Talent Recap

‘DWTS’ Judging Panel Honors Len Goodman Amid Shocking Retirement

Len Goodman, Derek Hough in the 'Dancing With the Stars' Semi-FinalPhoto by: ABC/Raymond Liu

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Soon after Len Goodman announced his departure from DWTS, the judging panel shared their emotional parting words to the head judge. Truly, Dancing With The Stars will never be the same without him.

DWTS Judges Pay Tribute to Len Goodman

Since the reality series premiered, Goodman has been present on the judging panel. His tough words served as every dancing pair’s motivation to improve week by week. Understandably, his retirement from the series is a painful yet honorable moment to witness.

“We love you Len – thank you for many years of incredible memories and words of advice,” DWTS’s Instagram post reads.

Bruno Tonioli also posted on Instagram to celebrate Goodman. According to him, Goodman is a “ballroom legend.”

Meanwhile, dancing-pro-turned-judge Derek Hough wrote a sentimental message, recalling the “unforgettable feeling” of getting a 10 from the head judge himself.

“I’ve known you since I was 12 years old and to think how our paths have continued to cross after all these years is astonishing,” he wrote. “Then to have the pleasure and honor of sitting beside you on a show I hold dear to my heart has truly been a blessing.”

Carrie Ann Inaba was perhaps the most emotional. The judge even admitted that she has been crying after finding out the news. In her Instagram post, she expressed gratitude for the laughs, cries, disagreements, and the overall friendship.

Some Dancing Pros Want to Serve as Judges in the Next Seasons

Several dancing professionals also reacted to the head judge’s exit. Emma Slater who grew up in the UK, like Goodman, was “caught off guard” and “emotional.”

Like Hough, Emma had been judged by Goodman in competitions as a kid. For her, Goodman had a respectable run, but she also believes that DWTS could embrace new personalities in the panel.

During a press visit, pro Val Chmerkovskiy was asked if he wants to fill a judging role next season. He explained that he “would love to,” but he’s not rushing to get there just yet.

For those who may have missed it, Cheryl Burke once mentioned in her podcast that she desires to join other judges in the panel. With 25 seasons of experience on DWTS, Britt Stewart believes that Burke could tread the same path as Hough.

The season 31 Finale of Dancing With The Stars airs next Monday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Disney+. Consequently, this will be the last time that Goodman will sit in the panel critique the show’s dancing couples.

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