Karina Smirnoff: I Don't Know If It's Ethical that Julianne Hough Is a DWTS Judge
Too close for comfort? Dancing With the Stars favorite Karina Smirnoff questioned the recent appointment of DWTS judge Julianne Hough, telling Us Weekly exclusively that she doesn't know if it's ethical for Hough to judge her brother Derek Hough, who is a competitor on the show.
"I think she is a great girl, I've known her for many years," Smirnoff, 36, told Us of Julianne. "I think that she is wonderful, gorgeous, and talented, but I don't know if it's ethical that she is judging while her brother is competing."
Julianne, 26, was added to the show's judging panel earlier this month, after appearing as a dancer on the competition program in previous seasons. She joins veteran judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli.
"I may be the most fair person in the world, but if my mom is dancing and she trips, I would be like, 'Well, I didn't see that…'" Smirnoff continued to Us. "That is my mother, and I will go stand by her side and support her regardless. Do I think it's fair? No. But it is a TV show. That is what we have to remember. It's not necessarily the Bible, it's just a TV show."
Julianne's brother Derek, 29, is a DWTS favorite after making his first appearance on the program in 2007. He won season seven of the show with Brooke Burke, later taking home the title for season 10, season 11, season 16, and season 17. He and his partner Amy Purdy were also runners-up in season 18.
Smirnoff may have a personal stake in Julianne's ability to remain impartial, as both she and Derek will be dancing in the upcoming season 19, which kicks off in September. Other returning dancers include Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy.