Why Hannah Brown Had a ‘Mini Breakdown’ Every Day on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Hannah Brown and her Dancing with the Stars partner Alan Bersten are Mirrorball champions. And they’re still riding that high.

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten | Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Beverly Center
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten | Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Beverly Center

“It is an honor, but also it feels really awesome,” Brown recently told Entertainment Tonight in an interview she did with Bersten.

As DWTS fans have probably seen on Instagram, Bersten has been taking his Mirrorball Trophy with him everywhere. He refers to it as his baby.

As for Brown, she says her Mirrorball is back home at her parents’ house in Alabama.

“Mine’s under my tree right now. My mom put it there. I don’t know why. Isn’t that weird? She put like all these presents and then she put the trophy under there,” she said.

Why ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was so stressful for Hannah Brown

DWTS wasn’t a cakewalk for Brown. She was open with her fans about how much she struggled throughout the process.

“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,” the former bachelorette shared on Instagram back in October.

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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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Brown told ET that she had a breakdown just about every day when she was competing on DWTS.

“I was stressed all the time. Every day probably at least one minor [breakdown]. But I just cared so much. And I knew I could and just wanted to succeed not just by winning but just like every time I did my very best. I would just put so much pressure on myself and I’m glad that the pressure paid off. But it feels really good to be able to just relish in the win and know that it was all worth it,” she shared.

Brown admits that sometimes “crazy” Hannah would come out. But she was able to keep herself in check.

“There would be times when I would like, you know, have one of my crazy Hannah moments and then I’d be like, ‘Alright that was crazy. I’m not gonna lie. That was a little crazy,'” she said.

Hannah Brown is grateful for her time on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Today, Brown just feels thankful for the experience as a whole.

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WE DID IT! thank you all so much!

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“I think I just feel a sense of gratitude. When you’re in the process it can be so frustrating and so stressful. You just get so focused on the day-to-day not thinking of the overall. It’s like I cannot believe I did that, that we accomplished so much. Not even just winning, just every week we did. I think just gratitude. And having the fans that allowed us to win has just been really amazing and I’m just super thankful,” she said.

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