Selma Blair is bowing out of “Dancing With the Stars.”
The actor announced on the Oct. 17 episode that she would be leaving the competition due to her battle with multiple sclerosis.
“I’ve been monitored and in touch with my doctor… I had MRIs and the results came back and it all adds up to, I can’t go on with the competition,” Blair told her partner Sasha Farber during the fifth episode. “I’ve pushed as far as I could. 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. There is just intense bone trauma and inflammation.”
“I could do extensive damage that I, of course, do not want,” she added, then telling Farber she really wanted to “have one last beautiful dance with you and bow out.”
The two would go on to deliver an emotional waltz set to “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
“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,” Blair said to the camera. “I am so, so grateful to be able to do one last gentle dance.”
After the performance, the audience was overcome with emotion and some in tears. Co-host Tyra Banks also thanked her for being a part of this season.
“This competition is tough for everyone, but if the others have climbed hills, you have climbed mountains,” judge Len Goodman told Blair, followed by Derek Hough who said she was “a beacon of light” during the competition and “brought nothing but joy to everyone, always with a smile.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli told Blair that she had all his love and admirations and that she “inspired millions.” Judge Carrie Ann Inaba also told her that she’s raised awareness for people who struggle with chronic pain, adding, “You are a blessing and a gift.”
Speaking to co-host Alfonso Ribeiro, Blair said she doesn’t think people understand what this show means to her.
“To see the audience react to each and every one of us and our efforts, it’s so heartening,” she said. And while she wishes she could stay and learn more, she had to do what was best for her health.
“I came into the competition late and I had really been on almost bed rest… for like 10 years. So I definitely was so excited to get into being so active and learning something,” she said. “But it was, it’s a lot on your body and I do want to say it’s so hard for me to take care… because I want to be here.”
She added that there are consequences to the actions that she takes and doesn’t “want to be laid up again because I’m afraid I won’t get back.”
The judges would go on to give Blair and Farber a perfect score of 40 points.
Following the announcement, Blair’s longtime friend and former “Cruel Intentions” co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar praised the actor on Instagram.
“Long before @dancingwiththestars I knew you were a ten, and now the world knows. Selma I’ve never been so proud of you (and I’m often proud of you) You make the rest of us believe that we can do anything. That we can never give up,” Gellar wrote alongside a selfie of the two. “And a special thank you to @sashafarber1 for making this experience what it has been for James- pure joy. I will miss getting to watch the happiness radiate from Selma each week as she stepped on stage with you. Thank you for that gift. And speaking of gifts- @selmablair your love and friendship is the greatest gift. I love you Blair.”
Blair reposted Gellar’s post on her Instagram story, as well as other supporters’ messages of love and support.
Blair was diagnosed with MS in 2018. MS is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system), according to Mayo Clinic.
In a previous “DWTS” episode, she revealed that she fainted ahead of a scheduled rehearsal. While her time on the show was short, viewers have been in awe of her performances.