Ally Brooke is opening up about her new "sense of purpose" on Dancing with the Stars after the emotional elimination of contestant James Van Der Beek. Ally and her partner Sasha Farber were saved by the judges when she and Van Der Beek were in the bottom two.
Ally's time on Dancing with the Stars was a little shaky in the beginning of the season, but the former Fifth Harmony member has steadily progressed throughout the weeks and she was considered to be one of the front runners for the show. Despite receiving the highest combined score for the week, Ally and her partner Sasha found themselves in the final two against James thanks to this season's new voting system that has sent multiple contestants home too soon. Van Der Beek had announced earlier in the episode that his wife - who had been pregnant with the couple's sixth child - had suffered a miscarriage a few days prior, so it was an intense situation for the contestants, judges, hosts, and everyone in the audience. In the wake of James' elimination, Ally opened up about how she planned to continue forward in the competition.
In an exclusive with Us Weekly the day after the elimination, the 26-year-old said that she now has "more of a sense of purpose with everything that has happened in the past 24 hours" and Ally says that she is "taking in every moment." Ally wanted to continue to push herself and "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." Part of the reason it was such an emotional elimination was because Ally felt that James deserved to stay in the competition, and the popstar "really wanted to give him my spot but he wanted me to be there," but James told her to "go shine." Ally continued on to say that going into the finale, "My biggest hope is that with the freestyle, people see me and that they love this freestyle and they connect to me," but that no matter what happens in the end, "at least I’m gonna put my entire soul into this dance.”
In the same interview, Ally talked about the difference she feels in herself going into the finals in comparison to when she started the season 10 weeks ago, saying, "I feel like I found who I am." The former X-Factor contestant said "I’ve been through so much on this show and I’ve grown so much" and that she feels like she's "really challenged" herself. Ally says she is "so excited" for the "new Ally, who’s really going to be an entertainer," and that she plans to " apply everything I’ve learned into the next phase of life." Brooke is expected to be releasing her debut solo album in the spring of 2020, which will feature music that best showcases the new Ally she's been cultivating.
Former Dancing with the Stars contestants have often talked about the intense connections formed with fellow stars on the show and about the personal transformation they often go through, and it seems like Brooke knows exactly what they're talking about. Heading into the finals, Ally had some stiff competition in the other three couples left. However, she still had a shot at winning that coveted Mirror Ball trophy and being the season 28 winner.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8pm EST on ABC.