Kym Johnson was the victim of a serious accident in rehearsals late last week that resulted in a hospital visit and shook up partner Hines Ward, but nothing could stop the pair on Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Hitting the floor in the Season 12 semifinals with intensity and emotion, the pair made it through two rounds and earned two perfect scores.
Before the couple hit the floor for their first dance, ABC revealed the footage of the dramatic fall during rehearsal that could have left Kym with a spinal injury.
“You’ve gotta take risks,” Kym said to Hines in the studio as the two practiced a number full of high-flying flips. “I’ve gotta step it up.”
Unfortunately, it was one of those new moves that led to the trouble. As Hines tried to swing Kym through his legs, holding her hands as she was upside down, he fell on top of her, and her head curled inward and her neck was pushed into the studio floor.
“I can’t feel my arms,” Kym said after the injury, which resulted in her neck being put into a brace, and the Australian professional dancer being rushed to the hospital.
Kym later admitted backstage to co-host Brooke Burke on Monday that she didn’t want to dance, but the Argentine tango the two performed was magnificent, full of swift moves, a jump from a table, and the kind of dancing and comeback tale that left the football star with tears streaming down his face.
“I’m just happy you’re OK, because that was a serious injury,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said as she choked back tears. “I’m so impressed with the routine… I saw the way you supported her, the connection is beyond what we ask for in a partner routine.”
“Praise of God she’s still walking,” Hines said afterward.
“I’m just so blessed and lucky to be OK,” Kym chimed in. “I didn’t want to dance tonight, but…”
“She’s a warrior,” Hines broke in as the pair received the first perfect 30 of the night – and earlier, a standing ovation. “I was sick to my stomach.”
The pair’s second number was a perfect scoring salsa, which had Len Goodman praising Hines’ “joy” as he danced and left Bruno Tonioli marveling over how “extremely watch-able” Hines has become in the competition.
“I owe it all to Kym,” Hines said after the second number. “To go through a hard week and [a] trying week and still to go out there and perform like this, I owe it all to her, she’s the best.”
Unfortunately for the pair, despite ruling the dance floor in rounds 1 and 2, the introduction of a “Winner Takes All Cha Cha” in round 3 – a 15 point bonus given out to one couple as a means of stopping good contestants (like past contenders Sabrina Bryan and singer Brandy) from going home, Hines and Kym ended the night in second place.
Instead, it was Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas who took the top prize of the night. Their 15 point bonus for the round 3 cha cha boosted the pair’s earlier scores – a 28 for their first tango and 30 for their rumba – to a total of 73.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy took third place for the evening with 54 total points. They earned 27 points for a Viennese waltz, which saw Bruno comparing Kirstie to a ship “going for the American cup,” and their paso doble netted 27.
“That wasn’t a paso doble,” Bruno screamed. “That was, ‘Dance Trek 12: The Wrath of Kirstie.”
Ralph Macchio seemed to recover from his knee injury, but he and partner Karina Smirnoff ended the evening in last place with 48 points overall.
Len said their Argentine tango opener “lacked a bit of emotion,” netting them just 25 points and while Ralph had “butt pants,” as they referred to them on “DWTS,” for his second number – a salsa, it received just 23 points.
“It was all too harsh, too in your face,” Len said. “It was too wild!”