Jeannie Mai Will Return for the 'Dancing With the Stars' Finale After Emergency Surgery Forced Her to Quit

Jeannie Mai's quest for the Mirrorball Trophy may have been cut short, but she won't be sitting out the Dancing With the Stars Season 29 finale. After being forced to leave the series just ahead of week eight due to a health emergency, the talk show host will return Monday night.

Mai's return was confirmed to The Wrap by her representatives, who said that she will make an appearance alongside her DWTS pro partner Brandon Armstrong. At this time, it remains unclear in what capacity they will return in, so fans shouldn't get their hopes up just yet to see the duo dancing on the stage a final time. The partners will, however, be there to see one of the final remaining couples crowned victors: Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe and pro Artem Chigvintsev; One Day at a Time's Justina Machado and pro Sasha Farber; rapper Nelly and pro Daniella Karagach; and Catfish host Nev Schulman and pro Jenna Johson.

Mai's return to the competition will come three weeks after she confirmed her time on the ABC series would be coming to an end. On Nov. 2, just ahead of what was supposed to be Season 29's double elimination night, The Real co-host announced that she would no longer be able to continue after she was diagnosed with epiglottitis. The potentially life-threatening inflammatory condition, in which the tissue protecting the windpipe becomes inflamed, required Mai to be hospitalized and undergo emergency surgery. Reflecting on the diagnosis in a social media post just days later, Mai had revealed that 60% of her airway had closed.

"What simply started as a sore throat had unbeknownst to me become a dangerous infection that already closed at least 60% of my airway and resulted in a throat abscess that spread in a matter of 3 days," she wrote. "Although I am grateful to be recovering safely, I can't lie … I am devastated by the fact that my journey with [DWTS] will end this way. Dancing on this show has been the most exhilarating adventure. I've gained both beautiful friendships and loving supporters."

Thankfully, the surgery was a success, though Mai is continuing to recover. As part of her recovery, Mai revealed that there is "No speaking. No chewing. No bad T-shirts." Her Dancing With the Stars return will come just days after she had a brief reunion with her The Real co-hosts. Mai, who wrote on a cue card that she was "resting my voice and body," said that she would be returning to her co-hosting duties this week.


The Dancing With the Stars Season 29 finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Stay tuned to for the latest updates.