The topic of judges on “Dancing With the Stars” has been widely reported on as rumors that one or more of the judges could be leaving before Season 19 surfaced at the end of last season. While those rumors have more or less been put to rest, the subject of a fourth judge and guest judges has not. E! Online reported on Aug. 19 that former pro dancer-turned-actress Julianne Hough is in talks with the show to appear as a fourth judge for Season 19.
Sources close to the show told E! that the three original judges which include head judge Len Goodman and his sidekicks Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba , are all returning for the dance competition’s nineteenth season. According to the source, Hough would be added as fourth judge on a full-time basis.
New “Dancing with the Stars” showrunner Rob Wade stated he was in favor of the original judges, who have been with the series since its beginning, returning and adding a fourth. "We want all those three to come back," Wade said. "I think the guest judges worked really well last season. I think there's arguments for adding to the panel and stuff, but certainly not subtracting. I really like the three of them…getting the chemistry of a panel right is extremely difficult. And when you have three people like that, who are not only on-camera so great, but off-camera so great, you don't really want to mess with it."
Hough has ‘auditioned’ for the role twice before, if you want to call it that. She appeared as a guest judge in Seasons 17 and 18 where she famously insulted her former pro dancer friends. In Season 17, she remarked how fan favorite and family friend Mark Ballas often upstages his celebrity student. In Season 19, she dissed both Mark and the eventual champion of the season accused Maks Chmerkovskiy. In week 4, the show hosted a switch-up contest and had celebs and pros switch partners for a week. According to Wetpaint, on this occasion Hough said to Chmerkovskiy, “I almost felt like, Maks — hon, I'm sorry, you're Mark this year — I felt like it was a little bit like this week could get past so that you could be back with Meryl, and you just had to phone it in so you could get back with Meryl." The reaction was not great.
What do you think of Julianne Hough joining the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” as a judge for Season 19? She certainly has the chops for the job.
“Dancing with the Stars” Season 19 premieres on Monday, 15. The first of two results shows will follow on that Tuesday. Will keep you posted on Julianne’s status as a judge and any other news we get.