“Dancing with the Stars” has only been back for a week, and there has already been an injury. “Good Morning America” reports that pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be sidelined tonight for the second week of competition after injuring his calf while training with his celebrity partner Heather Morris (watch the video below).
Morris and Chmerkovskiy entered the season as strong contenders for the Mirror Ball Trophy thanks to Morris’s prior experience as a dancer. The actress is best known for playing cheerleader Brittany on FOX’s musical series “Glee,” but before that she competed on “So You Think You Can Dance” and performed as a back-up dancer for Beyonce. Will this be a crippling setback for the pair? Maybe not.
“DWTS” is a physically demanding show, so this is hardly the first time a pro dancer has been hurt. Last season Sharna Burgess missed two weeks of competition due to injury. In weeks eight and nine her celeb partner James Hinchcliffe performed with Jenna Johnson, who helped keep their hopes alive until Burgess was able to return for a strong second place finish with Hinchcliffe.
Before that, in season 22, Mark Ballas had to sit out the second week of competition. His celeb, UFC fighter Paige VanZant, performed with Alan Bersten that week and didn’t lose any of her momentum. VanZant and Ballas also ended up finishing second in their season.
Derek Hough, the all-time biggest Mirror Ball champion with six titles, got hurt in the middle of season 20, leaving celebrity Nastia Liukin in the capable hands of Sasha Farber from weeks seven to nine. Hough and Liukin ultimately finished fourth.
Chmerkovskiy has won “Dancing with the Stars” once before, in season 18 with figure skater Meryl Davis. This is his 16th season on the show and his first since becoming a dad with fellow pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd. Can he and Morris recover from this setback to win it all? Bersten will step in for Chmerkovskiy tonight just as he did two seasons ago for Ballas.
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