Pop Culture

Sabrina Bryan on leaving 'Dancing With the Stars': 'You can't be shocked to go home'

Adam Taylor / ABC / Today
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel.

It was déjà vu for Sabrina Bryan on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" Tuesday night. She was handed her walking papers in week six, just as she’d been in season five. Both times, she left the competition on the same date -- Oct. 30.

"This is one of the most amazing experiences I ever could have asked for," a grateful Bryan told reporters after the show with her pro partner and pal Louis Van Amstel by her side. "To have a second chance at something like this has been incredible."

Bryan realized leaving early once again was a possibly, and it wasn’t just her shocking elimination five years ago that brought her to that conclusion.

"It’s an all-star season," she noted. "You can’t be shocked to go home. There are incredible people in this cast. Everybody continues to get better and better every week."

Bryan said that she feared the end was near when she and Van Amstel were left on stage along with other top-scoring duo, Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff.

The former Cheetah Girl was asked if she was glad to be leaving on such a high note. "Um, glad?" Ryan responded. "No. But we feel like we accomplished something. Louis brought so much out of me. He’s all I could ever ask of anyone in any kind of partnership. I feel amazing."

One of the goals Bryan accomplished this season was achieving more vulnerability. Just prior to her dance on Monday, she revealed on air that she’d had a relationship that ended badly in part due to her former beau’s addiction.

"This season, I’m in such a happy place," she said. "My life, my family, my friends are all good. My friend from the East Coast (in the path of Superstorm Sandy) is safe. Everything in my life feels good right now.

"Every one of you guys (reporting on the show) asked me what I’d do differently this season after I got the chance to be on it. I said I’d take a moment every day to take in what I have. I realize this time how blessed I am for everything."

Bryan’s professional plans are up in the air. She may return to the "Dancing" show in Las Vegas. Personally, she and Van Amstel plan to take a cruise together in December to the Caribbean.

"Our ‘Dancing With the Stars’ journey ends, but not our personal journey," Van Amstel said.

"We’re going to be doing lots of dancing," Bryan added.

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