Derek Hough Teases Dancing With The Stars Return

Derek Hough has been a part of the "Dancing With the Stars" family since Season 5, when he first joined the cast as a pro. Since then, he has participated in 17 seasons, taking various "stars" to the next level of ballroom dancing — and taking home six Mirror Ball trophies. Hough left "DWTS" in 2016, after Season 23, in which he competed with Marilu Henner, finishing in sixth place. In 2020, Hough returned to the ballroom, but in a different capacity; he was asked to be a judge on the season, filling in for Len Goodman. Goodman was forced to sit out the season as he was unable to travel to the United States from the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I'm excited. I'm actually excited about the timing of this in the sense that I don't really know how they're going to do this and how the season's going to happen with protocols and stuff. But that excites me," Hough told Entertainment Tonight shortly after the news of his return was made public. Hough is expected to be a part of the upcoming season of "DWTS," which is slated to air sometime in the fall or winter of 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Season 30 will feature four judges, as Goodman will return to the panel alongside Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli. But will Hough ever compete on the show again? Read on to find out.

Derek Hough was inspired by Tom Brady's Seventh Super Bowl win

It's entirely possible that Derek Hough will return to the ballroom as a pro in the future. In fact, he admitted that anything is possible in a May interview with Us Weekly. His inspiration? Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. "When Tom Brady won a seventh Super Bowl, I was like, 'Oh no, do I need to go for seven here?'" Hough joked. "No, I think — who knows? I never say never, but for right now, I'm looking forward to going back as a judge," he added.

Hough went on to talk about the challenges that he faces as a judge on "Dancing With the Stars." He explained that the "hardest part about [being a judge is] just keeping what I'm trying to say [to] 20 seconds because it's live," adding "That's been really difficult, especially because I want to help, but I want to coach, so I want to be like, 'All right, so here's what we're going to do.' And I'm like, 'Oh wait, we can't do that.' I just gotta give a general critique." 

No matter what role Hough plays, he has the support of "DWTS" fans, though it's pretty clear that just about everyone would love to see him tearing up the floor again.