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Sharna Burgess: Bonner Bolton's looks worked against us, 'Dancing with the Stars' judges were a little unfair


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/09/2017 

Sharna Burgess may not have expected Bonner Bolton to last eight weeks on Dancing with the Stars, but that doesn't mean the couple's Monday night elimination wasn't a big letdown.

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"I think it definitely comes with disappointment," Sharna said of being eliminated during a Good Morning America appearance on Tuesday with the former professional bull rider sitting by her side.

"Everybody wants to go all the way. We're competitors at the end of the day but also incredibly grateful we made it to the Top 5 of Dancing with the Stars. How incredibly proud I am of this man. We had no idea we were going to get that far."

Bonner had obvious physical limitations in the dancing competition -- mainly a stiff back -- due to breaking his neck in a 2016 accident when a bull threw him onto the ground and trampled over his head in a crowded arena.

Bonner was briefly paralyzed from the neck down and informed by doctors there would only be a one to five percent chance he'd ever walk again.

Although Bonner said trying to dance was "incredibly hard" considering there's metal holding his spine together and Dancing with the Stars' judges gave them pretty low scores every week, the model and Sharna maintained a positive attitude and definitely impressed fans.

"I think he was inspiring so many people that they just wanted to keep seeing him get out there and do his best," Sharna said on GMA.

But Sharna suggested the Dancing with the Stars judges probably could've cut Bonner some more slack. Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Julianne Hough often commented on Bonner's "stiff" body and sometimes awkward delivery -- issues Bonner claims he could not correct, even with practice.

"It's something internally that makes him stiff and does stop him from moving, and he does not have the ability that other people do. And so to compare him to [other contestants] is a little unfair," Sharna said on GMA.

"To constantly get the comment, 'Oh, you looked a little stiff.' He's part metal in his spine. He's gonna!"

The pro dancer and Australian beauty also explained it didn't work to Bonner's advantage that he appears fit and strong on the outside. Sharna acknowledged it was probably easy for people to forget Bonner's struggles watching him dance week to week.
 
"I think it did work against us. He looks so fit. You don't realize he has a disability. It's not Noah Galloway where you can see the amputations and it's not an Amy Purdy where she has no feet," Sharna noted.

Now that Bonner has rehearsed and performed for over eight weeks, however, Sharna revealed he's stronger and more agile than ever. And for that "incredible" turn of events, she's "so thankful."


Sharna Burgess/Instagram

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