This Was Derek Hough's Most Embarrassing Moment On DWTS

Dancer, choreographer, and actor Derek Hough is certainly keeping himself busy these days, despite the pandemic. Fresh from his role in Season 2 of Disney's "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" and returning to the show that started his television career, "Dancing with the Stars," the multi-hyphenate is also preparing for an exciting residency in Las Vegas. Not to mention, he's regularly entertaining his 5.8 million followers on TikTok.

Derek made his debut on Season 4 of "DWTS" in 2007, per People, as a guest choreographer. His sister Julianne Hough was already a pro dancer on the show. He officially joined the cast of pros in Season 5, partnering with Jennie Garth of "Beverly Hills 90210" fame, and continued for several more seasons. He eventually broke the record for winning the most Mirror Ball trophies; as of this writing, he has six in total. His first win was with Brooke Burke in Season 7 and his latest was in 2015 with Bindi Irwin. He also amassed 11 Emmy nominations for choreography, winning thrice.

After a hiatus in 2016, Derek returned to "DWTS" in 2020 as a judge, filling in when the COVID-19 pandemic prevented judge Len Goodman from flying to the U.S. for the show. Now Derek is back behind the judges' desk for Season 30, sitting alongside Goodman and longtime judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Though he's the consummate professional now, there was a moment in his early days that he's embarrassed about. 

Derek Hough experienced this slip-up in his first DWTS season

Derek Hough can hold his record-breaking six Mirror Ball trophies up against what he says is his most embarrassing moment on "Dancing with the Stars." While reminiscing with Us Weekly in May, Derek told them about this slip-up — or down, as it happened.

In his very first season, serving as professional partner to "Beverly Hills 90210" star Jennie Garth, the pair set out to perform their second dance of the season, a quickstep to KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See." Right toward the end of the routine, Derek ran across the slick floor, and Jennie followed for their final trick — a front slide-through — but he slipped and dropped his partner, and they both fell (apparently, he stepped on her dress). "This is a time when I'm like, 'This is my chance. I'm going to show what I got. This is my first time on TV doing this,'" he recalled. "And I dropped my partner, Jennie Garth, on live television." At least it happened at the end of the routine.

But like the professionals they are, they both recovered, and Derek was glad it happened early in the season. "The good thing about that is I got that out of the way real quick," he said. "That's the worst thing that could possibly happen, so it's only uphill from here." Truer words were never spoken: Jennie and Derek eventually made it to the semi-finals and finished in fourth place.

Derek Hough is excited for his fall plans

Derek Hough is excited to be back on "Dancing with the Stars" for Season 30, especially given the new twist by one of its stars. Marking a historical first this year, JoJo Siwa joined the cast and requested a female pro to partner her. She and Jenna Johnson blew the judges away on their first week, which aired September 20, earning the highest score of the night — 29 out of 40 — for their quickstep.

While a same-sex dancing couple is a first for the American version of the show, Hough is not surprised by the decision. "In the U.K. there's all-female competitions where they dance ballroom with each other, so it's a pretty common thing in the ballroom world," Derek told Good Morning America on September 1. "I'm excited for America to see this on 'Dancing with the Stars.'"

Derek is also excited about his second job this season, which is unrelated to the show: a huge residency at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, which he'll be performing in at the same time he's doing "DWTS." It'll be a busy time for the dancer, as he'll be "going back and forth," between the two, he told GMA. The "high intensity show" will feature dance styles from ballroom to tap to contemporary, and he promises "an all-star cast" with a live band and "the most incredible dancers." And if his TikTok is any indication, he's probably right. Derek called it "an absolute dream come true."