The ballroom is heating up, thanks to Brooke Burke's latest confession.
"I just thought [Derek] was so young and green and safe," Brooke said on the Oct. 8 episode of Cheryl Burke's Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast. "I had no idea he would be such a powerful, badass choreographer."
However, as the pair got to know one another throughout the season, producers arranged for the partners to enter couples therapy, as they weren't "gelling." Shortly after, Brooke ended up "crushing on Derek."
"Had I not been married, I would have actually hoped we would have had a love affair," admitted the television host, who was married to actor David Charvet at the time. "You are intertwined with someone's body when you're a dancer. There is no way that I have ever been so connected—besides with a lover or a husband—than I was with Derek."
And Brooke largely credits the therapy for helping them get on the same page and ultimately win the mirror ball trophy.
She continued, "Something magical happened; we found faith in each other, at least I did, and we decided to win."
Further explaining the bond, Brooke noted, "So for three months, you are in someone's arms. Why do you think people fall in love?"
Her time on DWTS not only included performing in front of a live audience week after week, but also daily rehearsals and putting her complete trust in Derek.
"It can be more intimate than making love in a bedroom—you're making love on a dance floor, you feel more connected," Brooke confessed. "If you have energy, you're doing this dance and you're in the rhythm, and then there's trust, then you're sharing fear, you're doing something you've never done. How many times do you go through an experience with someone where they're all you've got?"
But it still wasn't all smooth sailing for the teammates.
"He was really tough, he was really hard on me," Brooke said of Derek's teaching style. "I'm OK with tough love. He did not love me through routines and support me, and tell me that it was amazing. He was brutally honest."
As for how her time on the show impacted her marriage to David? Well, the answer may surprise listeners.
"It was great on my marriage," Brooke shared. "I was exhausted at night but David really knew how to show up. My family really took over to pick up the slack in raising each other. David was really supportive and he is also a bit of a performer so he understood the pressure." (The pair went on to separate in 2018 and finalized their divorce in 2020.)
Now to see all the Dancing With the Stars relationships that actually happened off the show, keep reading...