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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 8

Melissa Rycroft misses 'Dancing with the Stars' performance show

By Steve Rogers, 04/28/2009 

After going seven seasons without having a celebrity participant miss a performance show due to injury, Dancing with the Stars has now suddenly had the problem occur twice within its eighth season.

Jilted The Bachelor winner Melissa Rycroft was forced to miss Monday night's live performance show due to the reaggravation and worsening of an earlier rib injury.

"As you can see, Melissa is not with us tonight," Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron told viewers at the beginning of Monday night's live broadcast. "She suffered an injury this week, [with] complications following, which made her unable to dance tonight."

Bergeron revealed the nature of the injury and her current status later in the broadcast when it would have been time for Rycroft and professional partner Tony Dovolani to perform their jive live for the show's judges and viewers.

"This week, Melissa suffered a painful rib injury [and] complications from it will prevent her from dancing tonight," Bergeron explained. "She's talking with the doctor right now [and] it looks like she'll be able to continue in the competition."

Rycroft elaborated further on the injury during a pre-taped video package.

"I hurt my ribs last week doing a difficult move," Rycroft explained.  "It was feeling better and then I hurt myself again [in practice this week] and I felt this blinding pain shoot down my side."

A doctor subsequently diagnosed the rib injury as a hairline fracture and cleared Rycroft to resume practicing, however after initially subsiding, her pain grew worse as Monday's live performance show approached.

"Melissa was able to rehearse this morning but as the day progressed so did the pain.  She's resting right now [and] expected to recover," Bergeron said.

"Since she won't be able to perform her routine live, to be consistent with what happened earlier this season with Steve-O's injury, the judges will base their scores -- and you at home will base your votes -- on the last rehearsal that we taped," Bergeron explained, alluding to this season's earlier incident in which Stephen "Steve-O" Glover was also forced to miss a live performance show.

Similar to Glover's earlier incident, which resulted from a back injury he suffered during the couple's dress rehearsal about two hours before season's second live performance show, the judges lamented the fact that they were being forced to judge a taped rehearsal performance -- which in Rycroft's case had occurred on Monday morning without the benefit of costumes as she and Dovolani rehearsed with the show's band.

"It's very unfortunate but we have to comment on what we see," judge Bruno Tonioli said as Dovolani stood on stage alone and listened to the comments.  "Obviously a tape -- a rehearsal tape -- doesn't have the performance power.  Fifty percent of the effectiveness of a dance is the performance."

"[You two] just kind of went through the motions but didn't do it full-out... and that's normal for rehearsal but unfortunately we have to judge that, and that hurts a lot in the scoring," judge Carrie Ann Inaba added.

"Judging the rehearsal is a bit like judging a race car driver on the warm-up lap... but that's what we have to judge on," lead judge Len Goodman lamented.

All three judges gave the rehearsal performance 7 out of 10 points, leaving Rycroft and Dovolani with a 21 out of 30 score that left them ranked last on the judges' leaderboard.

"I know we can dance ten times better than that [rehearsal performance and] she wants to continue [so] please vote," Dovolani told Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris backstage after the judges' comments.  "We had some treatment today that we had some complications with and she's such a trooper.  She even came on stage and tried to dance with me [but] halfway through she couldn't breath."

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