This DWTS Alum Will Replace Derek Hough In The Finale

During Monday night's big "Dancing With The Stars" finale, there will be a noticeable absence. Fan-favorite judge Derek Hough will not be sitting at the panel with his fellow hosts Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. The professional dancer will instead be at home in quarantine after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after last week's semi-final episode, per People.

"Even though I've been fully vaccinated, I've just been diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID," Derek said in an Instagram video last week. "I just found out and I feel okay. I feel strong. I'm currently taking advice from medical professionals to get better as fast as I can. I'm currently in quarantine," he continued. "I'll make sure to keep you guys all updated with what's going on, but I just want to send my love out there to all. Stay safe."

Of course, this will be a huge loss for fans, who have come to love seeing Derek sit at the panel and bring his own unique perspective and energy to the ballroom as a judge. Thankfully, fans will get to see Derek during the episode as he'll appear virtually and be seen in a pre-taped segment. However, the show has tapped a replacement for Derek during the finals, and it's someone that fans know very well.

Julianne Hough set to fill in for Derek during the DWTS finale

According to Entertainment Tonight, Derek Hough may not appear in person during the "Dancing With The Stars" finals due to his COVID-19 diagnosis. However, his sister Julianne Hough will be taking his place at the judges' panel. As "DWTS" fans already know, Julianne is no stranger to the ballroom. In fact, she's a two-time champion. In addition to her former spot as a pro dancer on the show, she also has plenty of judging experience as she was previously the fourth judge before leaving the show in 2017.

"Julianne is the reason I started doing ballroom!" current pro Jenna Johnson said. "So to have her judge this finale just means the world." In addition, dancer Cheryl Burke also offered her excitement about Julianne's return. "I've known Julianne since she was 10 years old so we go way back," Burke stated. "It's always nice to have old contestants or old pros come back on our show and judge, so she is amazing and she knows what to look for. She's a great replacement for Derek, so I'm really excited."

Having Julianne there will be a bit of a treat for fans, who haven't seen her on the show in years. However, all eyes will certainly be on the finalists, Iman Shumpert, Cody Rigsby, Amanda Kloots, and Jojo Siwa as they compete to win the Season 30 mirror ball trophy.