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Julianne Hough joins judging panel on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Julianne Hough will become the fourth — that's right, one, two, three, four — judge on a show that has long lived and prospered with just three: "Dancing with the Stars."

The official announcement was made a little while ago, and statement below. 

The move's hardly a shocker — talks between both parties had been widely reported, while Hough is just one more (former) pro on the show who emerged as a bigger star than most of the contestants, her brother Derek, as probably the best example. She's been a longtime correspondent on "ET" and launched a big screen career that has yet to take off, so visibility has hardly been an issue for Hough, who will certainly bring a different style and dynamic to the judging panel.

Four judges? Yes: You immediately picked up the most obvious problem. Four judges means four opinions which means more time — always at great premium, needless to say, in a prime-time unscripted show — taken away from the performances. But "DWTS" is on an active hunt for more magic and more viewers; ratings are down and the average age of viewers has soared. Clearly Hough's role will be to add back that necessary-for-survival dose of youth to the mix.

In a statement first posted on, she said:

“I’m so excited to be back with my 'Dancing with the Stars' family again on a regular basis. I've always aspired to be an all-around entertainer, whether I'm acting, dancing or singing, and I’m thrilled for this opportunity that will allow me to continue all of those pursuits. Derek and I just finished our Move Live on Tour, which reminded me how much I miss the interaction with the dance fans that have been so supportive of me in my career. I am warming up the paddles and the sass, and I’m ready to have fun in this new role.”

Show's back Sept. 4.

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