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'Dancing with the Stars' pros question Julianne Hough's departure

By John Bracchitta, 11/25/2008 

Julianne Hough's recent announcement that she is leaving Dancing with the Stars is getting low scores from a couple of her soon-to-be former fellow professional dancers.

Dancing with the Stars professionals Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo both questioned the 20-year-old dancer-turned-singer's decision to dump the ABC reality dancing competition in order to focus on her blossoming music career, E! News reported Monday.

"Obviously I understand her thinking, she wants to be separated from dancing, she wants people to think of her as a singer," Sliwinska told E! News while attending a Christmas tree lighting at The Grove shopping complex in Los Angeles on Sunday. "But I think that the show brought her up, the show is where she started and I think she should maintain that audience from Dancing with the Stars as well as her new audience that she's gained from singing. If I was her, I would be doing both."

Mazo agreed and warned Hough to be careful about her decisions and how others may perceive them.

"I think she needs to be a little bit more careful about how she represents herself," Mazo said, according to E! News. "That's her fan base and you wanna make sure that you have a good relationship with everybody. The last thing you want to say is 'I'm not coming back.' It's an ultimatum. You don't wanna do that."

Mazo also denied that his or Sliwinska's opinion had been born out of resentment towards Hough leaving the show.

"I just think it's a career choice," Mazo told E! News. "She wants to be known as a singer who can dance, not a dancer who can sing, so it's a tactical decision I imagine."

Hough announced last week on her blog that she would not be participating in the next season of Dancing with the Stars and instead focusing on her music career. She reiterated her departure from the show on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show later that week.

Hough's self-tilted debut album was released in May.  It sold 67,000 copies in its first week of release and debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's The Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on Billboard's country chart, which made it the highest country debut for any new artist since 2006.

Hough also released a "Sounds of the Season" holiday album last month.  It currently sits at No. 15 on Billboard's country chart.

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