‘Dancing with the Stars’: Pro Cheryl Burke Calls This Celeb Partner ‘One of My Favorites Ever’

Cheryl Burke has been part of Dancing with the Stars since season 2. Having performed with so many partners, some might think it’s challenging for Burke to choose a favorite. But as she admits in an episode of the Pretty Messed Up podcast, one celebrity partner stands out among the rest in Burke’s DWTS career.  

'DWTS' pro Cheryl Burke poses on a stage with her hands clasped at her waist
Cheryl Burke | Greg Doherty/IngleDodd Media via Getty Images

Cheryl Burke has been a ‘DWTS’ pro since season 2

As a pro, Burke has won the Mirrorball Trophy twice. Her first win came dancing with Drew Lachey in her first season ever. Burke won again in season 3 dancing with Emmitt Smith.  

Cheryl’s favorite ‘DWTS’ partner was Jack Osbourne

As Burke admits on the Pretty Messed Up podcast episode “You Don’t Know Jack,” Ozzy Osbourne’s son Jack is one of her favorite partners. “[Jack is] one of my favorites ever out of my 15-year career,” Burke tells her co-hosts, AJ McLean and Rene Elizondo. She danced with Osbourne in season 17. 

Jack Osbourne dances with Cheryl Burke in the 'Dancing with the Stars' ballroom
Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke | Adam Taylor/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Burke was partnered with the Backstreet Boy in season 29 of Dancing with the Stars. Her other celebrity partners over the years include: 

  • Ian Ziering — Season 4
  • Wayne Newtown — Season 5
  • Cristián de la Fuente — Season 6
  • Maurice Greene —Season 7
  • Gilles Marini — Season 8 
  • Tom DeLay — Season 9
  • Chad Ochocinco — Season 10 
  • Rick Fox — Season 11 
  • Chris Jericho — Season 12
  • Rob Kardashian — Season 13
  • William Levy — Season 14
  • D.L. Hughley — Season 16 
  • Drew Carey — Season 18
  • Antonio Sabàto, Jr. — Season 19
  • Ryan Lochte – Season 23
  • Terrell Owens — Season 25
  • Juan Pablo Di Pace — Season 27
  • Ray Lewis — Season 28
  • Cody Rigsby — Season 30

Cheryl Burke says she was an alcoholic when she danced with Jack Osbourne

Burke has been open about her sobriety on the Pretty Messed Up podcast. Her, Elizondo, and McLean are all at different points in their sobriety. The DWTS pro has been sober since 2018. 

During her conversation with Osbourne on the podcast, Burke says she was still drinking when he was on Dancing with the Stars. “I was still an alcoholic,” she says. “My hands smelled like a vodka soda.” 

In another podcast episode, Burke talks about what spurred her drinking to spiral out of control. “One season I danced with Chad OchoCinco,” Burke explains in the “What MATTers Most” episode. She remembers messing up on her choreography. “[There] was this crazy voice in my head saying, ‘Go the other way, go the other way.’ I butchered my own routine when I’m supposed to be there for the celebrity.”

Burke says her drinking increased to quiet that voice in her head. “I was self-sabotaging and from then on, I felt like my career plummeted down,” she admits. “I felt like I wasn’t as good because my mental state wasn’t as good.” 

‘Dancing with the Stars’ pro Cheryl Burke is sober now 

Burke likens her sobriety to her years of ballroom dance training. “Having to un-train my brain is one of the hardest things ever,” Burke explains in a Q&A episode of the podcast. 

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“[Staying sober] has to be a conscious effort — it has to be something that you do consciously,” says Burke. After consulting with her podcast co-hosts, Burke attended her first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in July 2021. 

Watch Burke compete with Rigsby in season 30 of Dancing with the Stars. New episodes air Monday at 8 PM EST on ABC.