'Dancing With the Stars' Competitor Danelle Umstead Suffers Breakdown, Needed IV

Danelle Umstead and Artem Chigvintsev performed on Dancing With The Stars Monday night after being sick all week, but managed to get through their Cha Cha without a problem. Umstead even needed an IV Sunday.

Chigvintsev and the Paralympian danced to Taylor Swift's "Welcome To New York," starting with Umstead tossing her cane at the opening.

After the dance, Umstead told host Tom Bergeron that the two were sick all week before the performance. In fact, she needed "fluids put in, intravenously" Sunday and was prescribed medication.

"It's been a tough week," she said.

The illness did not strike Chigvintsev as hardly as it did Umstead. He jokingly told Bergeron he was "trying" to get some an intravenous therapy, but doctors would not give it to him.

"So Danelle, how does it feel to have more pull than your pro partner?" Bergeron asked.

"Yeah, right!" Umstead replied with a laugh.

"I hope you feel better soon," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said before making her critique.

The judges all pointed out that Umstead started off on the wrong foot, but they still praised her for an overall mistake-free performance. Judges Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli all gave Umstead and Chigvintsev 6 scores, so they ended up with 18 out of 30 points.

Umstead, 46, is a Paralympic alpine skier. According to ESPN, she has retinitis pigmentosa, rare disorders that case vision impairment. She does not have central vision and is losing her peripheral vision. Despite these challenges, she has won three Paralympic bronze medals.

"It's been a lot harder than I anticipated," Umstead told ESPN of the DWTS experience. "Being visually impaired and not ever seeing dance clearly, I didn't realize there's so much to it, but I love learning and I love challenging myself. It's been such an incredible journey, and everybody -- from the pros to the staff -- everybody at DWTS is so amazing and so loving. It is like a big, happy family. It's just an incredible experience."

Umstead said she first wanted to be the first visually impaired star on DWTS when she watched the show for the first time in 2007.

"I am blessed to be a part of the show. It is such an honor but, I feel like, such a responsibility, too," she said.

Fans at home were happy to see Umstead's performance.

"Artem is doing so good with Danelle, everything they're doing is super impressive," one fan wrote.

Another added, "Great song. Great dance. So inspirational! Danelle pushes the boundaries of what we believe is possible. Awesome."

0comments

New episodes of DWTS air on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: ABC