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Julianne Hough officially returning to 'Dancing with the Stars' as judge

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Rumors have been swirling surrounding the possibility of “Dancing with the Stars” adding a fourth judge or one judge leaving the show. Today, Aug. 21, ABC made it official: former pro dancer Julianne Hough will officially be joining the show this fall as a judge, alongside head judge Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Carrie Ann Inaba.

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This morning, Julianne Hough appeared on “Good Morning America” to make the official announcement. When asked why she agreed to join the show, Julianne said she had always been part of the “DWTS” family, and she and her brother, Derek, had done a lot with the tour this year. She added that the panel could be nerve-wracking, but she was excited for the comradery with the judges and to be a part of the show again. Overall, it was just the right time and the right opportunity for her to return to the show.

The hosts asked how it would be to judge Derek, and Julianne said she would try and be unbiased. Julianne explained she would continue to be honest, as she had been while she guest judged this past season.

Julianne Hough is no stranger to “Dancing with the Stars.” She appeared as a pro dancer during seasons four through eight and even won two of the coveted mirror ball trophies with celebrity partners Helio Castroneves and Apolo Anton Ohno. Hough was always a fan favorite, and fans were devastated when she left the show to pursue other career opportunities.

The professional dancers for this season have already been revealed, but the celebrity dancers will not be announced until Sep. 4. That announcement will also be made on “Good Morning America.” Rumored cast members include country singer Jessie James Decker, former “Bachelorette” Andi Dorfman, soccer player Tim Howard, and “American Ninja Warrior” star Kacy Catanzaro. “Dancing with the Stars” Season 19 premieres Sep. 15.