ABC’s Dancing With the Stars is supposedly a wholesome program that the entire family can partake in.
However, for one contestant, Normani Kordei, a member of mega-successful girl group Fifth Harmony, what goes on offline is anything but family-friendly.
On Monday’s live episode, the 20-year-old opened up about the vicious cyberbullying attacks she has endured.
She and partner Val Chmerkovsky performed an emotionally charged contemporary dance to “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton. The singer said the piece was “symbolic of times that I’ve felt helpless and desperate.”
“I got bullied terribly on social media. I did an interview. It was taken out of context completely and there were images. People were calling me the N word. It was really ugly,” Kordei said to People magazine. “It was every time I went online it’s ‘Oh, how much we hate you. How talentless you are.’ They actually made images of me being whipped, beaten, hung.”
She continued, “I shouldn’t want to change the color of my skin or texture of my hair or the fact that I’m a woman. I felt really alone. And just like everybody hated me.
“We all want to be loved. We all want to feel accepted, but when that doesn’t happen, then it just breaks you,” she admitted.
After her emotional contemporary number with Chmerkovsky, the singer hugged her partner as tears welled up in her eyes. Despite it all—blackgirlmagic prevailed and Kordei and Chmerkovsky were awarded a perfect score for the dance.