Parade: Celebrity

Monday, Mar 25 2013 09:00 AM

Brooke Burke-Charvet's Early 'Dancing With the Stars' Favorites

By Parade Magazine
You wouldn't be able to tell from watching last week's Dancing With the Stars premiere, but host Brooke Burke-Charvet went through a cancer scare—and surgery—just a few months ago.

But as we saw last week, she's back to her busy schedule filming DWTS, plus playing mom to four kids, looking and feeling as healthy as ever. "I feel great. I'm cancer-free, and everything went really well," she said. "I'm actually done, healed, and everything's good."

Further marking her comeback, Burke-Charvet, 41, recently made headlines for her Health magazine cover story in which she declared: "I'm a woman. I'm a wife. I'm a mother of four. I don't want to look like a 25-year-old anymore."

Burke-Charvet talked to Parade.com at a screening of her Claritin Clear Challenge video about who her early DWTS favorites are and becoming the poster child of aging gracefully.

On her sixth season of hosting DWTS and why she still loves it.
"Every season is different and new with different people, which keeps it fresh. I love live television and you never know what to expect. I feel like I get to know everybody just like the rest of America does. I like this cast so far. We've only done one show and everyone was scared to death Monday night, but I'm excited."

On what she thinks of this year's cast.
"I actually did a sitcom with Andy Dick quite some time ago. I like the comedy. I like the blend of the cast. I was really excited that we've got Zendaya. My children are thrilled about her, because they're huge Shake It Up fans. It was also nice to not see any trainwrecks, or anyone there for shock value, but just to have a little bit of everything. We have Olympic champions, and of course our ballers. It just seems like a really well rounded group to bring in a younger audience."

On her favorite contestants (so far!).
"Zendaya was amazing. Kellie Pickler looked great. And I keep saying Andy Dick, not because he might be the most talented dancer, but I just love his honesty and vulnerability. I really appreciate that and I think America's really going to relate to that and root for him, his underdog story. It takes a lot to really be able to be brutally honest on the show and so I really appreciate that."

On the inevitable eliminations.
"It's awful to be the first one to go, for anyone. I'm not emotionally attached to anyone yet because we literally just did one Monday night, but I honestly hate Tuesday nights all season long and it only gets harder. There's sort of this energy, this sadness in the ballroom."

On getting back to a fresh group of stars.
"I thought [the All-Stars season] was great TV because it was like watching a finale every week. But I think to be one of the contestants—I would never have signed up to compete against that caliber of dancers. I do think this season is an opportunity to see someone grow and develop and learn how to dance, which is the fun of the show."

On the judges' styles.
"They're all so different. They come from such different backgrounds and I do think they're all constructive. Carrie Ann [Inaba] seems to be a little more about entertainment and a little bit more free and contemporary style. Len [Goodman] is our strict, grumpy one. But I love Len. They're all different."

On becoming the poster child of aging gracefully.
"I'm so happy if I can inspire women to really embrace themselves and feel powerful enough to make changes when they want to. It's a compliment, it makes me feel really good. I think it's really about a healthy state of mind, and I think for a woman, it's about being your best self at any age. I've always tried to live a healthy lifestyle and teaching my children healthy habits and fitness is a big part of my life, but it's also about being comfortable in your skin at every age, even when we're getting older! I was surprised at how much attention that [Health magazine] quote got. But it's true. We should try to be our best, but not necessarily try to turn back the hands of time.

On choosing her dresses for the show.
"It's really difficult. There's 20 or 21 looks that we have to create every season. I have a great stylist, and we sit down at the beginning of the season and try on probably 50 dresses and narrow it down and then do two or three more fittings throughout the season. It's really a collaboration and a joint effort in the dressing room. It's a lot of looks, head to toe. It's like going to 20 Oscars a year. And then we have network approval. There's a whole lot of steps."

On filming the Claritin Clear commercial with three of her four kids.
"I did a commercial with them that didn't go as well as we would've liked a long time ago. You never know at their age. But I thought they were great sports, they all got their lines, and they all had a really great time doing it."

Watch Burke-Charvet's Claritin commercial:




Related
'Dancing With the Stars' Recap: Who Triumphed and Who Stumbled?


'Dancing with the Stars': The Contestants Who Were Eliminated First

Brooke Burke-Charvet Announces Thyroid Cancer Scare

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