Eager to win the Mirrorball Trophy this time after coming in third on her last run on Dancing with the Stars, Melissa Rycroft was adamant to perform this week on the show despite suffering a scary neck injury in rehearsal on Sunday. After a successful dance, she revealed a trick that helped her keep up with the tango despite restricted mobility in her neck.
Alongside partner Tony Dovolani after their tango that scored 27 (out of 30), Rycroft demonstrated the illusion that she created in the dance by bending her legs and back but keeping her neck still during portions of the tango that normally require flashy neck maneuvers.
The Season 8 alumnus also divulged that she and her partner had worked out a signal before the show as a precautionary measure in the event that something went awry with her neck during the dance.
Fellow "Call Me Maybe" group member Apolo Ohno, who garnered an identical 56.5 total score with a 27-point individual dance, also gutted out his own ailment, the stomach flu. Absent for post-show interviews, his partner Karina Smirnoff expressed pride in his performance.
"I think he did amazing. Honestly, samba is the most difficult Latin American dance and to be able to have the smooth movement, hip action, bounce--and our samba was twice as fast as the normal speed," she said. "I think Apolo's hips were amazing, like battery-operated. I told him I've never seen a man move his hips the way he does."
Also earning a total score of 56.5 was former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, who fortunately didn't have any injuries to work through; however, at this point in the competition, even her professional dancing partner Derek Hough is battling to stay injury-free.
"I've done more maintenance this season than any other season as far as making sure I do contrast baths (between hot and cold water), wrapping stuff up, putting Deep Heat (topical muscle rub) on," Hough said. "I've been really maintaining."
Dancing with the Stars continues Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.