(LOS ANGELES) — Olympic figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill has withdrawn from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars because of an injury.
The 56-year-old Hamill made the announcement Tuesday night at the conclusion of the first Dancing with the Stars results show of the season.
Speaking with tears in her eyes, Hamill said she has “an injury that could be irreparable and nerve damage,” and was withdrawing on the advice of her spine surgeon.
Hamill said she would miss her fellow dancers, and called her pro dance partner, Tristan MacManus, “a treasure.”
She said it would be unfair of her to stay if that meant one of her fellow competitors had to go home.
“It’s been a wonderful ride. I wish I could stay but I can’t do justice to the commitment,” Hamill said.
Hamill was one of 12 celebrities vying to win the show’s coveted mirror ball trophy.
Tuesday was to have been the first elimination of the season. Typically, the couple with the lowest-combined total of judges’ scores and viewer votes is cut from the competition.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump and world champion boxer Victor Ortiz were in the bottom two after the votes and scores for the first two weeks of competition were combined. One of them would have been eliminated had Hamill not pulled out.
Hamill seemed to struggle during her performance Monday night. Dancing the jive with an injury that forced her to sit out several days of rehearsal, she lost her footing and made several mistakes. She received a judges’ score of 15 out of a possible 30 points — the lowest total of the night.
It was a stark contrast to Hamill’s first performance on the March 18 season premiere, where judges praised her contemporary routine and awarded her 21 points, putting her in a three-way tie for second place.
In addition to Vanderpump and Ortiz, the following celebrities will return Monday to compete: Disney star Zendaya, country music stars Wynonna Judd and Kellie Pickler, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, NFL player Jacoby Jones, actor Ingo Rademacher, reality TV star Sean Lowe and comedians Andy Dick and D.L. Hughley.
Tuesday’s show also featured live musical performances from Icona Pop and Josh Groban.
Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
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