While the ballroom will be Hough-less this season, Derek's pal, Mark Ballas, is returning to the show after taking two seasons off.
"DWTS, I feel like everyone brings something to it. It's like different seasonings, and I think that that past two seasons we've missed Mark's spice," Derek, who was the best man at Ballas' wedding last year, confessed. "We've missed his spice. We've missed his dynamic. We need that."
Though Ballas has a special place in his heart, Derek insisted he's remaining un-biased this season, and is "rooting for everybody."
"I love them all. I was just nominated for an Emmy this past weekend, and it's always been for Dancing With the Stars, so it's kind of bittersweet, because it was my last performance," he admitted. "I love that show. It's amazing."