Cheryl Burke Wants to Be New ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judge — Should She Be? (POLL)

Cheryl Burke in 'Dancing With the Stars' Season 31 cast photo
ABC/Nathan Martin

Two Dancing With the Stars staples are set to move on after tonight’s Season 31 finale. In last week’s semifinals, head judge Len Goodman announced his retirement. And on Instagram on Sunday, ballroom pro Cheryl Burke revealed that she’s leaving the dance troupe to pursue her career outside of dance. Len’s departure leaves a seat open on the judges panel alongside Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough. In a new interview, Burke threw her hat in the ring for being the new Dancing With the Stars judge.

Burke told Variety the series has known of her interest in being a judge for several years now and that her decision to retire her dancing feet was a longtime coming. After competing in 26 seasons and winning two of them (Seasons 2 and 3), Burke loves the show and wants to remain part of the family. But she also wants to evolve with it. And she feels she’d be the right replacement for Len due to their similarly high bar for technical excellence.

“They are very well aware that I want that seat. It’s not that I just want it, I just know that I can contribute because I am an expert in ballroom dancing,” Burke said. “I can say that with confidence. I can also say that my teaching methods haven’t been known to being sugar coated. I have a lot of experience doing Dance Moms. Len is really technical and really tells you how it is. That is my style. It would be nice to see two women on the panel! I don’t know where they’re heading with this. I know they still have the huge finale coming up, and they want to get through the season, but they are very well aware. They have been very well aware for probably a few years now.”


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She continued: “So unfortunately, that decision is not up to me. I would love to still be a part of the family, I just would love a different role on the show, just like anybody after 26 seasons of having that same title. I think it’s important, for me at least, to feel like, OK, let’s grow together as a brand and also for me as a person. If that’s not with the show, then I’m moving forward and I’m moving on.”

Burke would be the third dancer to be promoted to the judges panel on the Emmy-winning series. After joining the show in Season 4, Julianne Hough became a DWTS judge in 2014, leaving the show in 2017. Her brother, Derek, made a guest appearance in Season 4, bumping up to cast member in Season 5. After winning six times (a record for the show), Derek became a judge in Season 29, filling in for Len when COVID-19 travel restrictions made it impossible for him to partake. When Len returned, Derek stayed on as a permanent judge.

Burke seems like the natural choice for the panel, should the show want to keep four judges on board. She joined in Season 2 and won, then won again in Season 3. She then competed on every season through Season 19, taking a break from Seasons 20-22. She then competed in Seasons 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31, in addition to appearing on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors. Burke has also led her various celebrity partners to the semifinals and finals on nine seasons, placing as runner-up in Seasons 8 and 10, third place in Seasons 6, 14, 17, and 30. In Season 31, she made it through Week 4 with partner Sam Champion.

She certainly has a resume comparably impressive to the Hough siblings. What do you think? Should Burke be the next Dancing With the Stars judge? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below.

Dancing With the Stars, Season 31 Finale, Monday, November 21, 8/7c, Disney+