Dancing With the Stars had what could be described as its first big shocking elimination of the season. It was certainly an emotional loss. After making a solid comeback with a strong Paso Doble, film and television star Anne Heche and her pro partner Keo Motsepe were sent packing.
Dancing With the Stars Elimination
Heche, who is beloved by soap fans for her turn as twins on Another World, not only earned high praise from the judges for her improved performance but the actress opened up in a pre-dance video package as to what it was like being in the public spotlight, starting in the late 1990s when she was dating Ellen DeGeneres.
“My story is a story that created change in the world,” Heche shared, recalling when she met DeGeneres at a Vanity Fair party and the two fell in love, and thus began their relationship which lasted a few years. Heche brought DeGeneres with her to the premiere of her 1997 film Volcano, but times were different back then in terms of acceptance.
“I was told that if I took her I would lose my contract,” Heche recalls. She said she brought DeGeneres as her date for the night, but she was ushered out by security before the film ended and didn’t even attend her own afterparty.
“[Ellen] was warning me this was going to happen,” Heche recollects. “I was fired from my multi-million dollar picture deal and did not work in a studio picture for 10 years.”
“Thank you for sacrificing your career, your life,” Motsepe said. “You’re such an inspiration. You’re amazing.”
After her dance, Anne Heche and Motsepe stood before judges Derek Hough, Bruno Tonioli, and Carrie Ann Inaba for a critique. “You felt so much more sturdy,” Hough said. “So much more in control. Great job.”
“I really admire you for what you did,” said Tonioli. “Very few people have the courage to do what you did.”
“I just love you,” added Inaba. “Watching you is inspiring on so many levels.”
There was a SNAFU on live TV at the end of the program. While Monica Aldama (Cheer) and Val Chmerkovskiy were initially called safe, they were actually not. The pair and Heche and Motsepe faced the judges who were charged with saving one of the two couples.
Despite Heche’s powerful Paso and inspiring pre-dance story, the trio of judges unanimously opted to save Aldama and Chmerkovskiy. “It has been a blessing to be on this show and to be able to tell my story,” Heche said on-air, “and to have been able to have a partner to tell the truth with, and learn and survive with.”
Fellow cast member Vernon Davis posted on Heche’s Instagram page after the live elimination: “Love you Anne. You did a great job on the show. 🥇.”
“That was the most moving package I have ever seen,” posted @taylorrandolph. “My partner and I are in tears on our couch. Thank for your work in our community- and thank you for a BEAUTIFUL dance!”
“Thank you for telling your story and being YOU!!” posted @sasha.smoot. “I am devastated to see you go tonight 😭 what a true gift you are ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜.”
“You were the best!!!! I’m so sorry!!!! I’m so sad about this!!!!” posted @trishad663. “But you deserve to be very very proud!!!! You really went for it!!!! You have a lot of drive and determination and that’s what matters most! ❤️”
“Stay true to who you are and never stop rising,” Heche posted on Instagram. “💛💚💜💙 Thank you @keo_motsepe @dancingabc.” Next week, the remaining contestants and their pro partners will tackle ’80s week. Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.