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DWTS’ Julianne Hough sparks concern for ‘butchering’ contestant’s name as fans beg for ‘new host’

 The DWTS host replaces Tyra Banks

The hosts of season 32 of Dancing with the Stars, Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough
Faye James
Senior Editor
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During Tuesday night’s Dancing With The Stars episode, Julianne Hough recently found herself in hot water with viewers for a series of on-air missteps, the most notable being the mispronunciation of contestant Xochitl Gomez's name.

As Julianne and her co-host Alfonso Ribeiro introduced the upcoming routines, fans quickly took note of a recurring mistake.

 Both hosts, along with the show's announcer, consistently mispronounced Xochitl's name. Instead of the correct pronunciation, "Sow-cheel," it sounded more like "Sochi."

Viewers didn't hesitate to voice their concerns and displeasure on X, the popular social platform formerly known as Twitter. 

Julianne had trouble pronouncing Xotchil's name© Eric McCandless/Getty
Julianne had trouble pronouncing Xotchil's name

One exasperated fan commented: "It frustrates me immensely that Julianne and the DWTS announcer can't pronounce Xochitl's name right." 

Expanding on the sentiment, another added, "It's truly upsetting when people don't put the effort into pronouncing names outside of 'Sarah' or 'Adam' correctly. It's not that hard: SHO-TIL."

Julianne and Derek Hough© Eric McCandless/Getty
Julianne and Derek Hough

However, name pronunciation wasn't the sole point of contention. Julianne's interviewing style, particularly during the post-performance chats, also drew criticism. 

A moment that stood out for many was during an interaction with Barry Williams and his dance partner Peta Murgatroyd. Following a performance riddled with missteps, including an instance where Barry nearly dropped Peta, Julianne asked, "What happened there?" A viewer humorously responded, "What kind of question is that, Julianne? 'Yeah, I intended to drop her.'"

Barry and Petra© Eric McCandless
Barry and Petra

Yet, despite the criticism, there was some praise as well. A fan noted, "It's incredible how natural Julianne and Alfonso are as hosts, significantly better than Tyra. Although I miss Tom [Bergeron] and Erin [Andrews], Julianne and Alfonso are the ideal replacements."

This isn't Julianne's first encounter with viewer backlash. In a previous episode, an emotional chat with Barry took a wrong turn. 

Following his stirring Tango performance with Peta, Julianne asked him if he channeled someone special during his dance. Barry fondly remembered Florence Henderson, a past DWTS contestant, and his mentor. "Florence encouraged me to join Dancing With the Stars, and I can feel her presence here," Barry said.

Julianne has replaced Tyra Banks in the new season© Eric McCandless
Julianne has replaced Tyra Banks in the new season

Julianne responded, "Well, I'm sure she's cheering for you right now," before moving on to the judges' feedback. However, Florence Henderson passed away in 2016, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by the audience.

Immediately, viewers took to X to point out the oversight. Comments ranged from, "Florence is no longer with us," to "Someone please inform Julianne that Florence Henderson passed away." 

The continuous chatter showcased the impact of such on-air slip-ups and how they can overshadow even the most heartwarming moments on the show.

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