Cheryl Burke shared her true feelings about Dancing with the Stars’ new addition. The professional dancer opened up this week about Tyra Banks replacing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and the infamous elimination blunder earlier this month.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Cheryl admitted she’s a big fan of the former America’s Next Top Model host, despite the wave of backlash Tyra has received from fans.
“It’s really refreshing, I think, to see her just basically call herself out from certain things. When that happened with the missed results — whatever happened — she handled it pretty well,” Cheryl explained.
“She’s like ‘Guys this is live television, it is what it is,’ and she’s very real. She’s not just like reading a teleprompter,” the two-time DWTS winner added.
Cheryl was referring to the major error during October 5’s episode. Tyra was forced to call Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy back to the ballroom because they were in the bottom two, despite having told them they were safe. She later clarified that the issue was due to a technical error and denied any personal wrongdoing.
Cheryl admitted that Tyra has been doing a lot of “ad-libbing” and, despite social distancing guidelines keeping the cast and crew several feet apart, she’s been working hard to bond with her new co-stars.
“She’s really trying to interact as much as possible. I think she’s great. She really is. And I look forward to seeing what she’s wearing every week!”
Cheryl — who’s appeared on the show intermittently since Season 2 — is competing on Season 29 with Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean. The duo topped the leaderboard during the October 19 episode after performing a Samba to “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William.
But Cheryl isn’t the only longtime DWTS star who’s come to Tyra’s defense. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba recently admitted that she misses Tom and Erin, but had nothing but praise for their replacement.
Carrie Ann told TV Insider she thought Tyra has brought an “amazing energy” to the series and has done an “amazing job” taking it in her own direction.
“I support Tyra 100 percent,” she said.
The announcement that Tyra would be joining the show as host and executive producer came in July, with Tom being ousted after 15 years and 28 seasons. The decision was met with lots of displeasure from longtime fans of the show and they have repeatedly called for the original host to return ever since Tyra helmed her first episode last month.