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Judges leave reality competition shows all the time, for a variety of reasons. This season, Dancing with the Stars darling Julianne Hough ultimately decided to give up her judges chair. Sure, she’s going to have plenty of other opportunities moving forward between her singing, acting and dancing skills, but there’s another reason she’s happy she’s not longer a judge on ABC’s reality singing competition series: she can be a fan. Here’s what she had to say during a recent interview:
It's nice now because I can actually have favorites. I watched the premiere, and I was super-rooting for [Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris] because he did Grease: Live with us.
I love how blunt she is about playing favorites during Season 22. It’s pretty nice for Wanya Morris to have someone related to the show be willing to back him, as well. It obviously helps that the two worked together only very recently on Fox’s version of the stage production Grease.
Julianne Hough certainly picked a pretty good contestant to root behind. During Week 1, Wanya Morris scored incredibly high numbers with his partner Lindsay Arnold, tying Antonio Brown and Nyle DiMarco with a top score of 23. The dancers typically get better over time, so a score of 23 during Episode 1 is not too shabby, at all. We’ll let you know how the contestants fare during Season 22 moving forward.
I was personally really bummed when Julianne Hough announced she was leaving the series, but it’s not like this is the first time Dancing with the Stars has lost one of its judges. Plus, there’s always the potential for her to come back as a judge or even in a guest stint during a later season. For example, other judge Len Goodman took a break from Dancing with the Stars during Season 21 but returned to the table this season. At least we know that Hough is for sure still a huge fan of the series that made her a household name and there were no hard feelings when she left.
As for Julianne Hough, the dancer and actress recently appeared in Dirty Grandpa and the aforementioned Fox special Grease: Live. She also joined MPG Sport as a brand ambassador. Julianne Hough also told People that she has some other projects in the pipeline and that we should be hearing about them soon.
Dancing with the Stars just kicked off its latest season. You can catch new episodes on ABC on Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET. In the meantime, you can see what the networks have coming up this spring with our summer TV premiere schedule.