By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Monday, September 28, 2015
Atlanta-based reality star Kim Zolciak, five days removed from a mini-stroke, was forced to withdraw from “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night because doctors told her she shouldn’t fly.
Doctors recommended she not go into a pressurized cabin so soon after the stroke. Although she was able to leave the hospital Friday and practice her TV-theme “I Dream of Jeannie” dance with Tony Dovolani over the weekend, she could not fly on Monday. Via Skype on live TV, she told the show if she had lived closer to Los Angeles, like Las Vegas, she could have driven there and was ready to go. But Atlanta was obviously too far to drive.
Host Tom Bergeron said the rules are clear. If a contestant cannot perform due to medical issues, said contestant must withdraw from the competition. The crowd booed and he said the lawyers would not change their minds or make an exception for Zolciak.
This season, Zolciak performed three dances over three episodes the first two weeks. After a slow-motion salsa that scored a mere 12 points from the judges, she recovered with quickstep that drew a 19 and a foxtrot that brought in an 18. She said she felt more comfortable dancing with Dovolani and improved accordingly.
But the mini-stroke, which was caused by a blood clot, led to her premature departure from the show. She was at Northside Hospital for three days.
It’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of Zolciak. (The feeling is mutual. She has me blocked on Twitter.). But I can’t believe anyone would think she would stage this to gain sympathy points. (Hello? Wendy Williams?) This sounds as legit as can be. We can only hope she takes the proper steps to prevent anything like this from happening again any time soon. She has a husband and six kids and she’s only 37. I’m sure they want her around a lot longer.
Savannah’s Paula Deen and singer Andy Grammer were the lowest rung dancers Monday night but since Zolciak was out, nobody was eliminated.
For the first time, two dancers got 9s across the board: Alexa PenaVega and Nick Carter.