DWTS Pro Dishes on Behind-the-Scenes Season 31 ‘Drama’

Disney Plus 'Dancing With the Stars' season 31 week three

A “Dancing With the Stars” pro is dishing the dirt on the behind-the-scenes drama from season 31. Read on for what pro dancer Cheryl Burke revealed on her podcast about the season 31 casting and rehearsal schedule.


Cheryl Burke Revealed She & Sam Champion Got Started Late Because of ‘Drama Behind the Scenes’

It’s common knowledge that the pro dancers have very little to do with the “Dancing With the Stars” casting process. They have said multiple times over the years that they don’t know anything until their partners are revealed to them and the cast is announced to the general public.

But on the September 19 episode of her podcast “Burke in the Game,” which aired on the day of the “Dancing With the Stars” season 31 premiere, Burke revealed that she and her partner Sam Champion only had half the rehearsals that most of the other couples did before the premiere due to “drama” going on behind the scenes.

“Sam did an amazing job considering that it was really early in the morning and we haven’t had that much rehearsal, you guys,” said Burke, going on to say that they got started a lot later than most of the other couples.

“We started late — later in the game than a lot of the other couples. Not all of the couples but a lot of the other couples. There was some drama behind the scenes, but nothing to talk about,” teased Burke. “Don’t want to start anything and obviously this is all internal stuff, as I’ve said before, but we had a late start, that’s all you guys need to know, and we’ve only had maybe a total of six rehearsals and everyone else must have had at least double because they’ve had about three weeks to train.”

We are dying to know what that means. Was Champion not originally part of the cast? Was Burke supposed to be with someone else and he was a last-minute addition? We do know that when “Dancing With the Stars” insider Kristyn Burtt posted the list of season 31 pros, originally Sharna Burgess was on the list and Sasha Farber was in the troupe, so clearly there was some shuffling going on there. We wonder if that is related to what Burke is talking about?


Cheryl Burke Also Joked That Sam Is Seeing ‘Dance Mom Cheryl’

On the October 2 episode of her podcast, Burke also joked that Champion has forgotten what “Friend Cheryl” is like because she’s been “Dance Mom Cheryl” during rehearsals. But Champion said absolutely not.

“I disagree. I think it’s reinforced all the things that we connected about, all the conversations and wonderful things that we had when we first met,” said Champion, adding, “We just kind of went in our different life paths. I was in New York and you were in L.A., I just didn’t — my schedule, the mornings, and your nights — you’re 24 hours. BUt I love the coming together of it and I think it just reinforced the things that I love about you.”

Burke thanked her partner for saying that and said that she loves seeing this “different side” of Champion as he pushes himself to try new things. The pro dancer also said that she feels like this is the first season that she is really feeling and experiencing as opposed to just trying to get through it.

“I think with this season, especially for me, I’ve never been so awake, and that has a lot to do with you (Sam). It’s always been about getting through the season and now it’s like I’m in the season,” said Burke.

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific time on Disney Plus.

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