The Australian ballroom dancer was absent from Tuesday night’s episode, which saw past and present pros perform a tribute to the late judge Len Goodman.
British dancer Goodman, known in the UK for his 12-year spell judging Strictly Come Dancing, died in April aged 78.
He served on DWTS for 17 years – nearly its entire history.
The tribute dance included the likes of Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Kym Johnson-Herjavec, Tony Dovolani, Jenna Johnson, Anna Trebunskaya, Edyta Śliwińska, Karina Smirnoff, Mark Ballas, Louis van Amstel, and Derek and Julianne Hough.
Despite having appeared on 14 seasons of the hit ABC series, Burgess was a notable absence from the routine. The dancer skipped the show’s 31st season after having her first child with Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Green; however, was shocked when she was not invited back for the current 32nd season.
“I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I was for @sharnaburgess to not be invited for the tribute last night,” Green wrote about his partner on Instagram.
“It’s disappointing as well that none of her ‘family in the ballroom’ stuck up for her or spoke out. She’s an incredible soul and has always been a friend to everyone. She deserved better.”
The actor, who competed alongside Burgess in 2021’s season 30, added: “She wasn’t even invited to sit in the stands and watch. Shame on that group of people. Kindness is an action, and so is love @cherylburke should have been there as well.”
The Independent has contacted Disney, which owns ABC, for comment.
Burgess spoke about her fiancé’s reaction to her absence on her own Instagram Story, saying that being excluded from the tribute “hurt more” than not being invited back for season 32.
“My man has seen me be super upset (again) about the show I love. Last night was hard and he listened to me while I shared my heart,” she wrote. “I haven’t made a single comment publicly about the tribute because of a few reasons. Firstly. I know it’s not about me it’s about Len and the honour he deserved. Secondly. This hurt more than not being asked back and I’m working through it, thirdly. Sharing feelings on here often gets met with a few negative people who believe I didn’t deserve to be there anyway. So why open myself up to it.”
She continued: “But my man that loves me deeply and has listened to me share and cry had enough [a]nd shared his frustration. He like me, just [didn’t] understand why. I love him for wanting to defend me even though he didn’t need to. I would do the same no doubt we fight hardest for those we love when we tend to just take whatever is thrown at us in our own life.”
Burgess called the tribute “stunning” and said she cried watching her former co-stars dancing for the late judge. “Tears of celebration and joy and gratitude for how much Len did for ballroom and for all of our careers,” she concluded. “The performance was perfect and classic and technically brilliant. Val and Jenna created magic and Len absolutely would’ve loved it.”
“Remember 2 things can be true. I can love and support the show, feel joy for those who were there, and also feel sad about me not being there,” she added.
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