On Tuesday, TMZ sent Dancing With the Stars fans into a mirror-ball frenzy after they reported that Julianne Hough would be returning to the ballroom. However, the actress is not going back to the position she once held as a pro dancer; she is coming back as a judge.
While the deal hasn’t been finalized, the gossip site’s sources confirmed that Hough would be the fourth judge on the panel. It’s a newly created position alongside veteran judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
The Safe Haven star left the ballroom competition show back in 2009 to pursue a music and singing career. It’s been bumpy road ever since with box office disappointments like Rock of Ages and Burlesque.
The new gig would be the perfect way to stay in the spotlight without giving up her acting career. Hough is also riding high after a sold-out summer dance tour called MOVE Live with her brother and DWTS pro Derek Hough.
The move made by new producer Rob Wade isn’t without controversy, though. Julianne has made some inflammatory comments to pros Mark Ballas and Maks Chmerkovskiy during two previous guest-judging stints. In addition, Chmerkovskiy has been pretty vocal about wanting to join the judging panel after he decided to leave the show as a dancer.
Fans are equally divided over the reported news. Some fans are excited to see Hough back on the show while others think the series will now favor the Hough siblings too much.
— Bridget (@bridgec17) August 19, 2014
Julianne Hough’s reps haven’t confirmed the news publicly, but it’s starting to be a buzzworthy season for the longtime ABC series.
UPDATE Aug. 21, 2014: Hough confirmed her new role as a judge to People. “My role is to encourage and be supportive, and to also be candid and honest and try not to beat around the bush, to be too politically correct,” Hough told the mag. “I want to give critiques so they can improve. I’m not there to be harsh or cause a controversy. I won’t be mean or malicious. That’s not who I am. That’s not my role at all.”