“Dancing With the Stars” has lost two celebrity dancers, less than a week before the new season’s debut.
Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell and singer Jewel have both withdrawn from the competition, ABC confirmed on Thursday.
Both have pulled out of the show due to injuries.
“Beyond disappointment doesn’t even being to describe how I feel about not being able to continue on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ It has been one of my favorite shows since season one!” O’Dell revealed. “But I have torn the meniscus in my knee in two places, which requires surgery. According to the doctor, one is a ‘significant’ tear and it will require my getting knee surgery within the next couple of weeks.”
And although her time on the show was cut short, O’Dell was proud of what she and partner Tony Dovolani accomplished in their grueling rehearsal sessions.
“DWTS’ was a great experience. I’ll miss working with my partner, Tony Dovolani, and all the other wonderful people on the amazing production that is ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” O’Dell added. “Tony has been an amazing teacher and dance partner and I feel horrible I can’t continue for him… Although short, it was a great experience. I challenged myself to take risk at doing something I had never done before!”
And don’t rule out a possible return to the show somewhere down the line.
“After I have surgery and eight weeks of rehab, my doctor tells me my knee will be back to how it was,” O’Dell said. “So that means if I have the opportunity to go back, I could!”
Meanwhile, country singer Jewel had blogged last month that tendonitis in her knees had been causing her severe pain during rehearsals. Yet, in a later interview, Jewel vowed not to take off her “Dancing” shoes.
“Don’t count me out, as I am in this for the long run,” she said at the time.
However, ABC has announced it’s not tendonitis — but rather a fractured tibia in both legs that is knocking the singer off the dance floor.
“When the doctors told me my injuries were so severe that I couldn’t walk, let alone compete, I was devastated that I couldn’t continue the show,” Jewel said. “I have every intention of being at ‘Dancing With the Stars’ this season supporting my husband, Ty (Murray), and his partner Chelsie. I hope to be back on the show in the future.”
Earlier this week, Us Weekly reported “Girl Next Door” star Holly Madison would be joining the “Dancing” cast. However, a rep for ABC had no comment on the report.
According to ABC, both O’Dell and Jewel will appear on Monday’s season premiere to talk about their departure from the show and “additional changes to the cast” will also be announced during the premiere.