Cheryl Burke Dancing With the Stars

Cheryl Burke Thinks Dancing With The Stars Is As Difficult As Survivor; Tells Judges To “Cool It”

Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke has a long history of involvement with reality television. She started as a pro dancer in Season 2 of DWTS. She has taken home the coveted mirror ball trophy twice. She won the competition once with Drew Lachey and again with Emmett Smith.

In 2017, Cheryl stepped in for Abby Lee Miller to mentor the dancers on Dance Moms. Cheryl even found love on DWTS. She met actor Matthew Lawrence when his brother, Joey Lawrence, was a contestant. The couple started dating in 2006 and then broke up a year later.

But the stars aligned in February of 2017, and the duo reignited their romance. On May 23 of 2019, Cheryl and Matthew waltzed down the aisle. Can you imagine what the wedding reception, and dance floor, was like? I’m sure it was epic!

Season 30 of DWTS has presented a lot of challenges for Cheryl and her partner, Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby. In an interview with Page Six, Cheryl discussed the difficulties that the couple has faced. Both Cheryl and Cody were diagnosed with Covid-19, and as a result, had to train over Zoom while quarantining. They also had to perform a jazz number remotely from each of their homes, which was a first for DWTS.  Both Cheryl and Cody are still experiencing some fatigue from having Covid-19.

“It’s at a TV show, right? But it’s a TV show that we work our asses off on,” Cheryl explained. “Like, this is no joke. I compare this show to Survivor. I’ve never done Survivor, but I can only imagine,” the pro dancer commented. There are no bugs on DWTS, which is a huge perk in my book.

“Like, it’s seven days a week, except we’ve got obviously the perks of having water and food. But really, it is full-on, and you’re trying to force your body to do things that, first of all, most contestants have never done before,” Cheryl shared.

Cheryl also feels that the judging panel, made up of Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough, were “trying to make good TV” while attempting to judge all the dancers “on an even playing field.”


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Some of the celebrity contestants have prior dance experience, including Cody. While Cody has no ballroom experience, he performed as a backup dancer for Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry.

Cheryl stated, “It’s really hard to have someone come on with dance experience because it’s harder to untrain the brain than it is to teach the brain new things. I say to Cody, ‘If you feel comfortable, you’re doing it wrong.’ Because your body memorizes the muscle memory, right?” she remarked.

“I say the judges should cool it a little bit,” she shared. “If you look at the science of how your brain works, it’s a lot harder to untrain the brain.” In fact, Cheryl said that the relationships this season between the pros, judges, and contestants seems like “the old days of American Idol with Simon Cowell.” Ouch!

“I will never fight back on live television. I find that very rude and it doesn’t look right. I just want Cody to shine,” Cheryl explained. “At the end of the day, you can only do so much and work so hard before you’re just over it because you’re feeling so discouraged. So, I think [the judges] can still be as harsh, just give us some constructive criticism,” she added.


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[Photo Credit: ABC/Maarten de Boer]