‘Dancing with the Stars’: Surprising Things Dancers Revealed About Celebrities

There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes of Dancing with the Stars that we don’t know about. A lot of that has to do with the relationships between celebrities and professional dancers. Some of those relationships blossomed to romance, and others crashed and burned. We know this because many of the dancers later revealed personal things about their partnerships.

Some dancers confirmed who their least favorite partner was after years on the show. Others revealed the emotional and physical toll that the show took on celebrities. Here are 15 surprising things the pro dancers revealed about the celebrity contestants.

1. Cheryl Burke said Ian Ziering is her least favorite partner

Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering stand next to each other in colorful outfits on Dancing with the Stars

Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering | ABC

The professional dancer is going on to her 20th celebrity partner on the show. Someone was bound to be her least favorite, and that was the 90210 star. “My least favorite [partner] would be Ian Ziering,” she said on a podcast called Allegedly. “The fact that his name is not EE-AN and it’s EYE-AN makes me want to throw up.”

She also revealed that the show covered up his bad behavior. “That’s the true colors that they didn’t show on Dancing With the Stars,” she said, referring to the actor’s behavior on Celebrity Apprentice. “Think of spending time with that for like eight to 10 hours a day, seven days a week for three months.” She also said the actor made her want to “slit [her] wrists.”

She later apologized, saying she said those things in the heat of the moment and didn’t mean to mock suicide. But she also later claimed she didn’t regret saying that Ziering was her least favorite or that she was joking.

2. Alan Bersten said a physician is on standby for Debbie Gibson

Alan Bersten and Debbie Gibson standing with each other in front of a glittery gray background.

Alan Bersten and Debbie Gibson | ABC

The actress has Lyme disease, which affects how she can perform on the show. In order to be safe, there is a physician on call for her during Season 25.

She has a physician with her, who works on her whenever she feels pain,” the dancer said, according to ET. “But we can’t rehearse for four hours a day every day, so we have to work smarter instead of harder.”

3. Julianne Hough said she felt ‘uncomfortable’ by Amber Rose

Actress Julianne Hough standing in a crowd posing for the camera.

Julianne Hough | Charley Gallay/Getty Images

The professional dancer was a judge during the season Amber Rose competed. After her salsa with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Julianne Hough gave her a weird note. “I actually feel a little uncomfortable,” she said to fellow judge, Bruno Tonioli.

The reality star took this feedback as body shaming. The next week, the two were able to talk it out, and Hough apologized.

4. Derek Hough said Amy Purdy got new prosthetics for the show

Derek Hough and Amy Purdy dancing together on stage in front of a prop stool.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough | ABC

One of Derek Hough’s best experiences on the show was dancing with Amy Purdy. He detailed what all that entailed with Entertainment Weekly.

“We literally had to invent and work with prosthetic doctors to create different feet and legs and that was pretty extraordinary,” he said. “For me, it was more extraordinary to see her eyes light up when she realized she could do things she never thought she could do.”

5. Tony Dovolani joked that he needed therapy after dancing with Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani smile on Dancing with the Stars.

Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani | ABC

Dancing partners don’t always work out on the show. Tony Dovolani’s performances with the reality star were so bad that Anderson Cooper said he felt bad for him for having to dance with her. He replied “Wait, wait, wait. Anderson, did you say dance? We didn’t dance.”

Cooper continued by asking Dovolani if he took a vacation after their time together. “There was a lot of therapy involved,” he answered, laughing.

6. Sharna Burgess said she and Bonner Bolton weren’t against getting together, but things changed

Sharna Burgess and Bonner Bolton dancing together on the dance floor.

Sharna Burgess and Bonner Bolton | ABC

A lot of fans were rooting for Sharna Burgess and Bonner Bolton to get romantically involved, but things just didn’t go that way.

“Last season, fans were very much hoping that Bonner [Bolton] and I were going to get together,” the dancer told Us Weekly. “We met and had incredible chemistry and neither of us was against it. But I was the coach and he was the student. Our dynamic changed. I don’t know if I’d be able to be romantic on one side and then the boss on the other.”

7. Cheryl Burke was most surprised by Rob Kardashian and Jack Osbourne

Cheryl Burke and Rob Kardashian dancing together on the dance floor with their hands up above their heads.

Cheryl Burke and Rob Kardashian | ABC

The two-time mirror ball trophy winner said her perspective on what it takes to win was changed by two celebrities.

