Dancing with the celebrities pulled out all of the stops to honor the late Decide Len Goodman throughout the Tuesday, October 24 episode.
Former execs Maks Chmerkovskiy, Karina Smirnoff, Mark Ballas, Kym Johnson-Herjavec, Tony Dovolani, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis van Amstel And Edyta Sliwinska returned for the routine, which additionally featured the entire skilled dancers from season 32. Present forged members Val Chmerkovskiy And Jenna Johnson choreographed the track to Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River’.
Cohost Alfonso Ribeiro launched the tribute, noting that the Dancing with the celebrities The household had been “shocked and saddened” by the information of Goodman’s demise on the age of 78 in April. “As a result of Len will all the time be on the middle of this present, our execs have created a particular look in his honor,” mentioned 52-year-old Ribeiro.
Earlier than the shifting group waltz, during which the ladies wore white robes and the boys crisp tuxedos, the performers shared their recollections of Goodman by way of a pre-recorded video.
“One of many issues I’m most grateful for [about] As a result of I used to be capable of decide subsequent to Len, I used to be capable of spend somewhat extra time with him,” the decide mentioned Derek Houghtear up.
Each Derek, 38, and his sister Julianne Hough – who cohosts alongside Ribeiro this season – first met Goodman as youngsters.
“I knew Len since I used to be 10 years outdated, so this present felt like, ‘That is dwelling, that is household,’” Julianne, 35, mentioned throughout the tribute.
Different DWTS Professionals seemed again fondly on Goodman’s means to ship harsh criticism with love.
“You’d get the reality from Len Goodman, however he would do it together with his little twinkle,” mentioned Johnson-Herjavec, 47. “In the event you did not [right]“He would allow you to now,” Ballas, 37, chimed in.
After the waltz in honor of the late DWTS decide tribute – which concluded with an audio clip of Goodman himself saying, “All good issues should come to an finish” – a number of artists, together with Derek and the present DWTS plus factors Daniella Karagach And Emma Slater, had been in tears. A sob Bruno Tonioli rose from his seat on the jury desk to hug his fellow decide Carrie Ann Inaba.
Goodman had served as a decide Dancing with the celebrities since its premiere in 2005. He introduced his retirement from the ABC actuality competitors sequence in November 2022. He died the next April after battling prostate most cancers.
Previous to the season 32 premiere, the present renamed the award in Goodman’s reminiscence. “The Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy will now be disbanded Dancing with the celebrities just like the Vince Lombardi trophy being raised on the Tremendous Bowl,” mentioned government producer Conrad Inexperienced instructed USA right now in September. “We needed to make Len a everlasting a part of this present, to all the time remind individuals how essential he was Dancing with the celebrities and the way a lot he meant to all of us.”
Inexperienced famous that the premiere was additionally devoted to Goodman. “Len loves this present and can all the time be there wanting down on us,” he mentioned.
Cohosts Ribeiro and Julianne briefly mentioned Goodman’s influence throughout the September premiere. “Whereas he’s actually irreplaceable, we needed to maintain his spirit alive,” Julianne mentioned on the time as Ribeiro pointed to the mirrorball trophy. “It is so unbelievable that Len will all the time proceed with us.”
Earlier this month, Julianne opened up about her expertise internet hosting the present whereas occupied with Goodman. “This season will definitely be nostalgic and memorable, particularly as we honor and pay tribute to the good Len Goodman,” she mentioned solely We weekly on October 11. “He was such an expensive pal, and I’m so glad to have the ability to honor him and hold his spirit alive within the ballroom.”
She added: “He was such an inspiration and can all the time be the guts of this present.”
For season 32, Derek, Inaba, 55, and Tonioli, 67, have served as judges, with Inexperienced revealing in September that the present by no means had plans to exchange Goodman after his retirement.
“I’ve all the time felt that Len is irreplaceable,” Inexperienced mentioned Leisure weekly. “He is such an essential a part of the present’s historical past and such an essential a part of why the present is profitable [with] his honesty, his specialist data of the ballroom and the truth that he actually comes from that world. His legacy of what he dropped at the present is wonderful. He is all the time been that man who protected ballroom dancing on the present. He will likely be terribly missed.”
Dancing with the celebrities airs on ABC and Disney+ Tuesdays at 8pm ET.