Each week during the run of Dancing with the Stars: Athletes, we’ll check in with Pro Sharna Burgess about her progress with Josh Norman. This week, Burgess talks about last week’s disappointing scores and why she wishes she could wear more flats in the ballroom.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you feel about the latest eliminations?
Sharna Burgess: Oh my gosh, always awful. It was really tough standing underneath that light, knowing our dance wasn’t scored as great as we would have liked. I still think those 7s were way too harsh, considering what was going on that night. Knowing that the scores were going toward that night’s elimination, I was really nervous because Josh has the potential to take this all the way and it would have hurt my heart, had we been eliminated.
How have you felt about the scoring so far for the athletes? I thought they were going to be more generous in the first week, but they weren’t.
I actually thought they were more generous in the first week. In seasons past, they gave out 5s and 6s. A lot. However, I will say the scoring come week two’s episode was a little bit all over the place. I know last week that Josh came across as if he had a little less of a sparkle and that was truly because he was so disappointed in himself. He felt like he let the team down, getting those 7s. I really love him for that attitude and approach to it. He’s not in the blame game. He’s not a complainer. He turns up and he’s ready to work. He’s been wanting to do this show for a while, so he’s not about to waste his time complaining about being tired.
Has your opinion changed about who seems to be the ringer this season? I know we talked about Adam Rippon’s chances before.
I think Adam is as much a ringer as we originally thought. He is very talented. He has a very lovable personality. He has all the things out there that you want to see out on the floor. Other than that, everyone else is on an even playing field. I feel amazing about Josh. I’m telling you, this guy can win it all. He has the charm, the talent, he has a great following behind him because of football. He has all the makings of what this show is about — someone who has absolutely no background in dancing who is getting out there and giving their absolute everything. It’s not always the best dancer who wins. It’s not always the ringer who wins. It’s the one who is the whole package. I think Josh has that.
So what’s the game plan for tonight?
We have two dances, a contemporary and a salsa, which will be a dance-off battle with Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson.
How many will go tonight?
Three will go this week so there will be a three-couple finale next Monday.
How does it work with the costume department? Have they ever come to you and said, ‘Sharna, we’d love if you wore a little less this week’?
[Laughs]. I will design my costume and then it will get approved by our executive producers. For the most, I don’t really love doing the whole mini, two-piece situation anymore. Every now and then it calls for it, like a cheerleader costume. Honestly, when it comes to our competitive numbers, I really have free reign for what I want to wear. I get to create whatever I want and they seem to make it happen. I’m inspired by things straight from the runway and turning that into dance costumes. Couture into dance costumes!
So how are you doing? Do you work out away from Josh or do you get enough exercise with him?
Yes. I need to go to the gym! When I was 22 it was different. I could just dance and eat a lot of pizza if I wanted to. At 32, it changes. Womens’ bodies change, our metabolism changes. We need different things. I know my body needs additional exercise throughout the day.
Do you wish you could dance in flat shoes every Monday night?
Yes, girl! Absolutely. But unfortunately, it doesn’t look as good and doesn’t finish your line. And it’s not the way we do things. Latin ballroom dancing is done in heels.
Do your feet hurt right now?
All the time. I’m used to it. I let my feet soak sometimes or I’ll roll a ball under them. I also get regular and proper, dig-your-elbow-in, dear-God-hold-onto-table massages. There’s nothing fun about them, but they are necessary.
Dancing with the Stars: Athletes airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.