Marlee Matlin wowed viewers with her courage as a "Dancing With the Stars" contestant, but her inspirational six-week run came to an end Tuesday night when she received the lowest combined score and was voted off the show.
Her final performance, a Monday night mambo number that included a few missteps, garnered a score of 21 from the judges. Even the aid of longtime friend Henry Winkler, who helped Matlin prepare for this week's dance, wasn't enough to save her from becoming the show's latest casualty.
Today on "Good Morning America" Matlin said she relished her time on the show.
"This experience was so rich, something that I'll never, ever forget. I'm glad I did it. It was just great," she said. "I have to say I never thought I would be on a show where I would dance, and I was happy that I decided to do it."
The Academy Award-winning actress faced the challenge of showing the world that deaf people can dance, too. Using a special hearing aid that eliminated feedback and amplified sound, Matlin relied mostly on partner Fabian Sanchez to get the beat.
"Working with Fabian was just a unique and special joy. [It is] one that I will never, ever forget," she said of the man she called her "music."
"To me that is something special. I've heard many things in my life. But never [that] I was somebody's music. It was my pleasure to have been your music. Now it will be my pleasure to be your friend," Sanchez told Matlin on "GMA" today.
Matlin said her family had given her constant support during her tenure, and her 12-year-old daughter even asked if she was OK after her loss.
"[Their] love and support — I would not have been here without it. I couldn't have done it," she said.
Matlin got cheeky when asked who she thought would win the dance contest.
"Hillary or Barack? It's hard to choose," she quipped. "I'm rooting for everybody. Everybody worked really, really hard. I know what it takes to get to be on this show, even to win, stay in the competition. I'm rooting for everyone."