Baring it all. Hannah Brown allowed audiences into her world in more ways than one as the Bachelorette, but they have since witnessed her share an entirely new side of vulnerability as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.
“You’re being judged on something you’ve never done before, and having to learn a dance with a professional in a few days,” Brown, 24, explained to Us Weekly exclusively at the 53rd annual CMA Awards in Nashville on Wednesday, November 13. “It makes me very vulnerable in the sense of, like, how I feel sometimes because, you know, you’re watching a professional do it and I’m never going to be that.”
The former pageant queen continued, “Just knowing that I’m doing my best and that I can see myself continuing to improve has been really incredible. I don’t really know any other way than to be vulnerable or just be myself.”
Brown argued that the level of vulnerability she has showcased on Dancing With the Stars is “different” from what audiences saw from her on The Bachelorette earlier this year. “I think it’s been cool that they have kind of broken that fourth wall and really shown the real story, and the real journey that we all go on when you are a lead or the contestants,” she said of the dating show.
“I mean, it’s all fun and entertainment for everybody at home. But it is our real life,” the Alabama native added. “I feel like your being able to see that a little bit more and I hope they continue to do that.”
Brown’s comments to Us come weeks after the TV personality spoke out about her time on the ABC dance series. In October, she admitted via Instagram that she joined the show “a little broken and confused.” She also noted that “this experience has been harder” than she had anticipated.
“When I decided to do Dancing With the Stars, I thought it would be a fun way to channel all my energy after a whirlwind experience as the Bachelorette,” she wrote. “I was hopeful that the confidence I gained this year to take pride in the woman I have become would have the opportunity to shine, and I’d feel that reboot in my spirit after it took a bit of a beating after my Bachelorette season.”
Brown continued that each day in the competition has “brought its challenges with my past, my fears and the uncomfortableness of opening myself up again to be judged on something VERY scary, like learning a new skill to perform each week.” She then acknowledged that there’s been a “disconnect” about how she’s presented herself on the show.
“I want to be me. I want to be real,” she said. “I feel my best when I feel like I have the opportunity to share my heart with others.”
Brown became a household name and fan-favorite after appearing on Colton Underwood’s season on The Bachelor, which premiered in January. She later let the world in on her journey of growth and love when she led The Bachelorette’s 15th season.
Though she ended the season with a broken engagement, she embarked upon a new challenge when she was cast on Dancing With the Stars’ 28th season in August. She is currently partnered with pro dancer Alan Bersten.
With reporting by Lexi Ciccone