It was a night of surprises on Monday’s Dancing With the Stars, with the biggest twist having nothing to do with ballroom dance moves. As host Tyra Banks was announcing the two couples that had landed in the bottom two, she accidentally told Cheer star Monica Aldama and her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, that they were safe from elimination.
Moments later, however, Tyra revealed that there was actually an “error in the control room,” and that she needed Monica and Val to return to the stage. “This is live TV, right? This is the craziness of live TV,” the host quipped. Ultimately, Monica and Val were safe as Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe were sent home.
“That was all so confusing for us,” Anne told ET’s Lauren Zima on Tuesday. “It wasn’t pleasant to be honest.”
Anne said being eliminated Monday night “did not feel great,” especially after delivering such a powerful Paso Doble set to Katy Perry’s “Rise.” In her interview package that aired before the dance, she opened up about her years-long romance with Ellen DeGeneres, and the scrutiny she faced at the time for dating a woman in the public eye. Anne and Ellen dated from 1997 to 2000.
“When I told my story last night … it triggered something in me. It took me 20 years to tell my story, and to articulate it the way Dancing With the Stars allowed me to,” she explained. “So to be voted off the same night I told that story, I had a similar feeling to what it was that I experienced years ago.”
“It doesn’t feel good to be put in a position where you tell your truth and it’s not received the way that you wanted it to be,” she continued, starting to get emotional. “But when we tell our stories, we share our respect for one another. I hope that by sharing it, we encourage others to do the same.”
Anne told ET that Ellen probably had no idea she would be speaking about their former romance on the show — “Heck no, Ellen and I haven’t spoken in years!” — but said she would be open to reuniting with the talk show host someday if the opportunity presented itself.
“With relationships, I think many of us have [been there], you come to a fork in the road, ‘What do you want and what do I want?'” she explained. “Those goals, that intent in life, is determined by the individual. Her intent and my intent were different and that’s why we separated.”
“I was a part of a revolution that helped move equality forward. I would not have been able to do that if I had not fallen in love with Ellen,” she continued. “There is nothing more that I wear with a privilege in my life than being a person who has told the truth, and stands up for it. There is no timeline for truth. I live in love and that’s it.”
When ET brought up the idea of Anne possibly joining Ellen as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the actress responded, “Ask her! Come bring it. It would be interesting to see us come face to face.”
“What would it be like for her is the more interesting question,” she joked, adding that they would probably have a lot to talk about. “It would probably be… exciting. I think she’s a magnificent woman.”
As for what’s next for Anne following DWTS, she told ET she plans to “push” herself even more in all areas of life, including dancing. She wants to continue taking lessons with Keo, and sharing more behind-the-scenes moments from their rehearsals to her own social media pages.
“I’m going to keep dancing. It might just be on my social but I plan to learn the 10 dances I was supposed to learn and I plan to engage Keo,” she shared. “I’m going to dance these dances. I’m gonna learn them. He’s gonna teach them to me and they won’t necessarily be on Dancing With the Stars because I was voted off, but you will seem them.”
“Keo is, I would consider, my friend for life,” he added. “The reason why we connected, and what people saw, is that his soul is exacting with mine and that comes through our eyes. He speaks love. He is one of the most giving and loving people. Him and I? We’ll be friends for life.”
Shortly after the on-air confusion played out, ET spoke with Monica and Val, who are still in the running to win the coveted mirrorball trophy.
“I’m just thinking 2020, you know?” Val joked to ET about what he was thinking in that moment. “It was crazy, it was shocking. To be honest, we still don’t know. We just came off the stage so I don’t have an answer for you. As Tyra said, ‘It’s live TV.’ What you see is what you get but I’m glad we get to laugh about it now.”
Tune into Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday for more highlights from Monday’s Top 13 Night.
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