All the spray tans and leotards in the world were not enough to save country star Chuck Wicks, and real-life partner, Julianne Hough, from being eliminated on the April 28 episode of Dancing With the Stars. Despite being told by the judges that the couple had finally hit their stride in the competition, they found themselves in the bottom two, alongside an injured Melissa Rycroft and her partner, Tony Dovolani. But viewer votes for their Cha Cha Cha, combined with scores from the day's previous group dance, swayed in Melissa's favor.
"We definitely exceeded our expectations, and I am really proud of him," said Julianne after the news. Chuck and Julianne were also the first celebrity and pro-dancer "real-life couple" on the show. Having Chuck around proved to be a plus when it came to Julianne's ever watchful brother, Derek, too.
"I really got to know Chuck," he tells In Touch. "I had met him on tour and here and there, but he's been a great guy. I even said to our dad last night, 'wait till you see what your future son-in-law is wearing on TV tonight.' He was like, 'future son-in-law? What do you think about that Derek?' I said I'd be fine, he's a good down-to-earth guy and really funny."
While there are no wedding bells in the near future (see our interview for more), there are tours scheduled and a break for Julianne from the show. She will be taking next season off to concentrate on her music career.
For more with this week's eliminated couple, click here.
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough
Eliminated: April 28
"Having to teach your man is not easy - but it was fun."
What did you learn about each other during the show?
Chuck: We have learned so much about each other, and she is such a great teacher. I never in a million years thought I could dance into first place get this far, so thank you to the fans that got us this far.
Julianne: Going into this competition we didn't know how well we were going to do, but we definitely exceeded our expectations, and I am really proud of him.
How was working together as a couple?
Julianne: It's made us grow stronger.
Chuck: It's one of those things where you think you know somebody and then you start working with them and you really get to know them. We went through so many ups and downs and you learn so many new things about someone when you go through those ups and downs, and I had a great time. The fact that we were sixth place - I'll take that.
Julianne: In actual ballroom competition, sixth place is still the final, so there you go.
Chuck: We technically made the final.
So where is the sitcom for you two, that package you filmed for the show was hilarious.
Julianne: Was it funny? We had a great time doing it.
Chuck: We are sad to leave but had a great time while we where here. I had an amazing teacher in Julianne, not only is she a great talent in everything she does, but teaching your boyfriend is not the easiest thing and there have been a couple of bitternesses.
Julianne: It's not easy.
Chuck: There were so many ups and downs in this process and the fact that our relationship was always up throughout, that was a true testament to who we are as a couple and that was the main thing throughout this competition through us, we found out a lot about each other.
Julianne: And now we are looking forward to Derek and Lil' Kim winning.
Together: Vote for Derek and Kim!
What are you going to miss about the show?
Chuck: I will miss the costumes and the leotards.
Julianne: The spray tan!
Chuck: Yes, the spray tan.
Julianne: And the camaraderie with everybody. It's so awesome backstage.
Chuck: Everyone here is friends so that is the most important thing.
When did you think you started turning things around in the competition?
Chuck: It was strange as I felt I was hitting my stride, and when I did, I went home, so either way we went out with great scores. You can't beat the scores we were getting, so we are happy with what we did and went as far as we were supposed to.
Chuck, so you did the group dance to Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), any chance you thought about doing that at the end of the song?
Julianne: (Laughs) No.
Chuck: Um, no. I didn't.
Julianne, was this one of your toughest seasons yet?
Julianne: Yes, absolutely. The standard is so high and having to teach your man is not easy - but it was fun.