Derek Hough Reveals Who He's Rooting For On 'Dancing With the Stars' (Exclusive)

The 'World of Dance' judge and former 'DWTS' pro shared with ET which athlete he thinks should win the mirrorball trophy.

Derek Hough might have moved on from Dancing With the Stars, but he's still watching -- and who he's rooting for might surprise you.

ET's Keltie Knight caught up with the professional dancer at the FYC Event for NBC's World of Dance on Tuesday and got his take on the all-athletes season of the show.

"I have to say, the one that got me a lot was Tonya Harding," he shared, adding that he has a major soft spot for the former figure skater. "It's so interesting hearing people when they just attack people, but I don't know, I'm always on the defense for people who have done something wrong and who are looking for redemption."

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Hough, 32, compared Harding's story to "the hero's journey," a theory popularized by famed mythology expert Joseph Campbell. 

"I feel like that is the hero's journey," he added. "Joesph Campbell... hero, journey, redemption. I believe we all deserve redemption, and Dancing With the Stars offers that. So I'm really rooting for her."

As for leaving Dancing With the Stars in 2016 to judge Jennifer Lopez's series World of Dance, Hough described the decision as "terrifying," but that he feels "good about it."

"I was very nervous. I have been a part of this family for 10 years, and I love it dearly," he said of leaving the ABC show he's called home for a decade. "But I felt like I was in this space and time to move on. I tell people that you have to step out of your comfort zone, so I better practice what I preach. There is a expression, 'Choose courage over comfort,' and when you choose what's right over what's easy or what's fun, you keep your integrity. I feel good about it."

Of course, there's always a chance that Hough's DWTS departure could be temporary -- like if he were promised a certain legendary dance partner. 

"I heard a rumor that Celine Dion was doing it, and I was like, 'I would definitely come back for Celine Dion,'" he raved to ET last summer. "She's legend status, icon status."

For more on Hough post-Dancing With the Stars life, watch the clip below.


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