Julianne Hough poses in front of Dancing With the Stars Backdrop
Credit: Getty Images

She’s back! Julianne Hough is officially returning to Dancing With the Stars—but this time, as co-host of the celebrity dancing competition—after previous stints as a professional dancer and judge on the TV series.

Hough will join fellow co-host and TV personality Alfonso Ribeiro, the Mirrorball champion of season 19, when season 23 resumes on Disney Plus sometime in 2023. An ABC spokesperson told SOAPS’ sister publication Deadline that while the specifics of Hough and Ribeiro’s individual roles will be defined later, they are both confirmed as co-hosts for the upcoming season.

The news comes after Tyra Banks announced that she would not return as host for season 32. Banks said in an interview with TMZ on March 17, 2023, that she is retiring to pursue other business opportunities. “I feel it’s really time for me to focus on my business and my entrepreneurship, and also producing more TV— but behind the scenes,” Banks said. “I think it’s time to graduate from the dance floor to the stock market floor…. from the ballroom to the boardroom!”

The supermodel and businesswoman first assumed the hosting role in 2020 for season 29, but has received mixed reviews from producers, executives and TV fans alike. Sources told The Sun that Tyra was “a nightmare” and “disrespectful to everyone,” and has allegedly turned DWTS into a “toxic” work environment. The insider also said that the series’ ratings decreased after Banks came on as host, which was a topic of concern for executives.

As the DWTS hosting baton is passed onto Hough, read on to learn more about her new gig and comprehensive history with the show, which spans an impressive 17 years and counting.

Julianne Hough is the new host of Dancing With the Stars

Julianne Hough poses for a picture as a judge on DWTS.

Julianne Hough will be the next co-host of Dancing With the Stars when the program returns (most likely in the fall).The show holds such a special place in my heart from the many years and different roles I have had the privilege of being a part of,” Hough told our sister site, Variety, in an exclusive statement. Hough continued: “The incredible team that brings the ballroom to life every night has been my family for the past 17 years. I am so excited to reunite with Alfonso, Carrie Ann, Bruno, Derek, the unbelievably talented pros, and the amazing cast on the dance floor. The energy is magnetic every time you step foot into the ballroom, and I can’t wait to feel it again — and of course to share it all with the absolute best and most loyal fans — for another exciting season.”

The host switch-up comes as Disney continues to expand the DWTS program. The biggest change occurred when the show moved from ABC to Disney Plus to expand ABC’s unscripted slate and attract older audiences to the Disney Plus service in order to generate more streaming revenue. The show was renewed for seasons 31 and 32 as part of the shift to Disney Plus.

Hough’s brother, Derek Hough, was also a professional dancer on DWTS from 2007 to 2016. He won the Mirrorball trophy six times and became a permanent judge on the show for season 29. The other DWTS judges for season 32 include Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and a yet-to-be-announced fourth judge to replace Len Goodman, who exited the show recently after season 31. The siblings will be on the show simultaneously when Julianne steps into the hosting position this year.

What is Julianne Hough’s history with Dancing With the Stars?

Julianne Hough winning mirrorball trophy on DWTS with Helio Castroneves

Hough made her first appearance on DWTS in 2007 as a professional dancer. She claimed her first two wins in seasons 4 and 5 alongside Apolo Ohno and Hélio Castroneves—making her the youngest professional dancer to win the program. In 2008, she told the Ryan Seacrest show that she would be taking a step back from DWTS to focus on her music career. She later returned as a professional dancer for season 8 with country singer Chuck Wicks and performed on the show over the years. Hough made the jump from dancer to guest judge in 2013, later becoming a permanent judge on the panel until 2017. She also filled in as a guest judge for her brother in 2021.

Hough is also known for appearing in films like Burlesque and Footloose, and served as a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent in 2019. In 2022, she co-hosted the 75th Tony Awards: Act One with Darren Criss.

Dancing With the Stars is available to stream on Disney Plus.

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