UPDATE: Why Jeannie Mai Had to Quit Dancing with the Stars


Getty Jeannie Mai

Earlier this season, The Real’s Jeannie Mai was hospitalized and forced to leave DWTS. The TV host and stylist told CNN at the time, “My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery… I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here.”

She added, “I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come.”

The show’s Instagram account subsequently posted a photo of Mai, writing, “Jeannie Mai will not be able to continue to compete on #DWTS this season due to a health concern that requires immediate attention. Jeannie has inspired us, along with millions of fans, with her energy and dedication. We wish her a full and speedy recovery. Since Jeannie had to withdraw from the competition, tonight’s show will feature the eight remaining couples and a single elimination.”

Fans later learned that Mai was diagnosed with Epiglottis, which her reps confirmed to The Wrap. 

According to Mayo Clinic, Epiglottis is a “potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs.”

It can be caused by a number of factors, from hot liquids to injury to the throat to infections.

On November 5, Mai gave viewers a health update by posting an Instagram Story of her wearing a t-shirt. She commented, “No speaking. No chewing. No bad T-shirts.”

Jeannie Mai’s Performance On Season 29

During the first episode of the season, Jeannie, who was partnered with Brandon Armstrong, received an 18/30. They went on to earn another 18 during week two, and a 22/30 during the third week. Their week four score was 24/30, and their week five score was a 25. Jeannie and Brandon earned a 25 during week six and 25 again during week seven. They were forced to withdraw on November 2, 2020 due to Mai’s illness.

During Monday night’s finale episode, Mai will make her first appearance since leaving the show. It is unclear at this time if she will be dancing or not.

She’s sure to get some love from her dance partner, who wrote the following on Instagram after Mai’s exit from the show: “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!”

Only four dance teams remain, and they are Nelly and Daniella, Nev and Jenna, Kaitlyn and Artem, and Justina and Sasha.

While TV Insider pegs Nev and Jenna as the frontrunners, it’s anyone’s game. The outlet writes of Schulman, “If we were putting money on this season, we would bet on Nev and Jenna taking home the Mirrorball. This pairing has been at the top of the leaderboard almost every week, they’ve seemed to connect with the fans, and they always bring something fresh to the show.”

The season finale will air Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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