An exclusive list of past pros have been invited to celebrate former head judge Len Goodman on Tuesday — but Cheryl Burke wasn’t one of them.
In a recent social media post, Burke revealed she wasn’t asked to participate in a spectacular dance tribute for Goodman that will be set to “Moon River” by Henry Mancini. The beloved judge died in April at the age of 78.
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“For those of you asking if I’ll be a part of Len Goodman’s tribute next week on DWTS, unfortunately, I wasn’t invited however, I’ll be there in spirit and can’t wait to cheer my former colleagues on!” she wrote. “Sending love and light to everyone. 🤍🙏🏼 #riplen.”
Burke left the show in November after 26 seasons.
Those who did make the cut for the number are fan favorites Kym Johnson, Anna Trebunskaya, Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska, Tony Dovolani, Louis van Amstel, Maks Chmerkovskiy and Mark Ballas. The dance will be choreographed by pros Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson.
It’s not clear why Burke was overlooked for the special; Witney Carson, who announced her departure in August, wasn’t invited either. But her new podcast may have something to do with it.
The former pro launched Sex, Lies and Spray Tans in September and has already dished a lot about her time on the show. In fact, she told EW that the podcast “is a chance for not just me and the celebrity contestant to get together, but for the fans to really get a different outlook on what this show really entails.”
So far, though, the only juicy tidbits involved former host Brooke Burke admitting that she had a crush on Derek Hough, and a few pros admitting to their least favorite partners. “I’m not disparaging the show,” she said on her October 6 installment.
While promoting her new podcast, Cheryl Burke did speak out when WGA threatened to picket DWTS rehearsals last month. She thought the show should have stayed dark until a resolution between the WGA and AMPTP was reached. (An agreement was eventually made on September 24).
“After the Drew Barrymore thing, I have mixed feelings,” Burke told Variety. “Even in the pandemic, people can say, “Why would you do this?” When you’re talking about the entertainment industry, this is a sensitive subject. In order for things to change, we have to stick together, point blank, because if one show just decides to think about the show on its own, this is not going to make big changes. It is not going to change the way these other people — the opposing team — are thinking. At the end of the day, we have to stick together because that’s the only way to ever make any significant change. Even the cast of “Friends,” when they asked for more money, they all stuck together. The problem is that if we don’t, then we’re setting a precedent and I don’t think it’s gonna be good for the show, to be quite honest, in the long run. I understand what they’re thinking and I get it. It’s a business, but there is no business without the rest of the business.”
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