DWTS: Cody Rigsby, Cheryl Burke Dance First-Ever Remote Performance After Breakthrough COVID
Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke danced separately but together for the first time in Dancing with the Stars history.
On Monday, which was a Britney Spears-themed night, the pair performed a jazz routine virtually from their respective homes to the 2007 hit "Gimme More" after both tested positive for breakthrough cases of COVID-19. Burke, 37, first announced her diagnosis on Sept. 26 and Rigsby, 34, shared the news of his breakthrough case last Thursday, admitting it was news he didn't "want to be sharing."
In pre-taped clips shown before their dance, Rigsby and Burke gave updates about their health. "Thankfully we're both feeling really good," she said.
"I'm feeling great but now this comes with a bunch of different setbacks. I've got to break down my living room, I've got to set up an entire camera setup and I've got to learn choreography all from my home," he said. "If you thought you were going to count me out during Britney night, think again America. If anything I've learned from Britney Spears, it's a comeback baby."
They received an 18 out of 30 for their performance. Judge Derek Hough was not present due to a "potential COVID exposure," according to host Tyra Banks.
"I've been waiting 34 years for this performance. I can't believe I got to do this, I'm just excited," the Peloton star told Banks virtually.
Shortly before the show, the pro dancer documented her at-home hair and makeup process while she was alone in her makeshift ballroom. "A day of firsts! Get ready with me… #dwts," she tweeted along with the video.
Last Monday, during the second week of competition, Rigsby and Burke were not present in the ballroom "out of an abundance of caution," host Tyra Banks said at the top of the show.
Later in the show, the scoring method for Rigsby and Burke was based on their taped rehearsal at the DWTS practice studio which was filmed "before Burke's positive COVID test" was known. Their salsa earned them a score of 24 out of 40.
Rigsby previously told Burke on her Pretty Messed Up podcast that he "got hit pretty hard" with symptoms after he contracted COVID-19 in January. "It took me a lot to bounce back," he said. "Even returning to physical activity, it took me like, five weeks after my diagnosis to even feel normal. It's a work in progress."
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays on ABC.
Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are unlikely, but possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99% — are in unvaccinated people.