The likelihood of Derek Hough returning to Dancing with the Stars for season 24 is shrinking to almost nonexistent levels. Immediately following his elimination from season 23, Derek was very vocal about his uncertainty about returning to the dancing franchise. Now the final nail has been driven into the coffin with the news that Derek Hough has joined NBC’s new dancing reality show World of Dance as a judge. Derek Hough’s Dancing (with the Stars) shoes look like they are headed back to the shelf, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

Why Derek Is Probably Saying Goodbye

As was previously reported, Derek hasn’t been quiet about the fact that him coming back to Dancing with the Stars for another season is very unlikely. In his blog post over at following his season 23 elimination Derek wrote, “I don’t know if I’ll be back next season. It’s too early to say. I have a few projects on my plate, but you never know what’s going to happen. I didn’t think I was going to come back to the show a couple times now and ended up coming back. That show will always be my family.”

Derek certainly isn’t lying about his volume of projects. The blog post was written before Derek’s judging position on World of Dance was announced. In addition, Derek is about to star in NBC’s live musical production Hairspray Live! as Corny Collins in December 2016. In 2017 he should also eventually get back to working on the Broadway revival of Dancing in the Rain (which has been postponed for quite some time). World of Dance likely signals the death knell of Derek’s Dancing with the Stars career, not only for season 23 but maybe the future of the franchise.

Who knows how much many money Derek Hough makes as a dancer on Dancing with the Stars but being a judge on a reality show is likely a much easier and more lucrative position for him. Certainly no one is entertaining the idea that his sister Julianne will go back to being a professional dancer on DWTS after she landed her judging gig. In addition, while World of Dance will be different dancing show than Dancing with the Stars (lacking the whole celebrity element) it will still be a rival show. World of Dance has no premiere date set and will only last 10 episodes. Neither NBC or ABC will probably be content with sharing a big star between their competing shows.

Is It Such a Bad Thing?

Dancing with the Stars season 23 was not the best outing for Derek Hough. While some fans believe it was because his heart wasn’t in the season that is probably not the case. Derek’s lackluster showing in season 23 really has more to do with his partner Marilu Henner than himself. Marilu wasn’t a terrible dancer and there was certain bit of enjoyment to be had in watching her but she never made it the extra step farther. Marilu was unremarkable as a dancer and that is something we are not used to seeing with Derek Hough. It doesn’t mean he did a bad job coaching her or he was fatigued with the entire process, the stars just did not align.

Even if Derek isn’t over Dancing with the Stars, it may be time that the reality show gets over him. ABC would clearly love for Dancing with the Stars to go on for as long as possible and the only way that is going to happen is if new and fresh professional dancing blood is brought onto the show, especially with the male dancers.

With the female professional dancers, Dancing with the Stars does not really have this problem. With Whitney Carson, Lindsay Arnold and Jenna Johnson, Dancing with the Stars has a trio of young and talented dancers, all under age 25. With the current lineup of male dancers though, Val Chmerkovskiy is the youngest at age 30. 30 years old is in no way old but if ABC wants Dancing with the Stars to go another 10 years, Val can’t still be the youngest professional male dancer on the show.

Dancing with the Stars has become a celebrity-making platform as much for the washed-up stars who appear on it as it is for the professional dancers. In most cases, in fact, the professional dancers are actually the bigger and more recognizable stars than the people they are dancing with and teaching. Derek Hough became a household name because of Dancing with the Stars, and he was completely unknown before the show.

Derek has really maxed out his potential on Dancing with the Stars. Fans might still enjoy him on the show but there is nothing more that Derek can get out of Dancing with the Stars. While he obviously enjoys competing and teaching, there is a career for him outside the show, a much bigger and more varied career. It is time for him to move on from the show, with all the opportunities it has opened up for him, and give someone else the same chance.

But do you agree? Does Dancing with the Stars need Derek Hough? Should the show try to find a “new” Derek or just keep trying to get him back whenever possible? Do you think the show should bring in new professional dancers? Are there any dancers in the troupe you would like promoted?

Dancing with the Stars will return for season 24 in 2017.


Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.