Ally Brooke is opening up about her emotional experience on Dancing With the Stars, talking on the latest episode of The Ally Brooke Show with former dance partner Sasha Farber about the moment she wanted to "quit" the show. The former Fifth Harmony singer, DWTS fans will remember, was saved by the judges over James Van Der Beek shortly after he learned that his wife had experienced a miscarriage, advancing her and Farber to the finals over the Dawson's Creek star.
In the moment, Brooke attempted to surrender her spot to Van Der Beek on live TV, for which the eliminated competitor would later call her an "angel" in a social media tribute, but the moment and its aftermath still haunt Brooke. Farber recalled of the moment, "I remember at one point you were like 'No, no, no. I want to give my position away to James.' And I was like standing there, my wife is crying, James was crying, you're crying. I was crying… You know, it's crazy. This is just a TV show, it's just a dance show, but people build such strong bonds."
Brooke agreed it was a "horrible" situation, especially the week Van Der Beek experienced such a loss in his family. "Him having the strength to still go on the show and perform and dance, to me it just did not make sense," she recalled. "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."
The hate she received in the aftermath was enough to push Brooke to the edge. "I just remember after the show I wanted to quit. I want to give this to James. I don't want to be here. I was done. It was such an emotional punching bag for me and then on top of that I got a lot of hate because the judges saved me," she explained, adding that people don't understand how much that kind of public pressure can "destroy someone."
The experience ended up bringing her back to the "really bad space" she was in after her original X-Factor audition, which garnered "so much hate" that "tore [her] apart." She continued, "Then also, [it] brought back a lot of memories of getting online hate for like, you know, my body or my dancing in Fifth Harmony. I just felt like man, I can't take this." Farber and Brooke ended up placing third their season, while Bachelorette Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten went on to take home the win.