Cheryl Burke Shares Advice for Hannah Brown Amid Her Emotional ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Journey

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.

This week, Burke opens up about the shocking bottom two reveal, Sean Spicer‘s spot in the competition, Hannah Brown‘s emotional week and more.

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On Sean Spicer:
He should be worried once he actually gets to the bottom two because I think that the judges probably would eliminate him, but if it continues the way it is, he’s not going to be there anytime soon. You just never know. You can tell by people’s reactions, they wanted Sean to go, but at the end of the day, they’re not voting. I can tell he’s having such a great time though because I was there yesterday, and he truly was. Everyone has allowed him to come in and everyone is cool with him. He loves the show. He reminds me of back in the day when everything was new and fresh and everyone was just so excited to be there. He truly loves the show. He was really into it as Frankenstein. I thought he was awesome last night and he’s trying so hard. I think he just loves everybody involved.

I feel like Sean wasn’t Sean when he was in office. He’s probably discovering a lot about himself as well. Probably two years ago, he wouldn’t even think about doing a show like this, but I think he’s really embraced the show and it’s so nice. That, for me, is why I love partners like that and I love watching the show. His confidence level has changed and he’s shed a lot of weight and he just feels good, and when someone feels good, they look good, and they just have a great aura about them.

Cheryl Burke Hannah Brown Needs to Get Out of Her Head DWTS
Cheryl Burke and Hannah Brown. Shutterstock (2)

On the bottom two:
I was shocked about Kate Flannery. I feel like Kate is our demographic, and this tends to happen. When people think that you’re safe, their vote will go to someone else. So, in a way, it may be hard to see this now but it was a good thing she was in the bottom two. It cleared Ally Brooke from the bottom two, even though she was there last week. I think it just reminds people that no one’s safe. You have to vote.

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On Pasha Pashkov‘s growth:
I would have saved Kate. I think Kate has been consistent throughout the competition. I think Pasha has done, and I agree with Len [Goodman], such an amazing job. I’ve seen so many pros go in and out of this show and this show will eat you alive because it’s more of a mental game than anything. You can’t come into this show knowing you’re the s—t basically. It can be really hard for people to come into an ensemble of a cast that’s been part of the show for so many years. So you have to own it and don’t let anyone manipulate you. The way you need to do it is by taking advice and hear people but at the end of the day, you know yourself better, and Pasha obviously knows himself and knows at the end of the day, the technique is the technique. He knows that the judges are appreciating it and he knows especially Len is, so he’s sticking to what he knows best. He is fresh off the competition floor. He just competed with his wife less than a year ago. When we compete, we don’t do any gimmicks. We don’t put in tricks just to put in tricks. The audience in the ballroom industry, they only appreciate the technique. But the audience [of the show], people who are not very educated about ballroom, they don’t appreciate the technique as much. They find it boring, as compared to somebody doing a backflip. But we’re not used to that and we’re not allowed, actually, to do some of these tricks that you see on TV for the competition. You would get disqualified.

Cheryl Burke Hannah Brown Needs to Get Out of Her Head DWTS
‘Dancing With the Stars’ judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli. ABC/Eric McCandless

On no one getting a 10:
For me, every week someone just pops. And I have to say, I was surprised by it, but Lauren Alaina and Gleb [Savchenko] were my favorite couple this week. I thought that the chemistry was spicy, it was an Argentine tango, and I’m very hardcore when it comes to an Argentine tango because I went to Argentina to learn how to do it. I thought the choreography was great, and the way she sold it, it wasn’t like she was trying too hard. It was so subtle, but it got to the point and it was very sensual. That one move Gleb did when she pulled him up from a push-up back to his feet, I thought that was very clever. At this point in the competition, the partnerships are, like, you either love each other or hate each other. You’ve been together seven days a week. But I could tell, they had a strong bond and a strong foundation from the beginning, and because of that, they used that to their advantage.

If you want to get a 10 from Len, the pros have to take out that technique book. At the end of the day, that’s what he’s looking for and that’s what this show is — it’s a ballroom dancing show. So when you have a ballroom dance, it’s best, especially when it comes to the standard ballroom moves, rules are rules.

Cheryl Burke Hannah Brown Needs to Get Out of Her Head DWTS
Hannah Brown dancing with her partner Alan Bersten on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars’ on their Halloween episode, on October 28, 2019. ABC/Eric McCandless

On the judges saying Hannah was in her head:
I think there’s a lot of pressure for her, but at the end of the day, she needs to remember that it’s all in her head and it’s all the haters. Don’t let the haters get the best of you. I’ve gone through seasons and even though I’m a pro dancer, I’ve messed with my own head so much that I forgot a step myself, and it really is all psychological. She needs to know that she’s an amazing dancer and she needs to embrace it. Even if you have no dance experience, you know when someone’s insecure or when someone’s not. I think that Hannah is trying her best but if you have downtime to look through your social media, don’t! I think now, social media can actually be more negative than positive, and because you’re past halfway through the competition, we’re all susceptible because we’ve worked so hard. She needs to know that she is amazing and to own it at whatever style that is. Who cares if one judge doesn’t like [her] style of dancing? It doesn’t mean that the rest of the world doesn’t love it. She needs to go out there and know that she’s a badass and sell it.

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Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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