Her publicist had to call Ohio to tell Hough of DWTS"' choreography nod

By Monica Rizzo
July 18, 2008 11:50 AM

Two-time Dancing With the Stars beauty Julianne Hough was baffled when she woke up Thursday morning to find that several friends had left congratulatory messages on her cell phone.

“I was like, ‘Congratulations for what?’ ” Hough told PEOPLE from Morristown, Ohio, where she was due to perform with Brad Paisley, Jewel and Chuck Wick – and the last thing on her mind were Emmy nominations.

So, when Hough’s publicist, Cindy Guagenti, informed the 19-year-old – who this summer hung up her dancing shoes in order to tour and promote her country album – that she was nominated for outstanding choreography for Dancing (one of the eight Emmy nods the ABC show received), Hough was dumbstruck.

“I’m nominated with some of the best choreographers out there,” Hough gushed. “I mean, Kenny Ortega did Newsies and High School Musical, and then there’s all the So You Think You Can Dance choreographers.

“I feel completely blessed to be in their company. It’s incredible.”

This is shaping up to be quite a week for Hough. With her 20th birthday this Sunday, she says she plans to celebrate by going skydiving with her father.

“We did it when I turned 18,” she says, “and it was such an amazing feeling I can’t wait to do it again.”