“Fight training vs. dancing,” the actor, 42, captioned a Wednesday, November 27, Instagram post. “I’d been training in Muy Thai three days a week for about six months (for the next project I’m writing) when I hit pause to dance six hours a day. Now I can rhumba.”
Van Der Beek shared side-by-side photos of his abs before and after the competition. In the second shot, his midsection was more sculpted and defined.
The Dawson’s Creek alum and his partner, Emma Slater, were eliminated during the November 18 episode — days after his wife, Kimberly Van Der Beek, suffered a miscarriage.
James returned for the finale on Monday, November 25, and opened up about the fortuitous turn of events. “I’ll tell you one thing, there’s not a trophy in the world that I wouldn’t give up to have had this week with [my family],” he told Us Weekly exclusively. “As much as I didn’t understand it at the time, being home was far and away the most important thing this week.”
The couple are parents of Olivia, 9, Joshua, 7, Annabel, 5, Emilia, 3, and Gwendolyn, 17 months.
Hannah Brown and her partner, Alan Bersten, went on to win the mirrorball trophy, with Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson finishing in second place. Brooke, 26, and Farber, 35, ended up in third place, while Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko received fourth place.
The decision to send James home was not an easy one for the judges. “It was heartbreaking,” Inaba, 51, admitted during the November 19 episode of The Talk. “I went home and I vomited.”
She added: “I have so much sadness in my heart for them, and my prayers are with them. But, you know, this is when it’s really hard. As a judge, I have to judge the dance. I know on Dancing With the Stars we show their stories and we get to know them, and they become family, and their pain is my pain. But at the same time, it’s like in the Olympics — if something happens to somebody before they get on the gymnastics mat, it doesn’t matter what happens in your personal life. I have to judge what’s happening on the dance floor.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!