The tour, which also features Marie Osmond, Sabrina Bryan, Wayne Newton, Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence and Monique Coleman, steps into high gear on Dec. 18 in Seattle. "Helio saw that everybody wanted to do the tour and didn't want to be left out," says Hough. She didn't want to be left out, either, but her schedule didn't allow for two months of traveling. "I had a blast doing the last tour and if we could pop in there and do a few dates, that would be great."
While still unsure of the specific cities where they'll sashay onto the floor, Hough says it looks like they'll perform in Indianapolis (Jan. 18), Nashville (Jan. 19), and Greensboro, North Carolina (Jan. 26.). "That side of the country is much more likely," she says.
It's more likely because it's more convenient. Hough will be spending the next couple of months flying in and out of Nashville, working on her first country-music album, for Universal Music. And Castroneves, who lives in Miami, is preparing for his next racing season, which begins in March.
As for rumors of their romance, Hough says she's taking it all in stride. She's already been through this once before with her last partner, Season 4 champ Apolo Anton Ohno. "I know the rumors aren't true so I'm fine with it," she says. "But I feel bad for everybody involved. I feel bad for Helio. I had the same thing happen when I was with Apolo (and broke off her own engagement), so I totally understand."
Hough and Ohno had a mini-reunion at the Dancing finale last week. "Oh, it was so good to see him," says Hough. But right now, she's soaking up the sun and still recovering from the strep throat that got her down during the last week of competition. "The sun is going to be great."
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