Hannah Brown Apologizes For Coming Off ‘Dismissive’ To ‘DWTS’ Judge Carrie Ann Inaba

Hannah Brown had an emotional week on Dancing With The Stars. Not only did she have to learn a contemporary dance about the heartbreak she experienced on The Bachelorette, but she also had to learn a “redemption” Rumba under the guidance of DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba.

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Inaba has given Brown some tough criticism this season, so it’s not completely out of left field that Brown felt emotional when the judge stopped by her Rumba rehearsal.

Carrie Ann Inaba stops by Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten’s Rumba rehearsal

When Inaba first entered the rehearsal, it seemed as though Brown was open to her coaching and criticisms. But the reality star quickly felt the judge’s notes got “personal.”

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This experience has been harder than I could have ever imagined. When I decided to do DWTS I thought it would be a fun way to channel all my energy after a whirlwind experience as the Bachelorette. I was hopeful that the confidence I gained this year to take pride in the woman I have become would have the opportunity to shine, and I’d feel that reboot in my spirit after it took a bit of a beating after my bachelorette season. I came into this experience a little broken and confused—more than I’ve shared. Everyday 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. Last night was really defeating for me and 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. I KNOW I have a lot more I can give. I want to be able to feel free and confident to dance with my whole heart. I’m working on getting there. I’m not throwing a pity party. I can take criticism and understand hard work…and I also know that my attitude has to change to rise above this slump I’m in. But this is real life. These are real emotions. It’s okay to be grateful and positive, while also acknowledging the hard days we all have. It’s so important to think positively, but it’s also important to acknowledge and feel all the feels. This pressure to pretend is not good for anyone. That’s how this crazy cycle of perfectionism continues to exist in a lot of us. I’m blown away by the support I see and feel from all of you who love me through it all. So thank you— here’s to another opportunity to grow. See y’all next Monday!

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“You’re doubting yourself, so you’re trying to cut it short. You have to show it off more,” Inaba told Brown. “I know it’s hard, stay with me.” 

“It’s fine,” Brown replied, frustrated and through tears. 

“I’m a judge, I can take it. Trust me,” said Inaba. “I’m not here for any other reason but to help you.”

Then Inaba attempted to give Brown a hug.

“I don’t want to be touched,” the reality star told the judge as she backed away.

The session seemed to end on an OK note, all things considered.

Hannah Brown’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Rumba performance

When it came time for Brown and Bersten to perform, the duo did well, receiving three nines. (Brown even figured out her hips.)

Before DWTS host Tom Bergeron could ask the judges for their feedback, Brown asked if she could say something.

“I just want to say I am so sorry if it seemed like I was dismissive,” Brown said to Inaba. “I had a really hard day that day. It was really emotional learning my contemporary [routine].”

“I didn’t handle my emotions very well,” she added. “I’m so sorry if it seemed like anything else.”

“I was never offended by that,” Inaba responded. “What I noticed is you improved a heck of a lot… I’m really proud of you, Hannah. Well done.”

The two even shared a hug.  

After her dance, Brown told co-host Erin Andrews that she “never thought [the judges] were trying to attack me.”

“I want the critiques because I want to get better. I think it was just a compilation of everything I was going through that day, unfortunately,” Brown explained. “Carrie Ann had to come in at that time… I didn’t mean to come across any other way.”

On her second dance of the evening, a contemporary dance to “Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez, Brown and Bersten also received three nines. The duo is headed into the DWTS finals and couldn’t be happier.

“I’m so pumped that we get to celebrate how far we come IN 👏🏻 THE 👏🏻 FINALS! Woooo!” Brown wrote on Instagram after the episode aired.

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