Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke believes the ABC reality dancing competition has changed and isn't authentic anymore.

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Actor James Van Der Beek was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' 28th season his first time landing in the bottom two, right after revealing to the world his wife had suffered a devastating miscarriage.

(DWTS' judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman chose to save pop star Ally Brooke for the third time instead of James).

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James, who was ousted prior to the finals, recently told USA Today that Dancing with the Stars "might have a little soul-searching" after the finale, and Cheryl clearly agrees.

"What [the judges] did to him was harsh. I think just the world we're living in right now, there's no grounding. People need to actually talk from their hearts and instead, people are on the defense constantly," Cheryl wrote in her Us Weekly blog.

"People are always trying to prove themselves when really you need to just be yourself and be authentic and whatever that is to you. I think that's what this show is missing. It's not authentic to what the show is anymore, which is a ballroom show."

Cheryl clarified that James was not being a sore loser following his early and unexpected ouster.

"I don't think he means the show needs to go soul-searching because of what he went through, I don't think he's looking for pity," Cheryl said.

In the end, The Bachelorette star Hannah Brown and her professional partner Alan Bersten were crowned Dancing with the Stars champions.

Carrie Ann, however, admitted to Us after the finale many people in the ballroom were "shocked" by Hannah's victory, and she personally didn't expect the results either.

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Carrie Ann had been asking Hannah to show her heart, shed her layers and be more vulnerable week to week.
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"As hard as Carrie Ann was on Hannah, it was constructive criticism. Carrie Ann likes to see chemistry and she likes to see someone be vulnerable and it's hard... Carrie Ann definitely loves to see raw emotion and she kept pushing Hannah because she believed in her," Cheryl explained.

"I can tell Carrie Ann wanted more from them each week because of the potential she saw in Hannah, but unfortunately, in Carrie Ann's eyes, she didn't quite get there fully, which is why I'm assuming that she was surprised by Hannah's win."

Cheryl insisted the pros and celebrities on the show wear their hearts on their sleeve.

"To any celeb that signs up for this show, it is your life, but it is so rewarding. You can't deny that this changes your life, but because you become so passionately involved in what you're doing, you become naked in a way out there on the dance floor, showing another side of you," the pro dancer wrote in her blog.

"My wish as a viewer would be to see more of that struggle, triumph, and achievement and to feel more a part of each couple's journey."

Cheryl did call Hannah and Alan the "full package," but she admitted Ally was "the best dancer" on the show out of the Final 3 celebrities, and actor and comedian Kel Mitchell had the best freestyle.

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Cheryl thought Kel and his pro partner Witney Carson delivered an unpredictable routine that was meaningful to Kel as well as cool and refreshing. She was therefore not pleased Len only scored the pair a 9 for it.

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"It's not Len Goodman's style to say anything positive about a dance like that but I think he needs to be a little bit more open-minded about the freestyle round. For the freestyle round, anything goes," Cheryl wrote, referencing how Kel's number was hip-hop.

"It's up to you if you don't like the style, but you can't really judge it based on likes. I think you have to judge it on originality. Did they mess up? No. Were they synchronized? Yes. Did the audience love it? Hell Yes! It needs to be a cumulative-type score, not about ballroom because most freestyles aren't ballroom. I think that 9 may have hurt him."

Kel and Witney finished the Dancing with the Stars competition in second place, while Ally and her pro partner Sasha Farber claimed third place.

Cheryl has competed as a pro partner on 22 out of 28 Dancing with the Stars' seasons, and she has won the mirrorball trophy twice.

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