“Dancing With the Stars” contestant Kim Zolciak and her partner Tony Dovolani were forced to withdraw from the Season 21 competition after the reality star missed Monday night’s episode due to a health scare. According to the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star, she was cleared by her physician to dance during Week 3 (after recovering from her “mini stroke”) but wasn’t given permission by her doctor to board a plane.
“I can dance I just can’t fly,” the Bravo star explained, adding that if she lived in Las Vegas or 12 hours away, she would “be there tonight.”
“DWTS” co-host Tom Begeron was then tasked with bearing the bad news to Zolciak and Dovolani that they were getting eliminated from the competition due to legal reasons.
“This is the don’t shoot the messenger portion of the show,” Bergeron began. “It’s still a competition. The rules state, and these are rules that we had since 2005 when we started the show, and I’m quoting from them: ‘In the instance of illness or other health related matters effecting a participants ability to participate in the game, they must withdraw.’”
Bergeron noted that this was a “very unusual circumstance” to occur – but as “unusual” as it is, it’s not unheard of, right Tom?
During Season 15 of the hit ABC series, celebrity contestant Melissa Rycroft, who was partnered with Dovolani at the time, was unable to perform live during the 2012 competition due to a hairline fracture in her ribs. But instead of withdrawing from the competition, the judges scored her Jive based on her rehearsal tape.
“Melissa was able to rehearse this morning but as the day progressed so did the pain,” Bergeon said. “She’s resting right now, expecting to recover. Since she won’t be able to perform her routine live, the judges are going to base their scores, and you at home are going to base your votes, on the last rehearsal we taped this morning.”
The reality TV star went on to win the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.
So why was Rycroft pardoned from getting eliminated but Zolciak wasn’t? Well, Dovolani questioned the same thing, wondering if “DWTS” would bend the rules again.
“Maybe if you can get our lawyers liquored up,” Bergeron joked, before stating that “the rules are the rules.”
Since the Week 3 withdrawal, both Zolciak and Dovolani have campaigned on Twitter to get them back on the ballroom floor.
Please!!! I can be there next week! RETWEET lets go https://t.co/6JOP8tc2p8
— Kim ZolciakBiermann (@Kimzolciak) September 29, 2015
Do you think it was unfair Zolciak and Dovolani were eliminated from the Season 21 competition of “DWTS”? Sound off in the comments section and take the poll below.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.