biased and her comments were inappropriate. She is just coming back because she never made it as an actress when she left a few years ago.

  36. mrs. hall says:

    P-lease bring back Max. He will bring excitement back to the judging. I will not watc h the show if Juliana is bought back.

  37. Kevin Lopez says:

    Julianne. Well she does have a lot of spunk, dedication and love. But what actions behind the scenes that aren’t known.
    I’m concerned with the dancers. There’s going to be a lot of knit picking. Glad that Donny Osmond wasn’t considered. There are other week known dance celebrities that could’ve added more viewers. But sorry Julianne you don’t cut it!

  38. JenInChicago says:

    This is a trainwreck. Go away Julianne.

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  40. mea says:

    They all Mak fans, their always whining about something. Some of the comments r coming from the same person, using different names. They like him only for his bud anyway. They don’t want to hear the truth, only hear what they want to hear. I like Julianne she’s been there, says it like it is, no beating around the bush. Like they say, If u can’t take the heat/the critic, get out of the kitchen.

    • Lina says:

      Julianne seemed not to realize that Danica had a broken rib and was wearing support for it. Maks had to handle her very carefully, and he did. Don’t they tell their guest judges anything? Julianne’s comment was inappropriate, to say the least.

  41. Lee says:

    over the years I have noticed that Julianne Hough’s face seems to have changed. What is wrong with her …I truly hope she is not ill in any way shape or form… she looks different and her face a bit swollen. Her hair and makeup and dress look absolutely horrible on television tonight. . I’m sure it’s supposed to be some old fashioned glamorous Hollywood look..but she is not the same gorgeous girl that I remember …not at all

    • Debra says:

      I agree – I was shocked at her appearance – she did not look good at all, her skin also looked sallow and unhealthy. I even Googled about it last night because I was certain everyone would be making remarks. She used to alternate between a cute, healthy look and/or sexy but never unattractive and sickly. If a professional was used to achieve that look last night, they should be fired.

    • sammy says:

      I agree she does not look like I remember. I came across your post because I was searching the internet for an explanation as to why she looked different. I really hope it was a just a make up trick and that she’ll start looking normal again

  42. ann borden says:

    I really feel that having her as a judge is a conflict of interest since her brother is competing.
    How can she keep bias out of her decisions?

    • Lina says:

      Very bad choice. DWTS is currently down 15% from same time last season. Loyalty to Val C. keeps me watching and voting, but I am not a Hough fan, and to top it all off, Derek has been given a guest to train who currently has *millions* of followers, and therefore, cannot lose. Where’s the suspense in that? When Disney took over DWTS, I noticed changes that alarmed me, but I’m glad I was watching DWTS18 to see the wonders of Meryl & Maks. Now I watch because of Val, but it’s getting hard to stick it out, with the obviously inevitable win by Derek’s partner, and with Julianne judging, and last night dancing, too. Much too much Julianne for my taste.

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