Why Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union Left America’s Got Talent

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On paper, the reason for the professional dancer, Julianne Hough, leaving America’s Got Talent (AGT) may come down to low viewer ratings.

However, the truth is far more complex and addresses many problems that the show needs to consider fixing.

The Lowest Ratings Ever Seen

Julianne Hough joined AGT in February of 2019 alongside her co-host, Gabrielle Union. The two joined as judges on the show’s 14th season and were paired next to seasoned hosts Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell.

Union and Hough were the only women on the panel of judges, which would lead to many of the problems that forced Hough to leave the show so quickly.

America's Got Talent received its lowest ratings ever during season 14 when Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union joined the judges' panelAmerica’s Got Talent received its lowest ratings ever during season 14 when Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union joined the judges’ panel (Credit: FayesVision / Nicky Nelson / WENN)

According to Deadline, the finale of the 14th season of AGT saw lower ratings than ever before.

On the surface, this explains why the two newest judges were ousted from the show after only one season. However, looking deeper, there were more problems bubbling.

Hough’s Controversial Past

Hough and Union left the show only one season after they were brought aboard. From the start, the blend of judges didn’t jive well.

After Union left, she publicly spoke about how the show never should’ve hired Hough as a judge in the first place because of her controversial past.

Julianne Hough was slammed for dressing up as a character from Orange Is the New Black in 2013Julianne Hough was slammed for dressing up as a character from Orange Is the New Black in 2013 (Credit: WENN)

In 2013, Hough wore blackface to a costume party where she dressed up as a character from Orange Is the New Black.

As a black woman and advocate for minorities, Union took offense to Hough’s past actions and AGT’s willingness to have her as a host despite her history.

AGT may have dropped Hough from the show in part because of her troublesome past coming back into the spotlight. After all, a show that prides itself on inclusivity can’t have a host that dawned blackface.

AGT’s Treatment of Hough and Union

It was not only Hough alone whose problematic past put the show in a bad light. Union and Hough both complained of the show and fellow co-hosts’ treatment of them.

The first complaint came from the show micromanaging how the women looked. Unlike their male co-hosts, the women had to follow a much stricter code of how to look. This left the two feel more like eye candy than respectable judges.

Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union complained of the show and fellow co-hosts’ treatment of themJulianne Hough and Gabrielle Union complained of the show and fellow co-hosts’ treatment of them (Credit: Mega / FayesVision / Avalon / WENN)

Also, the two had complained about fellow co-host Simon Cowell’s unwillingness to smoke outdoors. Cowell had a habit of smoking inside, which everyone turned a blind eye to until Union and Hough spoke up.

Union was the primary voice speaking out on the treatment the women faced on AGT. However, Hough backed Union’s words.

A Cocktail of Problems

Combining the show’s low ratings, Hough’s controversial past, and Hough’s problems with her treatment on the show, we get a clear picture of why the Dancing with the Stars dancer was fired after only one season on AGT.

Julianne Hough was fired from America's Got Talent after only one season because of low ratings, controversial past and treatment on the showJulianne Hough was fired from America’s Got Talent after only one season because of low ratings, controversial past and treatment on the show (Credit: FayesVision / WENN)

In March 2016, Julianne Hough displayed her sultry side at the launch of her collection for Canada-based activewear brand MPG Sport held at Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue store.

Julianne Hough wears her blonde hair in curls as she visits Lord & Taylor for her MPG Activewear launch eventJulianne Hough wears her blonde hair in curls as she visits Lord & Taylor for her MPG Activewear launch event held on March 23, 2016, in New York City (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN)

The then 27-year-old dancer and actress slipped her curves into a form-fitting Yigal Azrouel cold shoulder dress in a soft pale pink color.

Her sleek frock had raised darts on the bodice, angled draping, and a side slit that flaunted her bronzed legs.

Julianna Hough shows off her curves in a pink Yigal Azrouel dressJulianna Hough shows off her curves in a pink Yigal Azrouel dress (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN)

Julianne styled the look with a dainty gold necklace and a few rings, including her engagement ring.

The Footloose actress wore her hair in beachy waves and sported dark eyeliner, bronzed eyeshadow, and nude lipstick.

Julianne Hough poses at the launch of her MPG Sports activewear line in a pink Yigal Azrouel dressJulianne Hough poses at the launch of her MPG Sports activewear line in a pink Yigal Azrouel dress (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN)

Julianne was named the new brand ambassador for MPG Sports in December 2015. According to MPG’s website, “Julianne Hough is the epitome of MPG’s core customer.”

Julianne Hough speaks at the launch of her new MPG Sport collection at Lord & TaylorJulianne Hough speaks at the launch of her new MPG Sport collection at Lord & Taylor (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN)

“Her healthy, fast-paced lifestyle requires seamless transitioning from rehearsal to social events to performances and everywhere in between,” MPG CEO Ash Modha said.

“Our collections allow active individuals like Julianne to pursuit athletic and artistic excellence without sacrificing fashion for function,” he added.

The collaboration included 12 curated styles from the company’s Spring/Summer 2016 line and expanded to Julianne’s own capsule collection in the fall.

Julianne Hough wears a pink cold-shoulder Yigal Azrouel dressJulianne Hough wears a pink cold-shoulder Yigal Azrouel dress (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN)

The “Rock of Ages” star teetered in a pair of nude patent leather Kurt Geiger “Anja” pumps. These classic half d’Orsay pumps have pointed toes and about 4.3-inch skinny heels.

Julianne Hough's feet in nude leather Kurt Geiger pumpsJulianne Hough’s feet in nude leather Kurt Geiger pumps (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN)

You can get these pumps from the luxury British footwear and accessories retailer for $230 at Nordstrom and Zappos.

Nude Patent Leather Kurt Geiger “Anja” Pumps, $230

Nude Patent Leather Kurt Geiger "Anja" Pumps

Nude Patent Leather Kurt Geiger "Anja" Pumps

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