A ballroom shocker. Selma Blair‘s early exit from Dancing With the Stars left the cast stunned.
Emma Slater was among the first to hug the 50-year-old actress when Blair announced on the Monday, October 17, episode of the Disney+ show that she had to leave due to health concerns.
“We found out today, and so it was super emotional,” Slater, 33, told Us Weekly after the live show. “What really got me was hearing Selma talk about her journey and how hard it was for her to pull out and … just how powerful she is. She really is a light to everybody.”
Blair has struggled with multiple sclerosis since 2017. During Monday’s episode of DWTS, she explained that her doctors had been monitoring her throughout the competition and recent tests found that her body was under significant stress. “It just all adds up to … I can’t go on with the competition,” she said, before adding that she wanted to have “one last gentle dance” with partner Sasha Farber.
Derek Hough praised the Cruel Intentions actress for her brief journey on the series. “She was the story of Dancing With the Stars season 31, and she still is,” the judge, 37, told Us on Monday. “What she achieved in the show was nothing less than a miracle and just so sensational.”
Hough said Blair’s attitude made her a joy to be around, both on and off camera. “For me, that means a lot to me, the way people treat others,” the Nashville alum told Us. “She’s a class act, and this was one of the most beautiful send-offs of Dancing With the Stars history, to see that raw emotion.”
The longtime DWTS personality celebrated Blair’s “gorgeous” waltz and lamented how she showed such promise — and even declared that he will make every effort to make sure Blair returns for the season 31 finale.
“She definitely had a lot more left, for sure, if she was able to. But I think this is the right choice, without a doubt, and I have no doubt that we haven’t seen the last of her,” Hough teased. “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 got already got some choreography playing on the table and we’re gonna do some fun stuff.’ I was already pitching her ideas.”
The six-time mirrorball champ added that he wanted “to give her something to look forward to” amid the sadness of her untimely exit.
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Dancing With the Stars airs on Disney+ Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Scroll down to see how Blair’s DWTS costars reacted to her departure right after Monday’s episode: