After several weeks of seeing celebrities and their pro partners face off in Season 30 of Dancing With the Stars, the finale airs on Nov. 22. Among the final four contestants to participate in the finale are Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach, Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke, Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten, and JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson.
The competition is close, and it won’t be easy to crown a winner. The semi-finals gave the dancing duos an opportunity to secure a spot in the finale, but one judge is missing from the panel.
Derek Hough is a DWTS veteran who took home a total of six wins during his time as a competitor. But in 2016, he announced the end of his tenure. Shortly after, Derek was offered a seat on the judges’ panel, and now the tables have turned. So, why isn’t Derek Hough on the Season 30 finale of DWTS?
Why isn’t Derek Hough on the Season 30 finale of ‘DWTS’?
In an October interview with Distractify, Derek said he “had no idea” which couple will take home the win in the Season 30 finale, but it’s anybody’s game.
“If it was just about the dancing, you could say possibly, you know, Olivia [Jade] or Amanda [Kloots] or Melora [Hardin] or JoJo [Siwa],” he said. “But every time I talk to people outside of the show, their favorites are Iman [Shumpert] or Jimmy [Allen] or, you know, Suni [Lee]. So it depends on who's voting.”
Sadly, he won’t be on set to see who wins. Ahead of the finale, Derek announced that he will be absent from the finale due to contracting COVID-19. In a candid Instagram video, Derek told fans, "Even though I've been fully vaccinated, I've just been diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID.”
Despite his recent diagnosis, Derek said he feels “OK,” but he is in quarantine until further notice. “I'm currently taking advice from medical professionals to get better as fast as I can."
Derek isn’t the only DWTS cast member to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in Season 30. Cheryl and her partner, Cody, were forced to sit out earlier in the season to quarantine. But Derek assured fans that he’d keep them updated. He shared, “I just want to send my love out there to all. Stay safe."
Although Derek cannot physically attend the Season 30 finale, he makes an appearance virtually by way of a pre-taped video. Viewers are sad to see him sit out the finale, but in Derek’s absence, a familiar face is returning to the judges’ panel.
Derek’s sister, Julianne Hough is a guest judge on the Season 30 finale of ‘DWTS.’
Both Derek and his sister, Julianne Hough, have a long history of dancing with the stars. Much like her brother, Julianne competed on several seasons of DWTS with partners like Apolo Anton Ohno and Hélio Castroneves, with whom she took home first place.
Together, Derek and Julianne headline the MOVE Live Tour, but on Nov. 22, she’s returning to the series to step in for her big brother while he recovers.
You can tune in to the DWTS season finale on Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.