After Julianne Hough made a triumphant return to “Dancing with the Stars” as a guest judge, subbing for Len Goodman this week, her brother Derek Hough declared he’d give her a 10.
But their longtime friend, “DWTS” pro Mark Ballas, seemed visibly annoyed on-camera when Julianne appeared to take potshots at him while harshly judging his foxtrot with partner Christina Milian.
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Julianne, who has danced with Mark, told viewers it was hard to get noticed unless you stood right in front of him.
And after the show, Mark told reporters, “For me, what was a little funny [about Julianne’s remarks] was [that] I [supposedly] make it about me. But all the critiques were at me and not at [Christina]. So I found it kind of hypocritical, the comment, in a sense.
“I was the one who got the heat and it’s OK,” shrugged the “DWTS” veteran, who led Christina to a score of 24 for their Monday night foxtrot.
Still, Mark added, “I think she was very insightful tonight, gave great tips on lines, mechanics, and how to express. That part I loved,” he said of Julianne.
“I grew up dancing with her and she is one of the best female dancers in this field that has ever existed so I think it’s really great for her to come and give insight. She put me a little in the hot seat, but it’s fine. I take it with a pinch of salt but for the most part, she did a wonderful job.
“If I were ever to guest-judge on the show, I’d like to see people be joyous, love what they’re doing. Technique is one thing, but we’re here to have a good time and entertain.”
Meanwhile, pro Val Chmerkovskiy, who dances with actress Elizabeth Berkley this season, said of Julianne, who sat between regular judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, “Personally, I thought maybe she had the jitters a little but held it back. I wish she was a little bit more straightforward, a little bit less Carrie Ann and more herself. At times, I couldn’t tell the difference.”
But the guest star’s loyal brother Derek, who danced the tango on Monday night with partner Amber Riley — and jokingly gave Julianne $10 at the judges’ table — raved, “She was so fantastic. She had a great balance. She wasn’t worried about getting boos from the audience. She was like, ‘I’m going to give you a lot of love’ but part of that sandwich was constructive criticism.”