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September 26, 2023 28 mins

Mirrorball Trophy winner Sharna Burgess joins Cheryl for a candid DWTS chat, but first, grab some napkins because a lot of tea is about to be spilled! 

Sharna made headlines for calling out the show's controversial casting of NFL star Adrian Peterson, saying she would have walked out if that was her dance partner. . . but Cheryl feels differently. The ladies go in on the topic, including advice for his dance partner, Britt Stewart. 

Plus, Sharna opens up about the two partners that made her uncomfortable, the one with whom she had the best chemistry (she doesn't name Brian), and her honest reaction to no longer being on the show. 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
This is Sex, Lies and Spray Tans with me, Cheryl
Burke and iHeart Radio podcast. I'm talking to Sharna. Were
just from the down under. We're gonna just go straight
into it because you my friend. I have a lot
of questions, yes, because first of all, I haven't seen
you in so long. But we'd caught up last night.
So I don't want people to be like, God, Cheryl,

like get straight into it. Why don't you know we did.
We caught up a little bit last night, and we
have so much more to catch up. Yeah, but like
on a personal level, like, I don't want to be like,
you know, We're not going to manicure this conversation. We're
gonna just this is called sex, Lies and Spray Tans
for a reason. Love. We both have a lot of
history on Dancing with the Stars, would you agree, Oh, yeah,

a lot of history. I would say we both grew
up on Dancing with the Stars. I think we both
had pretty much every experience you can have on dancing
I mean really yeah, I mean think about in the
grand scheme of things, like from the beginning to the end,
all of the stuff that you went through as you
were growing up on that show. From the good, the bad,
and the ugly, like because naturally, growing up you go

through those things, all heightened by media attention and on
a public platform and just yeah, you know, just your
average every day stuff, different types of fields, different types
of fields. Yeah, and actually like within that though, what
makes it so fascinating is that we go through huge
chapters of our lives, huge whether that is when I started,

I drank a lot and then that became a thing
for a decade. Now I'm sober, But this was all
happening through there was one common denominator, and it was
Dancing with the stars. Same thing with a lot of
my friendships, right, Like, there was that And I remember
you first, really, I think, talking to you for the
first time. You know, you came on as Troop yep,

was it season thirteen twelve? Yeah, And I remember me
and you talking for the first time, like really chatting
at David Arquette's house. Yeah, when we were remember we
were going to go to Universe Hollywood Horror Nights, like
and I had I was so scared. I don't the
music that scares me. Yeah. Anyway, me and you had
a really great conversation and you were in another relationship

at that time, I was wow, how things have changed? Wow? Yeah, okay,
so I guess just tell my listeners, like, how, first
of all, you were troop? Did you know you were
auditioning to be troop? And did you go from troop
to pro like how or was this something that you
expected to be pro right away? Like what was the

process for you joining a like a show like Dancing
with the Stars that's already been going for so long
So it was gosh, you go back and remember that,
it feels like so long ago. So it was Dancing
with the Stars found me because of Wet came and
performed on the show, Burned the Floor, came and performed
on the show. We were promoting that we were going
to be on Broadway, and they like cheekily pulled a

couple of us in for interviews into what used to
be the confessional room. Remember that loved the confessional and
it was I believe it was sas show. It is Peter,
it was myself. There was a couple of us Jimmy
Hell I think pulled us in for these interviews. And
then as we were workshopping the show for Broadway, I
was in Perth. I was reached out to to join

as a professional dancer as a pro on the show.
But because I was at that point under contract with
Dancing with Sorry Burned the Floor and we were about
to do Broadway, I just and these people were my family.
There was no way I could have done that. I
had this were doing interviews. No, I don't think burn
the Floor knew that it was going to happen, right
it was. Again, it was a bit cheeky, but so

they asked me, but I stayed loyal to my family
have Burned the Floor and did Broadway. So the next
time that but I said, I really want to do it.
It was like I was so scared I was going
to miss out on this opportunity. So I kept saying
I absolutely want to be a part of it, and
I just can't do it my contract. And then it
came to the end. That was in two thousand and nine.

Then it came to the end of twenty ten. I
was finishing up on the West End run with Burn
the Floor and I was reached out to again about
Dancing with the Stars in twenty and eleven, but this
time they had the troop and it was like, we
would love you to be a part of the Troop.
It's this amazing way to introduce new dances to our

fans and to really let them get to know because
our fans fall in love with the dancers. And at
the time, I thought, at least the way the conversation
felt was like, you'll do one season as Troop and
then we'll make you a pro and then all these things.
So that's what I sort of went in expecting. I
ended up having three seasons of Troop, which I wouldn't
change for the world because I had such an amazing

growing experience, helping out with other pros, stepping into the room,
really learning how to do the job, learning how to
choreograph a television you know, everything that was just so different.
I think if I had stepped in completely green the
first time they'd offered me a tracked, I wouldn't have
been great at the job I would have I would

have been so outside of my element element and had
to learn on the job, and I don't know if
there would have been time for that. So I'm really
grateful that I got to have those three seasons on
Trip and I got to choreograph and dancing pieces for
amazing musical artists and be a part of really cool
things and learn how you guys were doing it and

be like after those three seasons, okay, yeah, I want
to give this. Well, they offered it to me and
I was like, heck, yes, I'm ready. And then I
go Andy Dick. So first of all, I'm speaking out.
I mean, this is all like, this is taken me back,
Andy Dick. Did you even know who Andy Dick was?
So not by name? And this was I remember the

phone call not a phone call. Actually, I think I
was sitting in the office with them, Andy Dick, do
you know who that was? And I was like no,
But at this point I'm so excited it didn't matter
who you offered to me. I was like, I will
do it. I googled and then I knew him from
that one scene in the movie Old School with the
is it a cucumber or in a blowjob? I was
like that, of course I know this, yeah, but but

I didn't know about his deep history with a drug abuse.
And I think he also, which I didn't even know
at the time, had some sexual harassment cases it with
him with underage girls, which I had no idea about
at the time. I didn't even know during But even
if you did, now, what can you do? What are
you gonna do? Yes? Right, it's absolutely true when you're

under contract. It's all good and well for me to
say now, which I have said and was in the media,
like if I had walked into the room with this person,
I would as a mother, I could and I'd walk out.
You still feel like that to this day, even if
you're under contract about Adrian Peterson, I feel under I
can say that sitting here right under contract, under contract.
You know, and I now being a mother and haven't

been on the show since being a mother, have a
very visceral reaction to anything to do with kids. It's
an emotional response. When you're under contract, you have absolutely
no choice. You will be in breach of contract, you
could be sued. No one has that choice unless you
are truly unsafe, and then you have to go through
the proper channels and speak to people about that. So, no,

it was not to sidetrack our conversation, and it wasn't
to say that anyone else should have done that. That
was my emotional response to something I'd found out that day.
Contracts are contracts going we both know that and so
like I because you know of everything too. I just
wanted to see because this is the first time I'm
kind of sitting out and I'm like observing what's happening, right,

Like everyone has their own opinions, yes, and they have
the right to their own opinions, of course. So I
am now reading how people are worried about Brett and
her safety, like it's all over right, Yeah, what advice
do you have for Brett? Knowing that you've been through
controversial as well times on the show where it wasn't

so fun, I'm sure you received a lot of hate
and maybe threats even you know, so with Britt, I
would say, she's still kind of nil ish. Yeah, right,
but this can't be easy for her either. It cannot
be easy for her, and I think, oh my gosh,
I cannot imagine the pressure and the stress that she
would go through with receiving some of the feedback from

fans that think that she has a choice. Yeah, let's
make it clearer though, like tell our listeners what we
don't have. You don't have a choice. Yeah, And I'm
deeply sorry if if my comments made people believe that
she did have a choice, because you don't when you're
under contract. It's like any job, you're under contract. But
my advice if I was to give any to a

person that could be in that situation like Britt, is
to film everything, to constantly have your phone running, to
film everything, because that is the only proof that you
have if you do find yourself in a situation that
makes you uncomfortable. And I'm not saying she is in one,
I'm not. I don't know what their dynamic is like.
I don't know what he is like as a person.
I've never met him. But you're only saving grace in

a situation like this, is though, even though they're a
camera in the room, they're not always rolling. To protect
yourself to have your phone rolling, to have something recording
the moment. So if you do have something a rise
that makes you uncomfortable, you can take it to your superiors.
You can take it to the producers and executives and
say this is what's going on. I'm uncomfortable and I
need help in handling This doesn't mean you're saying eliminate

me off the show. It means let's find a better
way to work with this situation that we're all in,
right and like you would help, and they do. I
mean they'll protect you. Of course, they will exactly want
anyone to be unsafe or an uncomfortable situation, but they
do need proof, right to take measures and steps to

move forward, to standards and practices and all of that.
Absolutely with dancing. I guess what people don't understand. It's
not just a jazz hands, put on a freaking v
neck and shake the butt and don't stress, Like why
are you stressing? Like it's stressful. It's stress The show

is stressful, super stressful, Like in order for us to
make it not look stressful, we have to stress out,
because like in order for us to put a smile
on our face with a glitter on, like, we have
to know what we're doing out backwards and forwards, both
versions of it, like and we're guiding our partners, but
then imagine their vulnerability of course, Like there's no how

stressful is it to watch someone's stress on television? So stressful,
it's so stressful, like you literally feel it through the screen.
I haven't changed the channel, like I couldn't watch America's
funny home videos because I'm stressed, sweating, I'm a physical
reaction to betful stress. When I watch it on television,
some people laugh like when someone falls, and I'm like,
I'm crying. I feel so bad, so uncomfortable. I'm so

uncomfortable watching this. So okay. So when you said on
your podcast, which I love, everyone listened to Oldish, I've
listened to every episode, as you know, I love how
candid you are because it's important because by the way,
we have the right to be right, like this is
our own experiences, our own feelings, and our own just
experience in life. And how an amazing show like Dancing

with the Stars shaped us because it was our life.
It consumed our lives, and that was a choice and shape, yes,
and a beautiful choice. Wouldn't change it, wouldn't want it
to be any different. But it is a massive chunk
of seventeen years for you, bab Right, and very formative
years of your life too. And I feel like every partner.
Though it may have not all been like bells and

whistles and flowers and peaches, there was a learning lesson
of life for me to learn at that time, whether
it brought me more strength or confidence, or whether I
just didn't like that version of me right totally now
when you talked about on your podcast that there was
a time when after Bobby you you weren't asked back, right,

and then you came back, and then there was would
you like to just say it because I don't feel
comfortable quoting you when you're sitting here. Next time, I
had a situation with a partner where it got to
the point where we couldn't be alone in our room
without people watching and unmonitored. Because this was also at
a time when it was COVID and we didn't have

everyone watching all the cameras all the time. It was
we were scaled back on our crew, so some rehearsals
weren't watched and weren't recorded. Producers were in a birth
because of COVID. Yes, it was in the room with us, Yeah,
watching cameras with like little controllers to make them follow
us around the room, and they would switch in and
out of rooms, right, so they could try and catch

pieces of everyone. Not like it used to be when
we'd have a producer in there the whole time. That's
now different. We have Conrad back exactly and he's amazing. Yeah,
but yeah, that was a difficult situation for me. But
I went through the proper channels, and I did. Unfortunately,
I wasn't able to record everything, but I was able

to record some things, and I did go to the
proper pull and there was reports made and I was
taking care of you know, And I'd learned my lesson
because I have in the past had two partners that
made me feel very, very uncomfortable. And it was at
a time I was much younger, and I would laugh

it off and I would suck it up and I
would make it okay. And I even told I told
one person at the time, and this is this has
gone back years and years, this is pre me too.
And it was a partner of mine that was making
me feel very uncomfortable and was hitting on me and
getting nothing back from me. Right, And then he got
a little pested about that. And my producer or coordinator

at the time was like, oh, just let him think
he can have it. You know what men are like.
It was like, oh, okay, And that was sort of
like you go, okay, So I'm on an island of
one here, like I feel like I'm on my own
doing this. But what I didn't go to the people
that I was supposed to go to. I told one person,
you know what I mean? And I learned years years,

Yeah before guys, there's like I I've grown and learned
my lesson and I am I'm not alone in this experience.
When you get on a show like Dancing with the
Stars and it's men and women dancing together, and you
have close contact and you're creating all these stories and intentions,
why is ken get crossed? You know what I mean?
It's I am again not alone. But I learned over

the years how to squash that and how to set
up boundaries and how to make sure that wasn't going
to happen again. And I understood, especially after you know,
during and after me too, of these examples of women
coming forward and saying from the big to the little things,
and I was like, holy shit, that happened to me.
I didn't even realize that I could speak up about that.

And so I learned. And so when I had a
situation which was not sexual in any nature, why it
was uncomfortable in that room, I would like to say
that at the end of the day, that no need
to explain right uncomfortable period. That's a complete sentence, exactly,
It is a complete sentence. Thank you, Cheryl. But I
did the right thing and I went to the right
people and I spoke up and I was taken care

of and I was able to do my job, you know,
and I live in shame and not live in shame
with it. And I was really gud of that. Yeah, yes,
or fear and that this is why I just wanted
to make this time for this, because like it's every
time someone does speak up. And by the way, it
is so important because no matter what anyone says, everyone
is in fear of losing their jobs. Absolutely and in

general I don't and I'm not saying this by about
dancing on the Stars. I'm just saying in the workplace
as a woman world, yes, I'm so sorry. People are
like gonna get over it, like no, no, no, because
it's it's a real, actual problem. Yes, that when you
speak up, you're the problem. You're the problem, whether that's
because you feel uncomfortable or you have an opinion, or
you're just putting in your two cents because you know why,

because I'm a human being and I have there's freedom
of speech right, like I can say what I want
to say with all due respect. Any time somebody decides
to I guess, not open up and not vocalize how
uncomfortable they might feel. It's like that's what we're trying
to at least, we're trying to move away from that boom,

trying to move away from that and not live in
fear or be silenced. The thing is, so it's heartbreaking
because we're all in fear of losing jobs. We are,
absolutely and it's it's a horrible feeling to have. But
I think it's for us, It's it's for women very specifically.

It's a muscle that we have to work out and
practice that advocating for ourselves. That's speaking up and saying
this makes me uncomfortable, from the small things to the
big things. Start with the small things, get practice that
muscle of again advocating for your sol If we have
to teach and trust how to treat us, yes, you know, boundaries,
boundaries teach people how to treat you. And you know,

if you step into a space, a workspace and you
you you are able to find that that way of
communicating your boundaries, then you can move forward like that.
I think when you go in and you go in
skate already and then you go to backtrack and change it.
It feels really really hard to do. Yeah, but it's
you have to speak up for yourself. You have to

like respect yourself before you set boundaries, because there's no
such thing, right, Like, what are you setting if you
hate yourself? Right? Yeah? How are you feeling today with
you know, not being a part of Dancing with the
Stars and getting a call obviously saying you know you're

not going to be a part this season, but yet
there's so much, so many feelings must be going through
your body, you know, because whether or not it was
your decision or their decision is irrelevantly. There was an
experience there, Yeah, that really put a stamp on all
of us. Yeah, it did, because I can say from
from experience, I even though it was my choice, I

am grieving hardcore. Yeah, it's not. Listen, two things can
be true. This is what I keep saying. I can
be about that experience of not being called back really
like sad or heartbroken or hurt, all these feelings that
came up, like why don't they want me? I can
feel all those things, and I can at the same
time still have love for the show and be so

excited for everyone on it. But right now, like i've
I've had, not had, I think I will go through
it for for more time. But I'm within that healing
journey of not being there. I'm so good with it.
I love where I am in my life. I am
deep in motherhood, and I love that I have other
opportunities that are coming up. I am in I cannot

to button up that last one. I am in a
place of gratitude, love, and I am so excited for
wherever life takes me, whether that is back to the
show or not. Now with this ring, let me just
say that this was the most beautiful experience Bry proposed
to me. And we're going to tell the story on Oldish,

but to give you a little bit bit like we
had to. I wanted to change the band because I
wanted to have like the diamonds on the band, because
you know me, extra must have all the sparkle. So
we went into a cartier because she is a cartier ring.
Eh huh. And I was had this like dream experience

sitting in a room being showered with gifts and cakes
and champagne any woman like pretty woman. They bring out
all these rings and it was like that well and
with Brie's like, well, baby, do you want to just
you know, you've never tried on engagement rings before? Do
you want to see what some of the other ones
look like and make sure this is exactly what you love? No,
he'd already proposed to me, and then I was like

I had this loving conversation of like, hey, so you
know how extra I am and I love sparkle. I
would just want to get take that out, like dip
me in glue and roll me around in diamond shoes.
She's got shoes full of swirls. Yeah, yeah, you know
this is me. This is my life. And so he
totally was like, baby, I want you to have your
absolute dream. So we went back into Katier and they

sat me there and brought out all of these rings,
and I was just like, what is life? This does
not feel real for me at all, sitting on trying
on different shapes and different cuts and different bands, and
it was like sitting there with the right five six
seven eight, bitch, let's go like, no, thank you. I
am really deeply in love with my life and I

have no regrets and no nothing that I'm even wanting
right now other than to be in this space continuing
what I'm doing and growing with the people that I love.
I wouldn't miss out on a single moment that I'm
experiencing for the world. And I'm really excited to now
have this open space that I can allow other opportunities
to come in because I think I've been so obsessed

with being on Dancing with the Stars with thirteen years
of my life. It's been my identity. It's been everything,
clawing my way back to it when I wasn't on it,
all these things. But I truly am in a space of,
oh my god, I actually feel free of the need,
this deep need to be on the show. I would
love to go back and dance my ass off again,
but I'm also really excited now about what is to

come and so much chart though, But like if you
really take a step back and observe your life, yeah,
so much has come, so much because I believe in
direct reaction to you not being on the shell. Yeah,
probably that you know the universe, you know, one door closes,
another door opens, or again, seeing this space that I'm

allowing now new things to come and fill it. And
I actually shared this with you last night, but when
I was meditating and manifesting before this current season of
Dancing with the Stars and sending out to the universe
that they that I want to call in. Every time
I got to saying the words Dancing with the Stars
the next season of it, it stopped, and I continued

to say to the universe, I am so ready and
excited for the best opportunity for me for this next thing,
and whatever that may be, I will welcome. And in
my mind, I'm still thinking that could be Dancing with
the Stars, but I was leaving it open. But there
is a very specific reason that I didn't feel called
to say specifically that show for this moment in time.

It just was not supposed to happen. And again that's
where I don't believe it was personal. The universe just
guided both the people on that show that make decisions
and me to go a different direction for maybe a
moment in time, maybe forever. Who knows you were single
for so like you were single for as long as
five years, oh yeah, from thirty too when I met Brice.

I want like thirty thirty five, and you know, at
the end of the day, you know, after now being divorced,
it's like, yes, I love being alone, and yes, I'm
learning to love myself and all this, but there is
a beautiful like feeling when you have I'm sure when
you go home to a family, right, your own family

that you've made together. So with all of this being said,
like I believe, until your home and your foundation is
as strong as far as a unit and love goes,
that will be a direct reflection off of your next career, right,
because if that's an empty nest, what what are you
going to give out? You know, emptiness? Yeah? Right, So

I don't know. I think you're on the right path, honestly,
and I'm so happy for you. Let's play rapid fire, okay,
dun dun, dune, I needed not rapid fire. Rapid fire
gets your freaking hose out. We're gonna have this is
gonna be a doozy. Let's do it. We're gonna do this,
and we're going to talk about only your dance partners.

Can't name one twice otty most fun James Agecliff, Oh,
you're not gonna want to waste that. But okay, you
did your last nerve you mean, I can't say him
more erect because I did this with Max and he
just said the same freaking person four times in a row.
So he was fired. Okay, wait the most fun Yeah no, no, yeah,

you're already answering. Fuck who got on your last nerve?
On my last nerve? No comment? That's a really he
was cute, wasn't anything? Partner of yours? No comment? Impacted
your life, impacted my life? Noah Galloway, Who did you
have the best chemistry with other than Brian? Other than Brian?

Get out of here, and I can't say anyone twice? Yes,
I know that's bullshit. You need to do You need
to like google yourself so we can bet. I mean
I had to google myself for my birthday. Sometimes I forgot,
you know. The other day I was like, am this
rapid fund is really rapid? Who would I have the

most chemistry with? Just say, just come on, it's all
it's all good old tongue in cheek. Oh you know what,
Josh Norman and I got along really well. We had
a really good time. Biggest gentleman, biggest biggest gentleman, not
like the biggest, but like the you know, oh there
you go, yes, I mean that's a lot of partners gentleman. Oh,

Charlie White. He was such a respectful, wonderful partner, easiest
to get along with. Now you're screwed. Okay, then Nick Carter, Okay,
most trustworthy, God damn it, I don't have enough partners
for this. Well I do, but like not ones that
I can answer. I mean it's pretty obvious with this one.
Most trustworthy, Well, the person who put the ring on

your finger. Okay, so I can say Brian, yeah, because
I didn't say, don't say Brian, I'm saying, okay, okay, Brian.
Most flirty. Brian would say he's the most flirty, but
that was for another show. Yeah he did. I heard that,
bless him. Most flirty. You have a lot more, but hurry, girl,
this is rapid, rabid fire. I'm dyslexic. Okay, And no

that no one was really flirty like that? Come on? Huh,
yes they're oh come on, no they were, but like, okay, correct, Okay,
that wasn't that hard, was it. Let's go, Who did
you argue with the most shit? Yep? Well from season
twenty nine? Okay, most intimidating? Probably, I know I can't

say once twice, but Nick Carter, like I had a
full fan girl, really like I do with your fiance. Yeah,
you don't understand. I only watched one hour of TV
a week and it was his Nick Carter for sure. Sweatiest.
Oh wait, there was someone that was that he would
go ahead, we can change it, Bobby. I think Bobby Bones.
I think he would go through like Tweaty. Yeah, because

he would work really hard and also stress really hard.
Who would you like to apologize to if you could
go back in time? Who would I like to apologize to?
Probably not because I was a dick, But I actually
think because with because I was so new to it, yes,

myself so new to it. I think, Charlie White, how
do you have had the more experienced version of me
that understood the show and understood the assignment better? I
could have taken him all the way to the final
he deserves. You would apologize him because of his of
the result, because because I couldn't. I really think for
the no, no, no, no no, we're going to pretend

we didn't hear this guy's all the self work you've
been doing. Let's rephrase this. What do you mean how
it's not your fault, not my fault at all. We
did amazing work, but at the time, I was still
very much about this is a dance. So you're trying
to like test is what you're saying. It wasn't mean
to him. I just mean I didn't understand the assignment
of like we have to create great packages and do

all these things. I was just about creating great dance.
None to yourself, laziest. That's the last one, girl, rapid Fire. Okay, yay,
that wasn't really sweating for you. That's amazing, But when
you've had seventy five partners, but yeah, I mean, what

have I had? Twelve fourteen? I counted last night cross
side but literally cross side. Thank you. I am happy
for you, and I expect to be there at your wedding. Okay,
thank you. Shall be at my wedding, you absolutely not,
but I need to be there. Okay, Thank you very much. Everyone.

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Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing with Bob Pittman

Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing with Bob Pittman

How do the smartest marketers and business entrepreneurs cut through the noise? And how do they manage to do it again and again? It's a combination of math—the strategy and analytics—and magic, the creative spark. Join iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman as he analyzes the Math and Magic of marketing—sitting down with today's most gifted disruptors and compelling storytellers.

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