As Dancing with the Stars nears the finale, there are bound to be emotional eliminations. However, this week's elimination was even more emotional after one contestant made an extremely personal announcement, and another one tried to give up her spot.
James Van Der Beek announced that he and his wife Kimberley had lost their baby, who was due in April.
“My wife Kimberly and I went through every expecting parent’s worst nightmare. We lost the baby,” he said. “The little soul that we had expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond. You never know why these things happen, that’s what I’ve been telling my kids. All you know is that it brings you closer together, it breaks you open, it opens your heart, it deepens your appreciation. It makes you more human.”
Van Der Beek posted about the miscarriage on Instagram as well.
Wrecked. Devastated. In shock. That’s how we’re feeling right now after the soul we thought were going to welcome into our family in April... has taken a short cut to whatever lies beyond this life. We’ve been through this before, but never this late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to @vanderkimberly and her well-being. Grateful that she’s now recovering, but we’ve only just begun unpacking the layers of this one. Thank you to all of our friends and co-workers (and dance partners) who have shown up for us so beautifully during this time. As many of you have said, “There are no words...” and it’s true. Which is why in a time like this it’s enough to know that you’re there. Grieving AND counting our blessings today.
He had contemplated competing at all on Monday, considering the miscarriage happened over the weekend, but it was Kimberly who pushed Van Der Beek to perform. Sadly, after landing himself in the bottom, the judges voted to save Ally Brooke instead of him. Brooke was immediately distraught, asking host Tom Bergeron if she could give up her spot to Van Der Beek.
"Can I give it to James please?" she begged.
"No, no. That's lovely of you, but..." Bergeron replied.
The show continued on, but after the episode Brooke spoke with the media about her choice to try and give up her spot to her fellow contestant. She said that Van Der Beek wouldn't let her do it anyway.
“He was just like, ‘I can’t accept that,’ and ‘It’s very, very kind,’ and he said, ‘Just enjoy it,'” she recalled. “I talked to him afterward as well and I tried to offer again … and he was just like, ‘No, please, you just enjoy it and you shine and don’t be afraid to shine,’ are the exact words he told me. I’m taking that in. Even though I’m very sad and in a way feel like I shouldn’t be here, I’m trying to celebrate my personal journey, too.”
The Fifth Harmony singer is choosing to focus on her spot in the finale rather than the emotions, but she knows that it won't be easy.
“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,” she said. “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.”
If it was up to her, it would be Van Der Beek in the finale, no questions asked.
“I didn’t even want them to vote,” she continued. “I just wanted to give it to him. That’s what I was feeling in that moment ’cause I felt like it wasn’t right to move on and be here. … I just felt it wasn’t right after everything that James has gone through. Being human and seeing that he’s been through one of the worst things in life and … he had the strength to be here today and that in itself is unbelievable. That took immense strength from him and I felt like in that moment it just wasn’t right. He was there and I was there and I just felt like he deserved to be there after everything he went through."
The night left Brooke emotionally exhausted, but it was Van Der Beek who helped her enjoy her progress to the finale.
“I didn’t feel like talking or celebrating, I just felt sad for James, especially with what he’s been through,” she said. “But everyone was encouraging me, even James himself. Like, the fact that he was encouraging me after everything he’s been through? That just shows the type of character he is and the spirit he has. He’s just one of the most magnificent, unbelievable people I’ve ever met in my life."
Van Der Beek commented on Instagram thanking Brooke and her partner, Sasha Farber, for their generosity.
"I love you guys and am SO proud to see you in the finals. I know how hard you work and love how much of your heart you offer every time you step on the dance floor. Ally, you're one of the sweetest, most genuine people I know, and I meant what I said when you tried (for the second time, in private) to offer me your sport. Go SHINE! No apologies. ❤️"
Brooke responded, saying "Thank you @vanderjames. As heartbroken as I am, I'm going to continue on for you James, and take your advice to keep shining. I'm so blessed and thankful to have met you and call you a friend. It is such an honor to know a man like you. God bless you ❤️"
Brooke, along with Lauren Alaina, Hannah Brown, and Kel Mitchell, will all compete in next week's finale to see who will bring home the mirror trophy.