Cheryl Burke Slams the Judging on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars.

ABC AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars.

Dancing With the Stars has been receiving some criticism this year, mostly because of how the show fired hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and replaced them with Tyra Banks, whom fans do not like. But there have also been a lot of comments leveled at judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough for their inconsistent scores. Pro Cheryl Burke is the latest to weigh in and she has some strong criticism of the way they’ve been running things this year.

Cheryl Burke Wants to Know What the Rules Are

DWTS: Cheryl Burke SLAMS Judges' Scoring After AJ McLean Is ELIMINATEDET caught up with Cheryl Burke and AJ McLean following their elimination from ‘Dancing With the Stars’ on Monday night. The Backstreet Boys star and his pro partner were sent home before the semi-finals after landing in the bottom two alongside Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart. Ultimately, judge Derek Hough chose to save Cheryl and…2020-11-10T19:30:00Z

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Burke said that the expectations and rules haven’t been clearly laid out — or at least, the judges aren’t sticking to them.

“There’s rules in ballroom and as far as I’m concerned, this is a ballroom show, I thought. What are the rules? What are you expecting? Are the rules the same as when [judge Len Goodman] was here or is it different? Is this a ballroom competition or is this not?” said Burke, going on to call out specific instances she couldn’t believe got perfect scores.

“It’s just not consistent as far as — OK, you can’t break hold in quickstep yet you’re giving out perfect scores when people are breaking hold. What are the rules? Same thing with the tango. You’re not supposed to break hold,” she said, in reference to Johnny Weir’s perfect 30 on his quickstep and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s perfect 30 on her Argentine tango, both in week nine when she and partner AJ McLean were eliminated.

Burke Also Thinks the Celebrities Are Being Judged on a Sliding Scale

Dance Off: Jive – Dancing with the StarsAJ McLean & Cheryl Burke and Johnny Weir & Britt Stewart dance the Jive in the dance off to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! on Dancing with the Stars Icons Night! Subscribe: Watch Dancing with the Stars Mondays at 8|7c on ABC!2020-11-10T05:00:54Z

She went on to say that rapper Nelly, who is still in the competition, is not even “on the same plane” as McLean, but he wasn’t being judged as harshly because he’s not as strong of a dancer to begin with.

“I do not believe AJ and Nelly, for example, are on the same plane. Absolutely not. If AJ had done what Nelly had done, they probably wouldn’t have given him the same score. They do put people they think have dance experience up on a different pedestal. I get it. And they just push for greatness, but I guess what’s frustrating is not getting the ‘Thank you for having body contact when you’re in frame.’ For me, a perfect score is a perfect score, especially in a ballroom dance where you’re not supposed to break hold — you better have a perfect frame with body contact. There are just rules,” said Burke.

She also expressed disappointment for not being in the semi-finals because she “already had [McLean’s] other two routines choreographed” for this week.

“Normally I’m not that confident going in … but I was like, ‘For sure, there’s no way [we’ll get eliminated].’”

Dancing With the Stars season 29 has two episodes left, on Monday, November 16 and on Monday, November 23. The remaining celebrities are Nelly, Justina Machado, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Johnny Weir, Skai Jackson, and Nev Schulman. Two of them will be going home on November 16.

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