The kidnapping survivor got unmasked as Ms. Moth on Wednesday's episode of the Fox reality competition series

By Dana Rose Falcone
January 14, 2021 01:20 PM

Elizabeth Smart experienced a metamorphosis on The Masked Dancer.

The activist and author, who survived being kidnapped at age 14, got eliminated on Wednesday's episode of the Fox reality competition series, revealing herself as Ms. Moth. After taking off her costume, Smart, 33, shared the sentimental reason she decided to come on the show.

"My grandma actually passed away very recently, but she was so much fun," the Utah native said. "She never let a moment pass her by, and so when this opportunity came along I thought, I live a pretty serious life and I'm going to take this opportunity and just have fun."

Masked Dancer moth reveal
Elizabeth Smart as Ms. Moth
| Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)

Smart told Entertainment Weekly that when she first received the offer to appear on The Masked Dancer, her "initial reaction was that I would probably say no, because this is something outside of my comfort zone."

But Smart wanted to infuse her life with a little bit of fun after dedicating herself to abuse prevention and helping kidnapping victims.

 "I've spent so much time working in this field that when I was sitting there thinking about it at my grandma's funeral, I just thought, you know what, why not?" she said. "Life is already hard enough. I mean, not to mention 2020. I don't think anyone would come back and say, 'Oh, yeah, 2020, best year of my life' — or there would be very few people who would say that. And I just thought, this has already been a hard year, so why not do something that's fun?"

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And she found that last bit of courage to accept the offer in her late grandma. "I ultimately had said yes because of her influence on my life," Smart said.

On The Masked Dancer, the mother of three paid tribute her grandparents with her dances to "Boot Scootin' Boogie" by Brooks and Dunn and Michael Bublé's "Sway."

"It was my grandparents that taught me how to ride a horse. They fell in love on a ranch. Their first kiss was on a moonlight horseback ride up in the mountains," Smart said. "And my first dance [on the show] was a country swing dance with a country-western feel to it, and then the second dance was a cha-cha."

Michael Kovac/Getty
| Credit: Elizabeth Smart

Smart teased in her clue packages on the show that she used to be "just a regular moth out of the view of the public" before she started "making headlines."

"I had a traumatic experience that not many could have gone through, and in turn my life changed forever," she said. "But I'm a survivor."

She couldn't believe that judges Paula Abdul and Brian Austin Green were able to guess her identity based on the hints. "I didn't think that people like [that] even knew my name," Smart told EW.

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What Smart is certain about: how much she loved the Ms. Moth outfit.

"That costume was more customized to me than my wedding dress," she said. "I'm being 100 percent serious. I think they measured everywhere on me, and it turned out so beautiful."

The Masked Dancer airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.