The Partner Sharna Burgess Couldn't Stand Working With On DWTS

Sharna Burgess was a pro dancer on "Dancing With the Stars" for 14 seasons. The Australian dancer was partnered with everyone from singer Nick Carter to her real-life love, Brian Austin Green, during her long reign on the ABC celebrity ballroom show. She even won a mirrorball trophy (albeit a controversial one) with partner Bobby Bones. But one of Burgess' other partnerships turned out to be the worst.

When Burgess and Bones won "DWTS" in Season 27, some felt it was underserved and based on popularity, not dance skills. In turn, Bones and Burgess received some backlash and Burgess was not asked back for Season 28 of the TV dance competition. When she did return for Season 29 in 2020, she had a bad experience. "They had me back the following season and I had a partner that was really difficult — and not say too much because I don't want to — I wasn't able to be in the room alone with him after the first couple of weeks because of things that happened," she revealed in a September episode of the "Old-ish" podcast. "That was rocky, and we were eliminated very quickly."

Burgess did not name the partner she was talking about, but it wasn't hard to figure out that she was referring to actor Jesse Metcalfe, her partner for season 29. "I mean, she made it pretty obvious, right? Like she did say after she won with Bobby Bones, so, I mean, you guys just need to Google it," Burgess' co-star Cheryl Burke told Entertainment Tonight in September.

Sharna Burgess shared the details of her difficult partnership

A few weeks after making the initial comments about her "difficult" partner, Sharna Burgess was a guest on fellow dance pro Cheryl Burke's podcast, "Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans." During the chat, she reiterated that she felt uncomfortable with the mystery dance partner she referenced on "Old-ish." "I had a situation with a partner where it got to the point where we couldn't be alone in a room without people watching," Burgess told Burke. She went on to explain that the partnership took place during the early days of COVID-19 protocol. "We didn't have everyone watching all the cameras all the time," she said. "We were scaling back on our crew. Some rehearsals weren't watched or recorded. That was a difficult situation for me."

Burgess added that she was able to record "some things" that went down and ultimately went through the appropriate channels to have incidents documented. She noted that the situation with her partner "was not sexual in any nature," but added, "I did go to the proper people and there were reports made and I was taken care of."

The partner in question, of course, was actor Jesse Metcalfe, and their partnership was short-lived. They were the fourth couple eliminated on Season 29. At the time, Burgess told "Good Morning America" she felt the actor had "so much more" to give on the dance floor. "He came into this with zero dance background or ability next to people that have a lot of it, so I thought he was doing an amazing job," she said. "I'm so sad, I feel like we got cut really short. I do."

Jesse Metcalfe responded to Sharna Burgess' claims

Before September, Jesse Metcalfe had nothing but nice things to say about Sharna Burgess. In 2020, he gushed to Hello! about the incredible chemistry he had with the pro dancer. "She's very beautiful and I think is the perfect partner for me," he told the outlet. But he did allude to some possible behind-the-scenes drama. "I'm a very strong person too so I need someone with the strength to put me in my place when necessary," Metcalfe said. "It's been a wild ride between Sharna and I as well, but we are in an amazing place right now."

But following Burgess' comments about her easy-to-identify Season 29 partner, Metcalfe's rep fired back with a statement to Fox News Digital and other outlets. "If she is referring to a time where our client Jesse Metcalfe worked with Ms. Burgess four years ago, the only recollection was that they didn't get along," read the statement. "Vague insinuations are not only reckless but also irrelevant. Our client is a gentleman and has chosen to take the high road. There is no story here." The rep also insinuated Burgess made the claims simply to promote her newly launched podcast, "Old-ish."

Days later, Burgess told the New York Post she had no interest in rehashing a situation that was taken care of years ago. "It was handled with the legal team and 'Dancing With the Stars,'" she said of the alleged incidents with Metcalfe. Of her relationship with the "Desperate Housewives" actor following her not-so-cryptic comments about Season 29, she added, "He hasn't reached out to me."