'Dancing' star Marlee Matlin 'glad' to inspire, predicts Jason Taylor win
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/23/2008
Marlee Matlin may have come up short in her bid to win Dancing with the Stars sixth-season mirror ball trophy, but her experience on the show wasn't a total loss.
"I'm glad as a deaf woman that I was able to go out there and prove I can dance and do it as best as I could. Anybody -- any person -- can do what they want," signed the Oscar-winning actress during a Tuesday night Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance.
Matlin and her professional partner Fabian Sanchez were the sixth couple eliminated from the competition based on a combination of the judges' scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
The couple had performed a mambo routine during Monday night's performance episode and the judges scored it a 21 out of 30 possible points -- the lowest judges' score of the night. Carrie Ann Inaba thought it had something to do with Matlin being unable to connect to the music, which is important for the mambo.
Matlin told Kimmel it "depends" on how she was able to dance despite being deaf, but she credited Sanchez -- aDancing with the Stars rookie -- for helping her.
"I danced with a great pro partner who taught me how to move," she said.
Matlin said she also had a hunch she'd be in the bottom two after Monday night, betting fellow sixth-season celebrity participant Cristian de la Fuente that's where she'd find herself.
"I made a bet with Cristian, who would be in the bottom two," she explained. "So I have the $100 because I won the bet. Guess who won? Me."
While Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas found themselves atop the Dancing with the Stars judges' leaderboard for the fifth week in a row -- and also scored the sixth season's first perfect 30 out of 30 on Monday night -- Matlin said she thinks another celebrity will take the title.
"I actually think that it will be Jason Taylor," she told Kimmel, who asked about Yamaguchi.
"Kristi who?" jokingly replied Matlin. "Don't know the person."
Despite being unable to ever find herself atop the leaderboard, Matlin said the support from the judges, fans and other sixth-season couples was overwhelming and helped her in the competition.
"I don't think I've ever heard the word 'inspire' so many times in six weeks as I did on this show," she said. "It touched me... I really, really was so grateful."