The show must go on! We recently wrote on how judge Derek Hough contracted COVID-19 just after the Dancing With The Stars semifinals. As a result, he likely would not be part of the season finale tonight. Now, we know that Derek won’t be in the ballroom and his sister Julianne Hough will fill in tonight.
But don’t worry — Derek still plans on being part of the show in some way. Read on to learn more.
After a week of uncertainty, Julianne Hough will fill in for her brother during the DWTS season finale
Julianne Hough is definitely no stranger to the Dancing With The Stars stage. She managed to win the Mirrorball Trophy twice as a pro dancer and went on to judge for several seasons. We haven’t seen her on the show since 2017, but it will be quite easy for her to step back into the ballroom and fill her big brother’s shoes.
And everyone is thrilled to have Julianne back. ET recently sat down with many of the contestants and they shared their sentiments.
“Julianne is the reason I started doing ballroom!” Jenna Johnson exclaimed. “So to have her judge this finale just means the world.”
“I’ve known Julianne since she was 10 years old so we go way back,” Cheryl Burke said. “It’s always nice to have old contestants or old pros come back on our show and judge, so she is amazing and she knows what to look for. She’s a great replacement for Derek, so I’m really excited.”
ET also confirms that Derek will still make a virtual appearance, so you can still expect to see him. We just don’t know exactly in what capacity yet.
Dancing With The Stars Season 30 had a lot of hiccups involving COVID-19
Many fans feel disappointed that Derek Hough can’t be in the ballroom in person for the finale. And it wouldn’t be the first time COVID-19 caused problems this season. Season finalists Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke both contracted the virus and had to sit out for a few episodes earlier in the season. Derek also sat out during one other episode due to potential exposure, although he tested negative. At least we got to have a live studio audience this year.
Of course, Derek Hough never intended to contract the virus. But fortunately, it seems that no other cast members have tested positive to our knowledge. Carrie Ann Inaba was reportedly self-isolating this week and others likely did too.
Derek confirmed his diagnosis on Instagram in an emotional video the day after the semifinals.
“I have some news to share, and I wanted you to hear it straight from me,” Derek said. “Even though I’ve been fully vaccinated, I’ve just been diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID. I just found out. I feel OK. I feel strong. I’m currently taking advice from medical professionals, doing everything I can to get better as fast as I can.”
It really sounds like Derek is going to pull through and be just fine. And in the meantime, his little sister Julianne Hough is more than capable of filling in.
Don’t forget to catch the exciting Dancing With The Stars finale tonight on ABC!
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