updated 10/08/2013 AT 12:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/08/2013 AT 12:30 AM ET
She came to inspire and enjoy the party.
But on Monday night, sentiment finally yielded to the cold criteria of judging. After another low-scoring performance – this time an 18-point waltz – the 74-year-old star of TV’s Rhoda was voted off the show.
She reacted in characteristic fashion. As the audience and fellow dancers cheered and cried, Harper beamed. “It has been absolutely wonderful, completely unique, like nothing else in the world,” she said, adding with a smile, “It’s really a great thing to get out and dance!”
Her pro partner, Tristan MacManus, fought back tears, saying, “I feel like I’ve been very lucky.”