Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 | 9:43 a.m.
Will the hot-and-heavy romance between former Las Vegas Academy dancer Julianne Hough and her country singer boyfriend Chuck Wicks help or hinder them in the upcoming eighth season of Dancing With the Stars? Vegas DeLuxe has the first rehearsal photos of the pairings in advance of the March 9 two-hour premiere.
Julianne and Chuck recently came to town for a dinner at Lavo in the Palazzo for each other’s families to meet! Now friends are wondering if the romance can handle the pressures of touring and rehearsing simultaneously, with the couple flying to Hollywood every Monday and Tuesday for the hit ABC series.
Here are excerpts from Chuck’s blog about the DWTS rehearsals:
First week of rehearsals for Dancing With the Stars (Feb. 17): So today is our second day of rehearsal! Julianne is still fighting off having the flu, which I feel so bad for her, but she's a trooper and she’s pushing through the rehearsals. It’s official! I've now confirmed I’m a really bad dancer! LOL. But I have a great teacher, and I will try my best not to fall on my face come March 9! … Julianne will be with me the entire time teaching me on the road while touring. I have to admit it’s definitely a lot to juggle, but we’re doing it! She is finding it very funny with how serious and focused I am in practice! I think she’s always used to me joking around!
Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009: My legs are killing me! Dancing needs to be considered a sport because I’m finding muscles I never knew I had! Julianne is feeling much better, and I’m actually starting to get into a groove. It’s been really hard being that I’m still out on the road touring, so it’s dance by day, sing by night! We’re trying to ask how the other couples are doing to see what’s up, but all circuits are busy! Haha ... everyone is mum!
Meantime, Julianne’s brother Derek, who also lived here for a while and won Season 7 with Brooke Burke, will be teamed with rapper-actress Lil’ Kim, and Vegas nightclub regular and reality TV actress Denise Richards is partnered with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who created the new choreography at Steve Wynn’s Le Reve at the Wynn. Another Vegas regular, Jackass prankster Steve-O, has apparently cleaned up and is keeping his clothes on with last season’s Lance Bass partner Lacey Schwimmer.
Other stars competing are husband and wife Jewel and Ty Murray with Dmitry Chaplin and Chelsie Hightower, respectively. Jewel is a three-time Grammy nominee, while Ty is a world champion bull rider. The other competitors are former Go-Go’s singer Belinda Carlisle with Jonathan Roberts, David Alan Grier with Kym Johnson, Shawn Johnson with Mark Balas, Lawrence Taylor with Edyta Sliwinska, Nancy O’Dell with Tony Dovolani, Apple founder Steve Wozniak with Karina Smirnoff and Sex and the City stud Gilles Marini with Cheryl Burke.