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Melissa Gilbert had what the judges called her best performance of the season during Monday’s Dancing With the Stars — but it didn’t go off without a hitch. The 47-year-old actress left the show’s Mid-City Los Angeles studio for the hospital before the end of the live broadcast.
Host Tom Bergeron acknowledged Gilbert’s injury at the end of the live taping, but ABC reps on site would not elaborate, only saying that a full update would be given during Tuesday’s episode.
Backstage, Gilbert and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy‘s fellow competitors helped piece together the events.
In the middle of Gilbert’s Paso Doble with Chmerkovskiy, which earned them a cumulative score of 22, she hit her head on the ballroom floor. And though she didn’t let on during the judges’ commentary, pro Karina Smirnoff told The Hollywood Reporter and other media reps that Gilbert started complaining of dizziness and of feeling lightheaded. She was so weakened, singer Gavin DeGraw carried her down from the stage’s elevated “red room” and out of the studio.
With about 20 minutes left in the episode, Gilbert was put on a stretcher and taken, by ambulance, to a hospital. Chmerkovskiy followed her.
In 2010, Gilbert underwent surgery for a broken back — an injury she sustained while performing in a musical production of Little House on the Prairie. She and her partner had acknowledged earlier in the season they were taking care to work around her injury.
There was no sense of alarm after the show, but there wasn’t a surplus of details either.
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