“I admire that she’s so honest and she’s been through a lot,” Brooke, 26, told Us Weekly exclusively in a new interview. “It’s really great that she’s open about how she’s feeling. And honestly, being on this show is not easy. I mean, even for me, I’m more used to being in the public eye because I’ve been in it for a few years, but even for me, it’s a lot. I can’t imagine [how it is for] someone who’s not really as used to it. You go there and you bare your all and you’re judged on something completely different and new and it’s really tough.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba told the former Bachelorette that her dance was “lacking” on the Monday, October 28, episode, explaining that she seemed “disconnected in the movements.” Brown, 25, became emotional after the comment and posted on Instagram the next day, admitting that she felt defeated and detailing how difficult the competition has been.
“I came into this experience a little broken and confused — more than I’ve shared. Every day has brought its challenges with my past, my fears, and the uncomfortableness of opening myself up again to be judged on something VERY scary like learning a new skill to perform each week,” the Alabama native wrote. “A lot of suppressed emotions started to surface from this amazing, but grueling experience. I want to be me. I want to be real. I feel my best when I feel like I have the opportunity to share my heart with others. But I know that’s been lacking in what has been seen on DWTS. It’s true there is a disconnect. I am busting my ass. I am giving this my all. It’s my focus and passion right now. But each week I fall flat. I’ve gotten to the point of being so anxious before I perform that I can’t completely enjoy it like I wish and know I could.”
The “High” singer shared with Us that she understands the anxiety before performing.
“You want to make sure you do well and you just want to do your best, plus, you hope that the judges will really see your efforts,” Brooke explained. “I remember the first few weeks, I wasn’t getting the most amazing feedback from the judges and that was tough because you want to enjoy it. At the same time, it’s not fun getting not the best comments, but as long as you do your best and continue working on what they say, then it will get better. And you also have to remember who you’re doing this for. You’re doing this for yourself and for other people to enjoy, you know, and I’m doing it for my family. So that’s the best thing to keep in mind.”
The former Fifth Harmony member also added that she was judged in the past for her dancing, which upset her.
“I went viral for the wrong reasons because people circulated a funny dance video of me and it really hurt my confidence. But I chose to not run away from dancing but to take it head-on, be part of the show to show those haters wrong and embark on an incredible journey,” she said. “It has done wonders for me. So I feel like it’s great that she’s doing the same in her own way.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe