Dancing with the Stars 2021—who is Amanda Kloots and why we're rooting for her to win

Amanda Kloots has impressed Dancing with the Stars viewers and judges alike with her showstopping performances

Dancing with the Stars 2021's Amanda Kloots—why we're rooting for her to win
(Image credit: Getty)

Dancing with the Stars' Amanda Kloots is only three weeks into her stint on the hit ABC series—and she's already the show's standout talent. 

The American TV personality has fast become one of our favorite contestants to grace The Dancing with Stars 2021 cast, bringing jaw-dropping moves and an infectiously positive attitude to Season 30 of the popular competition. 

Amanda has wowed both judges and viewers ever since she took the floor with her dance partner Alan Bersten last month, scooping up the title of the best performance for her Foxtrot and Cha Cha routines two weeks in a row. 

The Talk co-host is currently tipped by bookkeepers as one of the frontrunners to win the glitzy competition, coming in second place to Dancing with the Stars’ first same-sex pairing, JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson. She’s also earned a loyal online following, with many fans of the show sharing their gushing adoration for her on social media. 

Alan Berston and Amanda Kloots on Dancing with the Stars 2021

(Image credit: Getty)

With a background in the fitness industry and high-end musical theatre, you might think a gig on Dancing with the Stars would come as a breeze to the 39-year-old mom-of-one. However, things have been far from easy in Amanda’s personal life over the past eighteen months—making her participation in the demanding reality series all the more impressive. 

Her husband, Nick Cordero, died last year at the age of 41 from COVID-19, having been admitted to the ICU four months prior. The Tony-nominated Broadway star suffered a number of complications following the diagnosis, including lung infections and septic shock. 

In April 2020, he had his right leg amputated due to blood clotting and was placed on a temporary pacemaker to stabilize his heart. By May, his lungs were severely damaged by scars and holes. This traumatic medical ordeal came to a devastating end when, in July 2020, Nick died in hospital. 

Amanda Kloots and her husband Nick

Amanda Kloots and her husband Nick Cordero 

(Image credit: Getty)

Amanda, who had shared multiple updates on her husband’s condition since his diagnosis, took to Instagram to announce the tragic news and express her overwhelming grief. 

“My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth," she wrote. "I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him." 

Amanda also mentioned the couple’s one-year-old son, adding, “Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, every day.” 

Amanda has received widespread admiration for her handling of the heartwrenching death, which she bravely documented in her poignant 2021 memoir, Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero. She also became a guest presenter on the hit CBS talk show, The Talk, before joining as a regular host in January 2021. 

Speaking about Nick in her book, Amanda recalled the horrific experience of losing her beloved husband. 

“Nick's actual passing is something I never even talked about on Instagram," she wrote. "I was just sobbing so hard I couldn't even see the keyboard. It was like I was trying to type in a waterfall."

Amanda added that she was supported by her friend Anna, who also helped her co-author the book, during this period of grief.  

“I would usually text her and say, 'I was sobbing. I can't believe this happened,'" she said. "And she would write back, 'I cried myself to sleep too, Mandy.'"

Despite dealing with the heartache that follows the sudden death of a loved one, Amanda is managing to maintain a positive perspective. She hopes that, by sharing the small glimmers of happiness in the depths of grief, she can inspire others to keep going and savor the present moment. 

"You have to be so grateful for every day and every day that you have on this Earth," she wrote. "Life is so fragile and you never know. You could be walking one day, and then you could be not walking the next. And so you really have to remember to take every day for what it is and make it count."

See more
Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.