Will Julianne Hough be the new grumpy judge?
The two-time "Dancing With the Stars" mirrorball champ will return to the long running ABC dancing competition next month, but it won't be as a dancer. Instead, she'll team up with "DWTS" vets Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli as a guest judge for the show next month.
Hough -- who departed the series after winning her "DWTS" trophies with Olympic skater Apolo Ohno and Indy 500 racer Helio Castroneves -- will fill the seat of Len Goodman, who'll be in England judging "Strictly Come Dancing."
"I really just wanna feel those paddles," Hough said when her guest stint was announced on Monday's live show. "Don't be surprised if the 4s are kicked out and just gone."
So what do the "DWTS" pros think about their peer judging their performances? And will she play favorites? (Because, ahem, she does have a brother in the competition!)
It's no secret that Julianne and her bro Derek Hough (who's competing on "DWTS" this season with 'Glee" star Amber Riley) are close. When Derek won the Outstanding Choreography Emmy at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, he gave a shout out to his younger sis.
Later, Julianne posted a series of Instagram pics with the caption: "Can't describe how incredibly proud I am of my brother! He inspires me everyday to be more creative, more hard working, grateful, passionate and the best human being I can be! He is the light in the darkness that shines so bright you can't help but want to be near him! He is a prime example of someone who is incredibly talented but doesn't rely on just that, he works harder than anyone I know."
Indeed, the nepotism factor has crossed a few of this season's celebs' minds. While pro dancer Karina Smirnoff praised the substitute judge as being "down to earth" and fair, her partner Corbin Bleu told Entertainment Weekly point blank: "As long as there's no nepotism. That's the only thing. She's got a brother in the competition."
"In the professional ballroom world you are not allowed to judge any competition if you have any family members in the competition," Karina pointed out. "But hey, it's a TV show!"
Meanwhile, Derek joked that his sister's judging stint could prove to be payback for past wrongs.
"Not so awesome," he said of Judge Julianne. "She's gonna destroy us. She's gonna say "Hey remember that time when you pulled my hair when we were kids? Four!'"
The show rarely strays from its original judges' lineup, but in 2012 Paula Abdul sat in as a guest judge (and had some comical chemistry with Bruno Tonioli!) while Latin ballroom dancer Donnie Burns joined the panel for an episode in 2011.
And in 2010, fan favorites from past seasons took a turn at judging the contestants in honor of the show's 200th episode. The guest judges included Hélio Castroneves, Kelly Osbourne, Emmitt Smith, Drew Lachey, Gilles Marini, Mel B., Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Ohno.
Hey, two of them learned their moves from Julianne! Now maybe she can turn to them for judging tips.
Julianne Hough will appear on "Dancing With the Stars" airs on Monday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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