James Van Der Beek made a welcome return to the floor on Monday’s “Dancing with the Stars” finale, a week after he was shockingly eliminated by the judges in the semifinal — something he wasn’t ready to discuss yet.
“I don’t think it should be done while there’s still confetti on the floor,” he told “USA Today” after Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten were crowned champions. The paper noted that Van Der Beek paused for “15 long seconds” before declining to answer how he felt about the judges booting him over Ally Brooke. “I really don’t want to take away from the winner or the other finalists who worked their butts off,” he said.
Van Der Beek was axed in his first appearance in the bottom two, shortly after he revealed his wife Kimberly had suffered a miscarriage two days prior, as the judges chose to save Brooke for the third time. She quickly offered her finale spot to him, but he graciously declined.
The actor sort of addressed his elimination in his Instagram Stories on Monday before the finale, thanking fans for their support. “Thank you everybody for your outrage. Everybody who has been very upset that I’m not in the finals, that I was asked by the judges to not compete tonight. I’ll be honest, it helps,” he said. “I appreciated it, but I will say there is no trophy in the world that I would have traded to be home with my family this week.”
He then congratulated the finalists — Brown, Brooke, Kel Mitchell and Lauren Alaina — and wished them luck, before adding, “I think this show might have a little soul-searching to do when we pick up all the confetti, but right now I want to throw my support to everybody in the finals.”
Perfectly shady if we do say so ourselves.
Van Der Beek was happy to discuss his return, telling “USA Today” that it felt “great” to be back. “I’m so glad I got to see everybody. And Emma [Slater] and I really appreciated the reception we got the second we stepped on the floor. It really warmed my heart. It’s so appreciated.”
He also appreciates Brooke trying to give up her finale spot to him last week (he revealed in his Instagram Story that Brooke came to his trailer after last week’s show to try in vain again to offer the spot as well). “She’s the sweetest, most genuine human being on the face of the Earth. I love Ally. She’s family. We’ve been texting all week,” he shared. “I told her to get out there and crush it. And she did. I’m so proud of her.”
The “Dawson’s Creek” star said he and his wife are “hanging in there,” and that the outpouring of support has helped. “I’ve always wondered if that meant anything when you see others go through something, and telling them, ‘You’re in our thoughts and prayers.’ Now I know for sure it that really does,” he said. “Every message helped.”