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Julianne Hough added to 'Dancing With the Stars' judging panel

Julianne Hough added to 'DWTS' judging panel.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Julianne Hough has graced the dance floor of 'Dancing With the Stars' many times, but now, a People report dated Thurs. Aug. 21, confirms that the 26-year-old blonde will instead be hanging out on the judging panel.

The pro dancer will become a regular fourth critique-er when the show returns for its 19th season next month. She will be sitting next to Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.

Don't expect the blonde beauty to be the Simon Cowell of 'DWTS', however.

"My role is to encourage and be supportive, and to also be candid and honest and try not to beat around the bush, to be too politically correct," Hough tells PEOPLE. "I want to give critiques so they can improve. I'm not there to be harsh or cause a controversy. I won't be mean or malicious. That's not who I am. That's not my role at all."

As a two-time dance pro, Hough is indisputably qualified for her new judging gig. She isn't a complete stranger to the panel as she has served as a guest judge in the past. She left the show years ago to further pursue her acting and singing career. After a couple of country tunes, roles in 'Rock of Ages' 'Footloose' and 'Safe Haven,' Hough is returning to her roots. However, if you're a fan of her acting, don't fret - she reportedly will continue to act. The 'DWTS' job is supposed to only take a couple hours of her time each week.

"After being on tour with my brother [Derek], it felt like time to move on," Hough told PEOPLE. "I felt like I really reconnected with fans, and the people have supported me since day one. They have followed my from Dancing with the Stars to my other aspirations. It just feels like the perfect time to reconnect and be a part of where it all began, with my family."

Speaking of Derek, his sister isn't at all worried about judging him.

"Derek has been known to be very good with his partnerships," Hough says, laughing. "But it's not about my brother, nor is it about Cheryl or Mark. It's about the partnership and the celebrity who is dancing."

The new cast of celebrity dancers will be announced by ABC on Good Morning America Sept. 4. The hit show is set to return Mon. Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ET.

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