Kaitlyn Bristowe Cries Over Death of Friend Lindsay on DWTS

Kaitlyn Bristowe on Dancing with the Stars

ABC/Frank Ockenfels Former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe is a contestant on season 29 of 'Dancing With The Stars.'

Kaitlyn Bristowe is getting emotional on this week’s Dancing With The Stars semifinals, opening up for the first time about the loss of a close friend. Her dance will be dedicated to Lindsay, who passed away in 2003.

On Sunday, the former Bachelorette took to her Instagram Story to reveal “Today was such a tough rehearsal.” According to Us Weekly, she said, “It’s just tough at this point in the competition, but I’m dancing a very emotional dance on Monday. I don’t bury emotions. I talk about things and cry about things.”

The dance will be performed to Lindsay’s favorite song, “Cowboy Take Me Away,” which was also played at her funeral.

Tonight’s emotional performance could be what carries Bristowe to the season 29 finale of Dancing With the Stars. She was invited to join the season during an episode of The Bachelor: Greatest Season – Ever! years after being prevented from participating in a previous season. Through her previous reality television involvement, she has not addressed Lindsay’s death, citing concerns she would seem like she “used” it for publicity.

“I’m not saying people do that, [but] it was just something that I held kinda close to my heart,” said the Off the Vine host. “But hearing the song every day, telling a story, putting me back in those times and talking about her has just got me so emotional.”

She took to Instagram to share photos of their friendship which started when they were four years old. Lindsay was Bristowe’s next-door neighbor she came to see as family. She wrote, “I know it’s semi finals and of course I’m asking you to vote to be a part of the finale, but I’m also asking you to hug your friends and cherish the time you have together.”

Bristowe’s friend, Bri Cook, elaborated on their relationship with Lindsay on Twitter. Cook shared that Lindsay was 17 years old when she died in a motor vehicle accident days after starting her final year of high school.

“In the early days after her death, dance is what helped both me and [Kaitlyn Bristowe] in mourning. Dance can be such a healthy outlet to put your emotions into. We did a duet to Josh Groban’s ‘To Where You Are’ dedicated to Linds and I could barely ever hold it together on stage,” wrote Cook. She revealed Lindsay too was a dancer.

Cook revealed her wish for everyone to tell their friends how much they love them, a lesson she said many are learning in 2020 while she learned it in 2003.

“I’m very proud of [Kaitlyn Bristowe] for sharing the memory of our best friend with the world. Lindsay was a light who is missed every day. You will see what a beautiful person she was,” wrote Cook on Twitter. “It’s not easy to open up publicly about the missing piece of your heart.”

While the tragedy brought Bristowe and Cook closer together, Bristowe said, “At the beginning, it made me not want to get close to anybody, but now it just makes me love my friends so much.”

Bristowe Has Been Clashing With Judge Carrie Ann Inaba Over ‘Personal’ Criticisms

While speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Bristowe and partner Artem Chigvintsev discussed the critiques the dancing duo has received from judge Carrier Ann Inaba.

“At this point, it starts being a little personal, I feel like,” Chigvintsec told ET. “I feel it’s definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel like it’s different expectations. I don’t know. I’m watching back the dance itself, it’s like, ‘Oh, you can kick sharper!’ Well I can say that about everybody who dances on the show today. I don’t know. It’s really odd.”

Bristowe said she found it reassuring that other contestants are also confused by Inaba’s criticism, which Bristowe says is not constructive. She sees the criticism from the other two judges, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli, as something they can take back into the studio when practicing.

“Is it coming from a place of, ‘I was hard on Hannah [Brown] and you’re another Bachelor girl’?” Bristowe said on her podcast, revealing she’d like Inaba to be a guest. “Where is it coming from and how are we supposed to take it and bring it into our next rehearsal? What do you want us to channel and use from it? It’s very hard to understand that.”

Believing they’re never going to make Inaba happy, Chigvintsev told ET he just wants Bristowe to ignore the criticism. He said, “I was literally wanting to have ear muffs and put it on top of [Bristowe’s] head.”

However, Inaba has since opened up about feeling bullied online over her critiques, to which Bristowe has called to end. She said on her podcast, “I heard that she feels bullied and that makes me feel so terrible because I’ve been bullied so hard online… Don’t go bullying her because she’s being hard on me. That’s her decision and she’s a judge.”

Bristowe Has Been Open About Her Desire to Be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

When Bristowe and boyfriend, Jason Tartick, appeared on an episode of The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons – Ever!, Chris Harrison revealed Bristowe had been invited to appear on the popular dancing competition.

“I have a very, very real question for you Kaitlyn, and this is a question I am so excited to ask you, because well your life is about to change and I’m not joking,” said Harrison. “Kaitlyn, will you be on the next season of Dancing With the Stars?”

The Bachelor Nation fan-favorite had long been vocal about her desire to be on the show, claiming the show’s creator, Mike Fleiss prevented her from ever competing.

When one user on Twitter asked why a Bachelorette never participated, she responded, “Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fleiss told me I wasn’t allowed. He said he didnt want people wanting fame after his show.”

Fleiss responded at the time, saying Bristowe had his support, but she retorted it was two years too late.

Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown has since appeared on the show, taking home the mirror ball trophy.

Dancing With The Stars semifinals airs tonight at 8/7c on ABC.

READ NEXT: Chris Harrison Weighs in on Bachelor Nation’s ‘Double Standard’

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