Derek Hough is gearing up for his second season as a judge on “Dancing with the Stars” this fall, but that doesn’t mean he’s retired from “Dancing” competition entirely. During an appearance on Tuesday’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Hough said he’d “never say never” to being a pro again if the “right partner” came along.
Asked by Kelly Clarkson if he had someone in mind, the 17-time pro and record six-time champ did not hesitate to say Celine Dion, whom he met when she performed on the finale of Season 5 — Hough’s first season a pro — way back in November 2007. “She performed and I was walking up the stairs, holding some shoes, and she goes, ‘Derek Hough!’ I’m like, ‘Celine Dion knows my name,’” Hough recalled (watch above). “I didn’t know what to say, so I just said, ‘I’m holding shoes.’ And she said [singing], ‘Derek Hough is holding shoes, oh yeah.’ And then she did a turn and walked away, and I was like, ‘The hell just happened?!’”
Hough met the diva again later on and she told him that she loves to dance and dances after her shows. “She’ll do her show and then she goes to dance class and does dance for a couple hours. I’m like, ‘What?’ So she’d be great,” Hough said. We can already picture their contemporary routine to “My Heart Will Go On.”
For now, though, Hough, who last competed on Season 23 in 2016 with Marilu Henner, is happy being a judge, which is a much more “cush” job. A two-time Emmy winner for choreography and two-time nominee this year (including one for his two special performances on Season 29), Hough became a judge last season when Len Goodman was unable to travel from England to the United States because of COVID-19 restrictions. Goodman will be back for the upcoming milestone 30th season alongside Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. “I’m excited about this season because Len’s gonna be back, so there’s gonna be four of us behind the judges’ table. I’m trying to think where I’m gonna sit,” Hough joked. “I might just sit on his lap and go, ‘What’d you think, Len? What’d you think about that, darling?’”
Season 30 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on ABC.
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