Why Isn't Derek Hough On 'Dancing With The Stars' Season 27? The Fan Favorite Has A Lot On His Plate

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It's time once again to watch your favorite athletes, reality stars, actors, and musicians shimmy, shake, and rhumba their way across the stage on Dancing With The Stars. Season 27 of the long-running reality competition is set to premiere on Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. But while many of your favorite dance pros will be back for another shot at victory, DWTS legend Derek Hough, well, won't ― which means plenty of inquiring minds will be wondering why Derek Hough isn't on DWTS Season 27.

Turns out, the answer is pretty simple: Hough has been busy on another show on an entirely different network. Since 2017, the DWTS alum has been a judge on NBC's hit dance competition World of Dance alongside Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo. Considering NBC has already renewed the show for a third season with Hough, Lopez, and Ne-Yo all set to return, it's safe to say the 33-year-old dancer has been just a bit tied up.

Of course, for those who have been keeping up with DWTS, Hough's absence shouldn't come as a total surprise. He officially left the show in 2016, after Season 23, once he decided to accept a position on the judge's panel for World Of Dance. Plus, he's likely incredibly busing planning for his upcoming tour, Derek Hough, Live! The Tour. The two-month trek doesn't kick off until April 2019, but he probably has a lot of prep to do, and will likely be too busy to appear on both World of Dance and DWTS. There is a plus side, though: If you're tired of seeing the incomparable Hough stuck behind a judging table and can't wait to see him cut up the dance floor, you can grab tickets to his live tour and see his talent IRL.

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That being said, viewers shouldn't totally rule out seeing Hough back on the DWTS screen. "I will never say never,” Hough told Us Weekly in a 2017 interview. “Listen, I’m an advocate for dance and I’m an advocate for entertaining. I’m an entertainer. I’m here to serve. I’m here to serve the audience and to create stories and to serve the world of dance. So any way I can help, I’ll be happy to do it.” It sounds to me like Hough would be more than willing to make at least a guest appearance on the show sometime in the future, if not a full return somewhere down the line.

Until then, perhaps this season's new crop of contestants will take fans' minds off the fact that their favorite dance pro isn't in the running. I mean, if watching Grocery Store Joe attempt to salsa isn't quality entertainment, then I don't know what is.

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Still, in the words of Hough himself, never say never. This is, after all, the man who won the show a record-setting six times and contributed some of DWTS' most memorable dances to the stage. The choreographer could be back before you know it.