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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Derek Hough & 'Dancing With the Stars': Did ABC Give Fans a Clue?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Update: Sept. 8.

The clues in the ABC Publicity press release led us in the right direction. Derek Hough is officially a judge for Season 29. Welcome back, Derek!

Season 29 of Dancing With the Stars continues to dish out one surprise after another. With host changes, COVID-19 safety protocols and 15 couples dancing for that Mirrorball Trophy, the show will be anything but predictable.

After a morning of celebrity reveals on Wednesday, Good Morning America dropped an afternoon bombshell that Derek Hough would be returning to the ballroom. What role would he take on this season?

While many longtime fans hope the six-time Mirrorball Trophy winner returns to compete, the recent ABC press release might be giving us an obvious clue. We dug into the ABC archives to compare Season 29's press release with Season 28 and Season 27.

The difference is slight, but ABC Publicity often gives away subtle hints when it comes to DWTS. Take a closer look.

Season 27: (See full press release here.)

Season 28: (See full press release here.)

Season 29: (See full press release here.)

The vagueness of the judges on the Season 29 press release leaves room for a judging panel switch. Are they adding a fourth judge? Is Len Goodman unable to make it from the U.K. to the U.S. due to COVID-19 health concerns?

There's been very little chatter about the judges in recent weeks other than the fact that Bruno Tonioli is focusing on DWTS through the entire run, appearing remotely on Strictly Come Dancing's results shows only and then returning full-time to Strictly in December.

There have also been rumors about Hough returning to DWTS earlier this summer. In late July, the Daily Mail revealed producers were eager to have him come back on the show. Knowing Hough's ambitious goals, there would have to be a challenge involved in his return as a pro. What hasn't he accomplished as a dancer on DWTS?

The question about Derek Hough's role will be answered on Tuesday, Sept. 8 on GMA unless the sleuthing DWTS fans figure it out first.


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