'Dancing' Partners Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough Share A Smooch

Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough in Malibu, April 17, 2008 Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough in Malibu, April 17, 2008

It looks like there could be a little romance on the cards for “Dancing With the Stars” partners Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough.

The two have looked awfully cozy all season long on the show, hugging their way through their backstage interviews with Samantha Harris, and now, it appears they’ve gone one step further, sharing a smooch on the beach.

Shannon, 34, and Hough, 22, (that’s a 12 year age difference, for those counting), were captured cuddling on a Malibu beach Thursday; a cuddle which later turned into a lip-locking embrace.

While Shannon isn’t quite old enough to be a cougar (a title usually reserved for ladies in their 40’s, or older), should the dance partners prove to be an actual couple, eyebrows should be raised just as high as they were when Hayden Panettiere, 18, started dating her “Heroes” co-star, Milo Ventimiglia, 30.

All season long, the various “Dancing” competitors have made gags in backstage interviews about the “Showmances” (romances that spring out of show partnerships) “Dancing” has produced, but these new photos are the first sign that one may have actually emerged this season.

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