Michael Sam eliminated from 'Dancing With the Stars' after an emotional final dance

After an emotional performance on Monday's Dancing With the Stars, Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, was eliminated from the competition. Sam danced a rumba to the song "Not My Father's Son" with partner Peta Murgatroyd in commemoration of his "most memorable year," the episode's theme. Sam cited 2014, the year he came out, as his most memorable and dedicated his performance to his estranged father, whom he hasn't spoken with since coming out.

The judges all praised him for the emotional sentiment behind the performance. Out judge Bruno Tonoli said, "Your voice is very important, and I guarantee you, it's helped a lot of people." Despite being eliminated, Sam exited with his head held high. In an interview with Access Hollywood afterwards, Sam stated, "I thought my last dance was my best dance, and I would like to leave on my best dance instead of my horrible dance." Check out Sam's final performance below:


Sam's choice of song – "Not My Father's Son" – comes from the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots. Inspired by real events and the British film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie, the inheritor of a near-bankrupt shoe factory, who teams up with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to reinvent his business as a producer of fetish footwear. Within the musical, "Not My Father's Son" addresses both Lola and Charlie's complex relationships with their respective fathers and the lack of acceptance they've experienced.

Sam made history last year when he first came out in February and in May 2014 became the first out player drafted to the NFL when he was signed by the St. Louis Rams. He was eventually cut from the Rams and then signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He was ultimately waived and is not currently signed to any NFL team.