There have been injuries to deal with in past competitions, but this time ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” has lost two celebrity contestants before they’d stepped onto the ballroom floor. Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jewel and "Access Hollywood" host Nancy O’Dell will be on camera only to say goodbye at tonight’s season premiere, but ABC is promising that “additional changes to the cast will also be announced.” Some last-minute fill-in stars, perhaps?
Jewel was diagnosed with a fractured tibia in both legs, O’Dell a torn meniscus. The injuries were sustained while training for the competition. The women were paired with professional dancers Tony Dovolani and Dmitry Chaplin, respectively.
"Like most sports, dancing can be a demanding, physical activity. Each participant of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ warrants in contract that they are physically fit enough to participate in the competition. We love and appreciate Nancy and Jewel’s competitive spirit, drive and desire to perform their best. Though we share in their disappointment that they can no longer continue, their physical well-being takes precedent above all else. We thank them both for giving it their all and wish them a quick and full recovery," said Executive Producer Conrad Green.
Look for Jewel to be in the audience throughout the competition. Her husband, rodeo star Ty Murray, will be dancing with his professional partner, Chelsie Hightower.
"When the doctors told me my injuries were so severe that I couldn’t walk, let alone compete, I was devastated that I couldn’t continue the show," said Jewel.
"Beyond disappointment doesn’t even being to describe how I feel about not being able to continue on ‘Dancing with the Stars’," said O’Dell.
Hosted by Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris, "Dancing with the Stars" is the US version of the British hit series, "Strictly Come Dancing." DWTS is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Rob Wade and Matilda Zoltowski are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs.