Cheryl Burke didn’t hold anything back while discussing which of her “Dancing With the Stars” partners were the absolute worst. The professional dancer, who quit the ABC show in 2014, revealed in a preview of an upcoming interview that “Sharknado” star Ian Ziering was the worst partner producers ever paired her with.
“My least favorite would be Ian Ziering,” she said on the Allegedly podcast (via TMZ), which airs in full Tuesday. “The fact that his name is not EE-AN and it’s EYE-AN makes me want to throw up.”
Burke’s harsh comments toward the actor didn’t end there. When one of the hosts said Ziering “p----- him off” on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Burke said: “That’s the true colors they didn’t show on ‘Dancing With the Stars’… Think of spending time with that for eight to 10 hours a day, seven days a week, for three months.”
When asked if being paired with Ziering made her want to quit, the 31-year-old dancer said no but admitted she wanted to “slit [her] wrists.”
“I was like crying to the executives, is there any way to please just eliminate us? And they were like we can’t. We can’t do that, and I swear, every time I asked, we just kept going,” she said. “We would last till the end.”
Ziering, 52, and Burke made it all the way to fourth place on Season 4 of the show. In 2007, Ziering opened up about his experience, telling Buddy TV that he really enjoyed being partnered with Burke.
“Cheryl Burke is amazing. She’s very patient — which thank God for that because I keep stepping on my own toes — and is able to communicate in a way that I understand.”
He continued, “I’m not sure how I came to be lucky to be dancing with Cheryl Burke, that’s the producers, they matched everybody up. My first day, I walked in meeting my partner and boom, there’s Cheryl Burke and it blew me away … But you know what, we’re having a great time.”
Burke went on to compete with other celebrities before leaving the show after Season 18 to focus on an NBC series. “It’s so hard for me to talk about this, because I owe my life to ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ They’ve changed my life completely. They’re my family, and it’s always hard to say goodbye,” she told TV Guide following her exit.