After a strong start on Dancing With the Starsthis season, the Bachelorette has started to fall on the leaderboard, which she admitted has been discouraging. On Monday's Halloween-themed episode, she tried to regain her top spot with a sassy jazz dance to Donna Summer's "Bad Girls." She gave a dark twist to her pageant past, which impressed judge Len Goodman, but earned critical comments from Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
"I think the bad girl is a terrific dancer," Goodman raved. "What I like is you come out and you perform. ...I thought you did a terrific job, well done."
Tonioli, meanwhile told Brown, "I know you can do better." "You've gotta punch it, punch it, punch it," he added of improving Brown's sharpness on the dance floor.
"I don't agree with that. I thought it was really crisp and clear and right on point," Goodman interrupted.
Inaba, however, tried to get through to Brown. "There's something lacking in your performance... you're disconnected in the movements," she explained, urging the former Miss Alabama USA to really commit. "It's almost like there's a bit of shyness … open up and let it go."
After the dance, Brown's partner, Alan Bersten, told co-host Erin Andrews that he agreed with Inaba's comments. "I think, honestly, it's so accurate," he shared. "Hannah is incredible, but she has a bit of insecurity ... she has no reason to be insecure."
"I think I definitely have more to show and more to give, and I hope I get to do that," Brown added, before receiving a score of 25/30.
Later in the team dance, Inaba told Brown she "did feel" her confidence shine through. Brown teared up. "I'm not a performer or actor… I was a girl on reality TV," she shared. "Every time I come out here I'm just trying my best."
Later Monday night, Bersten took to Instagram to call Brown a "dream partner" and to thank her for being an "incredible teammate."
"I may not always be the best at speaking, but my intentions are always pure. @hannahbrown you have been the epitome of a dream partner. You work hard, you care more than any other person I have met, and you put up with me," he wrote. "No you don’t have experience performing, singing, or acting. I know this doesn’t come easy to you, but you impress me every single day, when you go out there and you give it 100% I am so proud of you."
"I just wanted to say thank you, thank you for being an incredible teammate," he continued. "Thank you for always leaving your heart on the floor, and thank you for trusting me on this journey. You not only inspire me, but you inspire everyone that comes across your infectious attitude!"
Bersten previously opened up about trying to help Brown "believe in herself" while guest blogging for ET earlier this month.
"Hannah is doing so well in this competition and is working so hard. Sometimes she doesn't believe in herself. It gets really hard, but I try my best to support her and really show her that she can do it, and she just has to believe in herself. I'm so proud of her," he wrote. "We do a lot of talking. I feel like our communication has gotten better as the weeks go on. I'm not going to lie, I suck at communicating, and I get extremely passionate when it comes to the dance, so it's good to sometimes take a second, talk out the problems and work them out together."
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more in the video below.