Ally Brooke Recalls How DWTS Mentally 'Destroyed' Her, Wanted to Quit Over 'Hate' from Fans
The Fifth Harmony alum said on The Ally Brooke Show that she wanted to quit season 28 of Dancing with the Stars after reaching the finale over front runner James Van Der Beek
The 27-year-old Fifth Harmony alum recently reunited with her former DWTS season 28 partner, Sasha Farber, on the latest episode of her YouTube series, The Ally Brooke Show. The friends reflected on the online hate they received after being saved by the judges during the semifinal round, sending home the fan-favorite pair of James Van Der Beek and his partner, Emma Slater, Farber's wife.
"It was one of the worst moments for me," said Brooke, who ultimately placed third on the ABC dance competition. "I felt that I had excelled so much and it was a personal journey. It was horrible."
Speaking to reporters at the time of her DWTS elimination, Brooke said: "You just don't know what's going to happen on this show. I danced my heart out and one by one they called different names and then it dwindled down to the bottom two, and unfortunately, I was in the bottom two and unfortunately, James was as well. In that moment I just felt so wrong to just stand there. I felt like I really needed to just stand up and give it to James."
On the recent episode of her online series, Brooke noted that Van Der Beek's surprise elimination came just hours after his wife, Kimberly, suffered a miscarriage.
"Him having the strength to still go on the show and perform and dance. To me it just did not make sense," Brooke said of the Dawson's Creek alum, 44, landing in the bottom two with her and Farber at the time. "I'm like, 'This does not make sense. There's no way. I know America is rooting for him and voted for him.' It was just a bunch of mixed emotions. I thought, 'Oh, I'm definitely not going to the finals because they're going to choose him.' "
The decision for the judges to ultimately save Brooke and send Van Der Beek home in fifth place, the singer said, led to such intense backlash from fans that she wanted to quit the show before the finale and give her spot to Van Der Beek — but the actor refused.
"I just remember after the show I wanted to quit. I was done," she told Farber, 37. "It was such an emotional punching bag for me. You don't understand how much that can destroy someone. That destroyed me."
The singer also said the tough time brought her back to her up-and-down experiences on X-Factor and in Fifth Harmony.
"My audition aired and I got so much hate there and that tore me apart," she recalled. "And then also, brought back a lot of memories of getting online hate for my body or my dancing in Fifth Harmony. It was just so much negativity," she said. "And I just felt like man, 'I can't take this.' And I really talked to my management and I talked to my parents about like, 'Mom and Dad, I don't want to be here. I want to give my spot to James.' And I ended up talking to him saying, 'I want to give this to you.' We had a beautiful one-on-one moment in the trailer and he was James. Such a beautiful soul."
While training for the DWTS finale episode at the time, Brooke said she "wasn't enjoying anything" and "was in a negative space" due to the online hate.
"I felt so bad for being there and obviously getting that hate does something to your mind. It poisons it and it just brings you so much pain and sadness and this heaviness," she summarized.
But with help from her inspiring chat with Van Der Beek, Brooke managed to get herself back into a positive mindset to stay focused on her final performances, which left her in third place behind runner-up Kel Mitchell and winner Hannah Brown.
"As sad as I was, I dug deep and I just felt all that positivity and I started to get so much love online," she said, adding to Farber, "And love from you, of course."