Derek Hough, the six time winner, returns to ABC dance show “Dancing with the Stars,” as a judge and not a dancer this time.
Hough, a professional Latin American, and ballroom dancer, choreographer, actor and singer; has received nine nominations for the “Outstanding Choreography Primetime” Emmy Awards, winning the award twice.
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For Season 29 that would premier on September 14, at 8 EDT / PDT, Hough will sit next to fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. The judges will be sitting eight feet apart due to COVID-19 protocols.
Other safety protocols include frequent corona virus testing and eight-foot social distance, except for each pro-celeb pair, who will dance closely without masks. There will be strict separation between the competing couples, however, and while the celebrities will not have to quarantine, the dancers will be pro.
Hough, a 17-season “Dancing” competitor who has been a judge on NBC’s “World of Dance” in recent years, sees the health-related constraints as a challenge in comparison to choreographing a dance under time constraints.
The producers are also trying to find out how to integrate the judge Len Goodman, who stays in England because of pandemic constraints on travel. The role of Goodman is yet to be determined, says executive producer Andrew Llinares.
He added “We absolutely want him to be part of the show. He’s part of the family but unfortunately, with travel restrictions, he can’t be here physically. We ‘re looking at a few options and trying to figure out how best he can be part of the show somehow.”
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