Oct. 24, 2011 at 10:03 AM ET
Given his not-so-fancy footwork on “Dancing With the Stars,” it seems unlikely that contestant Chaz Bono will waltz away with the coveted mirror ball trophy this season. But the hoofer hopeful had the chance to accept a different award as his “Dancing’ pals looked on Friday night.
Nancy Grace, J.R. Martinez, Ricki Lake, David Arquette, and Elisabetta Canalis were all on hand to support Bono as he received the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s Hero’s Award.
“It’s an honor to be here this evening to support Chaz,” Martinez told "Entertainment Tonight." “I mean, it takes tremendous courage to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ regardless, but then again, Chaz has taken it a step further. He’s representing so many people -- a big community out there. So for him to be dancing his butt off and working really hard and to not be discouraged, no matter what people may say, the jokes they may make, you know, for me, I respect him. I have so much love for him, and that’s why for me it’s important.”
That sentiment was echoed by another contender.
“I’m excited to be here to support Chaz, who’s become a friend of mine,” Grace said of her ballroom competition. “Chaz has gone through a lot -- a lot of people disagree with his decision, but I think that Chaz has been incredibly brave. And I hope that, even if people disagree with his decision, they’ll respect him for being strong enough and brave enough to follow his dream.”
For his part, Bono was touched by both the sentiments expressed and the time his castmates took to simply be there.
"It means a lot to me,” he told "ET." “We're a very tight group of people. And we’re so tired. We're all so tired, so for people to come out and be here tonight and spend, you know, a couple of hours that they could be sleeping or rehearsing -- it's very meaningful."
See Bono and the rest of the “Dancing” gang as they gather together again on Monday night’s installment of the ballroom bash, and chat with Anna Chan as the episode airs.
Are you surprised by how close the cast has become this season? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.