More focused than ever. Ally Brooke is heading into the finale ready to win Dancing With the Stars — now more than ever. During the Monday, November 18, episode, she broke down in tears after she was saved over James Van Der Beek; he was eliminated just moments after revealing his wife had suffered a miscarriage days before.
However, the actor, 42, put his personal feelings aside to encourage Brooke to shine — and that’s making her push even harder during the finals.
“I am so focused. I have more of a sense of purpose with everything that happened in the past 24 hours. So I’m taking in every moment. I’m grateful,” the singer, 26, shared with Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, November 19. “I’m going to definitely push myself and I’m going to soak in the days and the fact that I’m here because it’s not easy to get to the finale and the fact that I made it is really, really incredible.”
She noted that Van Der Beek told her, “No apologies,” which was important for her to hear. “I was very sad and upset and I felt like James deserved to be there and I really wanted to give him my spot but he wanted me to be there. And for him to say, ‘Go shine,’ that meant the world. I’m gonna take that with me going into this week.”
During the finals, the “Higher” singer and partner Sasha Farber will perform a freestyle routine, which she can’t wait for audiences to see.
“I’m very excited. It’s one of my favorite songs and it’s definitely going to be a strong moment, a strong way to exit,” she shared. “My biggest hope is that with the freestyle, people see me and that they love this freestyle and they connect to me and I hope that this is a dance that will get me to win. But if not, at least I’m gonna put my entire soul into this dance.”
The former Fifth Harmony member then opened up about how she feels like a completely different person than when she started the show.
“I’ve been through so much on this show and I’ve grown so much. I’ve really challenged myself and I feel like I found who I am,” Brooke said. “The new Ally, who’s really going to be an entertainer, is going to be so different and I’m so excited for that. I’m grateful for this experience and I’m going to apply everything I’ve learned into the next phase of life and I really do cherish this show. Dancing With the Stars has changed my life.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe