With grace and dignity, Selma Blair has bowed out of Dancing With the Stars due to her ongoing health concerns.
The Cruel Intensions actress, 50 — who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 — performed one last dance with her pro partner, Sasha Farber, on Monday, October 17, doing a tear-filled waltz to Andra Day’s "What the World Needs Now Is Love" during the show's Most Memorable Year night.
The heartfelt number was choreographed to reflect the year 2018 for Blair. Though the judges' scores wouldn't count toward the competition given Blair's decision to exit, the partners received four 10s for a perfect score of 40 out of 40.
The actress explained in a pre-taped interview that aired ahead of her and Farber's performance that she had to leave the dance show due to issues stemming from her condition. MS is "a disease that impacts the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, which make up the central nervous system and controls everything we do," according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Symptoms of MS include memory and speech problems, pain, fatigue and difficulty walking.
"I had MRIs and the results came back, and it all adds up to, I can’t go on with the competition. I've pushed as far as I could," the Legally Blonde actress told her partner in the interview package that aired Monday night. "With a chronic illness, you do have special considerations, and my body has taken a hit. It’s way too much for the safety of my bones. I could do extensive damage that I, of course, do not want."
Blair told Farber, 38, "I really want to have one last beautiful dance with you, and bow out. So, this is a dance for everyone that has tried and hoped they could do more, but also, the power in realizing it’s time to walk away. I am so, so grateful to be able to do one last gentle dance."
After the show, Blair candidly told a news publication: "This was a really emotional night for me," pointing out, "Because it was filled with so much love for me and my love for everyone here is really, really, really returned."
When asked what she has learned about herself from her journey on DWTS, the Hellboy star said she exceeded her own expectations in many ways — and she wasn't the only one proud of what she had accomplished.
Blair's partner also reflected on her exit and praised her for being an inspiration. “There aren’t enough words to say how proud I am,” Farber told reporters Monday night. “She is a true inspiration. She has not only inspired myself, but so many people around the world … there’s nothing this lady can’t do."
Blair joined Season 31 of DWTS just "four or five days" before the cast was revealed in September. Admitting at the time that she was "terrified" to attempt dancing given she did not have any experience, Blair was ready to give it her all, revealing it was her team that needed convincing.
"But once I decided and convinced my team that I could do this, that it wasn’t going to be too dangerous for me, that I could do this, [it was OK]," she told Page Six. "We do these things we want to find joy in. And then I’m all in.”
Before Blair said goodbye to her cast members and the judges on Monday night, she shared a sweet message for her son, who was in the audience.
"Arthur, I love you the most and I just want to say, I loved this," Blair told her 11-year-old. "And sometimes there's going to be uncomfortable things to do in life and you just do it with a smile."
Dancing with the Stars continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. E.T. on Disney+.