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Derek Hough on 'Dancing With the Stars' return: 'It was a last-minute decision'

Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:06 AM ET

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All signs were pointing to the fact the last season of "Dancing With the Stars" was Derek Hough’s final one. He’d not only competed in 10 seasons, won three mirror ball trophies and sustained a neck injury, but in a video package played during the finale, Hough sure acted like he was hanging up his sequins.

“It was my last,” Hough confirmed to The Clicker. “I was planning on not coming back. It really felt like the end.”

So what changed his mind?

Hough decided he was simply too busy to quit. Yep, too busy.  Along with his sister, Julianne Hough, the fan favorite dancer is executive producing a series called ‘Blackpool’ for Starz which is set against the backdrop of the international competitive ballroom dancing scene.

The siblings will not only produce the series, but the pair will also act as head choreographers.

Hough’s always been too savvy to air any personal laundry (that may or may not be piling up) during his run on the show, preferring instead to keep the drama on the dance floor. Now, he’s eagerly looking forward to letting it explode in the fictional stories he’ll be helping to create.  

“It’s a world I know very well,” he said of ‘Blackpool’s’ backdrop. “It’ll be fictionalized -- not autobiographical. We’re meeting with the writers, and it’s starting to come together.”

The monumental task of developing and running a show triggered Hough’s choice to return to "Dancing With the Stars."

“I decided I’m better when I’m busy,” he said. “My other projects will benefit from me doing another season of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ My creative mind will be going. I tend to get things done more often and more quickly when I’m busy."

Fortunately, one thing Hough hasn’t had to add to his schedule is surgery for his neck injury. “I spoke to the spinal guy (after last season) and he said unless it’s something that’s taking me completely out, let’s not start cutting into your neck,” Hough said. “I am going to take more care of (myself). I’ll be more aware.”

There’s another big reason Hough signed up for another season of standing in front of Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli each week. “I love being a part of this show. It was a last-minute decision, but it’s a decision that I’m very, very happy with -- even more so now because I have (‘American Idol’ alum) Kellie Pickler as a partner.”

Pickler is not only thrilled that Hough made the decision that he did, but she also agrees with it. “When life gives you the opportunity to jump, you should jump,” she told The Clicker. “The chances of your parachute opening are good.”

“Your mind is like a parachute,” Hough added. “It works better when it’s open.”

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