Cheryl Burke Recounts Her Scary 'DWTS' Injury: 'My Head Was Like a Basketball' (Exclusive)

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Dancing With the Stars must go on for Cheryl Burke! Despite suffering a scary head injury during rehearsals over the weekend, the 36-year-old pro dancer still performed with her celebrity partner, AJ McLean, during the dance competition show's Villains Night on Monday.

Speaking with ET's Lauren Zima after Monday's show, Cheryl and AJ opened up about the painful mishap, and the extent to which Cheryl endured injury.

"Thank God for the ballroom floor, that it’s a real ballroom floor with springs underneath it. Because my head was like a basketball," Cheryl explained. "First it was my right buttcheck that landed. Thank God I have a little cushion back there. Then I was trying to stop my neck. Basically, if I would just have released my neck it would have been no bueno."

According to AJ, when Cheryl fell he could "hear the thump" of his partner hitting the floor over the music. "And the music was loud," he said, "so you can just imagine."

During the episode, when it came time for AJ and Cheryl to hit the stage, host Tyra Banks explained, "Yesterday in rehearsal, something terrible happened," as a pre-taped video package aired, showing exactly how the injury occurred. "But we've got some good news. Cheryl is OK and she is cleared to perform."

Cheryl and AJ then danced a Tango to "Psycho" by the Intermezzo Orchestra, dressed in costumes inspired by Bates Motel. "AJ, wow, I'm truly impressed," judge Carrie Ann Inaba raved. "That was a really difficult routine and that was great."

"Slasher of a Tango!" Bruno Tonioli added. "I loved it."

Before getting this scores -- a total of 26/30 -- Tyra asked Cheryl for an update on how she was doing.

"I'm actually doing OK," Cheryl responded. "I think I hurt my rotator cuff more than my neck but ... we're good."

Speaking with ET, Cheryl said she was "starting to feel the actual soreness and pain" in her neck and especially her rotator cuff. However, she still plans on performing with AJ during next week's night of dancing.

"I am not not dancing," Cheryl shared. "Next week is such a special week for AJ I don’t think I can ever let him down by not dancing."

According to AJ, he and Cheryl will be dancing a rumba next week, set to Kaleo's "Way Down We Go," and the number holds a special significance for him.

"It’s focusing on my over 20-year battle with addiction and how I finally came out the other side," AJ shared. "So it’s going to be a pretty emotional routine. I’m excited."

Just hours before the show kicked off, fans were wondering if Cheryl would be able to dance after news of her injury broke. A source close to production told ET at the time that they weren't sure if she'd be able to perform, but was hoping she would. 

"@cherylburke sustained a head injury yesterday during rehearsals," a post shared to DWTS' official Instagram on Monday read. "We're sending her well wishes for a speedy recovery before tonight's #VillainsNight! ❤️ #DWTS."

Cheryl also addressed the incident on her own page, writing, "Yesterday, I took a hard fall while rehearsing for #VillainsNight. Even though AJ kills me at the end of this Tango, this wasn't part of the routine."

"It's one of those things that can happen in a split second," she added. "Thankfully, I have the best partner I could ask for that was there to pick me up off the ground. Tune in to #DWTS at 8/7c on ABC and please vote for us!! Text AJ to 21523 and vote online at Keeping our fingers crossed for only planned mishaps during the show tonight!!  #TeamPrettyMessedUp."

AJ, meanwhile, took to Twitter to inform #TeamPrettyMessedUp fans of what happened. "I know this week's theme is supposed to be scary, but this took it to a very real level," he shared. "Thanks for the well wishes and love you are sending Cheryl. We still need your votes!!"

Hear more in the video below.


'Dancing With the Stars': ET Will Be Live Blogging 'Villains Night'

Cheryl Burke Suffers Head Injury During 'DWTS' Rehearsal

AJ McLean Dances to 'Larger Than Life' on 'DWTS' -- With BSB's Help!

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