For a show that has been on for sixteen seasons, Dancing With the Stars has made sure not to stay stagnant. Though the general format of the show and the main cast — host, judges, and many pros — are the same, they add different dance styles and twists every year.

However, there’s one thing that has definitely changed this season, according to pro Cheryl Burke: the judges are nastier than ever!

During a chat with Zimbio, D.L. Hughley’s partner revealed that she thinks the “criticism has not been constructive” for them, making it an “emotional ride” — especially for someone new to the game.

“I think it's hard and it's not very encouraging, especially for someone with no dance experience, to kind of be talked to like that,” she continued. “It's been a surprise for me. I haven't seen the judges get this nasty in a while.”

With that said, Cheryl insists that it can only go up from here. On Monday’s episode, they have some big plans in store, and hopefully they will be able to keep the pair out of the Bottom 3.

“The theme for next week is ‘The Best Year of Your Life,' so it's D.L.'s best year of his life,” she dished. “And he has a really great story and we'll be dancing a foxtrot, so I'm really excited about it.”

For Cheryl, D.L. has already accomplished so much since he was afraid of dancing, so she’s proud of however far they go.

“He doesn't take himself too seriously, but at the same time he's trying hard,” she said, praising her partner. “You know, he did this show because he's trying to conquer his fear of dancing. So we're having a great time and we're still so happy to be here right now.”

Do you think Cheryl and D.L. will make it far? Sound off below.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Source: Zimbio