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Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union on America's Got Talent

Julianne Hough's Christmas Special Earns Rave Reviews as She Rebounds from 'AGT'

Gettyimages | NBC
By Joe Allen

On Monday night, Julianne Hough returned to NBC for a holiday special called "Holiday With the Houghs." The special co-starred her brother, Derek Hough, and earned her a warm reception less than a month after the network decided not to bring her back for a second season of "America's Got Talent." Fans watching the pre-taped special were especially thrilled with it.

Late last month, the network announced that it would not be bringing Hough or Gabrielle Union back as judges for another year.

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Julianne Hough on the red carpet
Gettyimages | Tibrina Hobson

After the announcement of her firing, it was later reported that Union had frequently raised alarms about the "toxic" workplace, which caused NBC to launch an investigation into the show. Union has since met with NBC about the situation.

In her initial response to her firing, Hough made it clear that she had enjoyed her time on the show. The former professional dancer on "Dancing With the Stars" also made it clear that she would continue to have a working relationship with the network.

Giphy | Dancing with the Stars

"I had a wonderful time on America's Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC," Hough said. "I'm looking forward to what the future holds."

After hearing that Union had raised complaints, Hough was eager to support her former co-star. She said that she was happy that Union had had the chance to raise her concerns directly with NBC, which obviously as the best chance of resolving the issue.

Giphy | The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

"That's awesome. Oh good. That's amazing," Hough said of the situation in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "Honestly, we've been here doing so many rehearsals I haven't really looked at my phone, but that makes me really happy. That's such an amazing step in shifting the paradigm of the workplace and it's great."

It's good to see Hough supporting Union, especially as it becomes clear that Union was dealing with a work environment where her needs were treated as secondary to those of her white, male co-stars.

Julianne and Derek Hough
Gettyimages | Roy Rochlin

Since losing her judging gig on "America's Got Talent," Hough has appeared on NBC twice. The first time, it was to perform at the 87th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which aired on NBC earlier this month.

The second was this holiday special, which will air again on the network on Dec. 23 at 8 pm. It's clear that Hough is doing just fine in the aftermath of her firing, but this story isn't over just yet, especially between Union and the network.

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