Valerie Harper's emotional and courageous journey on "Dancing With the Stars" has come to an end after the 74-year-old TV veteran was voted off the competitive dancing show Monday night.
Harper, best known for playing Rhoda on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," struggled the past two weeks to remember the choreography to her numbers, and an old knee injury flare-up made matters worse. Last week's 16-point cha-cha was followed up Monday with an 18-point Viennese waltz and it just wasn’t enough to keep Harper in the competition.
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But her optimistic attitude and inspiring outlook were the true stars of Monday's episode. Harper, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer earlier this year, said she was excited to dance to "Carry On" by the band Fun.
"That's a beautiful song, a great sentiment," she told her partner Tristan MacManus during rehearsals last week. "It's almost the musical equal to the message I'm trying to get [across]. 'Cause I got bad news but I'm trying to carry on."
After the elimination, Harper said she felt as though she fulfilled that goal.
"It has been absolutely wonderful — completely unique, like nothing else in the world that you would ever do," she told host Tom Bergeron. "And it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks, not just with cancer, whatever they have —whatever challenge."
Harper's experience overcoming adversity touched so many, including celebrities and past "DWTS" cast members.
The top performances of the night went to Elizabeth Berkley, Corbin Bleu, and Amber Riley — who all scored 27s.
Here's Valerie Harper's final "DWTS" performance:
And Monday night's elimination:
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