The late Len Goodman was honored in an emotional dance that elicited tears on Tuesday’s edition of Dancing with the Stars, with his wife Sue Barrett in attendance.
Goodman, a regular on the ABC series between 2005 until 2022, died in April at 78 after battling bone cancer, about four months after he retired from his judging post on the ballroom competition.
Co-host Julianne Hough and judge Derek Hough were prominently featured in the segment featuring the tribute to the English dance professional, that aired in the middle of the program.
The segment featured a number of the show’s alums including Mark Ballas, Maks Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Kym Johnson-Herjavec, Karina Smirnoff, Anna Trebunskaya, Edyta Śliwińska and Louis van Amstel.
The segment included testimonials from the dancers as they spoke about learning under Goodman’s tutelage.
The latest: The late Len Goodman was honored in an emotional dance that elicited tears on Tuesday’s edition of Dancing with the Stars, with his wife Sue Barrett in attendance
‘One of the things I’m most thankful for is being able to judge alongside Len,’ Derek Hough said, weeping. ‘I was able to spend a little more extra time with him and for that, I’m really thankful.’
Chmerkovskiy commented on how Goodman set the bar high, making the good times all the more rewarding.
‘Getting criticized by Len was never easy but getting that 10 made it all worth it,’ he said.
The professional dancers performed in a routine to Moon River from Henry Mancini put together by Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy, saying it was a favorite of the late judge.
At the conclusion of the routine, a spotlight was placed in the chair where Goodman formerly sat, leading the audience to rise and applaud amid the weepy eyes.
The impassioned exhibition ended with a voiceover from the beloved late TV personality, saying, ‘All good things have to come to an end.’
Prior to the outing, Smirnoff, 45, told People that alums of the series were ‘excited and grateful’ to be able to pay memorial to their late colleague.
‘To come back and read that love letter or dance that love letter to him, saying thank you for his input into our world, I think it’s a no-brainer,’ Smirnoff said. ‘We are all excited and grateful to have that opportunity and for the show to be able to give that to us.’
The show’s Bruno Tonioli held back tears on the emotional night honoring Goodman
Tears were flowing amid the emotional segment paying tribute to the late dance judge
Judge Derek Hough were prominently featured in the segment featuring the tribute to the English dance professional aired in the middle of the program.
The professional dancers performed in a routine to Moon River from Henry Mancini put together by Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy, saying it was a favorite of the late judge
Maks Chmerkovskiy said that he wouldn’t be who he was ‘without Len,’ adding, ‘That’s the reality.’
‘So whenever there’s an opportunity to pay respect, I think I would love to be a part of that,’ he told the outlet.
The show, in its 32nd season, announced last month that as the show declared that its Mirrorball Trophy would be named The Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy.
The hosts of the show, Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough, opened the September 26 program speaking about the late ballroom expert, and how the show’s most coveted prize would be renamed in his honor.
‘Len was on this panel for nearly all of our 31 seasons and though he is certainly irreplaceable, we wanted to keep his spirit alive,’ said Hough, 35. ‘Len will always be going forward with us.’
Ribeiro, 52, said of the trophy, ‘As a tribute to him, we redesigned and renamed our ultimate prize.’
Goodman, who died at a Kent, England hospice with family surrounding him, was ‘a much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him,’ his manager Jackie Gill said in a statement the BBC reported at the time of his passing.
Goodman also was the head judge on the U.K. incarnation of the series, Strictly Come Dancing, in between 2004-2016.
Details: The late Len Goodman was honored on Dancing with the Stars’ season 32 debut Tuesday. Goodman died in April at 78 after battling bone cancer
The hosts of the show, Alfonso Ribeiro, 52, and Julianne Hough, 35, opened the program speaking about the late ballroom expert
The show’s executive producer Conrad Green revealed to USA Today last month that producers ‘wanted to make Len a permanent part of this show, to always remind people the importance he’s had to Dancing with the Stars and how much he meant to all of us.’
He said, ‘Len loves this show and will always be there, looking down on us.’
Riberio said that Goodman’s influence would be evident in the first season since his passing, and that ‘there won’t be a dry eye in the house’ when the dance tributes are performed.
‘I can guarantee you that every one of those pros will be making sure that the routines are still designed for Len,’ Riberio told People.
He added: ‘I know I’ve talked to a few of them and they will be putting in specific steps that Len used to love, just to make sure that the content is still there for Len … I mean, he was the best.’
Hough said that ‘Len will always be going forward with us’
The show declared that its Mirrorball Trophy would be named The Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy
Riberio said that Goodman’s influence would be evident in the first season since his passing, and that ‘there won’t be a dry eye in the house’ when the dance tributes are performed
Goodman also was the head judge on the U.K. incarnation of the series, Strictly Come Dancing, in between 2004-2016
Goodman, who was renowned for his excellent communication skills, retired from the series in November of 2022, saying, ‘It has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show.
‘But I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain. I could not thank you enough, my Dancing with the Stars family, it’s been such a wonderful experience for me.’
The full list of competitors on the new season of the series include Ariana Madix, Jamie Lynn Spears, Mauricio Umansky, Matt Walsh, Jason Mraz, Alyson Hannigan, Mira Sorvino, Adrian Peterson, Barry Williams, Tyson Beckford, Xochitl Gomez, Harry Jowsey, Lele Pons and Charity Lawson.
Dancing with the Stars can be seen every Tuesday at 8/7c on ABC, and streams on Disney+ and Hulu.