This Will Be Len Goodman’s Last Season as Head Judge on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

On the newest episode of Dancing with the Stars, which aired on Monday, head judge Len Goodman made a shocking announcement that left the DWTS community in shambles. In front of his fellow judges, the dancers, and the entire audience, Goodman revealed this would be his last season with DWTS. 

Goodman has been the head judge of the show since its first season in 2005 – only missing two seasons (21 and 29) over its 31-season history. He joins Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli as the only others to remain with the show from day one. Goodman was a legend and it won’t be the same without him.

The professional dancer and coach was given a moment during Monday’s episode to announce and explain his decision. He was introduced by the host, Tyra Banks, who commemorated him on judging more than 3,000 dance routines since the program started. His impact on the show is unmatched. 

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“Well, whilst we’re all getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it would also be with a touch of sadness as this will be my last season judging on Dancing With the Stars,” said Goodman during his short segment. The moment he said ‘last season,’ the entire audience gasped in utter shock.

“I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain,” he continued, adding that it ‘has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show.’ With the entire theater giving him a standing ovation, he expressed his excitement and eagerness for the season’s finale. 

In addition to his 29 seasons as head judge on Dancing With the Stars, Len Goodman was also head judge on Strictly Come Dancing – the UK version– from 2004 to 2016. When people say he’s a legend in the DWTS community, they don’t just mean in the United States, but the United Kingdom as well. 

Before his days as a dance judge and coach, Goodman was a professional dancer himself. He started dancing at the age of 19 after his doctor recommended it for physical therapy. He eventually went pro and won several competitions as he displayed his talent to the world. That was more than 50 years ago!

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 31 Finale Airs November 21

This Will Be Len Goodman’s Last Season as Head Judge on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
via Dancing With the Stars’ YouTube

Season 31 of Dancing With the Stars has been an exciting one and while it’s been fun these past few months, the story must come to an end at some point. For four of the couples, that end is coming on November 21st when the finale crowns a winner. It’s the single moment we’ve all been waiting for. 

During the semifinals on November 14th, three couples were pronounced safe – Wayne and Witney, Charli and Mark, and Gabby and Val. The bottom three consisted of Daniel and Britt, Trevor and Emma, and Shangela and Gleb – the latter of which advanced to the finale and still have a shot at winning. 

With that said, two of the couples stood out on Monday – Charli and Mark, and Gabby and Val. Both couples scored a perfect 40 on both of their routines, which was compared to the 36s and 37s the other two finalists received. Anything can happen in the finale, but we certainly know who the favorites are.

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While we wait for the finale – which is soon, yet so far away – let’s take a moment to commemorate Len Goodman on an incredible career with Dancing With the Stars. Who knows where this franchise would be today if he wasn’t the head judge. He will never be replaced, but he will always be remembered.

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