“I didn’t want to leave,” the Cruel Intentions star, 50, exclusively told Us Weekly after the show on Monday, adding that a doctor’s visit last week was the moment she “knew” she’d have to go. “I had an MRI on my knee, and the doctor was like, ‘Ugh, if you can choreograph it in the pool or do something, you know, not weight-bearing.'”
The Legally Blonde actress hoped that she would improve before the episode, so she continued to monitor her symptoms. “I was like, ‘Oh, but maybe I feel better. Let me check stuff, and then if that’s OK, then I’ll continue,'” Blair recalled to Us. “It wasn’t great, but nothing horrible. But I was like, ‘Oh, OK. I’m not prepared for horrible, but [the idea of] leaving was horrible enough last week.’ I felt last week would be our last dance. But I was like, ‘No, no way.'”
During the October 10 episode, however, the Mean Baby author and her partner, Sasha Farber, were safe after dancing the quickstep to “The Muppet Show Theme” on Disney+ Night. Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke, meanwhile, went home after finishing in the bottom two alongside Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater.
For Blair’s final number on Monday, she and Farber, 38, performed a waltz to Andra Day‘s cover of “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” Contestants had been asked to choose a song released during the most memorable year of their life. The track debuted in 2017, the same year the Michigan native received her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
The judges were effusive with their praise, awarding the pair 10s across the board for a perfect score of 40. “This competition is hard for everyone, but If the others have climbed hills, you have climbed mountains,” Len Goodman told the American Crime Story alum. Derek Hough, for his part, told Blair that she was a “beacon of light” for everyone else in the competition.
After the show, the Nashville alum, 37, told reporters that he’s already brainstorming her return for the season finale. “She was the story of Dancing With the Stars season 31,” Hough told reporters on Monday.
“I think this is the right choice without a doubt, and I have no doubt that we haven’t seen the last of her,” the dance pro added. “I saw her and I was like, ‘Listen, we’re doing something. We’re doing something in the finale. Don’t care. We’re gonna do something cool. I already got some choreography playing on the table and we’re gonna do some fun stuff.’ I was already pitching her ideas!”
Dancing With the Stars airs on Disney+ Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. The second half of this week’s special two-night event airs on Tuesday, October 18, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi