The race for the Mirror Ball is on once again in Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars, and this time, former Bachelorette Hannah Brown is taking the stage with her partner Alan Bersten. This week saw Hannah and Alan get one of their lowest scores, delivering a shock to the system for Hannah. Read on to find out about everything that happened in the week leading up to this performance in Hannah's DWTS diary.
Tuesday, Oct. 15
We're right back at it, at the studio. My parents had so much fun being at the show last night and meeting all the cast. My mom is a big Dancing with the Stars fan — she loves Bobby Bones, so she loves Sharna [Burgess] too. When she met Sharna she was being such a weirdo. Peta's been one of my best friends on the show and my mom loves Peta too. All in all, it was really great for her to meet all those people.
Then my mom took me to my rehearsals and we stopped and got an Erewhon burrito, because I told her how much I love Erehwon burritos. My parents are taking my car, because they're helping me move out of the apartment that I lived in for 2.5 seconds in Sherman Oaks. I literally have not been back there since I started this show; I have an apartment that the show puts me up in since it's closer to practice. I realized that I need to be closer to the hustle and bustle of everything so that I don't have to sit in traffic all the time, so I don't need that apartment right now. So my parents, thank goodness, are here to help get me out of that apartment and move the couch and mattress and one chair that I have. But still, it's a lot of work. So they took my car, and I started practice.
I have to do our interviews for the week for the upcoming show where we do these heart-to-hearts where we just talk about whatever's going on. I've realized taping is weird. It sometimes makes me emotional that I'm having these serious conversations on TV. This week is a lot about missing home, since I haven't been home, and sometimes I forget just how much I miss it. It just got me a little emotional today.
Sometimes it's hard to really talk about that on television, when it's your real emotions and you feel like they can be fabricated in interviews. So I had a little emotional cry. I think it's because my parents are here too, and it's putting it all in perspective just how much I miss everybody who really knows me and loves me. I think I wonder sometimes who in this past year really knows me and cares for me like my parents, and that can be kind of scary. But Alan was there, and that was nice — he kind of just let me have my moment.
Then I was dancing the samba. My feet are jammed up anyway, but I stepped on my own foot with my heel and I bruised the crap out of my foot. It's all swollen and it really hurts! Thank goodness practice didn't last until 2 — I got to go home and be with my family and sit in a hot bath with epsom salt and lavender, and then iced my foot to get the swelling down. I'm kind of scared of what I did to it.
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Practice again. My parents are going to be a part of this package, so they came in to the studio and met Alan and we showed them a little bit of our dance. My dad thinks he can dance and he showed me how to move my hips — it was really funny. They are so proud of me and it's really sweet. I think I take it for granted just how much my parents love me and care for me in this crazy time. They don't know exactly how to help me, but they want to do whatever they can. Just them watching me dance in rehearsal, they get teary eyed.
After that, I had some appointments. My days every day last from 9 a.m. until sometimes 11 p.m. — I don't stop. While I was out, production tried to do this extra package with my parents, but it didn't work out. I got stressed out, because you want to make everybody happy, but sometimes you have to take care of yourself. So the second package that they wanted to do didn't work out in the end, but I feel like it's going to be great regardless.
I was stressed out from that, so our rehearsal from 6 to 10 p.m. that night was kind of emotional for me because I'm overwhelmed. I think my parents being here brought out a lot of emotions of feeling a little bit lonely, and thinking, Who cares for me? What am I doing here? Alan and I had a heart to heart about how thankful I should be. He reminded me that I'm not alone. There are a lot of people truly alone out there. We both started crying, and it was a really good moment for us to hash it out; for him to call me out on things, for me to call him out on things.
Ultimately, we both had the same feelings of wanting to be there for each other. We spend every single day together so we have to be, so we are figuring out the best way to do that. Overall, it was a really emotional day, but those emotions help with growth, and that's what this experience is really about.
Also, I had a bunch of cookies from my mom. Homemade cookies from mom make everything better.
Thursday, Oct. 17
I had physical therapy for my foot after I stepped on it earlier this week and it was really swollen. After that, I had a meeting with my agency about next steps. I'm so excited about projects I have coming up! I'm so blessed that all this craziness has given me the opportunity to do new things I never would have been able to do. It makes me really excited about the future, and I get to work with really smart people who are invested in me.
From there I got in a car to The Ellen Show! I'm so excited, it's my second time being back on Ellen except this time Ellen's not here, which is a bummer. But Justin Hartley is the guest host, and I'm such a big fan of This Is Us, so it was so great to meet the real-life Kevin.
I can tell this story now because everything's fine, but I wore these borrowed rings last week to camera blocking and I lost them. And let me tell y'all, these are very expensive diamond rings that I thought I lost, and I was sick to my stomach. I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to basically have to win this Mirror Ball so I could pay for these rings.
