'DWTS' Exclusive Interview: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke on MS, Favorite Dances and More
'DWTS' Exclusive Interview: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke on MS, Favorite Dances and More
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
We're entering week 8 of Dancing with the Stars season 17. And this is going to be a big one because the one and only Cher will be in the studio. Not only will the contestants be dancing to her music, but the legendary performer will also be filling in for Len Goodman at the judges' table.

One of the stars competing tonight is Jack Osbourne, who we all know from the famous Osbourne family. BuddyTV spoke with Jack and his partner, two-time DWTS champ Cheryl Burke, about everything from what their favorite (and least favorite) dances are to how stressful it gets when a twist like the Switch-Up Challenge is added to the competition and even if Cheryl would ever want to follow in Julianne Hough's footsteps and be a guest judge someday.

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But first, we talked about the reasons why Jack wanted to sign up for Dancing with the Stars, including raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with in 2012. Read on for our exclusive interview to also find out if he would ever want to see his parents, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, compete on DWTS.

Jack, why did you decide to compete on Dancing with the Stars?

Jack Osbourne: There's a few reasons [why I joined DWTS]. For me, probably the most prominent is to help raise awareness for MS, and also to help break some of the stereotypes that are associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Did you have any reservations about going on the show?

Jack: Oh, absolutely. There's a ton of reservations. Health is probably the most prominent one. The unfortunately thing about MS is that you might be feeling great, fine and then go to bed totally normal, wake up the next day and not be so good. So there was definitely that concern. And it's also very physically demanding and can be stressful, and all those things traditionally aren't very good for people with MS. But fortunately, I've been good so far and have had no problems, so that's good. And then the other reservation was, can I actually dance?

Did you have any sort of experience with dancing before or was this completely new to you?

Jack: Completely new. Zero experience.

Cheryl, we've gotten to know you very well over the years on Dancing with the Stars, and all the different contestants that you've been paired up with. When starting rehearsals with Jack, how was that like getting to know each other, for both of you?

Cheryl Burke: It was pretty easy. We have similar personalities, I guess. And I think right away we kind of clicked in that way, so it was easy just to be ourselves. And we're both pretty sarcastic when it comes to our sense of humor, so right away it was just pretty easy to get along and start working together.

There's obviously going to be times when, either with Jack or any of your previous partners, either you're all disappointed over a low score or they're just not feeling up to dancing for whatever reason. So what do you do as their instructor and partner to help them through it?

Cheryl: You just have to keep them motivated and just try and give them positive reinforcement as much as possible and know that they can do it and get through it. It's a tough show because it's seven days a week. We have no days off, and the schedule's pretty grueling. So you just have to take it step by step. And every day's a new day and try and stay as positive as possible because this show can really run you down if you're caught in that head space of, 'Oh my gosh, I have to keep doing this over and over again.'

We're heading into Week 8, so you've done a lot of different dances at this point. Do you have a favorite of all the dances so far?

Jack: I really liked the Rumba, I like the Rumba. I also liked the Foxtrot, probably because it left a really positive feeling.

Cheryl: And you had three weeks to do it.

Jack: Yeah.

And on the flip side, is there a dance you hope you don't have to repeat again?

Jack: The Cha Cha.

Cheryl: Which we might have to.

Jack: Which I might have to do [tonight], depending on how the cards lie. But yeah, I'm not a Cha Cha man.

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There were two team dances this last week. And I have to say that I loved that you all danced to "What Does the Fox Say?" I thought that was fantastic. But Jack, did you find it easier at all to do a team dance vs. a routine with just you and Cheryl?

Jack: Yeah, it's a double edge sword doing a team dance because while you don't have to carry all the weight, you don't want to be the weakest link. So it's this fine balance of you've just got to figure out your role in things and kind of keep going. But I had a lot of fun. It was great training for the team dance because it's a change in pace, because things start to get super repetitive after a while. As far as when you learn things and how it goes, it doesn't really change. But it is cool we got to do that, it was great dancing with everyone.

Each episode is pretty standard. But once in a while, there's an added twist, like recently with the Switch-Up Challenge. So what is that like with everyone, both with the contestants and the professional dancers when they add a twist into the show?

Cheryl: It's pretty stressful because you have to learn more dances. And like with the Switch-Up, they could have put any style of dance that we may have never done before. So the training for that was pretty difficult because we had to go through all of the dances we've done in the last few weeks and add some extra dances on top of that. And this week, it's challenging because we'll either be doing the Cha Cha, Rumba or Disco. And you just have to make sure that it still has to be good because we're competing against somebody and we want those extra points. So we're basically training for four dances this week.

Recently, Julianne Hough filled in for Len Goodman at the judges' table. What did you think of her being a guest judge?

Cheryl: I thought it was a good idea. I think it's nice to have someone who's already been through this competition. And she knows how all the pros feel with all the stress, and the contestants, so it was nice to have whatever she said about all the ballroom technique. And she was basically Len, but a younger version. [Laughs.] So it was nice to have her there.

And would you ever consider being a guest judge yourself in the future, Cheryl?

Cheryl: I would love that. I think it would be cool to judge. And I've been on the show for 16 seasons, so I definitely know how everyone feels and all the stress and pressure that comes along with the competition. So it'd be awesome to be able to judge once, maybe.

Jack: At the end of the day, when we're all there, we're all judging no matter what.

Cheryl: Yeah, exactly.

Jack, we all know your family well. Your sister Kelly competed on DWTS before. Did she give you any advice when she found out you were going to be on the show?

Jack: She didn't really give me too much advice. She was just really excited that I was going to wear sequined clothes and bell-bottoms. But the one thing she did tell me was, don't hold back. You just got to go head-first into this show because people who always have reservations and have one foot out the door that never--was what she said--that never really do well. So you just got to dive right in there.

And we've seen your parents in the audience. Since both you and Kelly have competed, could you ever see your parents [Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne] doing this as well?


Jack: My mom has actually signed up for the show, like, three times and had to back out because of scheduling reasons. She grew up dancing. It's funny because Derek and Julianne [Hough] and Mark [Ballas] all went to the same dance school she went to in England. So she was somewhat of a trained dancer in her youth, and she loves dancing, so I don't know. Maybe one day I could see her doing this show, but not anytime soon -- she's too busy.

Before we go, can you give us a sneak peek for Monday, what your dance is going to be like? We know that Cher is going to be involved.


Cheryl: It's going to be all Cher music, so everything we dance to is going to be a song that Cher has sung. She's going to be performing and judging. And we're dancing a Tango to one of her songs. 


Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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