Dancing With the Stars returned for its 32nd season last night, but there was a somber tone amidst all the glitz and glamor. Len Goodman, the beloved head judge on the show for an incredible 31 seasons, sadly passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer. He announced last November that season 31 would be his last on the long-running dance competition series.
To honor Goodman’s legacy, hosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough took a moment during the season 32 premiere to pay tribute to him. Ribeiro acknowledged that a big part of the DWTS family was missing, while Hough said that although Len is “irreplaceable” they wanted to keep his spirit alive on the show.
As a permanent tribute to the late judge, DWTS revealed that they have renamed the coveted Mirror Ball trophy to the “Len Goodman Mirror Ball Trophy.” According to Hough, this redesign will ensure that Len’s presence lives on each season as the winners lift that trophy in the air.
Later this season, DWTS also plans to have a special dance tribute to Len Goodman from the competitors – something for fans to look forward to as a celebration of his many memorable years on the show.
While there’s no doubt the judges’ table looks different this season without Goodman’s witty critiques and banter, it’s touching to see Dancing With the Stars rename the trophy to immortalize his enduring legacy. Len Goodman will forever be engrained in the spirit of the competition.
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