Dancing With the Stars will be missing one very familiar face when it returns on September 18. After introducing us to both the returning pros and the new cast members for the series’ 25th season, DWTS has made a bombshell announcement about its judging panel, which no longer includes Julianne Hough.
“We are thrilled to have Len [Goodman], Bruno [Tonioli], and Carrie Ann [Inaba] back in the ballroom and look forward to guest judges whenever possible,” a show rep told E! News.
The news may come as a shock to fans, who have been watching the blonde bombshell since she first danced her way into their hearts as a pro on season four. After season eight, the two-time Mirrorball winner (Hough danced to victory with both Apolo Ohno and Helio Castroneves) took herself out of the competition, but returned as a guest judge in seasons 17 and 18 before earning a full-time spot on the panel for seasons 19, 20, 21, 23, and 24.
No official reason was given for her absence, but Hough — who recently married hockey player Brooks Laich — has plenty to keep her busy outside of the ballroom. She and her brother Derek wrapped their Move Beyond Live on Tour earlier this summer, and she also has an athleisure collection and an acting career, having previously starred in such productions as Safe Haven, Footloose, and Grease: Live.
Even so, this live ball of sunshine will be missed!
Are you bummed that Julianne Hough won’t return as a judge for DWTS season 25? Let us know over @BritandCo.
(Photo via Neilson Barnard/Getty)