Derek Hough Once Thought His Friendship With Jennifer Lopez Was Over Because of One Misstep

Derek Hough, Jennifer Lopez
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Derek Hough hilariously recalled the time he thought his friendship with Jennifer Lopez was over.

“There was one time actually I went salsa dancing with Jennifer Lopez,” Hough, 38, explained during a Tuesday, October 24 appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show. “We’re dancing and we’re having a good night. We’re sweating, the live band’s playing. It’s steamy, it’s going great.”

The Dancing With the Stars judge, who noted that this was “several years ago,” said things went awry when he dipped Lopez, 54, and then accidentally stepped on her hair.

“And I pull her back up, but her hair didn’t come back up,” he recalled, adding that Lopez “didn’t miss a beat” and mimicked her continuing to dance while picking up her hair from the ground.

Hough, for his part, said he had “no idea” what had happened until Lopez told him later in the night.

“She said, ‘Derek do you know what you did?’ I was like, ‘So you had the time of your life, what’s up?’ And she’s like, ‘No, you pulled out my hair!’” he recalled. “She has a chunk of it, and I’m like ‘I’m so sorry!’”

Derek Hough Once Thought His Friendship With Jennifer Lopez Was Over Because of One Misstep

He continued: “And then the next day she was like ‘Hey, do you want to do a project with me?’ And I was like, ‘Fantastic, ‘cause I thought our friendship was over.’”

Before Hough sat at the judges table on DWTS, he served as a judge alongside Lopez and Ne-Yo on World of Dance. (The show was ultimately canceled after four seasons in 2021.)

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But the pair formed a friendship outside of filming the reality dance competition. In September 2018, Hough revealed he and his now wife, Hayley Ebert, frequently double dated with Lopez and her then-boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.

“Yeah, man. We go out all the time,” Hough told Us Weekly at the time. “You know, yachts,” he added jokingly.

In 2020, Hough sent a good luck video message to Lopez ahead of her Super Bowl halftime performance and credited Rodriguez, 48, for putting together the gesture.

“Of course I made a video wishing her good luck, wishing her the best,” he told Us. “All the creative directors, everyone involved, I know all of them. … I’m just really happy for them all.”

After the performance, Hough sang his pal’s praises. “Jennifer was just so polished, a class act, I loved seeing her daughter sing! … It was so special, so cute,” he gushed. “I loved it.”

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