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Cheryl Burke Makes a Comeback on ‘DWTS’ with First Finale Since Season 17

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby Dancing with the starsGetty Images for Vulture

This was a big week for Cheryl Burke on Dancing with the Stars. The longest-running pro in the show’s history made it to the Finals of Season 30 with her celebrity partner Cody Rigsby. This is the first time she’s been in the finale since Season 17.

This marks a pretty big comeback for Burke, who used to be at the top of the pack season after season. Burke has talked about possibly retiring soon, so this send-off means even more.

Cheryl Burke Makes ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 30 Finale

Burke made her debut on Dancing with the Stars in Season 2, and she’s danced in 24 out of 30 seasons since 2006. She won the show twice in a row in Seasons 2 and 3, with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith. Although she hasn’t won again since then, she’s made it into the Finals several times, even placing second with Gilles Marini and Rob Kardashian in Seasons 8 and 13.

However, the last time Burke was in the Finals was Season 17 with Jack Osbourne in 2013. Burke reacted to making it to the Finals on Instagram, writing, “It’s been a minute since I’ve danced in the finals for #DWTS, but all the feelings of being in the final are still so fresh in my mind.”

Burke also elaborated on her feelings in the new episode of her podcast, saying she wants to appreciate it without all the stress. “All I remember from my last Final was I wish I enjoyed it more,” she said, “and I wish I enjoyed Jack’s company more.”

Burke and Rigsby overcame quite a few roadblocks this season to make it to the finale. Both of them tested positive for COVID-19, so two of their dances had to be judged differently than usual. First, their rehearsal footage was presented for judging, and then they danced remotely from completely different places while in quarantine.

SEE ALSO: CHERYL BURKE, MORE ‘DWTS’ PROS TO APPEAR ON LEAH REMINI’S ‘PEOPLE PUZZLER’

Is Burke Retiring After This Season of the Show?

Burke has been talking about possibly retiring from dancing for quite some time now. Last year on Pretty Messed Up, her podcast with former partner AJ McLean, Burke talked about how the show’s format has changed in her time competing.

“People are asking if I’m retiring,” she said, according to Showbiz CheatSheet. “It’s not as much about the show or me getting older as much as it is this frustration that AJ has mentioned. It’s about is this show still the show I signed up for?” 

In a recent episode of Elizabeth Vargas’ podcast Heart of the Matter, Burke brought up retirement once again, saying, “This is not a sport that you could last forever [in], especially as a woman. Nor do I want to be that person who looks old grandma… barely kicking her leg up.” 

At 37 years old, Burke was the oldest female pro in Season 30. So that makes it even cooler that she’s made it to the Finals. If she does decide to leave the show, maybe she can return as a judge like former pro Derek Hough. Let us know in the comments how you would feel about this possibly being her last season.

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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