Despite being hospitalized earlier in the day, Tamar Braxton returned to Monday night’s Dancing With the Stars live show in time to perform her second number of the night, staving off elimination for another week.
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The 38-year-old actress and singer has been battling pneumonia for two weeks, and when she became sick during rehearsals, her husband, Vincent Herbert, rushed her to the ER.
A source for ET confirmed that Braxton was not present at the start of the live broadcast, adding that though she performed her individual dance at Monday’s rehearsal, she did not participate in the group number and left for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“[Tamar] was taken to the hospital earlier today, midway through dress rehearsal,” DWTS host Tom Bergeron announced at the top of the show, as Braxton’s pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, took the stage solo. “Now, I underscored at the top, this is very much a live show. We don't have all the information right now. She might return in time to dance live here, we'll keep you posted as we find out more.”
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While another source told ET that Chmerkovskiy was on the phone with Braxton during the show “pleading with her to come back,” she did not return in time to perform her first dance, forcing the judges to grade the pair’s performance based on their pre-recorded dress rehearsal.
“You just saw a person that shouldn't have been here and was here because she felt bad for her partner,” Chmerkovskiy, who was visibly emotional, said of the pre-taped dance and Braxton’s obvious fatigue. “I feel really bad because it shouldn't be like that. It should be a fun journey.”
Braxton’s pro partner was obviously displeased with the showing, but judges had to grade it anyway, giving the couple 22 out of a possible 30 for its lackluster dress rehearsal quality.
“It's a wicked shame, because she's such a brilliant performer,” Carrie Ann Inaba told Braxton’s partner. “I think that that live would have brought this room to life.”
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Under the threat of disqualification, Braxton did return to the show in time to perform their team-up routine to “Hey Jude” with fellow competitors Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess. Braxton was clearly exhausted after the showing, but the judges rewarded the pairs’ performance with a 27 out of 30, and the pair staved off elimination for another week.
Braxton spoke about the hectic schedule that compromised her health earlier in the week, citing performance commitments as well as her regular stint on daytime talk show The Real.
“Monday through Wednesday, I was at The Real. Thursday, I was in Vegas. Friday, I came back to L.A. and had a concert with [R&B singer] Kem. Saturday, I got on a plane and went to Orlando, and Sunday, I'm back here doing my camera blocking,” she said. “It’s just nonstop.”
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According to Bergeron, Braxton would have faced disqualification had she not returned to perform her second dance, which would have made her the second competitor to be booted from DWTS this season over health issues. Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak was disqualified from the competition in September after she suffered a mini stroke while at home in Georgia.
While Zolciak said she was cleared to compete in time for the show on Sept. 28, she wasn’t able to fly back to Los Angeles for the live taping, and the rules of the competition forced Bergeron to announce the 37-year-old reality star’s disqualification. Zolciak and pro partner Tony Dovolani later petitioned to reinstate her in the competition, and though their request wasn’t accepted, she remained positive about her time on the show.
"I love Dancing With the Stars," Zolciak told Good Morning America in October. "It's been the best experience of my life."
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