Members of the Dancing With the Stars family offered words of support for The Real co-host Jeannie Mai, who was rushed to the hospital early Monday morning. Mai and her pro dance partner Brandon Armstrong immediately withdrew from the competition, leaving eight couples remaining. There will only be one elimination during the show, which begins live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
"Jeannie Mai will not be able to continue to compete on [DWTS] this season due to a health concern that requires immediate attention," the show's Twitter account announced. "Jeannie has inspired us, along with millions of fans, with her energy and dedication. We wish her a full and speedy recovery." Mai, 41, told Entertainment Tonight her doctors discovered a health concern with her throat that required immediate surgery.
"I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here. The last several weeks have been an amazing learning experience," Mai said. "I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come. I can't thank my partner Brandon [Armstrong] enough for being so supportive and believing in me. I also want to thank MAI fans who voted every week and I wish everyone else in the competition the best of luck!!"
ABC News later reported Mai was diagnosed with epiglottis, an inflammatory condition that causes swelling, blocking airflow to the lungs.
Armstrong told Good Morning America they are "devastated" to cut their season short so soon, but Mai's health is the top priority. "Thank you to all the fans that have helped get us this far and we are praying for a speedy recovery for Jeannie," he said. Scroll on to see how other members of the DWTS family responded to Mai's exit.
Chrishell Stause, who stars on Netflix's Selling Sunset, sent Mai her well-wishes on Twitter and hoped Mai gets well soon. Stause's pro dance partner is Gleb Savchenko.prevnext
My sweet @jeanniemai ♥️♥️♥️ Praying for a speedy recovery and complete restoration of health. You were such a light in my DWTS journey...my friend, my show & tell partner and the sunshine that made me smile. Looking forward to reuniting and giving you the biggest hug!♥️ pic.twitter.com/Dt4Rd2GS8r— Monica Aldama (@monicaaldama) November 2, 2020
Monica Aldama, who starred on Netflix's Cheer, shared pictures she took with Mai during rehearsals. "You were such a light in my DWTS journey...my friend, my show & tell partner and the sunshine that made me smile," Aldama wrote, adding that she is looking forward to reuniting with her friend soon. Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy were eliminated on Oct. 26.prevnext
Cheryl Burke and AJ McLean
. @jeanniemai, you have been such a light on his show and I will miss having your energy on set. You are in our hearts as you go through this. We love you so much! ❤️ @brandonkstrong @DancingABC @aj_mclean pic.twitter.com/0PXw8YZN7H— Cheryl Burke (@CherylBurke) November 2, 2020
Cheryl Burke and Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean shared a video on Twitter together to wish Mai the best. Burke said she could not believe what happened, since they just recently spoke together before the news was announced. "We're sending you so much love," Burke said.prevnext
Artem Chigvintsev, whose celebrity partner is The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, added a short message to Mai in his pre-show message to fans. "Get better soon," he wrote, adding praying hands and purple heart emojis.prevnext
Carrie Ann Inaba
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba addressed Mai's departure on The Talk Monday afternoon. Inaba said Mai "had something special" and it felt like she was "on the verge of a breakthrough," which is why Inaba and judge Bruno Tonioli saved Mai from elimination last week. "We want to wish you a speedy recovery," Inaba said. "We love you!"prevnext
She was a favorite to watch. Just a little light on that dance floor. Her energy and smile will be missed out there and up in the balcony. We love you Jeannie https://t.co/i2nmIEMTlH— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) November 2, 2020
Bristowe shared her own statement on Mai's hospitalization, calling Mai her favorite dancer to watch. "Just a little light on that dance floor. Her energy and smile will be missed out there and up in the balcony," Bristowe wrote. She also retweeted the original DWTS statement.prev