As Dancing With the Stars fans may have heard, Jeannie Mai announced on Monday that she had been forced to drop out of the competition after being hospitalized with epiglottitis, a potentially life-threatening inflammatory condition. On Monday night's episode of the series, the show addressed Mai's departure. Host Tyra Banks took some time at the beginning of the episode to explain that Mai, unfortunately, will not be able to continue competing on Season 29.
"I'm absolutely devastated on Dancing With the Stars has to end this way," Mai said from the hospital in a segment that aired during Monday's episode. "I found out that I have a throat abscess where my tonsils and my throat gotten so infected that it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and my ears that I had to get emergency surgery which is why I'm here now." After Mai's successful surgery, the doctor shared that if she had waited one more day then her throat would have closed up. "I was so relieved to hear that Jeannie's surgery went well," Mai's partner, Brandon Armstrong, said. "I couldn't have asked for a better partner this season. She made this journey so special." Mai added, "I'm so thankful that I even had this experience on Dancing With the Stars. It was hands down one of the best journeys of my life. So, thank you so much and I love you guys."
Mai previously released a statement to Good Morning America. She noted that she had to drop out of DWTS due to a medical condition that doctors recently discovered. "My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery," Mai revealed. "I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here. I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we've come."
Since Mai has been forced to depart the series, her partner, Armstrong, is also out of the running to win the Mirrorball Trophy. On Instagram, he addressed this sad news by sending all of his love to his dance partner. "JEANNIE! I’m so sorry this happened to you! You don’t deserve it!" he wrote alongside a photo of the pair from Disney night. "Your journey on this show was so special so unique and so inspiring! I loved EVERY SINGLE WEEK that we got to go through this together! I hope I helped give you an experience that you’ll remember forever! We share a lot of good times, tough times and all the times in between but mainly, a lot of laughs! Mainly you laughing at me but hey I’ll take it! thank you for giving me such an amazing season! We will all be praying for a speedy recovery!"
Monday night's episode was set to feature a double elimination, with two couples going home. But, as a result of Mai's departure, only one pair will go home. The competition on Season 29 is narrowing down, as only eight celebrities are still in the running — Chrishell Stause, Johnny Weir, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Nelly, Skai Jackson, Justina Machado, AJ McLean, and Nev Schulman.