Cheryl Burke Talk Of Rehearsals For Their Fox Trot, Being a Punching Bag For The Judges, and More

Celebuzz goes inside rehearsals with Cheryl Burke and D.L. Hughley for Dancing With The Stars Week 4. They ask how he’s been keeping up with his tour and 6 hour days of rehearsals? “By prayer and Advil,” he says. It’s been a tough go, but, he felt his legs for the first time this past week. He also talks of the criticism from the judges so far, but, he says he is “trying” and going to keep trying. They show them dancing a little for their Fox Trot. MORE HERE.

Also, Cheryl has written a new blog for People. She also talks of the judges criticism as well and how sad D.L. was last week. She hopes they will be more constructive tonight. I do too. Some of the things they say are over the top.

On Monday, Bruno [Tonioli] said D.L. needed a hip replacement, and Len [Goodman] said if D.L.’s a sex machine then he was America’s Next Top Model. That was really rough, but then on the next night, Len had a chance to say something more encouraging and he didn’t. It was a rough two nights in a row. Len, especially, is a ballroom judge. Give us something we can take back.

I just told D.L. to keep his head up. He wasn’t even angry – he was just sad. Everyone says not to bring your emotion into this, but at the end of the day, it’s hard because we work so many hours every single day. D.L. is someone with no dancing experience showing his vulnerable side. It would be nice to have judges stay consistent. There are people who have the same dancing experience as D.L., but the judges give them encouraging words. So, let’s make this an even playing field.

I know it’s television and everyone needs to cause controversy, but I feel like D.L. has become the punching bag [for the judges]. Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Kym Johnson have been on our side. Derek came up to D.L. on the second night after they were both saved at the same time and said, “You know what? Just use this to your advantage. People are going to be rooting for you because the judges are so cruel.”

Working hard to try to improve every week – that’s what the show is really all about. This week, we’re dancing a foxtrot. The theme for all the dancers is the best year of my life. For D.L., his best year was his last year of innocence. It was around the eighth grade before his neighborhood got a little crazy. We’re dancing to Etta James’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” It’s a really cool, sassy routine and we tell a story within the dance. I’m trying to bring out his acting skills to really help him with the dance.

I’m just really going to work on his technique and posture. The foxtrot is all about keeping his frame and making his dance a little bit smooth and not so bumpy. We’re going to work on his rhythm and musicality. We’re going to try our best, and hopefully at least get some better remarks from the judges.