The “Dancing With the Stars” Season 23 cast is dealing with yet another shake up. In Week 8, Sharna Burgess was forced to step away from partner James Hinchcliffe due to an injury, allowing troupe member Jenna Johnson to take her place. Yet another pro has been benched from the ballroom just as his star was on the rise.
Gleb Savchenko has been removed from the ABC competition with a mysterious injury. Partner Jana Kramer revealed the news to “DWTS” fans on Snapchat, sharing a photo of her former partner on an examination table in a doctor’s office. Her post revealed only that the 33-year-old dancer “is hurt,” not the nature of his injury. She later shared a photo of Alan Bersten, a member of the “DWTS” troupe team. He will be stepping in as “the new Gleb” while Jana’s partner recovers. A post on her Instagram account suggests that Gleb injured his knee. He is hopeful that he will be able to return to the competition sooner rather than later.
During their time on Season 23 of “DWTS,” Jana and Gleb — dubbed team Glamer — have become one of the strongest contenders for the mirror ball trophy. They wowed on Monday with an impressive, albeit not perfect, performance to “Little Shop of Horrors” in this season’s Halloween-themed episode. They were awarded a score of 30 out of 30 — making them one of four teams to get perfect scores during the episode. In Week 7, lead judge Len Goodman handed down a harsh critique of the “DWTS” duo, who he felt underperformed after being awarded a perfect score in the week prior. Gleb was quick to fire back at Goodman, suggesting that he’s not around often enough to make such an assessment.
“There is a fine balance between a show number and just a samba,” Gleb told People magazine. “No one wants to see a minute and forty seconds of just samba, especially when you’re dealing with someone who’s never danced before. Jana did an amazing job and I’m so proud of her. She killed it.”
Although Gleb’s injury will likely set them back a bit, it is not the first time he and Jana have dealt with pain in the ballroom. During Week 2, Jana pulled a muscle in her ribs. She vowed to dance through it, but struggled and repeatedly winced in pain during rehearsals. Despite the excruciating pain, Jana was able to take to the ballroom with Gleb and pull off an exceptional performance. Team Glamer has been near the top of the leader board since their earliest days on the competition and remain there weeks later.
Catch Jana and her new partner on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” Monday at 8 p.m. EDT.