Tuesday night, ABC aired the grand finale for season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars.” It was a heart-stopping, jaw-dropping extravaganza of dance and music as artists pulled out all the stops in what may well have been the most impressive episode of the show ever. Along with all the celebratory party action and phenomenal performances came what may have been unexpected revelation form head judge, Len Goodman. As can be seen in the accompanying video clip from YouTube, the senior judge appears to be foreshadowing his own departure from the hit dance competition show after 18 seasons.
Rumors have swirled for some time that Goodman was considering giving up the middle seat at the judges’ table. The 70 year old dance judge has commuted weekly between California and his home in England to do “Dancing with the Stars and its British version, “Strictly Come Dancing.” The long flights and excessive amounts of travel have become a grueling grind in spite of his love of the shows and dance in general.
The revelation came during his critique of the final dance of the night. It was a fusion dance by Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy. Here’s what Len himself said:
“Season 18 has been like a novel, full of twists and turns. We’ve come here to the last page and we’re sure… still not sure how the story will end. For one it’ll be a happy ending. And I’m not saying this is true but this might be my last season, and if it is, I couldn’t ask wish for a better dance to watch to finish up. You are great.”
Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba can be heard saying “No!” as Goodman made his remarks. As the cameras panned back, both she and Bruno looked stunned. The studio audience was shocked and murmurs of ‘No, no,’ could be heard throughout the ballroom. Even Maks bowed his head and blew a kiss to the judge he had butted heads with so many times.
Host Tom Bergeron also seemed stunned by the comments. He cautioned Goodman, “We’re having a talk, mister. We’re having a little talk…after.”
So did the British judge with the no-nonsense approach to critiquing dancers just reveal his plans to leave the show after 18 seasons? It certainly seems this way. While we hope it isn’t true, we certainly agree that he couldn’t have picked a better way to exit than watching Meryl and Maks win the trophy for season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars.”