Sailor Brinkley-Cook was absolutely crushed when she and partner Val Chmerkovskiy were sent home on the Monday, October 21, episode of Dancing With the Stars. However, she wasn’t the only one. The judges were shocked and her partner was extremely upset.
“It sucks we got eliminated. That sucks, and I don’t think it’s right and I think that the show may or may not have made a mistake,” the pro, 33, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, October 22. “But it’s not a perfect show. It is a show that has, at the core of its nucleus, this incredible effort to make people happy, and I think that’s what makes the show very, very special. … You appreciate the effort. There’s a lot of people putting in the effort to make people happy like in the simplest form, that’s the beauty of it. It’s a humongous effort by a lot of people who are incredibly talented who are holding themselves to a very high standard all in the name of bringing joy to people.”
Brinkley-Cook, 21, explained that for her, she was most saddened by the thought that she wouldn’t be able to spend time with the cast anymore — something the 14-time U.S. National Latin Dance champion definitely agreed with.
“It really is the people and Sailor. Sailor, myself, like-minded people that gravitate towards that camaraderie and that community of people that are supportive and awesome. It’s about that collaboration,” he told Us, with the model adding that she felt that this was “the collab of a lifetime.”
While he understands why she feels that way now, he doesn’t necessarily see it that way.
“Life goes on. Not everyone gets to be a winner unless they choose to be. Winning is a mentality. I’ll take six weeks of this experience with her, with her mom, getting to know Christie Brinkley,” he said. “To get to know this superstar and to realize what I’ve been missing out on and then to get to know her as a person. I have nothing but the most incredible things to say about Christie Brinkley because of the person that I’ve met in the last month and a half, not really having an extensive knowledge of what her career looked like. One of the things that I admire so much about her is how she embraces motherhood and how she prioritizes it. The fact that week 2 of rehearsal, she was having the time of her life but in the same breath, after Sailor visited for literally 10 seconds of that rehearsal when she walked out, she was so proud. ‘That’s my daughter, oh man she would be perfect for this show. She would kill this show, she would be so good.’ For me, those are the moments that made me really gravitate towards people.”
Brinkley, 65, was Chmerkovskiy’s original partner but, due to an injury just two days before the premiere, her daughter had to step in to fill in.
“I gained a lifelong friend in Christie, and then by this incredibly unfortunate fortune, got a chance to really bond with her daughter Sailor,” he continued. “What a gift for me as a dancer, as a teacher, as someone who’s been part of this show for so long. This is easily one of my favorite seasons I’ve ever had.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe
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