Hannah Brown, star of the most recent season of The Bachelorette, is one of four finalists competing tonight for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy on the season finale of Dancing With the Stars. Brown will be joined by her pro partner Alan Bersten as the two compete against three other couples for the win.
Brown and Bersten are planning to go out with a bang on the DWTS finale tonight, after Bersten teased in his Entertainment Tonight blog that he and Brown “need to go out with an ‘explosion’ — it’s gonna be a ‘fire’ dance!” Brown and Bersten are the only couple this season to not hit the bottom two.
Here’s what you need to know about Brown and Bersten ahead of their season 28 finale tonight:
1. Brown Admitted to Being Emotional During Rehearsals
Brown opened up to Us Weekly about the emotional toll of being a Dancing with the Stars contestant, and admitted that she cried several times during rehearsals over the last few months.
“I have [cried],” Brown said ahead of the DWTS premiere. “I don’t even think it’s the physical part for me. I think it’s just emotionally I know that I can be my toughest critic and then, I don’t have to have my partner tell me when I don’t do stuff right. I know immediately.”
She noted that it was frustrating at times, but that she hopes to come away from the competition as a better version of herself. “It’s frustrating when you know you can do it better and then when you don’t, and I think for me this journey is really gonna be just really overcoming those insecurities that I still have,” she told Us Weekly. “I’m so proud of myself in the progress I’ve made. But this is definitely a way to really test that for me and to see where I still have room to grow.”
2. Bersten Says Their Final Dance Will be ‘Emotional’
The finale kicks off tonight with each of the pairs performing an opening number to “Last Dance” by Donna Summer, followed by two rounds of dancing – each of the remaining couples will repeat a performance from earlier in the season, as well as a freestyle routine. In the first round, Brown and Bersten will dance the Viennese waltz to “Lover” by Taylor Swift, followed by a freestyle to a medley of “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys and “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani.
Bersten said his goal is for Brown to feel like a “girl boss” in their final week together. “I think the nerves are going to be through the roof, but in a good way!” he shared. “We get to do two dances that mean so much to us. It’s a little bittersweet, though, because this will be our last time on the ballroom floor.”
3. Bersten Wants to Win the Competition for Brown, Not Himself
Bersten is in his second straight final on the show and reiterated that he wants to win the competition for Brown, not for himself.
“I would love to win the Mirrorball, but honestly, I just want Hannah to win it,” Bersten shared in his Entertainment Tonight blog. “I want Hannah to feel good about every performance and I want her to realize she is the reason we’re even in the semifinals. Her hard work, dedication and amazing personality is why we’re still here. I’m just so proud of her.”
“She deserves to win the Mirrorball because I have never met someone who cares as much as me,” he added. “It has been so refreshing to see. Hannah is so passionate, she cares so much and she never gives up. I feel like I’m dancing with the female version of me! So, I just want Hannah to know that she is so incredible and I’m so proud of her!”
4. Brown Said She Would Want Bersten as a Partner Again if She Ever Came Back to DWTS
Brown and Bersten have had an incredibly supportive connection throughout their time on the show, and both stars have had nothing but good things to say about each other. Speaking with Extra at the CMAs, Bersten asked Brown if she would pick him as her partner again, and she said she definitely would.
“I actually would,” she said. “We have a great partnership. But we are very honest with each other. And when we get frustrated, we get frustrated. But we’re the best of friends. So yeah, I would still pick you as my partner.”
Brown continued gushing about her partner, adding, “He cares a lot. We both care a lot, but he is so passionate about his craft and teaching that,” she said. “He will adjust and do whatever to make sure that I’m able to shine so that we’re able to have a great experience together.”
5. Brown & Bersten Are Not Dating, Despite Their Chemistry
When speaking with guest host Justin Hartley on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Brown confirmed she and Bersten are not dating, despite their chemistry on stage. “No, I’m not,” Brown said when Hartley asked is she was dating her DWTS co-star. “We’re great friends. He kind of has to be my best friend. So I make him be. He cries about it, but it has been an amazing experience.”
Brown also explained she doesn’t have time to date and has “trauma from dating” after her experience on The Bachelorette “We’re not going to date right now,” Brown said. “We’re gonna dance.”