Emma Slater Talks About James Van Der Beek Doing ‘DWTS’ After Wife’s Miscarriage, Disappointing Elimination

Emma Slater and James Van Der Beek on 'Dancing with the Stars'
Frank Micelotta / ABC

Monday night’s episode of Dancing with the Stars was a rough one for former frontrunners Emma Slater and James Van Der Beek. Not only did James share the heartbreaking news that his wife had a miscarriage over the weekend and was in the hospital, but he and Emma were also eliminated. Now the DWTS pro is talking about her partner’s struggles the last few days and why he stuck with the show.

James revealed the news about the miscarriage during Monday’s DWTS semi-finals, and he noted that his wife insisted that she wasn’t done watching him dance yet. He and Emma did not necessarily deliver their strongest performances of the season, understandably. However, many viewers had anticipated that they would be safe and move on to the finale next week.

Instead, they were in the bottom two with Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber. The judges saved Ally, leaving James eliminated.

Emma spoke with People magazine after Monday’s show, and she clearly has adored James and treasured their partnership this season. She noted that she had not had a chance to talk with James after their elimination because he skipped the post-show media and left to be with his family.

For anybody who may have either questioned James’ decision to keep doing the show or perhaps speculated that he wanted to quit, Emma sets the record straight.

“He needed the show. He said to me, ‘I need the show. I’m grateful to have an outlet and to have a form of physical expression and keep that engine to keep me going. I need to feel normal and not fall into the pit,'” explained Emma of what James told her after the miscarriage over the weekend.

Emma praised James’ wife Kimberly, noting that she’s “the most inspirational, high-spirited person I know.”

Kimberly seemingly not only told her husband she intended to see him dancing again, she essentially pushed him out the door and urged him to keep going with DWTS.

“[S]he’s the person who said ‘I need you to go there and dance and show everyone how great you are and shine,'” Emma said of Kimberly’s encouragement of James.

When it comes to the surprising elimination that the Dancing with the Stars couple faced, Emma said that she had wanted to protect him and felt that he ultimately hadn’t been protected. She told her DWTS partner that he was amazing and says that she wouldn’t have wanted any other partner.

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The pro added that she knows that James is disappointed and upset by the elimination. Emma admitted that she had hoped to shield him from experiencing an elimination right on top of the miscarriage, but it seems that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Dancing with the Stars viewers have enjoyed watching James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater dance together in Season 28, and everybody was left shaken by their surprise Monday night elimination. Hopefully, they will be able to return to the finale to give fans one last performance alongside the other eliminated pairs, as it seems that DWTS fans aren’t ready to be done with this duo yet.