Why Isn't Derek Hough On 'Dancing With The Stars' Season 22? He's Focusing On Other Projects

It’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen — time to watch your favorite forgotten celebs two-step, tango, and foxtrot on Dancing With The Stars! If you’re a dedicated DWTS watcher like I am, you expect a few things from a season, like Bruno Tonioli screaming in delight, Carrie Ann Inaba crying, Erin Andrews’ flawless wardrobe, and a Hough or two to keep the festivities moving. But, wait — neither Julianne nor Derek Hough is coming back? Why isn’t Derek Hough on Dancing With The Stars Season 22?

This isn’t a false alarm, people. I know that Derek could seem like the boy who cried wolf, since he famously said he wouldn’t be coming back for the show’s 20th season back in January 2015 due to his role in Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spring Spectacular. But, Derek, ever the overachiever, quickly reneged on his cancellation, deciding instead to do double-duty and dance with Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin in Season 20 (they made it to the semi-finals before they were eliminated) while performing at Radio City. But, Derek’s announcement that he would not be in Season 22 is not a drill — it’s for realsies, and luckily for him, he has a pretty good reason of why he can’t participate in Dancing With The Stars .

According to E! Online, Derek is taking time off from Dancing With The Stars this year due to his participation in the Broadway production of Singin’ In The Rain, set to hit the stage in January of 2017. Derek has nabbed the role that Gene Kelly originated, so it’s pretty understandable that he would want to do as much preparation as possible — these are really big shoes to fill.

It’s not like Derek has anything to prove on Dancing With The Stars anymore, either — he and Bindi Irwin won that coveted Mirrorball trophy in Season 21. Derek also has taken home Mirrorball trophies with Brooke Burke in Season 7, Nicole Scherzinger in Season 10, Jennifer Grey in Season 11, Kellie Pickler in Season 16, and Amber Riley in Season 17. Derek is actually doing something pretty commendable by not participating in Season 22 — he’s giving some of the other Dancing With The Stars professionals the chance to win in his absence.

Will Derek ever come back to Dancing With The Stars? As much as he tries to stay away, Derek is just always attracted to that nationally televised dance floor. If Julianne doesn’t come back to judge after this season off, perhaps that would deter Derek from also returning, but he has too much talent both dancing and choreographing to turn his back on Dancing With The Stars forever. While there will always be many projects open to Derek, Dancing With The Stars is like his home, and it will definitely always welcome him back with open arms.

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