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Cheryl Burke Applauds ‘Very Real’ Tyra Banks as ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Host

Creating a unit! Cheryl Burke, who has competed on Dancing With the Stars for 23 seasons, couldn’t be happier with the way that Tyra Banks is adjusting to her role as host of season 29.

Related: Every 'Dancing With the Stars' Pro Through the Years: Where Are They Now?

“It’s really refreshing, I think, to see her just basically call herself out from certain things. When that happened with the missed results — whatever happened — she handled it pretty well,” the two-time DWTS champ, 36, told Us Weekly on Monday, October 19. “She’s like ‘Guys this is live television, it is what it is,’ and she’s very real. She’s not just like reading a teleprompter.”

Burke noted that the former supermodel, 46, is “ad-libbing” a lot and really working hard to bring the cast closer together.

“As much as she can without us being so close, at a distance, she’s really trying to interact as much as possible,” the professional dancer added. “I think she’s great. She really is. And I look forward to seeing what she’s wearing every week!”

Cheryl Burke Applauds Very Real Tyra Banks as Dancing With the Stars Host
Cheryl Burke and Tyra Banks Kelsey McNeal/ABC; Eric McCandless/ABC

The Modelland author stepped in for season 29 after ABC shockingly cut longtime hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. Although she’s received a great deal of criticism from fans since stepping into the role, the America’s Next Top Model creator never lets that get her down.

Related: Tyra Banks’ Hosting Duties Through the Years: From ‘ANTM’ to ‘DWTS’

“Every host messes up. It’s just normal. It’s live TV. If it wasn’t live, there would be no mess-ups,” she told Us exclusively last month. “Even on America’s Next Top Model, I would mess up and tell my editors to leave it in. That’s what makes things human and makes it live.”

She also doesn’t strive for perfection as a host.

“If I didn’t want to mess up, if I wanted to be perfect, I know how to do that,” the Tyra’s Beauty, Inside and Out author added. “There’s a very clear way as a host that you just read the words and you’re perfect and you know exactly how to do that. But when you’re relaxed and you keep it real, the mess-ups happen. And the producer in me knows that even though somebody might be like, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re messing up!’ It’s live, and it’s real. It’s better than being like a doll.”

Related: Dancing With the Stars’ Winners Through the Years: Where Are They Now?

The former FABLife host added: “I know how to read a prompter perfectly, but I also skip around prompter to make it as real as possible, knowing that when you skip around prompter, you’re going to mess up. It’s just normal and it keeps it real.”

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Kayley Stumpe

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