Sharna Burgess, a seasoned professional dancer, graced the “Dancing With the Stars” stage for an impressive 14 seasons. Throughout her tenure on the ABC celebrity ballroom show, the Australian dancer showcased her talents alongside a diverse array of partners, ranging from singer Nick Carter to her real-life beau, Brian Austin Green. One of her most notable victories was clinching the mirrorball trophy, albeit amidst some controversy, with her partner Bobby Bones.
However, not all of Burgess’ partnerships proved equally fruitful. Season 27, in which she triumphed with Bobby Bones, garnered criticism for potentially being more about popularity than pure dancing prowess. Consequently, Burgess and Bones faced backlash, and Burgess did not return for Season 28. Her comeback in Season 29, in 2020, was marred by a challenging experience. She candidly revealed on the “Old-ish” podcast in September that she encountered significant difficulties with her partner, to the extent that they couldn’t be alone in a room together after the initial weeks due to unspecified incidents. This tumultuous partnership ultimately led to their swift elimination.
While Burgess did not explicitly name her problematic partner in this context, it became evident that she was referring to actor Jesse Metcalfe, her Season 29 collaborator. Her co-star Cheryl Burke emphasized this, underscoring Burgess’ previous remarks. Several weeks later, on Cheryl Burke’s podcast “Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans,” Burgess elaborated on the discomfort she felt during this partnership. She explained that the situation transpired during the early stages of COVID-19 protocols, which meant reduced monitoring of rehearsals. Burgess made a point to clarify that the issues were not of a sexual nature, but she did take appropriate measures to document incidents and seek resolution through the proper channels.
Reflecting on their brief tenure on Season 29, Burgess expressed regret over Metcalfe’s untapped potential on the dance floor, citing his lack of prior dance experience compared to the other contestants. She conveyed disappointment about their early exit, believing they could have achieved more.
In contrast to his earlier praise for Burgess and their apparent chemistry, Jesse Metcalfe’s representative offered a different perspective. They recalled a working relationship that had its difficulties and clarified that any vague insinuations were both baseless and irrelevant. Metcalfe’s camp asserted that their client had chosen not to engage in further discourse, opting for a more elevated response. They also insinuated that Burgess’ statements might have been motivated by promotional considerations for her podcast.
Subsequently, Burgess confirmed that the situation involving Metcalfe had been addressed and resolved years prior, involving legal and show-related parties. She further noted that Metcalfe had not reached out to her following her candid comments about their Season 29 collaboration.