Actress Selma Blair was one of the most inspiring contestants on Season 31 of Dancing with the Stars. She turned in great performances every week with her pro partner, Sasha Farber.
Unfortunately, during the “Most Memorable Year” episode on October 17, 2022, Selma announced that she was withdrawing from DWTS due to health concerns. In 2018, Selma was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. Symptoms of MS include pain, difficulty walking, fatigue, and speech and memory issues, per the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
In a pre-taped package, Selma explained to Sasha why she needed to withdraw. “I had these MRIs and when the results came back, it just all adds up to I can’t. I can’t go on with the competition,” Selma said. “I pushed as far as I could.”
The Legally Blonde actress wanted to do one final dance with Sasha. The duo performed a lovely waltz to “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Andra Day. The judges gave the couple a score of 40/40, even though it wouldn’t be counted for the DWTS competition. There were plenty of tears in the ballroom as the judges, dance pros, and Selma’s co-stars celebrated her achievement.
Selma spoke to Page Six after her final performance. She explained, “This was a really emotional night for me. Because it was filled with so much love for me and my love for everyone here is really, really, really returned,” Selma added.
The actress also reflected on what she learned about herself from appearing on DWTS. “I learned that I could do things that I didn’t even think I wanted to do anymore. I learned that with passion and [hope] that you could feel as beautiful as the people that you’re watching,” Selma remarked. “That it can be inspiring.” Selma truly embodied grace when she danced.
“For me, there’s never any, like, despair in comparison when you’re with a crowd like this, with these celebrities and these pros,” Selma stated. “I’m so proud of this show and this production for welcoming a couple of us [like Daniel Durant, who is deaf] where it’s just a little extra of a challenge. But look at the way we just prove ourselves in different ways,” she added.
Sasha also weighed in on Selma’s exit, stating that it was an inspiring journey to be partnered with “an icon.” He said, “There aren’t enough words to say how proud I am. She is a true inspiration,” Sasha stated. “She has not only inspired myself but so many people around the world … there’s nothing this lady can’t do.”
Page Six reported in September of 2022 that Selma had to convince her team that she should join the DWTS cast. She signed on just “four or five days” before the cast announcement.
“There was terror and nerves because I don’t have experience dancing, like, with steps,” Selma explained. “I can pose like a dancer for maybe two seconds.”
She continued, “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].” Selma added, “We do these things we want to find joy in.”
Selma’s good friend and Cruel Intentions co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar came to support Selma in the ballroom. After Selma exited DWTS, Sarah Michelle posted a sweet tribute to her friend on Instagram. “Long before @dancingwiththestars I knew you were a ten, and now the world knows,” Sarah Michelle wrote. “Selma, I’ve never been so proud of you (and I’m often proud of you.)”
Selma truly made an impression with the joy and positivity that she brought to the ballroom.
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[Photo Credit: ABC/Andrew Eccles]