Season 20 of “Dancing With the Stars” will be Len Goodman’s last. Goodman, one of the original judges in the long-running ABC dance competition series, revealed his decision to quit the program during an interview with various media outlets, E! News is reporting.
“ 'Dancing With the Stars' -- next year is their 10th year, it’s the 20th series of the show. So I think that’s a nice place to stop,” Goodman said.
So why is the "DWTS" star giving up his coveted seat as head judge? The 70-year-old ballroom dancing professional and coach also has been a judge on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” in the U.K. since 2004, and he has said that commuting between England and “DWTS” in California has become too difficult. “Next year, I’m not going to do the flying backwards and forwards -- I’m not going to do the American show,” he said. “I’ve got to have a bit of time off.”
His trans-Atlantic filming schedule isn’t his only concern. Goodman said he wants to spend more time with his family. “I’ve got my wife, I’ve got my son, my mother is still alive and she’s in hospital -- I’ve had virtually no time to go and see her,” he said according to a report from Digital Spy.
Goodman, who missed several episodes of Season 19 of “Dancing With the Stars” due to conflicting schedules for “Strictly Come Dancing,” hinted at his desire to leave the American program in May.
“Season 18 has been like a novel,” he said during one episode, recounted by Parade magazine. “Full of twists and turns and we’ve come here to the last page and we’re not sure how the story will end. ... I’m not saying this will be my last season, and if it is I couldn’t wish for a better dance to finish up with.”
While some viewers will be sad to see Goodman hang up his scoring paddle, they can rest easy knowing he will be around for one more season. The next installment, Season 20, will premiere on ABC in the spring, the show’s executive producer, Rob Wade, confirmed to the Wrap Tuesday. Wade also claimed that Goodman would not be taking “any hiatuses" during Season 20.
So who will take Goodman’s spot as permanent judge? We have one solid theory. With Season 19 panel newcomer Julianne Hough, 26, officially returning next spring, she seems to be the most logical fit. According to one report, Goodman’s leave from the series may have been known by ABC long before dancer-actress Hough, a two-time winner on the series, joined the judging panel in 2014.
“Producers brought in Hough knowing Goodman may be on his way out,” E! News reports.
Are you sad to learn Len Goodman will be leaving "Dancing With the Stars"? Who do you think should take his place in Season 21? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!