The hardest thing Ally Brooke had to deal with on Dancing With the Stars had nothing to do with learning the Paso Doble or mastering the waltz.
The Fifth Harmony singer sat down with her former DWTS partner Sasha Farber for the June 2 episode of her YouTube series, The Ally Brooke Show. And the two, who competed together as partners on the hit show in 2019, spoke about their experience hitting a snag once she and Dawson's Creek alum James Van Der Beek (whose dancing partner was Sasha's wife, Emma Slater) faced off in the bottom two during the semifinals.
"He nearly didn't dance the semifinals due to a family issue," Sasha recalled. "It was just hard. It was hard to process because it was us in the bottom two and we made it and they didn't. I remember at one point you [Ally] were like, ‘No, no, no, I want to give my position away to James.' And I was like standing there. My wife is crying, James was crying, you're crying. I was crying… You know, it's crazy. This is just a TV show, it's just a dance show, but people build such strong bonds."
Ally shared that she felt James was not only deserving of her spot because of his talent, but also because he managed to perform even though he and his wife, Kimberly Van Der Beek, were in the middle of suffering a devastating loss during that particular week.
"It was horrible," Ally recalled. "And especially the week he had—the devastation of losing a baby—him having the strength to still go on the show and perform and dance. To me, it just did not make sense. I'm like, 'This does not make sense. There's no way. I know America is rooting for him and voted for him.' It was just a bunch of mixed emotions...He was the one to watch during the season because he always performed beautifully."
The 27-year-old singer also recalled the backlash she received from being saved by the judges for the third time during the show.
"I just remember after the show I wanted to quit," she revealed. "I want to give this to James. I don't want to be here. I was done. It was such an emotional punching bag for me and then on top of that I got a lot of hate because the judges saved me."
"You don't understand how much that can destroy someone," Ally continued. "That destroyed me and it took me back to the really bad space where I was after X-Factor. My audition aired and I got so much hate there and that tore me apart. And then [it] also brought back a lot of memories of getting online hate for like, you know, my body or my dancing in Fifth Harmony. I just felt like man, I can't take this."
Though Ally said she remains friends with 44-year-old Van Der Beek, calling him a "remarkable soul" that "helped give her advice," she said that whole experience still haunts her to this day.
"I'm still mad about that," she admitted. "I still think he should've been in the finals."