Selma Blair surprised everyone when she revealed during the live episode of Dancing With the Stars on October 17 that she would be exiting the show early due to health concerns as she continues to battle multiple sclerosis. After the show, Selma told reporters, including HollywoodLife, that she “didn’t want to leave” the show.
The actress revealed during the episode that she had MRIs done and admitted that her body “has taken a hit” since starting DWTS. “It’s way too much for the safety of my bones. There’s just intensive bone trauma and inflammation, among rips and tears, so I could do extensive damage that, of course, I do not want,” she continued.
Following the episode, Derek Hough praised Selma for her bravery and called her “the story of Dancing With the Stars season 31. I mean, quite simply put, and she still is. What she achieved in the show was nothing less than a miracle and just so sensational.” He called her exit “one of the most beautiful sendoffs of Dancing With the Stars history.”
Wayne Brady admitted that he was caught off guard by Selma leaving. “It was shock. Pure, unadulterated shock,” Wayne said about his reaction. “I heard nothing about it going into it, and she lights up this competition. When I said earlier that this is a very human show… Selma truly is the light that we’ve all gravitated to. We’re all close now, so it’s a loss.”
Selma was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 after years of having symptoms. “I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps,” the actress wrote on Instagram when she announced her diagnosis. “But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”
Emma Slater, who dances with Trevor Donovan, gushed that Selma “really is a light to everybody. Derek said something that was very true. The makeup department, the wardrobe department, every department in the show is touched by her. She has just this extremely positive energy, and she’s got time for everyone. So seeing her leave at such an early point of the competition is sad, but it’s 100% the right thing to do. She just superseded all kinds of expectations. She got 40 from the judges, a standing ovation, and she’s an absolute goddess. I think her and Sasha together are the perfect team. He did so well with her, and we’re all friends for life for sure.”
Joseph Baena noted that Selma has “such a warm heart. It’s so sad to see her go and it was very emotional for everyone to see her go because everyone loves hanging out with her at rehearsals and everywhere around the show.”
Selma was able to dance one final routine at the end of the episode. She wowed with her touching waltz to “What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Andra Day. Selma and Sasha ended their DWTS run with the first perfect score of the season.