Julianne Hough out of Season 8 |

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Source: BuddyTV
January 23, 2009

Professional ballroom dancer Julianne Hough will not be gracing Dancing with the Stars this season. On the other hand, she'll be rocking out fans as she hits the road to further her country music career.

Hough, 20, is popularly known for her winning streak on Dancing with the Stars. She joined the competitive reality series during the fourth season and won with her partner Olympic gold medal-winning speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, making Hough the youngest professional dancer to win on the program. Subsequently, Hough was paired with two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves, and together, they became the winners of season 5. And though she didn't win in the sixth season of the contest, she earned a Creative Arts Primetime Emmy nomination in 2007 for "Outstanding Choreography." Most recently, she was paired with Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley but they were ultimately eliminated in the semifinals competition.
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After Hough was eliminated last season, she announced her leave of absence from the ABC series.

"It's because I really, really want to focus on the music and... be taken seriously a little bit," she said. "I think it's hard to be on Dancing with the Stars and be singing and kind of get that confusion, and so I'm really going to focus on the music."

Soon Hough, who released her debut album last year, will serve as the opening act for Toby Keith on several tour dates next month. She'll be performing on February 6 in Louisville, Kentucky and on February 22 in Des Moines, Iowa. She will also perform as one of the opening acts for George Strait's summer tour, which will start on May 15 in Charlotte, N.C.

"I'm definitely going to focus on the music," Hough said. "My first album was a learning experience, and I can't wait for the next one. I feel like the writing and producing will be even better, really awesome."