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Brooke Burke Admits She Wanted to Have an Affair With "DWTS" Partner Derek Hough

The TV personality and pro won their season back in 2008.

Dancing With the Stars is all about finding out which celebrities are secretly great ballroom dancers—and which ones are definitely not—but over the years, there's been another reason for fans to tune in: to see if any of the pros and stars fall for each other. Real romances, as well as plenty of romance rumors, have come out during the show's 18 years on the air, and one star just admitted that she nearly added herself to that list. In a new interview, Dancing With the Stars Season 7 winner Brooke Burke said that she wanted to have an affair with Derek Hough when they were partnered on the show.

Brooke, famous for being a model and a TV host, was not only in a relationship at the time, but she also didn't get along with Hough that well initially. Eventually, she revealed on a podcast, she bonded with him in such a way that she felt they were more than just partners. The 52-year-old's explanation for why she developed feelings for Hough echo what a former DWTS pro recently said about celebrity contestants being confused by the closeness required in ballroom dancing. Read on to find out more.

RELATED: The Most Hated TV Couples of All Time.

Brooke and Hough had a rough start.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough on "DWTS"

On the podcast Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans, hosted by DWTS pro Cheryl Burke, Brooke shared that she and Hough had a rocky start as dance partners.

"We were completely disconnected. We were in our own world, and yet we were a partnership, we were a team … [but] we weren't behaving like teammates," she said (via People).

Brooke said that their issues involved the very different places they were in their lives. Hough was 23 years old, while Brooke was 37 and had recently welcomed her fourth child. She explained that Hough "was exhausted. He was recording an album at night. I had a three-month-old baby. I was fried, up all night, training all day … My body was, like, depleted. I was also hormonal … I was a woman and a mother. I felt like he was a young man. We just… we weren't meeting each other in a place that was serving us."

The two then met with a life coach as part of the show, who encouraged them to be honest with each other and be "in it to win it." The session worked so well that they ended up winning that season's Mirrorball Trophy—and Brooke developed a crush on Hough.

RELATED: Cheryl Burke Says She Was "Out of Line" for Slamming This DWTS Celeb.

Brooke wanted to have an affair with Hough.

Brooke Burke at the premiere of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" in 2008
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

In 2008, Brooke was in a relationship with actor David Charvet with whom she has two children. They later married in 2011, but split in 2018.

On the podcast, Brooke said of Hough, "Had I not been married … I would have actually hoped we would have had a love affair." She added, "I don't think I've ever said that."

Cheryl noted that her fellow pro Hough had been telling her behind the scenes about "how hot" Brooke was. She said Brooke's reveal was going to make him "freak out in a good way."

Brooke said dancing felt "more intimate than making love."

Derek Hough at the City of Hope Benefit Concert in 2008
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Brooke went on to explain why she felt such an attraction to her dance partner.

"I would have had an affair with him," she said. "But listen, let me tell you why: You are intertwined with someone's body when you're not 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 it's every single day. So, for people listening, for three months, you are in someone's arms. Why do you think people fall in love? You smell them, you feel them, you're breathing with them."

She added, "It can be more intimate than making love in a bedroom—you're, like, making love on the dance floor, if you're really connected. 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?"

RELATED: Ali MacGraw "Knew" She'd Have Affair With Co-Star Steve McQueen: "I Was Obsessed."

A DWTS pro recently explained why so many celebrities go through what Brooke describes.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley at the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" premiere in 2011
s_bukley / Shutterstock

In his own recent interview on Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans, former DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy gave a similar explanation of why stars start to feel romantically connected to their partners. He said that non-dancers misconstrue the physical closeness of dancing, because it's not something they're used to.

"Kirstie Alley, rest in peace, I've said it many times. It makes total sense. She's like, 'You're so flirty.' I'm like, 'Me?'" Chmerkovskiy said of his two-time celebrity dance partner. He asked her why she kept saying that.

"She's like, 'Well, look where you're placing your hands.' What?! Where am I placing my hands?" he said. "'It's not your butt! I'm placing my hand onto your center of gravity where I can move you. I'm helping you! Because if I place it on your shoulder [you're] gonna keel over and fall.'" He added, "It's that. It's the misunderstanding of close proximity."

Chmerkovskiy also said that the dancers exude a certain type of "sexual energy." He explained, "That type of sexual energy, because they walk in and you're standing there with Sasha [Farber] with his chest open, Val [Chmerkovskiy] with his shirt off and abs, Maks with his v-neck [shirt], this, that, or the other. We're just obnoxiously out of this world and people wouldn't understand what to do with us."

Brooke and Hough remained friends.

Brooke and Hough didn't end up having an affair, but they did remain friends and both continued to be part of DWTS. Brooke hosted the series from 2010 to 2013. Hough is still on the show today, but now as a judge.

As reported by People, in 2019, the two vacationed together in Mexico along with Brooke's now-fiancé Scott Rigsby and Hough's now-wife Hayley Erbert. They were also joined by Hough's sister, Julianne Hough, and her then-husband Brooks Laich.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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