Derek and Julianne Hough admit they have a lot in common with Donny and Marie Osmond. The former Dancing with the Stars pro dancers, who recently co-starred on the NBC holiday special Holidays with the Houghs, say that growing up in the same city as the famous singing family earned them a funny nickname.
In a new interview with TV Insider, Derek and Julianne were asked about the possibility of starring in a variety show like brother and sister duo Donny and Marie did back in the 197os. Derek admitted that the stars aligned for his TV special with Julianne and that it was a "timing thing" with a network that "championed the idea."
When asked if the Houghs were familiar with the old Donny & Marie variety show, Julianne admitted they were.
"Yes, definitely," the 31-year-old pro dancer said. "We're from Utah, as they are. Growing up, we were known as the 'blond Osmonds.'"
Derek admitted that he had never actually watched the Osmonds' classic variety show, which aired on ABC from 1976 to 1979.
"I'm going to be straight up — I haven't seen an episode, but I'm fully aware of it," the six-time DWTS mirrorball champion said of Donny & Marie.
Julianne added that she was only familiar with Donny & Marie "by doing research" because she and Derek, who were born in the late 1980s, were "too young to have seen it" when it originally aired on TV more than 40 years ago.
Derek also revealed that just like Donny and Marie, the sibling dynamic is played up during his performances with Julianne, but that they are really each others' biggest supporters.
"Our careers have been parallel [with theirs] by accident so, it's fun to play on that," Derek said of the Osmonds.On Twitter, Osmond fans had mixed feelings on the blond version of their act.
"The upcoming Holiday with The Houghs Christmas special smells a lot like Donny & Marie's Christmas specials," one viewer tweeted. "Don't mess with the original because it'll always win."
Others feel it's a done deal and that the Osmonds' torch has officially been passed to the Houghs for a new generation.Donny and Marie Osmond recently ended their 11-year residency at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. That means there's definitely room for a new brother-sister act on the Vegas strip. But while Donny, Marie, and the rest of the Osmond brothers are known for their singing prowess, the Hough family consists primarily of a team of dancers. Julianne previously told late-night host Jimmy Fallon that her parents met on a ballroom team in college, per OK magazine.
"We were like the blonde Osmonds," Julianne said of her family in 2014.