"Dancing With the Stars": Valerie Harper Exits, Julianne Hough Returns

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Valerie Harper

    "Dancing With the Stars" welcomed veteran dancer Julianne Hough back to the ballroom as a special guest judge in this week's all-new episode. And it looks like the dancers were pulling out all the stops to impress the blonde bombshell. It's week four of the ABC hit dancing competition and the celebrities are definitely finding their footing!

    It was a night of twirls, shimmies and shakes as the remaining 10 couples tackled some of ballroom's most difficult dances. From Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's energetic jive to Amber Riley's sultry tango, Hough was more than ready to lend her constructive criticism and tricks of the trade to the all the dancing hopefuls.

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    We were backstage tonight with Derek Hough to get his family-based feedback on his sister Julianne's judging style. Plus we chatted with this week's eliminated DWTS contestant!

    MORE: "Dancing With the Stars" Backstage Scoop: Bill Nye Says Goodbye to the Ballroom

    First up. let's dish on the couple that was sent home: After two week of low scores, Valerie Harper and her partner Tristan MacManus were named the third couple to be eliminated from the reality competition. Although it was sad to see Harper go, the Mary Tyler Moore actress exclusively tells us that this departure is "a blessing in disguise."

    Harper explains, "I'm sad to leave the group and the people, and the fun, the interactions and the challenges, but my knees are in bad shape. Not terrible, not that I need surgery, but they need a rest. These knees are 74-year-old and they are barking." We wish you and your knees all the best Valerie!

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    "Dancing" siblings Derek and Julianne Hough are known for having a closer relationship, and he tells us it "wasn't weird at all" to see his sister sitting at the judges table during tonight's performance. "Julianne and I are so honest with each other I understand what she meant tonight," He explains, "She said she kind of wanted there to be something she could say [to critique the performance] so that she wouldn't seem biased. But I know that if she wanted to she would have taken much pleasure in doing that."

    Hough continues saying that it was fun to see his sister embracing her judging responsibilities. "It was great she did a really great job and I was really proud of her," he says. As for their short but sweet sibling spat Hough revealed the story behind Julianne's missing Barbie head. "I don't know I made that up," Hough tells us with a smile. "I made it up. I didn't rip Barbies' heads off, I played with them!" Ya hearing this Nina Dobrev? Looks like your beau has a secret soft side.

    PHOTOS: Check out pics of Season 17's couples