DeMarcus Ware Says He 'Went Out on a High Note' After 'DWTS' Elimination (Exclusive)

After a hard-fought run on this season of Dancing With the Stars, former NFL star DeMarcus Ware was eliminated at the end of Monday’s Country Night, just one week before the start of the semi-finals.

However, the 36-year-old athlete has nothing but love and kind thoughts for his time on the show, and the experience of working alongside DWTS pro Lindsay Arnold.

ET’s Katie Krause spoke with Ware and Arnold following Monday’s elimination, and they opened up about going home the same week they wowed the judges with their most beautiful routine to date.

“The thing is, I think we went out on a high note,” Ware said. “It was the highest score we’ve had the whole season. [But it’s] not just about the judges’ scores, it’s all about people getting out there and voting.”

Ware and Arnold performed a stunning, elegant Viennese waltz — set to “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton — that was a perfect showcase for the pair’s grace and showed a softer, more delicate side to Ware that fans hadn’t seen in weeks past. For their efforts, the pair earned a 27 out of 30.

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“Obviously, it was a bummer to go home,” Arnold shared. “But at the same time I’m so proud of the night we’ve had.”

Ultimately, Ware said that getting eliminated didn’t feel like much of a loss because, in reality, “I won every week because I learned a new dance… and I had so much fun.”

However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to miss being a part of the show.

“It’s just like football. When I retired, I missed the [feeling of] family and I missed the team camaraderie in the locker room. Now, it’s the same on the dance floor,” he shared. “It wasn’t just about us dancing.”

Week after week, Ware and Arnold took to the dance floor with a new, exciting routine that pushed the former footballer to his limits, both physically, and in terms of his comfort level.

According to Ware, it was exactly because of that demanding experience that he learned how to muster up “the courage not to ever give up on anything, especially when you’re uncomfortable doing it.”

“There were some times when I wanted to give up, but I was like, ‘You know what? You just keep pushing through,'” Ware shared. “That’s what I learned from football: You just push through and everything else will turn out on the other side.”

While Ware and Arnold ended up getting the axe during Monday’s double elimination, alongside Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider and partner Emma Slater — the remaining six couples will face off when the Dancing With the Stars semi-finals kick off Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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