Tonya Harding on 'Dancing With the Stars' 2018: 'I Want to Show America That I Belong Here'

Redemption has a face, and it's Tonya Harding after moving on to week two of Dancing with the Stars.

After spending the last 23 years in the shadows—stripped from her ice skating titles and U.S. Figure Skating Association (USFSA) membership—Harding is back in the spotlight as a contestant on ABC's competitive dance show. Although the 47-year-old and her dance partner Sasha Farber were the last to be called safe during the Season 26 premiere and double elimination Monday, Harding used her appearance on DWTS Athletes Edition to let America know: "I belong here."

Harding and Farber performed the Foxtrot to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston's "When You Believe," scoring 23 out of 30. They skated through round two, beating out snowboarder Jamie Anderson and retired baseball player Johnny Damon.

After learning she made the cut, Harding told E! News that she was praying Monday wouldn't be her last dance. "I was like, 'No, lord, please, don't let this be the last dance. I'm finally learning how to be a lady and learned how to dance and I haven't lost my last five pounds yet," she said.

More than shedding weight, Harding said working with Farber gave her a sense of purpose again. "Sasha is such a wonderful partner. He's taught me how to be graceful and it made me feel like I'm worth something on the dance floor, like I belong here."

She added: "I'm just here to have fun and to show to myself and my friends that I can do this. And to America that I belong here. I belong with the other competitors who are wonderful athletes and Olympians."

The Oregon native was once the most popular figure skater in the world after she nailed the triple axel at an international competition in 1991. At the time, she was the second woman in ice skating history to do so. However, the 1994 attack against fellow U.S. skater Nancy Kerrigan resulted in Harding's downfall.

Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee one month before the 1994 Winter Olympics, which she and Harding were set to compete in. Within the weeks that followed, it was discovered that Harding—21 at the time—conspired with her ex-husband to hire someone to attack Kerrigan. Although Harding pleaded her innocence, her connection to the crime resulted in her serving three years of probation, 500 hours of community service, paying a $160,000 fine and her banishment from the USFSA.

Not to be dramatic but I would die for Tonya Harding #DWTS pic.twitter.com/SdxkpAi7kX

— Ryan Schocket (@RyanSchocket) May 1, 2018

It was only in January 2018 when Harding started making headlines again—although she briefly attempted a comeback as a fighter and competed in a 2002 Celebrity Boxing match. But this time around, it was Harding's biopic, I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie.

The award-winning film served as a dramatization of Harding's darkest moments surrounding the scandal that cost her her skating career.

According to Farber, Harding's appearance on DWTS was just another shot at a second chance. "She's been through so much and it makes it so much more wanting to make her a better dancer. To work with her is a dream," Farber toldE! News. "I know she had a lot of pressure tonight because it was the first time she's performed in many, many years. This is like a second chance now, this is it."