So I'm in the car to Ellen. I usually use my car rides for sleep, so I told the driver to tell me when we got there. When I wake up, somebody opens the door and I look down and there is a random ring in my lap — one of the rings that I had lost. I was like What the crap!? How is this ring in my lap? I'm freaking out, wondering, how did this happen? I only have two bags that we've completely emptied out before. It's not just me — everybody has looked for them. The only thing that was also on my knee was my bag. I start thinking, and I look and there's this hidden small pocket with a zipper in it, and I open it up and find all the other rings. It was like I won the lottery, especially because of how expensive those rings were and how much money I'd need to replace them.
So I knew the day was going to be great because I found the rings! I got ready for Ellen, had the best time, and my good vibes kept going.
Then I got back in the car, and am on my way to practice until the crack of dawn, because that's what we do here.
Friday, Oct. 19
Rehearsal all day. We're finally getting the dance down to the music. I'm stressing out because I think I've only heard this song 10 times total because Alan is really making sure I know the steps without the music. Today he is really getting on me about committing to the dance. I just put on a smile — it's a real smile, but I get nervous, and I don't always perform, and we'd like to really feel confident. The steps aren't my problem, it's the performance. And I know that, it's just struggling to feel confident that I don't look silly, that I can really be in the dance and not worrying about the steps. That's been the biggest thing for me to get over this week.
Sometimes when I get nervous I smile, but it looks like I'm about to shit myself. I'm going to try not to do that. I don't want to look like I'm shitting myself. So I'm trying to make facial expressions fun, and Alan keeps stopping the music anytime I don't attack. And bounce. And straighten my arms! It's kind of annoying, but also what I need to do well.
After practice, we went to the spa. It really helps with my body and my swelling because my feet are huge. When we get there, Keo [Motsepe] and Brandon [Armstrong] and Sean Spicer are there. We're all sitting in the sauna and jumping into ice baths.
And now I'm home early, which is weird. I watched a little bit of TV, but not much.
Saturday, Oct. 20
I'm rehearsing all day today and the dance is starting to feel really good. We did show and tell, where whoever's there, we'll go back and forth practicing performing our dance. Whenever I mess up, I'm so hard on myself. I want Alan to be proud of me, and I don't want to let him down. I just get in my head, and I got a little overwhelmed. So I had my cry for the day.
Alan and I just had to talk it out. He's really working on how he communicates with me. Because he's the only person that's around me most of the time, the way that he talks to me really helps or hurts my confidence, so having to have those conversations about that has been good. Everybody thinks it comes easy to me and it doesn't at all. And I think I get in my head about that and make it even harder than it already is.
Alan knows how hard I'm working and how hard it is for me to fake it 'til I make it. It's going to be great, I just have to tell myself that I've got it — that's what he keeps telling me. He actually tells me before we dance that I'm a bad bitch. Before we dance he literally makes me stand there and says, "Hannah, say you're a bad bitch." So then I have to do that and then the music turns on.
After that, I got to film something super secret for The Ellen Show with Kalen Allen. It made me hungry for a hamburger, so I texted Alan to go get one. In a time like this, I like to stay focused and keep people around who know what's happening with me. I'll say to a lot of people that I force them to be my best friend. At least Alan will! So we went to eat. It was a really good burger with some sweet potato fries, and we had this amazing fried cookie with ice cream on top. So good. Then I went into a food coma and went straight to sleep.
Sunday, Oct. 20
It's camera blocking day! It takes a long time, since we had to do our opening number, too. Then I had physical therapy, got a spray tan, and then my parents came back and I got to hang out with them. I'm going to sleep early for the show tomorrow! I'm so excited.
Monday, Oct. 21
Today is the day. I am feeling pretty good about the samba now. Camera blocking went great yesterday. I didn't have to think about it, I could really own it, and I felt really confident — and it wasn't fake confidence. I feel like I've worked really hard to get this dance down, but everybody is really great: their dances are all really emotional and fit them and fit the dance they're given with great songs. While I love Carrie Underwood, I don't know that this would be exactly the song I would pick for myself. But I'm going to own it and make this a country samba as best that I can.
Everybody thinks my outfit looks like Madonna, which it kind of does. It's not a normal samba outfit that really shows the hip movements, so that's a little concerning, because it covers everything that I'm doing. But I have no control over that, and it's a cute costume. And I like my hair curled this way too!
After this performance, I'm getting a little discouraged. I got the second lowest scores of the night. The judges made comments about it being a country samba and not really getting it — but I would have never really chosen to do a country samba, and it's not my choice, and I'm trying to do the best I can with what I've been given. I did have a good time, but I worked really hard on committing and being confident, and it was disappointing because it didn't really connect with the judges and came up lackluster.
I'm trying to still want to work hard and not be upset, but it is hard. It was really scary when we were doing voting, being one of the last couples called with one of the lowest scores. I don't know if people are voting — all I know is what the judges are saying and the scores they're giving me, so that was really scary for a second. It made me realize just how much I want to be here and to do this, and for people to understand me a bit more. I am not the most confident dancer — I'm really struggling to have that and to feel that, and to not overthink and be able to live in the moment. I hope one day I can do that.
I'm really thankful that I get to go on to this next week, and I'm really excited for Halloween Night. Hopefully we'll have a dance that impresses everyone!
Watch Hannah & Alan's samba below:
Reporting by Samantha Rollins.