Fan-favorite “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Daniella Karagach will not be in the ballroom for the second episode of season 31 of the show.
Ahead of the “Elvis Night” airing, it was revealed that Karagach has tested positive for COVID-19. Her partner, Joseph Baena, will be joined instead by troupe member Alexis Warr.
“Just in: @DKaragach has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be performing during #DWTS tonight,” Desiree Murphy tweeted. “Troupe member Alexis Warr will be filling in to dance with @JoeBaenaOfcl. Feel better, Daniella!”
Karagach later confirmed the news on her Instagram.
“Hey guys, unfortunately I have tested positive for Covid and won’t be performing tonight,” she wrote. “I’m absolutely gutted and heartbroken I can’t be there but I know [Beana] is in great hands with [Alexis Warr]. Alexis, once again thank you for being amazing and stepping in for me. You’re incredible and I can’t wait to watch you two shine.”
She added, “We worked so freaking hard this week and I know you guys got this.”
Baena Will Still Perform
Baena, who some fans think is an underdog, will go on to perform with Warr.
“Proud of you @joebaena go show em how it’s done,” Karagach wrote on her Instagram Stories after testing positive.
Baena went live on Instagram to share with his fans that he will be dancing with Warr.
“Dani is not allowed to do the dance with me, be on set, do anything, so I am partnered up today with Alexis, another amazing dancer, she’s gonna be great, we’re gonna be great, we ran it through, and it’s very unfortunate because Dani and I have been grinding so hard, but we’re stoked. We’re gonna push through. I still know my steps… watch the posture,” he told his viewers. “It’s gonna be good guys. We’ve been training for this, so we’re ready for anything.”
He added, “I do know that diamonds are made under pressure and this is a lot of pressure.”
He said that he and Warr were set to rehearse more and asked that everyone vote for the couple.
“We’re gonna crush,” he added. “I got my preworkout ready, I’m ready to go. Got a little creatine in there, you know, pump up a little bit, I’m gonna eat some carbs before… I’m gonna be wearing a suit.”
He shared that he’s excited about the suit he gets to wear.
After the premiere, “Dancing With the Stars” had a COVID outbreak., according to The Wrap.
At the time, there were four positive cases out of over 300 employees.
The spokesperson shared with the outlet:
Over the course of five days, there were a total of four Covid positives among more than 300 production employees. All four individuals work in completely different departments that do not have in-person contact with each other, based on our pod system.
Contact tracing was immediately conducted. All close contacts were notified and put on an increased testing cadence. No close contact of the four positive production employees has since tested positive. The entire set has been disinfected. As an extra precaution, we asked the majority of employees to work from home.
Karagach Previously Said Elvis Week Was Tough
Karagach posted Sunday night to tell Baena how proud she was of him and address how tough the week has been for the two.
“This week was really tough,” she shared. “I know this process could be frustrating at times but, it’s all about the way you handle it. @JoeBaena you’re a rockstar and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner this season. Your determination and work ethic is admirable. I’m so proud of the dancer you’re becoming.”
The two were set to perform a Viennese Waltz, which is a stark contrast to the jive they performed during the premiere.
If they’re voted through to the next round, they will perform together once again next Monday.