People — Julianne Hough is trading in her dancing shoes for a judging paddle.
The 26-year-old pro will become a regular fourth judge when Dancing with the Stars returns for its 19th season next month, joining Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli on the dais.
“My role is to encourage and be supportive, and to also be candid and honest and try not to beat around the bush, to be too politically correct,” Hough tells PEOPLE. “I want to give critiques so they can improve. I’m not there to be harsh or cause a controversy. I won’t be mean or malicious. That’s not who I am. That’s not my role at all.”
Hough, a two-time pro champ on the show, has served as a guest judge in previous seasons, but she felt the time was right to make it a more permanent gig this fall.
“After being on tour with my brother [Derek], it felt like time to move on,” Hough told PEOPLE. “I felt like I really reconnected with fans, and the people have supported me since day one. They have followed me from Dancing with the Stars to my other aspirations. It just feels like the perfect time to reconnect and be a part of where it all began, with my family.”
And what of the challenge of critiquing an actual family member? Hough says she’s not worried about judging her brother, who is set to return to the ballroom along with long-timers Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, Karina Smirnoff and Tony Dovolani.
“Derek has been known to be very good with his partnerships,” Hough says, laughing. “But it’s not about my brother, nor is it about Cheryl or Mark. It’s about the partnership and the celebrity who is dancing.”
ABC will announce the 12 new celebrity dancers Sept. 4 on Good Morning America. Dancing with the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. ET.
Julianne Hough and Designer Roland Mouret attend the Roland Mouret for Banana Republic Collection Launch on August 5, 2014 at White Street Restaurant in New York City. I have added 33 high quality photos to the gallery.
- Appearances From 2014 > Roland Mouret Fetes The Roland Mouret For Banana Republic Collection
A new photoshoot has been added to the gallery from Redbook Magazine.
- Photoshoots From 2014 > Session 002
Last month I added two sets of magazine scans to the gallery. The first set is from Julianne and Derek’s cover story on People Magazine. The second is Julianne’s solo Redbook cover. Be sure to check out the scans in the gallery.
I’ve added 94 high quality photos of Julianne at the Radio Disney Music Awards back on (April 26). Head over to the gallery to check them out now!
- Appearances From 2014 > April 26: Radio Disney Music Awards
Taking part in the festivities on (April 12) Julianne was snapped at The Old Navy Oasis At Coachella. I’ve added 28 stunning high quality photos to the gallery. It looks like Julianne was having a blast!
- Appearances From 2014 > The Old Navy Oasis At Coachella
Back on (April 12) Julianne was photographed at the Lacoste Beautiful Desert Party. I’ve added 9 high quality photos to the gallery. Check them out!
- Appearances From 2014 > Lacoste Beautiful Desert Party
On (April 10) Julianne attended the Kaleidoscope Ball with her brother Derek. I’ve added 43 high quality photos to the gallery. If you haven’t already seen some of the photos head on over to the gallery to check them out!
- Appearances From 2014 > April 10 : Kaleidoscope Ball – Designing The Sweet Side Of L.A.
Dancing With the Stars Season 18 will be too Hough to handle in just two weeks!
Two-time DWTS champ Julianne Hough made her guest judging debut last fall and she’ll be back for Round 2 this spring. As Tom Bergeron said on March 24’s Week 2, “In two weeks, Julianne Hough comes back as guest judge.”
That would put her judging stint on Monday, April 7, which is also when the new Switch Up partnerships are supposed to perform. (Voting ends March 31.) So, you have two weeks to prepare for her next critique, Mark Ballas! (Kidding! Sort of.)
Tom said other guest judges will include Ricky Martin and Redfoo from LMFAO. The judges are meant to discuss next week’s guest judge Tuesday on Good Morning America.
As you may have already heard, Julianne and her pro bro Derek Hough are going on tour this summer with their own song and dance show, timed right around the debut of Derek’s book, Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion.
Their Move Live on Tour starts May 28 in Park City, Kansas and continues until July 26 at the Orpheum in L.A.
Are you excited to see Julianne back in action as a guest judge?