Derek Hough on What to Expect From His Next 'DWTS' Performance (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images
Dancing With the Stars fans, it's time to get excited, because the upcoming season 29 finale is about to be next level!
In addition to the remaining four couples -- Nelly & Daniella Karagach, Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem Chigvintsev, Nev Schulman & Jenna Johnson, and Justina Machado & Sasha Farber -- showcasing their final dance routines, Monday's finals will feature two other special performances you won't want to miss.
For the second time this season, judge Derek Hough will be gracing the ballroom with his phenomenal dance skills, while Nelly will perform a medley of his greatest hits separate from his numbers with Daniella. Derek teased what fans can expect from his highly anticipated routine while speaking with ET just moments after semifinals wrapped.
"It's a solo performance," Derek revealed. "I am dancing by myself and I am not sure why I decided to, but I am doing it. I have not danced a solo since I was, like, 12 years old, that is the truth. So here we go!"
"To be honest with you, it was kind of a COVID thing," he continued. "Usually I would be like, 'I want to do a group number,' something like that, but it just logistically made sense to do a solo. It has challenged me, for sure, but I am looking forward to it. It's gonna be fun and I will say this: it's an homage to some of my heroes."
ET also spoke with judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, who opened up about what the finalists need to do from now until finale day in order to win.
"They all have individual qualities that can get them the mirrorball. From now on, it is really down to that freestyle performance," Bruno explained. "That is the one that has to have that extra wow factor. That is the one that is really going to decide who is going to win, because [at this point] they all could."
"Purely on ability, it really can come down to that one," he added. "We really don't know what is going to happen, so it is more exciting than ever."
Carrie Ann agreed, telling ET that she thinks "everyone loves the four finalists" at this point, giving the cast and crew major credit for being able to adapt so well to changes this season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"As far as this season goes, this has been my favorite season out of all 29 seasons. There is something so different about it; it feels renewed, fresh and intimate," she gushed. "Because we are going through COVID, we always went through it together and it has taken everyone from the judges to the dancers to the pros to the choreographers, to the costume department to the crew, to the lighting guy to the sound people, to the producers. Everyone is working so hard, so there is this feeling out there that makes it feel extra special, and I think we saw that in the semifinals."
"It's almost like, as judges, that we were a part of every performance ... that we all did this together," she continued. "It feels really special. So, I actually don't mind not having an audience. I like the intimacy that it has created between us and the competitors. I think that has been special. I think there is a stronger bond now."
The season 29 finale of Dancing With the Stars airs Monday, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Be sure to tune into Entertainment Tonight the following evening to hear more from the mirrorball champions. Check your local listings here.