Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke is blogging exclusively with Us Weekly about her quest to take home the season 28 mirrorball trophy! Check back each week for her latest update on the competition.
On Ally Brooke and Sailor Brinkley-Cook landing in the bottom two:
It was a shocker. I didn’t really expect them to be. I actually did something different last night watching the show. I went through everyone’s [social media] comments and went on Dancing’s Instagram and I wanted to see people’s reactions. So I kind of knew already [before the show ended airing in L.A.] that they were going to be eliminated but Matt [Lawrence] didn’t know so I wanted to see his reaction. It was interesting to [read] what people had to say and then when I watched it, some of the things that people pointed out on Instagram never happened, you know what I mean? They make it a big deal. I didn’t really see Witney slip on her dress. I didn’t really see her cry that much. I didn’t even think that what Len [Goodman] said was that bad. It’s interesting how people’s perception sways the audience too. People get influenced by it so it just shows you how you have to be careful with your words sometimes.
On Sailor’s elimination:
I think of Sailor as a little girl and to see her cry like that broke my heart. I think Val [Chmerkovskiy] has done a really good job, especially with little notice and at the end of the day, it can’t be easy what she’s doing. Even after the first week, she still has to wake up and think, this was not supposed to happen. I think now that it’s kind of digested what has happened, she’s probably really grateful for the experience. But her career and her life has just begun. The world has seen her and she is just such a bright light and I think she will be doing tons of stuff like this. Val has been kind of a big brother to her and you have to understand, he stepped in when she couldn’t speak obviously and he told her to keep her chin up.
On the dances getting longer:
For me personally, I would love the packages to be longer. I would love to see the dances 10 to 15 seconds shorter. I know Len loved it but I think that, at the end of the day, you want to keep people wanting more, and I would rather get to know the personality behind the dancer more, and follow that person or those couples on their journey as opposed to just making them dance longer.
On the judges’ choice:
I think Carrie Ann Inaba or Bruno Toniolo said something like, “We have to see the overall competition and what you’ve performed the last few weeks” and I agree with their decision. Like I said, watch out for Sean Spicer! I’m telling you — until he’s in the bottom two. When he’s in the bottom two he’s screwed, but until then he’s gonna be just smooth sailing.
On his performance:
It was hard for me to see because they had a lot of wide shots from far away so from a distance they looked amazing, but going down the dance floor, it was a little bumpy. At the end of the day, talk about somebody who is the definition of what this competition is about. He really has no dance experience and I love that he looks very dapper. I think Lindsay is doing such a great job. I think their Viennese waltz could have been slowed down a little bit, but other than that, to balance a professional on one leg is pretty impressive.
On her favorite dance:
My favorite would be Ally and Sasha’s. I thought that they nailed every single step. I mean the judges obviously saw something that the audience didn’t see. Again, they do closeups of your face and the audience at home won’t see stuff. At the end of the day though, they were solid. She wasn’t even huffing and puffing that much and that quickstep was the longest quickstep ever. I was like, “Oh, my God.” The dancers tell me that the music is getting longer and longer. So normally by this time, we have two dances. I think that their dances are at two minutes right now or maybe a little bit more. I know it sounds crazy, but holy crap that makes such a huge difference! With quickstep, you have to do the opposite of what it looks like. It’s kind of an acceleration in your car pressing on the gas. You’re just slowly getting there. You have to save your energy and your stamina, you can’t just exert it right away. I want everyone at home to understand that the quickstep and tango may not look as hard as a contemporary, but I think contemporary is a lot easier than learning techniques. You could do a lift all day, right? Whoever’s lifting is just lifting and you can kill time, but when you have a solid quickstep that you have to do for over two minutes, and you have only content because that’s all you can do if you’re stuck together, that’s very impressive, which is why I think Ally did a great job.
On Kate Flannery‘s dance:
I think Pasha [Pashkov] is doing an amazing job with Kate and I think she is definitely what the show is about. That’s our demographic and I think that people are really rooting for her and that she could be the dark horse. She’s consistent and that has a lot to do with Pasha and his choreography. His choreography reminds me of our choreography back in the day, and not saying that it’s outdated, but in a good way. He is giving them no other option but to judge on ballroom. These are basic steps that you can read in the technique book. I think a lot of us have been so, not confused, but more like [asking], “Is it about entertainment?” Or do we just stick to what the judges want to see? You’re a little stuck sometimes. That’s where my frustration comes when I choreograph. Do we go for the entertainment value or do we go for what the judges want to see? Right now, the couples need to think about what the judges want to see, because, at the end of the day, they choose. You also have to stay out of the bottom two, so there is a balance to it.
On yelling at the TV from the couch:
I do, it’s so bad. It’s probably something that I could never say on TV. Matt is like, “See this is why you should judge! You say it how it is.” But I would have to take all the swear words out, I’d have to tone it down just a little bit but I don’t think I know how to not say the truth. I think that’s my problem. It’s like Liar Liar, that Jim Carrey movie. I’m like, “Oh, my God, I would get into so much trouble.” Matt had an audition and really needed to study so he missed the first dance, Sasha and Ally, but he’s like, “What did I miss?” He’s just happy that he doesn’t have to be dressed up in the audience and talking to people he doesn’t know. He likes to be in the comfort of his own home with his dogs.
On returning next week:
I believe I’ll be coming back. I think Halloween is coming up. We’ve got the opening number, I believe is going to be a big one, so I’ll be back for the opening number.
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.