“Dancing With the Stars” is renaming the mirrorball trophy after late judge Len Goodman. Executive producer Conrad Green revealed the tribute during an interview on Wednesday.
“The Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy will now be lifted on Dancing With the Stars like the Vince Lombardi trophy is lifted at the Super Bowl,” Green told USA Today. “We 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.”
Season 32, which premieres on Sept. 26, will also be dedicated to Goodman. “Len loves this show and will always be there, looking down on us,” Green added.
Goodman, who retired after Season 31, joined the ABC dancing competition as head judge in 2005. He died at the age of 78 following a private battle with bone cancer in April.
“I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be part of such a wonderful show, but I’ve decided I would like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain,” he said at the time. “I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing With the Stars family, it’s been such a wonderful experience for me and I’m looking forward so much to next week’s finale.”
Following his death, Goodman’s former colleagues spoke out on social media.
“Heart broken [sic] my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away,” fellow judge Bruno Tonioli shared at the time. “I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together @bbcstrictly @dancingwiththestars. [There] will never be anyone like you we will miss you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️Bruno.”
Carrie Ann Inaba, for her part, called Goodman “a refined gentleman.”
“A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And … A treasured friend,” she gushed. “Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart. But today’s news has shattered it all over again. I can’t believe that you’re gone. 💔.”
Derek Hough, meanwhile, noted: “Heart broken [sic] by the news of our dear friend and mentor Len Goodman. It’s a gloomy morning here in Los Angeles which seems fitting after this heart breaking news. But when I think back at the memories we all shared with Len, his sense of humor, his smile and charm everything feels much brighter and full of sunshine.”
In addition to the new mirrorball name, Season 32 will also be changing hosts. Julianne Hough has replaced Tyra Banks and is set to co-host in the ballroom with Alfonso Ribeiro.
Season 32 of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and Disney+.
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