'DWTS' Changed My Life! Sailor Brinkley-Cook on 'Heartbreaking' Elimination


Shock and sadness. Sailor Brinkley-Cook — and the rest of the word — was completely caught off guard during the Monday, October 21, episode of Dancing With the Stars. After each pair danced, it was revealed that Brinkley-Cook, 21, and partner Val Chermkovskiy were in the bottom two next to Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber. The judges then chose to save the former Fifth Harmony singer, sending home Val and Sailor.

“Last night was heartbreaking. I was so not ready for this experience to finish so soon but wow am I grateful for every minute of it,” she began in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, October 22. “I loved every sweaty moment in the rehearsal studio pushing myself past so many inhibitions and insecurities, and laughing my way through it all with my buddies @michdibs @valentin . And then doing something every Monday that I never in a million years thought i could be capable of. It was such a gift, no matter how nervous i was getting up on that stage I’d always look around and think what is my life!? How blessed am I?! This experience changed my whole outlook on life. All my life I let my fears hold me back from anything I wasn’t comfortable with. This experience made me feel unstoppable. Each day on this rollercoaster ride was a massive learning lesson, a journey in 24 hours.”

Brinkley-Cook joined the show after her mother, Christie Brinkley, was injured just days before the premiere. The Christie Brinkley Eyewear spokesperson called her daughter to fill in and, despite the supermodel’s intense stage fright, she took on the challenge.

On Monday, she received three 9s from the judges, only adding to the shock of the elimination.

“Thank you to everyone for showing me so much love and to all my close friends and family for always believing in me and supporting me. Thank you to the whole crew on DWTS for showing unconditional kindness always,” the New York native continued on her Instagram. “To my cast-mates who quickly became such good friends, thank you for taking me in and being so kind and supportive.. I’ll miss you guys! But I’m so excited to see y’all light up that stage on Monday!”

Brinkley-Cook also called out partner Chmerkovskiy, 33, for his support. “A massive thank you to my fearless partner and friend @valentin for everything, for believing in my strengths, for never giving up, for cracking me up every day,” she wrote. “I’ll sincerely miss dancing by your side. But I know it won’t be the last time. I am so grateful to have taken this chance, befriended some really amazing people, had some bucket list experiences and have these stories to tell forever. And I’ll never stop dancing!!!! Feeling so filled with love and gratitude! Thank you!!!”

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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