It is official – Kim Zolciak has been forced to withdraw from Dancing with the Stars. After suffering a mini stroke and undergoing a procedure for a serious heart condition last week, Kim wasn’t medically cleared to fly from Atlanta to Los Angeles for last night’s live show.
Backtracking to Saturday, Kim explained via Dancing with the Stars, “I had a blood cot which caused a mini stroke – TIA – and then I ended up being in the hospital for three days. I have not had time to even think about rehearsing. If I can dance, and I get a clean bill of health, I absolutely will because I love it. But my health comes first. It’s kind of up in the air.”
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Kim continued, “You don’t ever think that a 37 year old is going to end up with a blood cot, or even have a stroke. Literally, when I was having the stroke, my six kids were running through my mind, and my husband, and it’s the scariest thing I have ever been through in my life. All I know is that I’m well enough to be discharged and I’m on this amazing medicine for now. We’ll go from there.”
Unsurprisingly, Kim wasn’t medically cleared to fly to L.A. for the live show, so Tony Dovolani performed their I Dream of Jeannie-themed dance with troupe member Jenna Johnson.
Via Skype, Kim shared, “I feel really great. I don’t know if you know, but I rehearsed on Saturday. I learned that whole dance that Jenna just did and then my doctor told me yesterday it is just too soon to fly. I could go next week, but I just couldn’t go today. I’m really sad.”
Tom Bergeron broke the bad news to Kim and Tony, “This is the ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ portion of the show. This is a very unusual circumstance, but it’s still a competition and the rules state: in the instance of illness or other health related matters affecting a participant’s ability to participate in the game, they must withdraw.”
Kim and Tony, who were reportedly blindsided, challenged the decision.
“I can dance,” argued Kim. “I just can’t fly. If I lived in Vegas or even lived within 12 hours, I would have been there tonight. I did not get discharged until Friday evening and there’s just no way I could have made it to L.A. by right now.”
Tony added, “They said she might be able to fly by Sunday of next week, so if the rules could be bent. Maybe. Just one time.” Tom told Tony that he needs to take it up with the Dancing with the Stars legal team.
After the show, Kim and Tony took to Twitter to ask for a second chance:
Kim shared a video of herself rehearsing on Saturday on Instagram, adding, “I practiced for hours Saturday! I was so excited to be there tonight! I just needed a few more days and then I’m cleared to fly! #ImReallySad #ImStrong”
When a contestant couldn’t perform live (it happened with both Melissa Rycroft and Amy Purdy) in the past, their rehearsal footage was shown and judged. But in Kim‘s case, no such footage (from the official ballroom) was available.
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