Hannah Brown & Carrie Ann Inaba’s Tearful Showdown On ‘DWTS’ Explained

Carrie Ann Inaba, Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten on the semifinals of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
Eric McCandless / ABC

Hannah Brown and Carrie Ann Inaba had a tearful showdown over the longtime judge’s critiques of the former Bachelorette star’s progress on Dancing with the Stars. As a result, a surprising apology played out live on camera.

Inaba has been tough on Brown in an attempt to get the best out of the reality star as a performer. Things came to a head between the women before Brown and professional partner Alan Bersten performed a redemption dance to a previously executed rumba routine.

Inaba was called in as an adviser for the couple’s dance practice sessions as they readied themselves to perform in the series semifinals. What began as a routine critique of Brown and Bersten’s dance turned into a surprising confrontation that resulted in something way more than either woman expected.

In the video, former professional dancer Inaba was seen pushing Brown to open herself up more and not doubt herself throughout her performance.

Brown teared up at one point in the video. When Inaba tried to get the reality star to tell her what was wrong, noting that she “could take it,” the reality star refused. Inaba moved toward Brown to give her a hug, prompting Brown to push back and remarking, “I don’t want to be touched.”

The women appeared to come to terms with the incident and move on as the video came to a close, but the personal interaction between them was far from over.

After performing her rumba and prior to receiving the judge’s critiques from Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Inaba, Brown asked show host Tom Bergeron if she could take a moment to speak.

Entertainment Tonight reported that Brown stated directly to Inaba, “I just want to say I am so sorry if it seemed like I was dismissive. I had a really hard day that day. It was really emotional learning my contemporary [routine]. I didn’t handle my emotions very well. I’m so sorry if it seemed like anything else.”

In turn, a tearful Inaba hugged the reality star and also made a statement.

“I was never offended by that. What I noticed is you improved a heck of a lot… I’m really proud of you, Hannah. Well done.”

Fans also weighed in using the comments section of an Instagram photo of Brown and Bersten performing their sexy and powerful dance.

“I’m glad Hannah got the rumba as her redemption dance. I agree with Carrie Ann. Her first rumba wasn’t great partially due to the song choice. This dance was incredible! Perfect song choice!” stated one fan of the couple who sided with the longtime DWTS judge.

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A second fan was not amused with Brown’s reaction during the show.

“Didn’t Carrie Ann hug her a couple of episodes ago? It’s a competition. You’re going to be judged. Doesn’t mean she hates you. Grow up!”

Dancing with the Stars is heading into the finals of Season 28 with Brown performing alongside celebrity competitors Ally Brooke, Lauren Alania, and Kel Mitchell. The finale will air Monday, November 25 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.