The judges have spoken! Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli have been staples on the Dancing With the Stars‘ judging table since day one — but they aren’t the only stars who’ve weighed in on the contestants’ performances.
Since the show’s 2005 start the trio of judges have been joined by a variety of celebrities, some of which previously competed on DWTS, to help score each routine. Unlike Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews‘ shocking departures as the show’s hosts in the summer of 2020 — they were replaced by Tyra Banks for season 29 — the judges are used to mixing things up.
Julianne Hough made DWTS history in 2014 when she became the first star to permanently join the judging panel bring the total from three scorecards to four.
“I’m so excited to be back with my Dancing with the Stars family again on a regular basis,” the Footloose actress said in a press release ahead of season 19. “I’ve always aspired to be an all-around entertainer, whether I’m acting, dancing or singing, and I’m thrilled for this opportunity that will allow me to continue all of those pursuits.”
She joked: “I am warming up the paddles and the sass, and I’m ready to have fun in this new role.”
Hough stepped away from the role in September 2017 after having been a dancer on the series and judge for many years. She told Us Weekly and other reporters in August 2019 that a DWTS return is never off the table.
“Look, never say never, because you never know what one day will be from the next,” she explained at the time. “But, I owe my career to that show! I was 18 and they brought me back in two different ways. I was a dancer, I was a judge and I’m so happy for everything that’s going on there.”
While Hough was one of the very few stars to become a permanent fixture at the judges’ table over the years — the second one being her brother, Derek Hough, who filled in for Goodman in 2020 and retained his seat in 2021 — other celebs have helped out from time to time.
Cher, Mel B, Nick Carter, Alfonso Ribeiro and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have all put on their judges’ caps in the past — mainly when Goodman needed to take time out for other commitments — and they are just the tip of the iceberg.
After Derek was forced to skip the season 30 finale in November 2021 amid his battle with COVID-19, Julianne was called in to return to the panel.
“Julianne is the reason I started doing ballroom!” pro Jenna Johnson told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the finals. “So to have her judge this finale just means the world.”
Scroll down to see some of the biggest stars who have served as judges on Dancing With the Stars through the years: