Julianne Hough “In Talks” to Become a Judge on Dancing With the Stars

Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli
Former Dancing with the Stars pro Julianne Hough is "in talks" to return to the show as a judge, possibly alongside Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli  Adam Taylor/ABC/Getty Images

Back to the ballroom? Julianne Hough hasn't competed as a pro on Dancing With the Stars since season eight in 2009, but sources tell Us Weekly she could return in another capacity  as a regular judge  for the upcoming 19th season. (TMZ was first to report the news.)

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While nothing has been made official yet, one insider says the Rock of Ages actress, 26, is "in talks" to join the DWTS judging panel, which currently includes Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli. It's unclear at this point whether she would replace someone or just be a fourth voice, but another source tells Us the show has been "talking about adding a fourth judge for a long time," in part because Goodman has been thinking about retiring. 

If she does get the gig, it would not be her first time on that side of the table. The Safe Haven actress previously appeared as a guest judge in seasons 17 and 18; during her most recent stint, she stirred up controversy by telling eventual winner Maksim Chmerkovskiy that he had "phoned in" his performance with Danica McKellar. (Chmerkovskiy's regular partner was Meryl Davis, but Hough judged the dances during the great partner switch-up.)

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Her brother, remaining DWTS vet Derek Hough, defended her critique in his TV Guide blog at the time, writing, "I don't think anyone expected her to say that, but it's her opinion and it's neither right nor wrong. Judging is subjective…Whether or not you agree with Julianne, I think we can all agree that she definitely leaves her mark when she judges."

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Indeed, a source praised Hough's memorable guest-judging performance as "great TV." She's "feisty and opinionated," the insider says, noting that her experience as a pro on the show and in previous dance competitions makes her uniquely qualified.

Tell Us: Do you think Julianne Hough would be a good addition to the Dancing With the Stars judges' panel?

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