Derek Is Back On The Dance Floor On 'DWTS'

Just a few weeks after injuring both his feet, Derek Hough was back to competing with Nastia Liukin on Dancing With the Stars . While Hough healed, Liukin was temporarily working with pro Sasha Farber. Fortunately Hough's condition seems to be improving and he took the stage with Liukin on Monday night to perform a sweet tribute to judge Len Goodman.

Hough skipped the show's first dance, letting Farber do the quickstep with Liukin to avoid further injury to himself. But he braved the stage for the second dance: a slow, sweet ballroom piece choreographed by Len Gooman to pay homage to his dance career. It was fitting that Hough was paired with Goodman for the judge's choice segment because both know what it's like to have their body betray them. Goodman is no longer able to dance like he once could, and Hough is still not back to 100 percent due to his injury. But together they both took the stage with Liukin in an emotional performance honoring Goodman's dance legacy.

The judges couldn't stop crying even after the piece was finished and Julianne Hough commented, "I think that was the most special dance I think I've ever seen." It was touching to see Hough hand Liukin off to Goodman who briefly took the stage at the end of the segment to give dancing another shot after years behind the judges' table.

The dance scored a 30 out of 30, which is no surprise at all. Goodman and Hough are not only talented choreographers and dancers, but they know how to perform even when their body seems to be against them. That tenacity coupled with Nastia Liukin's grace made for a perfect performance. And hopefully Derek Hough's participation this week means he's on his way to recovery and can join Liukin in the finale next Monday. But, even if he can't, this week's performance was an excellent way for him to finish his season.

Image: Heidi Gutman/ABC