After Bonner Bolton and pro partner Sharna Burgess brought the heat to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom on Monday evening, audiences were left wondering if things are sizzling between them off-camera.
On the season 24 premiere, Bolton and Burgess performed a steamy cowboy-themed cha cha. During the live show, while host Erin Andrews interviewed fellow competitors Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd, Twitter users caught bull rider Bolton, 29, absentmindedly putting his arm around his dancing partner’s waist as he gazed upwards at a screen. Cameras also caught his hand falling between Burgess’ thighs before she quickly and discreetly relocated it.
But despite the footage, both Bonner and Burgess assure that the grab was an unintentional mistake.
“I was watching Peta [Murgatroyd] and Nick [Viall] up there and I really had no idea. I knew it was her that bumped into me and I put my arm around her and I was turned to watch the TV screen and I felt her push my hand away and honestly had no idea,” Bolton told Extra.
“You can see when I move his hand that he had no idea where it was. He has no reaction and it was such an innocent mistake that was truly blown so far out of proportion,” added Burgess, 31. “I didn’t think anything of it. I also didn’t think the cameras were right on us at that point either until I saw my Twitter feed blow up. … He was mortified.”
Bonner also said that he has “all the respect in the world” for Burgess and that the mishap was “an honest mistake.”
FROM COINAGE: The Cost of Dancing with the Stars’ Mirrorball Trophy
So, is the duo anything more than an official DWTS pairing when the cameras aren’t rolling?
According to Burgess, no. “We are not a couple,” the pro dancer told Extra.
Speaking with PEOPLE after the show on Monday, Bolton admitted, “I was telling her before we started tonight, ‘I can’t look at you for too long. I might get distracted. That’s why I might miss some of my steps.’ She’s obviously beautiful.”
Burgess added: “Look, we have a lot of chemistry and we have a lot of fun, but first and foremost we are trying to do a really great job in this competition. I want Bonner to be around until the end and I want to take this man to the finale. That is our priority. Everyone is making a lot of our really obvious chemistry.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.