“Dancing with the Stars” announced on Monday that contestant Jeannie Mai will not be able to continue to compete on the show. Mai, a host on the daytime talk show “The Real,” will not return for the season “due to a health concern that requires immediate attention,” DWTS announced on Twitter.
“Jeannie has inspired us, along with millions of fans, with her energy and dedication. We wish her a full and speedy recovery,” the tweet continued.
In a statement to CBS News on Tuesday, Mai said: “It saddens me that I will not be able to continue with the competition on DWTS. My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery.”
“I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here,” Mai’s statement continued. “The last several weeks have been an amazing learning experience. I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come. I can’t thank my partner Brandon enough for being so supportive and believing in me. I also want to thank MAI fans who voted every week and I wish everyone else in the competition the best of luck!”
ABC, which broadcasts DWTS, reports that the 41-year-old was hospitalized after being diagnosed with epiglottis, which is “a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis — a small cartilage ‘lid’ that covers your windpipe — swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Following the announcement, Mai received an outpouring of support on social media. Garcelle Beauvais, one of Mai’s co-hosts on “The Real,” posted an image of Mai on Instagram writing, “We Love you! Feel better.”
“All the best to my friend @jeanniemai…get well soon!!!” tweeted “The Real” co-host Loni Love.
Mai’s DWTS partner, Brandon Armstrong, posted a long message for her on Instagram. “JEANNIE! I’m so sorry this happened to you! You don’t deserve it! Your journey on this show was so special so unique and so inspiring!” he wrote. “I loved EVERY SINGLE WEEK that we got to go through this together! I hope I helped give you an experience that you’ll remember forever!”
“We share a lot of good times, tough times and all the times in between but mainly, a lot of laughs! Mainly you laughing at me but hey I’ll take it!” Armstrong’s post continued. “Thank you for giving me such an amazing season! We will all be praying for a speedy recovery!”
In another tweet, DWTS said that since “Jeannie had to withdraw from the competition, tonight’s show will feature the eight remaining couples and a single elimination.”