Cheryl Burke has been a longtime personality on Dancing with the Stars, and while longtime has meant she's been partnered with a lot of celebrities, it also has meant she’s had to struggle through some seasons with partners that were just not a good fit. In fact, back in 2016, Burke had bluntly commented that there was one contestant on the ABC competition series she partnered with that made her want to “slit her wrists.” Now, she says she owes an apology to that contestant, Beverly Hills 90210’s Ian Ziering.
Her comments a few years ago were said during an appearance on the podcast Allegedly and this time Cheryl Burke took to her own podcast Pretty Messed Up to talk about what she had said before and the feelings that came out after her comments went live and rolled around the internet. She called what she had said a true “regret,” noting,
The one thing that I feel like I truly regret and I want to make amends with is Ian Ziering. I was completely out of line -- here’s a little backstory. A few years ago, I did a podcast where they were asking me who my favorite partner was and who did I hate the most. I answered Ian Ziering, and I said something along the lines of 'I'd rather slit my wrists than dance with Ian Ziering again.’ You know, I would say there’s no excuse, no matter if it was a joke or not.
The episode specifically focused on narcissism and personality traits those appearing on the podcast had dealt with or seen out in the wilds of the celeb world, and Burke touched on feeling her own birth father had some of those personality traits. After the conversation, which also leaned into addiction and more on the iHeart Radio program, Cheryl Burke and the others on the podcast spoke out about people they owed apologies to, with Burke admitting Ian Ziering deserved an apology.
She went on to say she knew her comments about their time together on Dancing with the Stars were hurtful and that she “lost a lot of respect” for herself when she was so flippant on the podcast. Though, she noted she’s never had “the courage” to actually reach out, she did say:
I know it hurt him, and I know it hurt his family. It was a big deal. People still continue to ask me the same question wanting me to answer it the same way. I'm here to say sorry. I truly am so sorry for being so inconsiderate and just talking, trying to basically get a reaction, you know, and putting him as my punching bag, really. At the end of the day, when someone does Dancing With the Stars -- especially a celebrity -- they are already going on the show being vulnerable. Just because we don't get along for a couple of days, I just took it to that next level of just nastiness. I was so nasty. And I'm here to publicly apologize to Ian and his family.
She mentioned how she actually knows the comments reached and had hurt Ian Ziering, telling a story about how another OG Dancing with the Stars cast member had happened to sit next to the Beverly Hills, 90210 star on a flight and he had expressed surprise and “hurt” about Cheryl Burke’s thoughts, given she had had nicer things to say in a book she’d published prior 2016. Then in 2016 she made the following comment to Allegedly, saying she’d actually tried and failed to get the two eliminated on the show:
It made me want to slit my wrists. I was like crying to executives. I was like is there any way to please to just eliminate us? They’re like we can’t. We can’t do that and I swear, every time I asked, we just kept going. We would last till the end.
On-screen, Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering had been a pretty good team on Season 4 of the series, which aired back in 2007. The two made it all the way to the semi-finals together, with the duo ultimately landing in fourth place on the show. But even a fourth place finish wasn't enough to lead Burke to fond memories of that season of Dancing with the Stars. Years later, Burke was urged to pick up the phone and call Ziering during the podcast, and we'll have to wait and see if there's more to the story down the line.