She can dance with the stars -- and she can sing with the stars, too.
'Dancing With the Stars' pro Julianne Hough first made a name for herself by winning the show's trophy twice (with Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves). Though she and Season 7 partner Cody Linley were eliminated during the semifinal rounds, Hough has a hot country music career to console her.
The blonde dynamo chatted with AOL TV about performing as a singer on the show for the first time, her new "little brother" Cody and whether she'll be 'Dancing' again next spring.
1. Both you and Cody seemed upbeat after the elimination. Did you see it coming?
Yeah, we got the lowest score this week and Cody seemed to slip by the last two weeks. We knew the judges' scores count for a lot ... so we kind of expected it. We hoped to stay on but we prepared ourselves to expect the worst. It happens, and we had to take that and be like, "We had an amazing experience. It was such an awesome ride." It was a challenging one at that, with all the changes of partners and all that stuff.
2. You've won twice before. Is it tough not getting that third trophy?
To be honest, I would've loved to have won again with Cody and I pushed him as hard as I could to get that title again. But now I'm really rooting for my brother and Brooke. It's time for the other Hough to win.
3. You had your appendix removed a few weeks ago, and nobody would've faulted you had you not come back. Why did you decide to return to the show?
I really wanted to be there for Cody. I thought that he had a great chance [but] it's definitely a hard thing to switch partners back and forth. I felt like we definitely connected and I just wanted to be here for him and show him that I cared about him and the competition. Even though I probably could've stayed off another week, I wanted to make sure he was OK.
4. What do you think of all the talk about a 'Dancing With the Stars' curse?
I don't know. I don't like to believe in curses -- you don't want to give the curse the opportunity. [Laughs] But I do have to say it's a little strange that so many people have been getting injured. But to be honest, I think it's the fact that everybody's been working really hard and when you work that hard and you're stressed out and tired ... things happen.
5. So, is Cody really that adorable?
He's even more adorable in person. He is one of the sweetest kids I've ever met -- and I say the word "kid" because when I met him, he was a child [laughs]. And now he's a kid who's really grown up. He's still a kid in my eyes because he's like my little brother. I have a little stepbrother, but other than that, I'm pretty much the baby -- so it's kind of fun.
6. What was it like singing for the first time on 'Dancing With the Stars'?
To be honest, I was more nervous singing on the set of 'Dancing With the Stars' than singing in front of 75,000 people, because everybody sees me as being a dancer. It was my chance to show [the 'DWTS' audience], "Hey, I can sing too!" And the fact that I was in the company of Aretha Franklin and John Legend and Leona Lewis -- I felt like I was in amazing company.
7. How was your first CMA Awards experience?
First of all, just being back in Nashville -- being around all the artists and country music in general -- it was so refreshing. You kind of get into this fixed motion when you're here in L.A. ... so it was really, really nice to go home and go back to the country roots. It was a beautiful awards show and it was very well-done, but at the same time very casual and laid-back. It felt comfortable.
8. With your singing career taking off, will you be returning to dance next season? I won't be coming back for the spring season for sure, but I might be coming back for the fall season.
I'm actually excited about that. I've been on the show for four seasons straight and in between all that, I went on tour, I recorded an album. It's hard having to squeeze all that in and do a good job at it. I'm going to be working on my next record -- writing, which I didn't have time to do last time. I'm really excited -- I'm going on a big tour next year, which I don't think has been announced yet. It's a pretty big tour and we're about 98.5% sure it's going to happen.
9. What will your next album sound like?
You know, I don't really know yet. I've started writing but I haven't really focused in on the direction. I kind of have an idea -- you're not sure until you actually start recording. It's definitely going to be edgier, not so "Hi, I'm Julianne Hough, the sweet girl from 'Dancing With the Stars.'" It's going to be a little deeper, not so positive. I'm ready to just get down there and dig deep.
10. What do you sing on your Christmas album, 'Sounds of the Season,' which is selling exclusively at Target?
I sing the standards -- 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,' 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' 'Jingle Bell Rock,' of course you have to throw in 'Santa Baby.' I did a duet with Phil Vassar, which was really exciting. We combined 'Mary Did You Know' and 'It Wasn't His Child.' I'll be doing 'Christmas in Washington,' so I'll be singing for the president, which is crazy. It's a whole new adventure. To go from having your first album out, to having a Christmas CD out, exclusively for Target -- I was nervous at first, but it was fun. Decorating the studio with Christmas decorations in July was definitely amusing.