Kidnapping survivor-turned child safety activist and author Elizabeth Smart revealed herself as “Ms. Moth” on “The Masked Dancer” after she was eliminated from the Fox reality competition show and dramatically unmasked herself on Wednesday night.
The hit show features celebrity contestants competing through dance routines while concealed in elaborate head-to-toe costumes. Their identities are only unveiled after they lose to their competitors and are sent home. So far, most of the masked performers have been revealed to be actors and athletes.
The show’s hosts applauded when they realized that it was Smart, who was abducted from her bedroom in 2002, behind the moth mask and antennae-adorned gown.
Brian Austin Green, one of the hosts of the show, commended her on stage for being “an inspiration for so many people." He told her "you’ve done so much good with a really difficult situation and we need more people like you on the planet.”
Smart then revealed that the number 286, which was used as a clue to her identity in the competition, represented how she testified before the Utah House of Representatives in favor of child safety bill HB 286.
Smart was kidnapped at age 14 by Brian David Mitchell from her home in Salt Lake City and held against her will for nine months by him and his accomplice, Wanda Barzee. Following the harrowing ordeal, she went on to become a child safety and missing persons advocate as well as an author.
When host Craig Robinson asked why she participated in the show, Smart immediately got emotional.
“Oh my gosh, I’m such a baby,” she said as she began to cry.
After Robinson gave her his hand to hold, she explained through tears that her grandmother very recently died. Smart described her as “very fun.”
“She never let a moment pass her by,” she said. “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.’”
Her explanation prompted cheers from the crowd.
Smart is the author of three books, including “My Story,” a memoir of her experience being kidnapped as well as the subsequent formation of her abduction awareness foundation. In 2011, she was brought on as a commentator by ABC News.
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