Dancing with the Stars was set to lose one of its cast members on Tuesday night by elimination. Instead, former Olympic figure skate Dorothy Hamill withdrew from the competition due to injury. After the show, she explained her emotional decision.
Now in the second week, Dancing was prepared to eliminate the first cast member of its sixteenth season on Tuesday, with Hamill, Lisa Vanderpump, and Victor Ortiz tied for 36 at the bottom of the leader board.
Alternatively, Hamill resigned from the show after her doctor informed her that it was no longer safe to participate in the competition given a back injury she sustained in rehearsal.
"[I'm] sad, but I know I made the right decision," an emotional but poised Hamill said after the show. "I just couldn't put [my partner] through it any more. I just feel badly for Tristan. I feel like a loser. I feel like a loser partner."
Although it was an unfortunate decision for the former Olympic gold medalist figure skater to make, she is confident that it was the right judgment for her and her future.
"I just knew in my heart that I couldn't make the commitment and that I have some pretty serious...problems that will get worse and could potentially be permanent," she said. "I just am not willing to take that risk."
Hamill's fellow cast members were taken aback by her early withdrawal from the competition. Fellow Olympic athlete Aly Raisman expressed her empathy for her.
"It's heartbreaking. I was really emotional," the 18-year-old gymnast said. "I think all the cast members were really upset, and it's just really a bummer because I really enjoyed getting to know her and I have so much respect for her."
Despite her short run on the show, the cast revealed that she was one of their favorites. In the short time she had, she formed strong bonds with a few of the other cast members.
"She has a saint heart," said country singer Wynonna Judd. "Every time I passed her in the hallway, she touched my arm or hugged me. She's just everybody's favorite. She's so adorable, and just tried so hard."
Watch the video above to hear the rest of the cast's reaction to Hamill's withdrawal and a preview of next week's prom-themed dances.
Dancing with the Stars continues next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.