Julianne Hough Back on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ – As a Judge

It’s official! There’s a new judge on “Dancing With the Stars.”

ByABC News
August 21, 2014, 8:23 AM

— -- It’s official! Julianne Hough will return to “Dancing With the Stars” as a new judge this season.

Hough, who won two mirror ball trophies as a professional dancer on the show, will take up a permanent spot at the judges’ table next to longtime panelists Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and the show’s head judge, Len Goodman, she revealed Thursday in a live appearance on “Good Morning America.”

"I’m excited,” Hough said today on "GMA." "'Dancing With the Stars' has always been a part of my family. That’s where it all began for me, so .... It just felt like the right time and the right opportunity."

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Hough, 26, won two “Dancing” championships with partners Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves. She left the show and transitioned to a career in film and country music.

As a guest judge last season, Hough stirred controversy with her frank criticism on the panel; fans can expect that same no-holds-barred style.

“I’m known to be a little bit honest and a little bit direct, but I think that’s my role as a judge in this," she said. "I want to see people improved. It’s never with a malicious intent. It’s because I’ve been on the other side and I do want to be able to give criticism that they can take and learn and grow from.”

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Hough insists that judging her brother, Derek Hough, a five-time mirror ball champion who returns to the pro dancing cast for his 14th season, won’t pose an issue.

“It’s not necessarily about Derek and the pro dancer; it’s about a collaboration. It’s the team effort, it’s what they’re doing as a partnership, and really the celebrity and what they can do to improve each week,” she explained.

Hough headlined a dance tour across America with her brother this summer, which she said brought her back to her dancing roots.

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The celebrity cast of season 19 will be announced on "Good Morning America" on Sept. 4 at 7 a.m. ET.

Watch Hough make her debut on the show's season 19 premiere on Monday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Head judge Len Goodman welcomed Hough to the team in a special video message.

“I just heard that Julianne will be joining the panel of judges and I am so excited I can't tell you,” he said in the Instagram video. “Oh, Julianne next to me. I want you to be a buffer between me and Bruno.”

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