On Monday’s live episode of Dancing with the Stars, 20-year-old Kordei opened up about being bullied online after an interview that she did was “taken out of context.”.
“The piece is so symbolic of times that I’ve felt helpless and desperate,” Kordei said about her week eight contemporary number with Val Chmerkovskiy.
“I got bullied terribly on social media. I did an interview. It was taken out of context completely and there were images. People were calling me the N word. It was really ugly,” she explained. “It was every time I went online it’s ‘Oh, how much we hate you. How talentless you are.’ They actually made images of me being whipped, beaten, hung.”
“I shouldn’t want to change the color of my skin or texture of my hair or the fact that I’m a woman. I felt really alone,” said the Fifth Harmony member. “And just like everybody hated me.”
“We all want to be loved. We all want to feel accepted, but when that doesn’t happen, then it just breaks you,” she admitted.
As a result of the cyber-bullying, Kordei admitted that she “became a super guarded person.”
But she didn’t let that keep her from living out her dreams and passions.
“At the end of the day I have to be me. I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m proud of that person and I love who you are,’ ” Kordei explained about fighting past the negative comments.
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After her emotional contemporary number with Chmerkovskiy, the singer hugged her pro partner as her eyes welled up while she listened to the judges’ positive comments — and was awarded a perfect 40/40.
“You’re doing more than just dance. You’re creating art and you’re creating history,” Julianne Hough said about the dance.
“First of all, I want to say that I’m sorry for all that you’ve been through with the cyberbullying. but tonight, what I saw on this floor thanks to Val, your incredible choreography and vision for this dance, was healing. Not only for you … not only did you heal — you offered all of us healing and I think at this moment in life, we could all use that,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. “So I thank you for such a profound moment tonight. ”
Although Len Goodman typically doesn’t enjoy contemporary dances, the head judge also had rave reviews for Kordei.
“Throughout that dance, you could have heard a pin drop from this whole audience,” said Goodman. “They were spellbound and so was I.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.