Dancing With The Stars pro dancer Lindsay Arnold and former NFL star DeMarcus Ware have been breezing through season 27, and his finger injury will not slow them down, Arnold told PopCulture.com.
Ahead of his trio dance with Arnold and fellow former football player Rashad Jennings, Ware broke a finger during rehearsals. Fans at home even saw footage of the gruesome injury, which resulted in Ware's finger bending at an awkward angle. Ware was rushed to the emergency room, but he refused to let that stop him from dancing on live TV. The two ended up with a 22/30 score for the dance to Barns Courtney's "Fire."
When asked more than a week later if the injury was still an issue, Arnold said it "still bothers him" and can make things difficult when it comes to lifts and tricks.
"When I bump it, it doesn't feel good to him, and I know that," Arnold told PopCulture.com. "But as far as keeping him from doing anything, he has been seriously the toughest guy I know, and he has had no problem just doing everything I've asked of him and it has not slowed him down one bit."
On last week's DWTS, it was not the injury that bothered Arnold and Ware while they danced to "A Star Is Born" from Disney's Hercules. It was an awkward wardrobe malfunction. One of Arnold's shoes broke, which only contributed to the "stressful evening."
"When I felt that strap pop, I mean, just so much panic came rushing through my body," Arnold said. "But I did everything I could to not let that shoe come off and to not let it affect the dance. And watching it back, I'm really proud. Because you really couldn't tell. It felt like it was crazy, but you couldn't tell when I was dancing. So I'm very happy about that."
After the dance, Ware said he did not even realize Arnold's shoe was broken. She told Erin Andrews she was clenching her toes hard to keep the shoe from falling off.
Despite the broken shoe, the performance earned them a 26/30 score. But in the end, Arnold and Ware were told they were in danger of being eliminated. Just before the show ended, host Tom Bergeron said no one was going home on Disney night!
Arnold said she was going through a "rush of emotions" at the end, especially since DWTS usually does not eliminate a pair on Disney night.
"I'm like, oh shoot, we're actually doing it," Arnold said. "Then I hear our names and I'm like, crap. Then I hear Alexis [Ren] and Alan [Bersten] and I'm like, even more crap because they got one of the highest scores of the night. So I was terrified. And then hearing them say, just kidding, no one's going home. That was such a huge sigh of relief."
Arnold said they were both "terrified" and hope to never "be in that position again."
Ware is not the first athlete the 24-year-old Arnold has been paired with on DWTS. She danced with former catcher David Ross, former football star Calvin Johnson and boxer Victor Ortiz. During the all-athletes season, she was paired with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, she finally won a Mirror Ball trophy with singer Jordan Fisher at the end of season 25.
"I think the mentality of an athlete is very, very beneficial on this show," Arnold explained. "As far as the moves and the actual dancing, sometimes their athletic abilities are beneficial. And sometimes they actually hinder them. So I think the mentality is the main thing, they know how to work hard. They know the grind that you have to put in to get to the end result. And that's something that really is beneficial for them."
Ware and Arnold hit the DWTS dance floor again on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC