Julianne Hough has returned to Dancing With the Stars as a judge once again! On Monday, Entertainment Tonight shared that Julianne will be back in the ballroom, joining the panel of judges as a last-minute replacement for the season 30 finale.
Julianne fills in for Derek after he contracted coronavirus
Julianne's return to DWTS comes as her brother Derek contracted COVID-19, announcing that he has a breakthough case of the viral illness just days before the finale. She appeared as a judge on the show for quite a few years, and has won the coveted mirrorball trophy herself not once, but twice! Several of the finalists spoke to Entertainment Tonight about Julianne's return.
Jenna Johnson, who has been competing alongside JoJo Siwa — and making DWTS history as part of the show's first same-sex pairing — told the outlet that she's thrilled Julianne is back. Johnson called her "the reason I started doing ballroom," saying it "means the world" to her that she'll be there. Pro dancer Cheryl Burke said Julianne is "a great replacement" for her brother, mentioning that she's known the star "since she was 10 years old."
Julianne explained after the first dance of the night that she had stepped away from being involved in the show so she could enjoy it as a fan again. However, she told the contestants that she was "so excited to be here in person so I don't have to yell at the TV anymore." While the circumstances for her filling in are certainly unfortunate, it's great to see Julianne back in the ballroom!