Julianne Hough is headed back to the ballroom, but this time it looks like the “Dancing with the Stars” alum will be seated at the judges’ table. On Tuesday, TMZ broke the news that the two-time mirrorball champion has been given an offer to become a 4th judge on the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, and the deal is in negotiations. And it sounds like the “DWTS” powers-that-be are even willing to work with her to make sure her commitment to the show doesn’t hinder her acting and singing career.
While “DWTS” has tried out guest judges in the past – in fact, Hough has been one of them – the four-person panel can seem a bit bloated. It’s possible that she has been tapped to fill in when Len Goodman has to travel to England to work on his other reality show, “Strictly Come Dancing.” Goodman hinted that his “Dancing” days were done at the end of last season, but that seems to have changed.
Hough’s previous stint at the judges’ table last fall had some crying “nepotism” because her brother, Derek Hough, was one of the people she had to score. She also took some heat for her critique of childhood pal Mark Ballas.
After emphasizing that she would be judging the celebrity contestant and not the pro (“It is not about the professional, it’s about the celebrity dancers,” she said), Hough went on to slam Ballas’s foxtrot with singer Christina Milian. And she pointed a finger at him.
“There were moments where I felt like choreography-wise, I felt like it was two people dancing side-by-side rather than together,” the newbie judge said. “So I really want to see [Milian] shine. I've danced with Mark. You have to stand in front to make sure you're seen."
That review didn’t go over well with Ballas. After the show, he told Us Weekly that he was a bit annoyed with his old family friend. “The one comment for me that was a little funny is that I make it all about me,” he said. “All the critiques were at me, and not at [Christina Milian]. So I thought that was a little hypocritical comment.”
And in another guest judging stint last season, Hough accused longtime pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy of “phoning it in” during a partner switch up week so he could get back to his regular partner.
Oh well, at least no one can accuse her of favoring her friends.
The new season of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres on Monday, Sept. 15 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.