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 shooting at Disney:
It was really, really, really cool. I mean at the end of the day, we’re shooting at Disneyland and being there when there’s nobody there. So it was really awesome. It was an awesome experience. I was saying to one of the producers, I was like, “You know, we should definitely do a finale there one season. It would be amazing.” My body didn’t like me at the end of it but other than that it was totally awesome. It was freezing. It was cold. At first, it wasn’t cold. It was the night of the fire when the Santa Ana fire started. So the weather was actually really weird. It was really warm, then it got cold because of the winds. But it was awesome, I think everyone just had a lot of fun. We were just delirious at the end of the shoot!
On the performances:
The set looked great. Everyone looked beautiful. You have to understand that the turn around is quick because we only have a few days. With this Disney shoot, I think they lost a few days so with considering the time, everyone did awesome. I thought everyone really stepped it up and I could tell everyone was so emotional, not just because of them finally getting through it — just getting through the week, it was so tough. Everyone needs a nap.
On her favorite performance:
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson really popped. When I met him at Good Morning America, right when the cast was announced, I was like, ‘Oh, this kid is gonna be amazing. He’s going to be like the little Alfonso [Ribeiro].’ He’s becoming more and more comfortable and I think it helped that they obviously had a jazz number, so he was able to just to be free. A lot of people with dance experience or have a natural rhythm find it really hard to follow rules when it comes to technique. He was able to just be himself and be free. Witney did an awesome job with the choreography.
On their scores:
Look, you’re never gonna please Len Goodman. You’re never going to get Len up on his feet if we’re doing jazz, contemporary or hip hop. He’s such a ballroom judge. He doesn’t really appreciate all the other styles as much.
On Sean Spicer’s improvement:
Lindsey did a really good job with choreographing that and executing it. It’s tough. It’s all about memorizing. However, I danced with Tom DeLay. We made it up to week six or seven until he fractured both his feet and then we had to bow out. I do still think that we would have probably made the semifinal or final just because of America’s vote. Trump tweeted for Sean Spicer! I wouldn’t be shocked if he made the final. Bristol Palin made the final … in a gorilla suit. She wasn’t the best dancer, but people wanted her there. So at the end of the day, you know, I wouldn’t be shocked. I said, “Lindsay, just wait, you’re gonna make the finals.” She’s like, “No way.” I’m like, “Oh, for sure you are.” To have the President of the United States tweeting for every one vote for Sean Spicer?
On the other dances:
I thought Sasha Farber and Ally Brooke did awesome. It was really good. I think James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater were great. When you don’t have a lot of time you want to either have a Viennese waltz, a jazz number or contemporary. I was surprised to see two sambas last night. Samba is such a challenging dance in itself and so is Paso, and if you don’t have a lot of time with it, it is really hard. The Samba is a different type of technique; it’s way different than the cha-cha, Rumba or jive, even.
On Len’s comments on Alan’s “swooshes”:
So he doesn’t like us covering the dance itself with lots of arms that go above your head and then down. He always says ‘Paint the sky, paint the sky,’ but not every two seconds. It was my first time actually watching this season on my TV screen so it was really cool to see that perspective. I’ve been switching perspectives of how I’m watching the show, but I just felt like the ground fog, sometimes we like it because it covers the feet. I don’t think though that Hannah Brown needs that. Hannah doesn’t need to be covered because she’s so good that I think it hurt them. Obviously what he’s going to see are the arms, because you can’t see the legs. If the ground fog goes all the way up to your waist, obviously, all he’s going to see is the upper body.
On Karamo saying he was judged the hardest:
I have to agree that a little bit, that I feel like they’re giving him a hard time. I think that every season though, they always choose a couple or two. I think it’s when the judges see a lot of potential, they do that because of that reason. They still want more from him, I can tell. It’s not a personal attack at all. So hopefully he understands that. Everyone’s rooting for him and you really never know. We don’t know the votes. I think it was Karamo’s best dance, but clearly, the judges want to push him.
On Tom Bergeron being a great host:
Honestly, he is one of the reasons why I think the show is still on air. He really brings the viewer back to reality. This is a dance competition, but he’s the one that keeps the fun and the heart of the show going. We can get so caught up in the show. We can just be very competitive. You would see us compete back in the day and I mean, there was no smiling. We’re really intense people. He definitely makes the tone of the show lighthearted. This is a family show and sometimes we can get emotional. The workload is no joke. Tom just lightens up every personality on the show a little bit.
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.