'DWTS': Sharna Burgess Reveals This Season's Pros Had to Hand Over Creative Control
Sharna Burgess is spilling even more secrets about season 28 of Dancing With the Stars!
Even though she's not competing this season, the reigning mirrorball champion has been keeping up with the dance competition show and staying in touch with her fellow ballroom pros and former partners.
As many of her fans know, Burgess won season 27 with Bobby Bones, and the two recently reunited for a new episode of his BobbyCast podcast. Throughout the discussion, the Australian dancer got candid about all the new changes to the show, revealing some interesting behind-the-scenes insight about how much has really changed for the pros this season.
"I’m not entirely sure everybody knows but the dancers no longer get to design their dances," she shared. "Every week, you know how I was in the creative process -- the song, the set, the colors, the costumes, everything -- came from my brain, was built with a team. Now the dancers just get their creative concepts given to them. They get told what they’re wearing, what their set is, what their song is, everything. So, they don’t have that creative say in these pieces anymore."
"They may when it gets to the freestyle, I don’t know, because then it becomes their jam, but week to week it’s no longer Lindsay [Arnold]’s creativity, it’s no longer Val [Chmerkovskiy]’s creativity; it’s all done for them by the new creative director that’s working on the show," she continued. "I actually find that really interesting. I have no real opinion on it because I’m not in it, but if I was, I would struggle to give up that creativity and that part of the dance to someone else."
Burgess said that's because, for her, dance isn't "just about the steps."
"If you’re giving me a full piece that’s already done and then just asking me to put steps to it, it’s like giving me your biography and then asking me to write your last chapter but I know nothing about you," she explained. "For me, that just seems disjointed. But it seems like everyone is still creating great content anyway, and maybe it just helps everything work smoother behind the scenes."
Later in the interview, Burgess and Bones pointed out a few dance couples who already seem to be mastering the competition, format changes and all! The two praised James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater, along with Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten, and Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov.
"Oh, she's so good!" Burgess said of The Office star. "I got a lot of love for her ... there's just something very lovely and special about the way that she moves. And she's just so entertaining at the same time."
If Burgess had to pick a winner, however, she said, "I would love to see James and Emma win but I think it may come down between him and Hannah. I honestly can't decide right now who it's going to be."
"I do think that James is the best dancer in the competition. I think he's lovable and I think he has a fantastic partner," she added. "So, for me it's going to come down to the two of them, but if I had to pick one of them I'd vote for James."
ET actually got a firsthand look at how much creative control the pros had in previous seasons. Last October, we crashed the DWTS wardrobe department, where we shadowed Burgess as she met with costume designers and dreamed up her ideas for her and Bones' Argentine Tango.
As previously reported, Burgess and fellow fan-favorite pro Artem Chigvintsev were cut as pros for the current season. ET exclusively sat down with the red-headed beauty a few weeks later, where she opened up about the shocking news.
"I'm equally as excited and terrified for all of the things that lie ahead for me," she said at the time. "I am currently adjusting to a new fall season."
"Thank you so much for all of the love, and the support, and the words of how much you miss me, and your defending me like my champions," she added. "It's been a beautiful eight and a half years of me being on this incredible show and getting to create, and no one has ever said if it's the end. And whether it is that I come back and do another season or not, I'm always going to be putting things out there for you guys."
Hear more in the video below.
Sharna Burgess Reveals What She’ll Miss Most About ‘DWTS’ and If She’d Ever Return (Exclusive)
Bobby Bones Says He Called 'DWTS' to Make Sure He Wasn't the Reason Sharna Burgess Was Cut
Sharna Burgess Takes ET Inside the 'Dancing With the Stars' Wardrobe Department (Exclusive)