Sometimes life is nothing but a romantic dance floor covered in rose petals with two dancers whose movements seem to be flawless. What we might not see at first, however, is the work the dancers took to get to a place where everything seems ideal and perfect.
On the Dancing With the Stars finale, Hannah Brown glided across rose petals with dance partner Alan Bersten during Viennese Waltz to “Lover” by Taylor Swift—a dance that ended up resulting in their win. In one of their final moves, Bersten spun Brown around with her feet sliding across the dancefloor as though she were on ice. A move which clearly impressed not just audiences at home but the judges as well.
Brown and Bersten beat out country music singer Lauren Alaina with partner Gleb Savchenko, actor/comedian Kel Mitchell with Witney Carson, and pop star Ally Brooke with Sasha Farber.
To some this win comes as a shock as Brown received harsh criticism over the course of the latest DWTS season. Even a week before the finale, she’d had a tearful confrontation with judge Carrie Anne Inaba who really nitpicked Brown’s dancing more so than other contestants.
“You need to lose the jazz stylings,” Inaba had said, “because you’re an excellent dancer, but this is about Latin and ballroom.”
Bruno Tonioli, another judge on the show, also had critical feedback. At one point earlier in the season he’d said, “I’m going to be tough on you, because I know you can do better.”
Brown, a former beauty pageant contest and former Bachelorette, seemed to understand the implication behind these words from the judges. Though Brown’s fans defended her against the harsh notes from people such as Inaba and Tonioli, Brown took to Instagram in a post that really exposed her vulnerability and revealed her acceptance of the feedback she’d been given.
“I came into this experience a little broken and confused—more than I’ve shared,” Brown said on Instagram back in November. “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.”
As evidenced in her final number, Brown worked incredibly hard to deliver a dance worthy of the Mirrorball trophy awarded DWTS winners.
Brown’s DWTS win comes after her involvement on last season’s Bachelorette. For those who didn’t watch, Brown struggled immensely after dumping Jed Wyatt—a guy she learned had been cheating on her. The Bachelorette ended in July. Brown rushed into DWTS in September hoping the dancing competition could give her a venue for burning off energy and steam after her experiences on Bachelorette.
After her busy year, Brown told USA Today she plans on returning to New York and celebrating her successes with her family and taking a much-needed break.
There’s no official word on when DWTS might return for season twenty-nine, but the rumors floating around state sometime in the fall of 2020.