Cheryl Burke: Terrell Owens and I ‘Were Underscored’ on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke Dancing With The Stars
Partners Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke is blogging exclusively with Us Weekly about her quest to take home the season 25 mirrorball trophy with partner Terrell Owens! Check back each week for her latest update on the competition.

I thought our first dance was amazing! Going first is never easy and I always get nervous with any partner on the first night because I don’t know how they’ll perform when its lights, camera, action and how they will handle their adrenaline. Sometimes when your adrenaline is going crazy you start dancing too fast and you start making silly mistakes.

Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke Dancing With The Stars
Partners Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Heidi Gutman via Getty Images

I always tell my partner, “It’s just you, the music and me. No one else is watching. You need to focus on what’s going on with us,” and Terrell was able to do that and nail everything. He didn’t make one mistake. I was so proud of him. It was his best performance since rehearsals so I was pretty surprised by the low scores. I was prepared for 6s, but not 5s.

I feel like we were underscored, especially after seeing the rest of the competition. I think if we had gone later in the show we would have gotten at least one or two points higher, but who knows? I did mentally prepare him for low scores. He’s only human, so of course it affected him and I don’t think he wanted to have 5s, but at the end of the day it is what it is and we will continue to be strong and not let it phase us too much.

This week, not only do we have the fox-trot, which is a completely different style of dance, we also have the samba. I think having two dances this week is stressing everyone out since it’s never been done this early in the history of the Dancing With the Stars. It’s such a short amount of time to learn both dances. Normally we don’t do two dances until week 5 or 6, so it’s adding a lot of extra pressure to everyone, especially us.

We have more of a sexy song for the fox-trot this week. At the end of the day, we need to work on technique. It may not be a traditional Frank Sinatra type fox-trot, but we do have steps where we need to continue to work really hard to keep his frame and arms up.

With Terrell, his traps are very muscular so when he lifts his arms up, it’s like lifting weights for him, so I told him to cut down on the gym a little bit and if anything, use resistance bands to continue to bring his arms up. We are just working on his frame and with his height like Len suggested so he doesn’t dance down to me. That’s what we are still struggling with for week two and it’s been a challenge for us.

For the samba, it’s a Latin dance, and Len mentioned heel leads last week, which is a big no-no in the Latin dances, so for the samba, we want to bring out his personality, but we need to make sure the technique is right and make sure he doesn’t do anything illegal. Right now, our biggest competition so far are Terrell’s feet! This is only our 10th rehearsal because we were a late addition to the cast so it’s tough.

This is a double-elimination week and of course we are worried about it. We are the second to last couple on the leader board and it’s making him work harder, but at the same time it’s always going to be in the back of our mind that we could be the one going home Monday or Tuesday night.

He is using the low scores from last week and Len’s comments as motivation for this week. This is why I love athletes so much. I want the fans to remember that Terrell is not a dancer even though he would have fun and dance after a touchdown. This is different now and we are really working hard as a team and we need everyone’s support to keep us in the competition.

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Monday at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

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