Valerie Harper inspires, exits 'Dancing with the Stars'

Valerie Harper became the latest contestant to leave the DWTS competition after receiving middling scores for her waltz routine. 'It has been absolutely wonderful,' Valerie Harper said of her experience on the show. 'Completely unique.'

Charles Sykes/AP
Valerie Harper was eliminated from 'Dancing with the Stars' on Oct. 7.

“Mary Tyler Moore” star Valerie Harper was the latest contestant to be eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars,” leaving the show on Monday, Oct. 7.

Harper, who was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, was paired with dancing pro Tristan MacManus for the competition and they performed a Viennese waltz for their last number, set to the song “Carry On” by the band fun.

[Editor's note: The original story incorrectly stated the nature of Valerie Harper's illness.]

When she received the news that she was leaving the show, according to USA Today, Harper said, “It has been absolutely wonderful. Completely unique. Like nothing else in the world that you would ever do. And it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks, not just with cancer, but with whatever challenge, like our song tonight – carry on, carry on.”

“I think maybe life’s a little bit better since I met Valerie Harper,” MacManus said of his partner.

Meanwhile, her fellow contestants praised Harper in interviews with Entertainment Weekly.

“I hope to God I can be half the inspiration she is,” Bill Engvall said. “I kind of wish they’d have just given her the trophy.”

Two contestants were eliminated before Harper, with NFL player Keyshawn Johnson leaving on Sept. 23 and TV science host Bill Nye departing on Sept. 30.

Before performing her routine, Harper said, “I am not at all ready to quit,” noting that she and MacManus had received low scores lately but saying she wanted to improve.

Former “DWTS” participant Julianne Hough returned for the show on Monday as a judge, subbing in for Len Goodman.

After Harper and MacManus did their routine, Hough called it "beautiful," but judge Carrie Ann Inaba said the dance had “some beautiful moments” but that the “mistakes stood out more” in the waltz, according to USA Today. Harper received scores of 6 from each of the judges.

“Dancing” is currently airing its 17th season.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Valerie Harper inspires, exits 'Dancing with the Stars'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today