Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers from the Nov. 2 episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” including the identity of the eliminated celebrity.
Monday’s “Dancing with the Stars” had to go on without one of its contestants, following an emergency health issue.
News came earlier in the day that “The Real” co-host Jeannie Mai had to drop out of the competition due to her health. “My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery,” a “heartbroken” Mai, who was partnered with Brandon Armstrong, said in a statement issued to USA TODAY.
Her exit left eight couples still vying for the Mirrorball Trophy, and instead of a planned double elimination, only one couple was on the chopping block. For the first time in the competition, pairs danced two dances.
‘The Real’ host Jeannie Mai ends ‘Dancing With the Stars’ run due to ‘health concern’
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Mai details her health ordeal
In a video recorded Sunday night from her hospital room, which aired during “DWTS,” Mai explained she was diagnosed with a throat abscess, which caused her tonsils and throat to become incredibly infected, spreading to areas behind her neck and ears. This required emergency surgery.
“Everything went great,” said a doctor on camera, assuring Mai following her operation. “You’re all done. You’re out of danger,” he added. “(If) you would have waited one more day, your throat would’ve closed up.”
Mai’s dancing partner Armstrong said he was relieved Mai was in recovery. “I couldn’t have asked for a better partner this season,” he said. “She’s made this journey so special.”
“I’m just so thankful I even had this experience on ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” Mai said. “It was hands-down one of the best journeys of my life.”
Back in the ballroom, Banks held back tears, telling Mai she would remain “a part of this family until the final episode of this season.”
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Not Queen of the leaderboard
Former “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev were hoping to come back from a rough week, kicking things off with a jive to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. But were the judges “having a good time” as they watched Bristowe smile, kick and twirl? Derek Hough loved the content, but directed the star to to be sharper. Bruno Tonioli called for more passion and intention and the pair walked away with 25/30 points.
Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko had the judges feeling very hot, and just a little bothered
The reality TV star from Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” and her partner certainly sold the sultriness of their Viennese waltz performed to Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.” The dramatics sent Hough on a will-they-won’t-they roller coaster, though he suggested they work on their transitions. Carrie Ann Inaba praised the decently scored routine (24/30) as “very graceful and elegant.”
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AJ McLean speaks candidly about his addiction
AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys opened about about his addiction and dependency on alcohol and drugs over the years before dancing a rumba to “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo. McLean thought the song choice mirrored his decades-long battle with addiction. “I was always a very insecure person. So I felt that I didn’t deserve anyone’s love, I didn’t deserve anyone’s affection,” he said. “Anytime I felt uncomfortable, I numbed it. Alcohol and drugs (were) basically a Band-Aid, all the while not realizing that it was slowly killing me.”
McLean said he overdosed twice and told his partner Cheryl Burke, “my kids saved my life, to be honest.” Burke, who has spoken up about her own journey of sobriety, could see the commonalities between the two.
Tonioli liked the performance, but said it didn’t feel like rumba. Inaba acknowledged the power of the performance, but said she was still waiting for the singer to “bust open.”
Following his dance, an emotional McLean dedicated his performance (which earned 24/30) “to all the addicts out there struggling because it’s hard. But with a little courage, you can overcome. And I love my babies.”
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Nelly’s meaningful performance
The song Nelly danced a rumba to with partner Daniella Karagach made him think of his sister who passed in 2005 after battling leukemia. He said his older sister Jackie was a fan of the tune “Nobody Knows” by The Tony Rich Project.
He called her passing one of the worst days he’s experienced. “She would definitely have a chuckle about me dancing,” Nelly told his partner.
“I miss Jackie every day,” he said in an interview.
Though the judges could feel how much emotion the “Hot In Herre” singer put in the dance, he received sevens across the board for his execution (21/30).
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Nev Schulman’s dreamy Viennese waltz
Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson were riding high off of earning the first perfect score last week. They showed off long lines in a Viennese waltz to set to “Stuck with U” by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. Tonioli praised the “Catfish” host for “oozing charm and charisma” and being “light on your feet.” Inaba called the nearly perfect performance (27/30) “elegant and flowy.”
Schulman was sure to give the missing Mai a shout-out. “More than anything…I want to send a lot of love out to Jeannie because I’m so upset she’s not here,” he said.
Skai Jackson is ready to ‘Work It’
Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten were ready to throw down with a salsa set to Missy Elliott’s “Work It.” It was a joy to watch the Disney Channel actress perform, as her smile flashed bright like a disco ball. While Inaba knocked the landings of the duo’s lifts, Hough complimented Jackson’s ability to stay grounded. What was it worth, after they worked it? A score that let the pair remain competitive (for a time): 25/30.
Justina Machado’s sensational samba
Actress Justina Machado and Sasha Farber performed a lively samba choreographed to “Magalenha” by Sérgio Mendes. Though Inaba called out a stumble in the routine, she complimented the spirit of the dance. Hough hailed the “One Day at a Time” star as “awesome” but wished she’d articulated her feet more. Tonioli loved the energy the star brought to the ballroom, which resulted in a high score (27/30).
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Johnny Weir’s foxtrot causes little paws
To Johnny Weir’s delight, he and partner Britt Stewart danced a foxtrot to the foxy Shawn Mendes “Wonder.” The performance felt nearly flawless, and the connection between the partners could be seen. While Hough and Tonioli commented on the length of Weir’s cropped pant, Inaba took up for Weir’s fashion choice while praising his “interesting, artistic choice.” Overall, the duo still did well (27/30).
Following their first dances of the night, the pairs tried to rack up bonus points in the relay dance round. First up, Inaba judged the cha-chas of Schulman, Stause and Nelly to “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. Schulman earned three out of three points, while Stause and Nelly received two points each.
After dancing a Viennese waltz to Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” Machado picked up an extra two points and Weir got a three-point bump from Hough.
The left Tonioli to judge the final round, where McLean, Jackson and Bristowe danced a samba to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating.” McLean and Bristowe strutted away with three points, while Jackson received two.
Jackson and Stause made their bottom two debut, leaving the judges to decide their fates. Inaba and Tonioli voted to save Jackson and Bersten, which meant Stause and her partner, Savchenko were eliminated. Though his vote wasn’t needed, Hough revealed he would’ve chosen to save Jackson and Bersten as well.
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