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Marlee Matlin 'humbled' by support

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image abc"><span>ABC</span></div><span class="caption-text">The sixth couple to be eliminated from the competition was Marlee Matlin and her professional partner Fabian Sanchez.   (Kelsey McNeal)</span></div>
April 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Marlee Matlin leaves "Dancing with the Stars" as a true winner.She did get bumped off Tuesday night, and she's not taking home the trophy, but she is taking with her the respect and the admiration and the love of a whole lot of people.

Click here for a slideshow of the amazing action in week 6, or roll your mouse over the Eyewitness News Story Window at the top of this page to watch video clips.

"Well, I'm humbled by that," said Marlee Matlin.

And Marlee's competitors are humbled by her grace and by her willingness to just go for it. She spent six weeks amazing America as she learned dance after dance, despite not being able to hear. And Marlee says she absolutely felt a lot of love along the way.

"All the letters from the fans that I got from places like MySpace, all the fans who wrote to me, who e-mailed me, who gave me their support, who inspired me," said Matlin. "I was told I inspired them, but they inspired me, and I love them all."

"Love" is a good word to use to show how fellow dancers feel about Marlee -- including her partner, Fabian Sanchez.

"The only word that I can just say, you know, is that I love her and I love her and I love her, and she's going to be my friend forever," said Sanchez.

"I love-love-love Marlee and I wish she was going to be here next week," said Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Week after week on the show, the words "Marlee" and "inspiration" became interconnected. She made a mark on that stage.

"She is the most amazing woman I have ever met and so kind and so inspirational, but also so real," said Cheryl Burke.

"And she made all of our lives better because watching her tackle something that we can't even imagine what it's like," said Shannon Elizabeth. "It's just so amazing."

"She's very strong, very strong," said Mario. "And she came a long way and I hate to see her go."

"I would just love to be as accomplished in life and doing those crazy things like 'Dancing with the Stars,'" said Edyta Sliwinska.

"She's so strong, she's confident, she's a fighter, she's an amazing mom, compassionate, and I love her spirit," said Kristi Yamaguchi.

Marlee did this show, in part for her four children.

"To show them that I went beyond expectations from everyone -- a deaf woman doing a dance -- I wanted them to see me as a mom, as a woman, and say, 'Hey, if mom can do it, I can do it,'" said Marlee.

She was a delight. Now, from here on out, it gets even tougher. Everyone does two dances a week.

Click here for a slideshow of the amazing action in week 6, or roll your mouse over the Eyewitness News Story Window at the top of this page to watch video clips.

 

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