He’s back! After Derek Hough previously revealed he wouldn’t be partaking in the 2015 installment of “Dancing with the Stars,” which premiered on Monday night, the professional dancer changed his mind -- and we’re glad he did! The ballroom floor just wouldn’t be the same without the five-time winning fan-favorite.
So, why did Hough opt to slip back into his dancing shoes for another season of the hit ABC series? Well, according to the “DWTS” alum, it was a last minute decision. “If you had asked me two months ago, I didn't think I was going to be part of it,” Hough admitted in his TV Guide Blog. “When I initially decided to sit out this season, I meant it.”
Hough explained that he chose to sit out of Season 20 following an opportunity he received to perform in the Broadway musical, “New York Spring Spectacular,” alongside the talented singer Laura Benanti. "It was tough for him,” executive producer Rob Wade told E! News regarding Hough’s decision to not participate. “We had a real heart to heart. It wasn’t an easy decision and it was difficult because he was struggling with it so much.”
As time went on, Hough began to regret his decision to not compete in the 20th season anniversary more and more. “I think some people were sort of disappointed at me leaving and to be honest, I was too. At a certain point, I was kind of bummed out and it didn't feel right not to be part of that," he said.
While talking with producers, Hough jokingly suggested that on his days off from the musical, which were Mondays and Tuesdays, he could fly to California to compete and then return back to New York for “New York Spring Spectacular.” “I said it as kind of a joke, and they were like, ‘Yeah, we can look into it. And then they came back and said, ‘We think it's possible if we can find the right person,’” he explained.
After weeks of sifting through celebs, producers finally found Hough the perfect partner: Nastia Liukin, an Olympic gymnastics champion who was currently studying at NYU, which meant she also had obligations to be on the East Coast. “We met and we hit it off. It was serendipitous and meant to be," Hough gushed.
Hough and Liukin will compete for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy in Season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Do you think the dancing duo have a chance at winning the 2015 installment? Sound off in the comments section below with your predictions.