Is This Derek's Last Season on 'DWTS'?

Derek Hough has been a staple on Dancing With The Stars since 2007: He’s won a record five championships and he’s a crowd favorite, so when I heard that Derek Hough was leaving Dancing With The Stars in Season 20 because of his involvement in The New York Spring Spectacular with Laura Benanti at Radio City Music Hall, I was obviously bummed. After all, what’s a DWTS season without a Hough dancing (Julianne is a judge now, so that doesn’t count)? Luckily, weeks after the first announcement, Hough confirmed that ABC and Radio City had worked out the kinks in his schedule and he would indeed be able to participate in Season 20, paired this time with gold-medal-winning Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin. All is right in the world again.

Of course, with all this back-and-forth, many Dancing With The Stars fans are wondering if Hough’s dancing days are numbered. Other DWTS favorites like Cheryl Burke, Julianne Hough, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have left the show in order to pursue greener pastures. Who's to say Hough won't be next? Well, not me, that’s for sure. Hough has pulled this Michael-Jordan-coming-out-of-retirement thing before. After Season 15 in 2012, Hough left DWTS , saying that he wouldn’t have time in his schedule to compete on Season 16. Six months later, Hough was back in the game. Why so indecisive, D? There’s no shame in wanting to spread your wings and paso doble away from DWTS.

In any case, here are some reasons why Season 20 of Dancing With The Stars will not, cannot be Derek Hough’s last.

He’s A Fan Favorite

The only reason the Dancing With The Stars is still on is because it does fairly well in the ratings: If no one was watching it, the suits at ABC would drop it faster than they did Selfie (sigh, I miss it). One of the reasons that people tune in is not the celebrities themselves, but the dancers that they’re paired up with. Viewers like me have been watching dancers like Hough and Mark Ballas for years now, so it’s like a little relationship. To lose another dance that audiences feel like they know would be too much to bear.

He’s A Champion

Winning is addictive, isn’t it? Hough has won that Mirror Ball Trophy a record five times (and that includes back-to-back wins), and do you think he would want to give up that high? I don’t. It’s also worth noting that Hough won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography. I’m sure he wants another one.

ABC Will Do Anything For Him

Hough is undoubtedly the best-known dancer on Dancing With The Stars (behind Mark Ballas, that is). ABC knows what they have in him, and they know that plenty of people tune in just to see Hough transform his partnered celebrity. As they did for Season 20 and have done before, ABC will do nearly anything to make the show’s schedule work with all of his side projects, lest they risk losing him forever.

He Loves To Dance

Have we forgotten that all of the Hough kids have been dancing since they came out of the womb? Derek Hough loves to dance, so how could he possibly give that up? He and sis Julianne headed a dancing tour in 2014 between Dancing With The Stars seasons because they just couldn’t stop moving those feet.

So, there you have it. As much as Hough has myriad side projects to attend to, I think it will be really hard to wretch him away from the safe, comfortable haven of Dancing With The Stars. This works for me: He’s one of the reasons I love watching.

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