Sailor Brinkley-Cook Didn’t Want to Join ‘Dancing with the Stars’ for This Reason

On the season 28 premiere of Dancing with the Stars, celebrity dancer, Christie Brinkley, was noticeably absent. Her daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook took her place. Here’s why it wasn’t necessarily an automatic “yes” for the 21-year-old model.

Who Is Sailor Brinkley-Cook?

Sailor Brinkley-Cook
Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy on Dancing With the Stars Season 28 | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

In 2017, Brinkley-Cook appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated alongside her mom (an iconic model). As the youngest of three, the Instagram-savvy and body positivity advocate enrolled in Parson’s School of Design in New York City for photography, but it’s unclear if she finished.

If you’re curious about Brinkley-Cook’s name, the hyphenation isn’t because she’s married. According to Newsweek, she added her father Peter Cook’s last name. Cook and Brinkley separated in 2006.

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Why did she take Christie Brinkley’s place on ‘DWTS’?

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During rehearsals for season 28 of DWTS, Brinkley fell, breaking multiple bones in her arm and dislocating her wrist. Brinkley revealed on the show the injury required surgery to insert a plate and screws. She referred to herself as “the Bionic Woman.” and she’s not wrong.

“I’m telling you I was having the time of my life,” she told People. “So it was really, really a crushing, crushing disappointment in every way. Literally, figuratively everything that happened. And one of the worst feelings is to feel like you’re letting anybody down, you know?”

What does one do when something like this happens? Ask a loved one to take their place. Brinkley sought out her youngest child to take her place.

Sailor Brinkley-Cook didn’t want to join ‘DWTS’ at first

“I was terrified,” she said in the same People interview. “It was a very scary thing for me. The whole idea of having to be live on stage, be on TV dancing, that’s something I’ve never done before.”

She continued, admitting she was scared but decided that’s why she should go for it. “I had to surpass the fear. I had to be stronger than the things that scare me.”

Fear could’ve stopped Brinkley-Cooke but she clung to her love for her mom adding, “My mom told me to have fun with it and to not let fear stop me from doing any of it.”

Like mother, like daughter, Brinkley-Cook wore the same gown designed for her mom when she and partner, Val Chmerkovskiy (who stated he’d never experienced anything like this in 15 seasons) danced the foxtrot to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.”

With only three days to learn and perfect the DWTS routine, Brinkley-Cook made her mom, and partner, proud. “Sailor is truly one fearless, strong, amazing person who just always impresses me,” Brinkley said.

She may not have landed the highest DWTS score of the night (18/30), but Brinkley-Cook did so much more by competing at all. She was afraid to do something and did it anyway.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.