We're so glad that Dancing With the Stars has returned for Season 25, but fans noticed that one very important thing is missing from the show this time around. Everyone now wants to know: Where is Julianne Hough?!
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, it was revealed that the actress would not be returning as a judge for this season. "We are thrilled to have Len [Goodman], Bruno [Tonioli], and Carrie Ann [Inaba] back in the ballroom and look forward to welcoming guest judges wherever possible," a DWTS rep revealed at the time. Julianne appeared as a pro dancer on DWTS during seasons four through eight. She took home the Mirror Ball Trophy twice, once with Apolo Anton Ohno and once with Hélio Castroneves. She joined the show as a judge in September 2014. And now, Julianne — who is partnered with Fitbit — is opening up about her decision to table DWTS for now even though she says she'll "always be a part of it in some way, shape, or from."
"Right now, I wanted to take some time and focus on my acting and kind of get back on that path," she told Entertainment Tonight. "I'm really excited, you know? This is a different chapter. I'm 29 and I feel like I'm sort of coming into my own." She added, "I know that if I keep doing [the same thing] I'm doing that I'm gonna wakeup in a couple years and be like, 'Oh man, I wish I would've done [something else] when I really wanted to do it.' It was really hard, but I wanted to make that choice."
Julianne also recently married her husband, NHL player Brooks Laich! The two tied the knot in a romantic ceremony on July 8, and now, they're just enjoying being husband and wife. However, fans are already speculating that she might be pregnant with baby No. 1!
In a previous interview, Julianne's brother, Derek Hough, opened up about his sister's decision not to return to the show. "We were supposed to go back on tour, she's just newly married, she is a very focused woman," Derek revealed to Entertainment Tonight. "She has her sights set on other opportunities and other things." He added, "Sometimes you just gotta step away from something for a little bit to create those opportunities. She's Julianne, man. She's a beast."
And even though Julianne is taking a break from DWTS for now, we're optimistic that she'll return in the future since she still watches! "I do miss the show. But what's really fun is, I'm a fan, just like everybody who watches," she confessed. "I watch the show now that I'm home and, you know, I have favorites and everything. Which is great because I could never really have favorites. I had to really kind of separate that [as a judge]."
So, who is she rooting for this season? "I love Derek [Fisher]," she said, adding that she loves Jordan Fisher too. "He's phenomenal! He's so great," she said of her Grease Live! co-star. "I love Lindsey Stirling. She's just a bubble and bright light of fresh air. I think that Sasha [Pieterse] is great. She's got such a fun personality, and she can really move. It's a really strong cast. It's really fun to watch." We hope to see you in the ballroom again soon Julianne!