Amanda Kloots' time on Dancing With the Stars with pro partner Alan Bersten has helped her open a new chapter of her life. The Talk co-host lost husband Nick Cordero in July 2020 after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 complications for more than three months before his death at 41, and has since been stepping out of her shell on the ABC dance competition with Bersten by her side.
"This was an unexpected thing for me, but I lost Nick, and when you lose that person in your life, you become very independent again," she told Us Weekly ahead of Monday's finale, which saw Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach walk away with the Mirrorball Trophy. Becoming so independent as she began raising their 2-year-old son Elvis as a newly-single mother brought about questions about her future.
"'When will I be able to trust somebody again?'" the AK! Fitness founder recalled asking herself. "'When will I have, like, a great connection with somebody, again? When will I feel comfortable with somebody hugging me again?' Or, you know, just all of the things that come with getting close to somebody, especially a male, after losing her husband."
Becoming so close with Bersten helped "bridge that gap," Kloots explained. I told him the other day, I said, 'You know, this experience ... how wonderful you've been has really helped me like bridge that gap. It's been so nice getting to know you and feeling comfortable with you and seeing you every day and trusting you and crying with you and going for goals with you,'" she shared. "I said, 'It's really helped me move forward in my life and that I did not expect to happen.'"
Bersten has become "a lot more than a dancing partner," Kloots continued, becoming a "best friend" as well. Working together during long and intense days of dancing wasn't easy, but the former Broadway performer said she appreciated her partner's pushing her to another level. "Alan is a tough teacher. He has been tough on me, but he's really good at reading people and reading my personality," she explained. "[But he was] able to push me hard. I like tough."