'Dancing's' Cristian de la Fuente cramps up

Judges praised the soap star for carrying on

NEW YORK -- Getting through the samba was painful for Cristian de la Fuente on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

The Chilean soap star suffered a severe muscle cramp in his left forearm while performing with dance partner Cheryl Burke on Monday night's show.

De la Fuente began struggling near the end of the samba. He gripped his arm and seemingly tried to shake off the pain. But it finally gave away when he couldn't hold onto Burke anymore, and she fell to the floor.

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli praised de la Fuente for carrying on despite his injury. They each gave him a score of "7."

"You cannot predict what happens," Tonioli told de la Fuente. "You did your best and we appreciate that. And we'll have to judge on what we saw, but I hope you're coming back because you're a great performer."

Backstage, de la Fuente said: "It hurts the arm and it hurts that I couldn't do it, you know? It's tough."

ABC publicist Aime Wolfe didn't immediately return phone and e-mail messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday seeking comment on de la Fuente's post-show treatment and condition.

This isn't the first stumble on "Dancing With the Stars." Marie Osmond fainted on a live broadcast after a performance last October -- and was back on the show the following night.

Scores from the judges and the voting public are combined. The couple with the lowest score were to be eliminated during a results show Tuesday night.