Dancing With The Stars Judge Won’t Return For Season 21

Dancing With The Stars Barb Oates
Dancing With The Stars, Season 21
Len Goodman has judged DWTS since Season 1.
Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

We’ve seen our last “10 from Len.” Len Goodman, the 71 year-old Dancing With the Stars judge will not return to the judges table for Season 21, deciding to focus on judging Britain’s Strictly Come Dancing and spending time with his family. Goodman had previously stated that Season 20 was to be his last, but then waffled on the subject, causing us to wonder, Will he or won’t he?”

Dancing with the Stars executive producer Rob Wade released a statement stating, “Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing With The Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the U.K. and the birth of his new grandson. He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Julianne, and I’m sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon.” In Season 19, Goodman took weeks off throughout the season as the travel demands of both shows demand were too exhausting. It was during that season we were treated to guest judges including Donnie Osmond, Abby Lee Miller, Redfoo (who later competed on Season 20) and Kenny Ortega.

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21
Karina Smirnoff arrives at the DWTS 10th Anniversary Special in April 2015. The former pro performed in a routine featuring former contestants who were NFL players.
Credit: ABC/Matt Petit

In other DWTS news, Karina’s back! After sitting on the sidelines for Season 20 of Dancing With The Stars, professional dancer Karina Smirnoff again compete with a celebrity partner on ABC’s reality dance competition. Smirnoff won the Season 13 mirrorball trophy with Army veteran and soap opera actor, J.R. Martinez.

Other pro dancers confirmed to compete in DWTS Season 21 are perennial favorite Derek Hough , Mark Ballas, last year’s pro champ Val Chmerkovskiy, Artem Chigvintsev, Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd and Witney Carson. Notably absent is Tony Dovolani, who has been on the show since Season 2 and two-time pro Keo Motsepe. The announced pros are only 9 of the 12 who will compete in the season, so either we’ll meet some new faces or be delighted by a few old ones.

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21
Allison Holker, Witney Carson, Sasha Farber, Anna Trebunskaya and Karina Smirnoff joke with Celebrity Family Feud host, Steve Harvey.
Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

I wonder if Smirnoff’s recent appearance on Celebrity Family Feud with Holker, Carson, DWTS troupe dancer Sasha Farber and former DWTS pro Anna Trebunskaya, means Anna is returning and Farber, who stepped in when Derek Hough was injured in Season 20, will be getting a promotion. We’ll have to see!

The 12 celebrity contestants for Season 21 will be announced live on Good Morning America on September 2.

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21 > ABC > Mondays at 8pm ET/PT beginning Sept. 14

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1 Comment

  1. Please bring Kenny Ortega back as a permanent judge this time! He is so talented! And so sweet! I adore him!

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