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Derek Hough excited to return on 'Dancing with the Stars'

"'Dancing with the Stars' is amazing," Hough said. "It's the biggest dance show in the world and it's an absolute privilege to be part of it."

By Annie Martin
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Derek Hough excited to return on 'Dancing with the Stars'
Dancers Derek Hough (L), pictured here with Julianne Hough in 2013, is happy to be back on "Dancing with the Stars." UPI/Danny Moloshok | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Derek Hough is excited to return on Dancing with the Stars.

The 29-year-old professional dancer didn't know if he would return for the new season, but is happy to be back and partnered with Bethany Mota. Hough told TV Guide it is a privilege to be included in season 19, and said he is pleased sister Julianne Hough will be an official judge.

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"I wasn't sure if I was going to come back, not because I didn't want to, but because I was exhausted," he revealed. "This season is a different experience for me than last season because there's a lot of change happening this year -- we have a new executive producer -- so I wanted to make sure that I was here to be part of it and to support the show."

"Dancing with the Stars is amazing," he lauded. "It's the biggest dance show in the world and it's an absolute privilege to be part of it."

Hough is partnered with YouTube star and fashion guru Bethany Mota, and admitted he had not heard of her before the show. The dancer called his partner is "an absolute sweetheart," and said she is doing great in rehearsals.

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"She's a real natural and I think it's gonna be a great premiere," he shared. "The cast is really eclectic this year. I don't think we've ever had so many people this diverse before. I know some people in the cast have been wanting to do the show for a long time, so I'm happy for them. This is a cast of people who are really excited to be on the show, and I think you will see that enthusiasm radiate onscreen."

Sister Julianne Hough has competed and guest-judged on the competition before, and will debut as an official judge this season. Hough joked, "You'd think I'd be sick of her by now," but said he is excited for and "incredibly proud" of his sister.

"People keep asking, 'You really think this is fair?'" he related. "I'm like, 'Listen, did you see when she guest-judged?' She's not afraid to be honest. She's very fair and I know she would never treat me any differently than any other contestant. She hasn't and she won't."

Season 19 of Dancing with the Stars will premiere September 15 on ABC.

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