March 27, 2013 at 8:13 AM ET
Dorothy Hamill is coming back to "Dancing With the Stars" next week, but it won’t be as a contestant.
“I’m going to be in the audience,” Hamill told The Clicker after the show Tuesday night. “I have friends from Baltimore who are coming and we’re having a mother-daughter evening here at the show. It’ll be fun.”
As viewers saw on the first results show of the season, the former Olympic figure skater dropped out of the reality dance competition after consulting with a surgeon about a cyst that left her in intense pain.
“I wasn’t getting better,” Hamill sighed. “In fact, I was getting maybe a tiny bit worse.”
Hamill felt it was unfair to the show, the other celeb participants and, especially, her pro partner, Tristan MacManus to continue on in the show. There was also the potential for lasting nerve damage, too.
“I’ve got some nerve problems right now,” she revealed. “If I don’t take care of it, it could be permanent. That’s not a smart risk to take.”
MacManus knew something was up when he received a text from Hamill prior to the results show that said they needed to speak. “I was relieved, but not in a negative way,” he said. “It was the right decision and I was happy that somebody made it for her. It would have been too selfish for me to think about anyone other than Dorothy.”
While the news was sad -- Hamill was a favorite among the other celebrities and pro dancers -- the last-minute revelation that she was opting to drop out made for some dramatic live television. Low-rated contestants Victor Ortiz and Lisa Vanderpump were seconds away from learning which of them was going home, but Hamill’s voluntary exit prevented that from happening.
“I was in shock more than anything,” Ortiz said after the show. “I know what it’s like to be forced out of a competition.”
Ortiz and Vanderpump are paired with two pro newcomers to the ballroom – Lindsay Arnold and Gleb Savchenko. Did that play a role in them landing in the bottom two?
“Honestly, there are so many factors that go into it,” Arnold said. “It comes down to the audience liking what they see -- and then voting! If you like a couple, you have to vote!”
Fans may get to see Hamill dance again. Ifshe’s medically cleared for it, she’ll return for the season finale in May and perform once again with MacManus.
Would she come back again as a contender in a future season if invited? “Absolutely,” Hamill said without hesitation. “I’d do it in a heartbeat!”
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