Derek Hough
Source: ABC

Derek Hough on Past 'DWTS' Partners: "I’ve Been Married and Divorced 17 Times" (EXCLUSIVE)


Nov. 9 2021, Published 8:43 a.m. ET

After 17 seasons of competing on Dancing With the Stars, the tables have turned for Emmy Award-winning professional dancer Derek Hough. The Utah-born television star first joined DWTS in Season 4. Since then, he’s taken home a total of six wins, making him the most celebrated contestant in the show’s history.

Today, he sits alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli on the judges’ panel, but he took a moment to walk down memory lane in his interview with Distractify.

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With the exception of his surprise performance of “Tango of the Dead” on Horror Night, Derek doesn’t take the DWTS stage very often these days. But he did dish on some of the best memories he made during his tenure and his favorite DWTS partners of all time. Plus, he shared his thoughts on Season 30 and his plans for the holidays. Here’s what we learned.

Derek Hough
Source: ABC
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Derek Hough dishes on his favorite ‘DWTS’ partners of all time.

Among the celebrities on the long list of dance partners that Derek has had over the last decade are Amber Riley, Nicole Scherzinger, and Lil’ Kim. With that said, it was hard for him to choose his favorite, but “there’s a few that stand out.”

“Out of my 17 wives and divorcees? That’s what it feels like — like I’ve been married and divorced 17 times [laughs]. No, you know, they all were great in their own way,” he told Distractify. “I think Kellie Pickler was really special. Amy Purdy, Bindi Irwin, Sean Johnson … I mean, there's so many different ones for different reasons. To be honest, I could go on and on.”

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Derek Hough Kellie Pickler
Source: Getty Images

But which DWTS duo does Derek think is going to win Season 30? He said it’s anybody’s game. He said, “I have no idea because it changes because it's not just a dance competition, you know what I mean? It's that if it was just about the dancing, you could say possibly, you know, Olivia or Amanda or Melora or JoJo.

"But every time I talk to people outside of the show, their favorites are Iman or Jimmy, or, you know, Suni. So it depends on who's voting.”

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Who is the ‘DWTS’ partner of Derek Hough's dreams?

Derek has had a lot of famous partners in the past, but his girlfriend, Hayley Erbert, would love to see him take the stage with Celine Dion. However, according to Derek, he’d love to dance with Mia Wasikowska. “She's a great actress. But she actually has a dance background. And I think it would be awesome,” Derek told Distractify.

Derek Hough
Source: Getty Images
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Speaking of dream partners, the holidays are upon us and Derek is spending them with Hayley and her family. Although Derek is a dancer by trade, he’s a foodie by heart. And for him, Christmas can’t come fast enough.

Following the season finale of 'DWTS,' Derek Hough is spending the holidays with Hayley Erbert.

According to Derek, he’s most looking forward to putting a trendy spin on traditional recipes with the help of the American Egg Board’s Eggceptional recipes.

“Eggs are a key ingredient in everything, right? The holidays are coming up. [Christmas is] about nostalgia, about comfort. And it's about sort of reimagining those family recipes that bring us all that joy,” Derek explained. “Food is what brings us together during the holidays, right? It's the centerpiece for all our gatherings. And so made sense to partner up with [The Incredible Egg].”

You can see a host of holiday recipes on and watch new episodes of DWTS Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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