'Dancing with the Stars' will pay tribute to late judge Len Goodman throughout season

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
DWTS season 32 to pay tribute to late judge Len Goodman
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New "Dancing with the Stars" co-hosts Julianne Hough and Alfonso Ribeiro look forward to Season 32, but will also feel the spirit of late judge Len Goodman with them this fall.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ahead of their new co-hosting duties on "Dancing with the Stars," both Julianne Hough and Alfonso Ribeiro have a rich history with the long-running reality competition series.

"It is truly is such a family affair," said Hough.

"It is nothing but love," said Ribeiro.

Alfonso co-hosted the competition last year with Tyra Banks; and in 2014, he took home the mirrorball trophy with his pro partner Witney Carson.

Hough first appeared on "DWTS" as a pro dancer in 2007. She won back-to-back seasons: one with Apollo Ohno, next with Helio Castroneves. She returned to the ballroom as a judge for a couple years but is now thrilled with this new role!

"I get to be neutral in this place! I'm not trying to win, or critique, and be like who are my favorites?" said Hough. "I'm just here to enjoy it with everyone. So pressure is off. I just have to speak."

Season 32 will have a special meaning for the veterans of the ballroom: It will be the first time the series goes on without head judge Len Goodman, who died this past April.

The show and the stars will pay tribute to Goodman in multiple ways. For starters, the show is renaming its trophy after the judge. It will now be named the "Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy."

Alfonso and Julianne says Len's spirit will definitely be with them in the ballroom

"I knew Len since I was 10 years old," said Hough. "He judged me before 'Dancing with the Stars' was ever even a thought. He was such a centerpiece of what made this show what it is. We will all feel his presence for sure."

Ribeiro added, "I do know that several of the dancers are making sure the technique is right for Len. Even though he won't be in the ballroom physically, he will be there emotionally, spiritually."

The longtime friends say they are focusing on hosting, so we will not see them dancing. Well, not yet anyway.

"There's a lot of talk about us, at some point, doing a little routine together," said Ribeiro. "It would be a dream come true. I get to dance with this legend. But we're just excited about being able to co-host together. But we might, move around - just a little!"

"Dancing with the Stars" airs Tuesday nights on ABC and Disney+, next day on Hulu.