After rebounding from a challenging Week 1 reception from the judges on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, out funnywoman Margaret Cho rebounded, and kicked things up a notch with a high-energy Jive set to Blondie’s “Dreaming.” But it was her Week 3 performance — which sadly wound up being her last on the reality competition show — that was the most poignant. We checked in with Cho about what the performance meant to her, how she plans to continue dancing and if she has any regrets.
AfterEllen.com: You used your performance to send a message of acceptance and tolerance for LGBT youth who are being bullied. How much did being able to deliver that message to America mean to you?
Margaret Cho: It meant everything to me. I have been so heartbroken by the recent gay teen suicides and so it seemed to me it was the perfect time to celebrate pride with a beautiful dance routine that was all about pride, self-love and acceptance. I loved having such a huge mainstream audience. Many parents have written to thank me because it gave them an opportunity to talk to their kids about the tragedies and about bullying. It was the best moment of my life.
AE: You said you felt your performance was the "gayest thing to happen to Dancing With the Stars. How can the show out-gay your performance in the future?
MC: I don’t know if it would be possible, but I would love to see someone actually out gay it!
AE: What other LGBT entertainers would you like to see on the show?
MC: I’d love to see Alan Cumming, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres and Jane Lynch.
AE: I loved your rainbow dress and that Louis added a pride belt. How did you decide on your costumes?
MC: We wanted a very clear symbol for everyone, which was the rainbow flag. Louis designed it and it was just perfect. I love that it also had a 1920s feel with the fringe and the feather headdress. It was really spectacular.
AE: How do you plan to keep dancing?
MC: I will continue to take classes and dance with Louis, as he teaches all the time. Also he’s going to help me get into more ballroom dancing, which I am really excited about. I also want to return to belly dance, which is wonderful.
AE: Will Cho Dependent concertgoers see you and Louis dance on the remaining stops?
MC: I hope so! He will be in my life always.
AE: Anything you wish you’d gotten the chance to do on the show but didn’t?
MC: I would have loved to do Acoustic Week, which is this week, because it was my favorite song — “Creep" by Radiohead — although the platform that we were going to dance on always worried me.
AE: Any regrets?
MC: I wish we could have danced more. I wish I could have danced better. I don’t want to imagine we got voted off because of our gay pride message. I don’t want to imagine this country like that. I hope it was because of my poor footwork, but it wasn’t all that bad. What I do not regret is that I used this moment to talk about gay rights, and that is what I’ll always consider my finest hour.
AE: What advice do you have for the remaining contestants?
MC: Dance like no one is watching.
AE: Who do you think will win?
MC: I really don’t know. Everyone is so good in different ways. This is the best and most competitive season of DWTS yet.
AE: How will you watch the remainder of the season?
MC: From the tour bus, lying down. [Laughs.]
AE: What are you most proud of from your DWTS experience?
MC: That I spoke up for my community, celebrated gay pride, reached out to all those who are suffering so much because of homophobia and hatred. I did good.