‘DWTS’: Hannah Brown Says James Van Der Beek’s Recent Tragedy Put Things In Perspective For Her

The semi-finals episode of Dancing With The Stars was an emotional one. Contestants performed dances inspired by and in honor of painful events that had occurred in their lives.

James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images
James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

James Van Der Beek’s emotional last night on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

James Van Der Beek, who unfortunately was eliminated at the end of the episode, shared with the DWTS audience on Monday that he and his wife recently lost the baby they had just announced they were having earlier in the season.

“My wife Kimberly and I went through every expecting parent’s worst nightmare. We lost the baby. The little soul that we had expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond,” he told the camera during the episode.

He continued: “You never know why these things happen, that’s what I’ve been telling my kids. All you know is that it brings you closer together, it breaks you open, it opens up your heart, it deepens your appreciation. It makes you more human.”

The actor dedicated his dance to his wife: “Kimberly, I’m dancing for you, I’m dancing for us, so here we go, babe.”

Hannah Brown’s reaction to James Van Der Beek’s heartbreaking news

Former bachelorette Hannah Brown has gotten close to Van Der Beek through their time competing together on DWTS. Brown says learning about what he and his wife were going through put her own current struggles into perspective.

“The dances this week have made me really emotional. At the beginning of the day today I was really in my head about it, as per usual. But then watching James Van Der Beek dance and finding out about his wife’s miscarriage really put things in perspective for me about the tragedies that people go through,” she wrote in her week 10 DWTS diary for Bustle.

“Trying to get into an emotional place for my dance when someone before me just revealed that they lost a child was tough, because my life lately has been emotional and difficult, but there’s nothing that I’ve gone through that can compare to James’ experience that I would dance for. While I do feel like my dance went great, seeing James’ sorrow, I feel like my perspective changed so quickly and drastically,” she continued.

Brown wrote about how it was difficult to have to dance when she wanted to just be there for her friend.

“Right before I went on stage, I was trying to get back into the dance headspace after wanting to be there for James — he’s been such a big part of this experience for me, he’s such a great human and a great dad — and I heard people screaming my name. I thought, you know, people know my name now. And I had to lose all of the things that I wanted to gain such an incredible opportunity and influence that will allow me to do a lot of good,” she wrote.

Brown says the reality check of her friend’s hardship affected more than just her dance that night. She says it’s a perspective she hopes to carry in her heart at all times moving forward.

“I just had a reality check. Yes, being on camera in front of millions of people every week has been draining, but I’m still so blessed because I got so much good out of it. Maybe that changed my attitude towards my dance, and I’m thankful for that — but it changed my attitude towards my life, too, in a really cool and out-of-the blue way,” she wrote.

Read more: Hannah Brown Opens Up About A Past Relationship She Outgrew