Cheryl Burke reveals she had showmances with three DWTS partners

cheryl burke at 2023 Gold Meets Golden 10th Anniversary Year Event
Cheryl Burke shared details about her showmances during DWTS. Pic credit: ©

Former Dancing With the Stars winner Cheryl Burke confirmed she had showmances with three celebrity partners during various seasons.

Burke, 39, appeared in 26 seasons of the popular dancing competition series.

Along the way, her famous celeb partners included Wayne Newton, Drew Carey, Rob Kardashian, and Ray Lewis.

While appearing on a recent episode of Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes’ Amy & T.J. podcast, Burke spoke about dancing as an “intimate contact sport.”

She also addressed the speculation that she’d had romantic relationships with some of her dance partners.

Burke revealed one of those romances was with Chad Ochocinco Johnson, her Season 10 partner.

Cheryl Burke dishes on DWTS showmances

“Dancing, especially ballroom, is an intimate contact sport. And it happens. I’m not going to say who, but I’ve had my own showmances, you know. It happened,” Burke said while on the Amy & T.J. podcast.

The former DWTS professional dancer said those relationships would continue away from the show since it was seven days a week to prepare and spoke about why that was a “problem.”

“You are consumed with each other. . . also we’ve seen their insecurities,” Burke said.

“They’re vulnerable, and especially as a professional woman who was a ballroom dancer teaching, let’s say the athlete, for example, who feels like this macho [person], all of a sudden has to be like, ‘I don’t know if I can shift,'” she shared.

Burke admitted that the key to success on DWTS is “you gotta feel stupid” and “vulnerable,” which can always play into romantic feelings.

Burke confirmed she had a romance with NFL star

Burke’s Dancing With the Stars debut came in January 2006 with Season 2 of the ABC series. In that first season, she partnered with singer Drew Lachey and won the Mirrorball Trophy.

She’d go on to win again in Season 3 with NFL star Emmitt Smith as her celebrity partner. Other partners along the way included professional athletes Rick Fox, Ray Lewis, and Terrell Owens, as well as actor Antonio Sabato Jr. and singer AJ McLean.

Burke admitted she had three showmances during DWTS on Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes’ podcast. She didn’t name all of them but confirmed one individual: Chad Ochocinco Johnson.

In Season 10, she partnered with Johnson, who played 11 NFL seasons with teams including the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots. He and Burke placed eighth overall, finishing fourth for that DWTS season.

Johnson previously revealed his love for Burke while appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Burke spoke about how she hadn’t been familiar with him until she looked him up online and saw he received fines for dancing and other activities during games.

“I’ve got a personality on my hands,” Burke said she realized regarding her DWTS partner, who she also said she couldn’t get a word out of when he was on set.

During the interview, Ellen also asked about the sparkling ring that Burke was wearing, which Johnson said he gifted her as a “thank you.”

She’d mentioned that many people thought she was engaged when they saw it.

“Not even my ex-boyfriends would do this for me,” Burke joked, with Johnson saying, “Well, I just raised the bar.”

That relationship didn’t continue, as she said her DWTS showmances were more about “lust” than love and that their roles changed in the “real world” when she no longer had “influence” on the dance show.

Burke also said she’s currently single as she’s a “recovering control freak.”

“I’m still a major micromanager, but I just need to know me first,” she said on the Amy & T.J. podcast, adding, “I need to really be comfortable in my own skin, or else I’m gonna fall into that same pattern of clearly of what didn’t work for me. I wasn’t a great picker.”

Dancing With the Stars Season 33 is TBA for ABC and Disney+.

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