Julianne Hough is shooting down rumors that she and her Dancing with the Stars partner, Helio Castroneves, are more than friends, exclusively to PEOPLE.
“Oh my gosh! No!” Hough told PEOPLE Thursday. “I love Helio like he is my brother. We are the best of friends.”
The buzz started after Castroneves confirmed Wednesday that he and his fianc e, Miami business executive Aliette Vazquez, had called off their engagement. The night before, Castroneves had been crowned the season five Dancing champ.
Hough dealt with a similar situation herself last May when she called off her engagement to dental student Zach Wilson. Rumors circulated that it was because she and her season four partner, speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, were an item–a rumor both Hough and Ohno vehemently denied.
Perhaps it’s because Hough has had undeniable chemistry with both of her athletic DWTS partners. But, as season five cast member Jennie Garth told Inside Edition Thursday, “When Julianne Hough dances she can have chemistry with a broomstick.”
Hough, 19, is currently in Orlando with Castroneves and several other DWTS cast members for the annual Disneyworld Christmas Parade.
Next week she resumes recording songs for her upcoming CD, which is due to be released in early 2008. Castroneves, meanwhile, will return to Los Angeles for several media obligations before getting “back to my territory, racing the Daytona 24 hours in January,” he said. –Monica Rizzo
Photo: CRAIG SJODIN/ABC