When asked which partners surprised her, she answered, “Rob Kardashian and Jack Osbourne. They showed me it’s all about personality on the show and the chemistry you have with your partner. I don’t care who you are: If you come in with a bad attitude and you’re stuck up and can’t take direction from women? I won’t be able to do my job.”

8. Derek Hough revealed Jennifer Grey broke down early on the show

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough embrace while dancing in white costumes on Dancing with the Stars

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough | ABC

The professional dancer revealed that the actress cried in the first or second week for a very emotional reason. “She broke down and she was just like, ‘You know I’m dancing with you. It’s the first time dancing with a man since Patrick [Swayze] like this,’ and she broke down,” Hough said, according to AOL.

He claimed that Jennifer Grey then said “it feels like just yesterday he was just there. He was just there and now he’s gone.”

9. Maksim Chmerkovskiy calls Hope Solo a ‘sh*tty person’

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo stand together while hearing the judges score their dance routine.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo | ABC

The dancer was asked to play f*ck, marry, kill, and he chose Hope Solo to kill.

He then explained “She’s just a sh**ty person,” on the podcast Allegedly. “You can have a sh**ty life growing up, but if you’re a bad person, there’s no excuse for that.”

10. Kym Johnson said she also taught Jaleel White’s daughter

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White are posing together with their arms around each other.

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White | ABC

It’s not a secret that professional dancers and celebrities get close on the show — to the point where they might meet family members. Kym Johnson not only met the Family Matters actor, but she also taught his daughter a few dance moves.

“She came into the studio, and I taught her the quickstep,” she said, according to the Huffington Post. “She picked it up really quick! That was adorable.”

11. Maksim Chmerkovskiy found Heather Morris’ elimination more shocking than Brandy Norwood’s

Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy pose as if in the middle of dancing.

Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy | ABC

The professional dancer has had some impressive celebrity partners, but they were also surprisingly eliminated on the show. So whose elimination was the most shocking?

When Heather Morris was eliminated, Chmerkovskiy told ET,  “Brandy [Norwood] and I didn’t make the final [in Season 11] when I thought she was one of the best dancers that season. But [that] wasn’t as shocking as this. This is crazy.”

12. Kym Johnson said Mr. T is really a big softie

Kym Johnson and Mr. T standing together in front of a gray background.

Kym Johnson and Mr. T | ABC

The professional dancer really got to know the iconic actor and found out he’s very different from his tough persona.

Mr. T says the T stands for tough and tender,” Johnson said, according to the Daily Mail. “He does have that tender side. He’s like a teddy bear.”

13. Maksim Chmerkovskiy said he isn’t allowed to speak to Kirstie Alley anymore

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley stand together while hearing their scores.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley | ABC

The professional dancer shocked many when he revealed why he doesn’t talk to his former celebrity partner anymore. When asked what happened to their friendship, he told Us Weekly:

Scientology happened. You can thank Leah Remini for that. A note was sent to a friend telling me I was “disconnected,” as in, I am no longer allowed to be Kirstie’s friend. I find it ridiculous for an adult human being to “disconnect” from someone. But everyone is entitled to their own insanity.

14. Cheryl Burke wanted to get ‘serious’ with Chad Ochocinco

Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco dance together on the 'Dancing with the Stars' dance floor.

Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco | ABC

Sometimes relationships do occur between professional dancers and celebrities. Burke and Chad Ochocinco tried, but it didn’t work out for an interesting reason.

“With Chad, I think I wanted it to be serious,” she revealed to Us Weekly. “But I couldn’t handle it. He did some dating show [VH1’s Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch]. I started to realize this wasn’t the person for me. But I kept the diamond necklace he gave me for my birthday!”

15. Maksim Chmerkovskiy revealed Erin Andrews’ secret engagement

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Erin Andrews stand together after their routine as they listen to the judges score their dance.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Erin Andrews | ABC

Celebrities typically keep their friend’s secrets from the press, but Chmerkovskiy went another route. When asked who was his best celebrity partner, he said Erin Andrews is one, and she “maybe just got engaged.”

He called this payback for Andrews revealing that Peta Murgatroyd was pregnant backstage on a hot microphone. Andrews didn’t deny the engagement news.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.

Read more‘Dancing with the Stars’: 25 Celebrities Who Refused to Appear

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