For some celebrities, being a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” is a lot of fun. For others, they’re left with bitter feelings about their time in the ballroom or their exit from the competition.
Jeannie Mai was a contestant on season 29 of “Dancing With the Stars” alongside professional dancer Brandon Armstrong. Unfortunately for Mai, she had to leave the show early due to a health scare.
Mai later spoke with Armstrong on her show “Hello Hunnay with Jeannie Mai” about the health scare and said that she almost died while rehearsing. She was diagnosed with epiglottis and had to undergo throat surgery soon after her exit on the show.
Now, Mai said that she is bitter about having to leave the show early, according to Us Weekly.
Mai Says Competing on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Was Difficult
Mai told Us Weekly that competing on “Dancing With the Stars” was “the hardest job I’ve ever had.”
“I’m still reeling from how challenging it was and how much [time] it took me every week to learn a new dance,” she told the outlet. “At the same time, I’m still bitter about having to leave so early that I’m pissed that Chrishelle [Stause] took the spot I should have had. I’m still going through my emotions.”
Ultimately, “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe took home the Mirrorball Trophy at the end of season 29 of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Mai Previously Said She Did Not Take Her Illness Seriously
During an episode of her show “Hello Hunnay with Jeannie Mai,” Mai said that she did not originally take her illness seriously.
“I saw a doctor who correctly diagnosed me and saved me from possibly losing my ability to breathe. I’m going to be honest with you. Even when I was diagnosed, I did not take it seriously,” she shared at the time. “I was not focused on saving my life, I was focused on competing in ‘Dancing With the Stars’.”
She shared that she only thought she was dealing with a sore throat and that she could rehearse and compete through the illness. Then, she canceled a rehearsal to go to the doctor’s where she was misdiagnosed.
“The next day, of course I stayed consistent and rescheduled the rehearsal with Brandon,” she said. “I was almost dying in that room, but I didn’t know it because I was pushing through and hyped up on steroids.”
It was days before she got the advice from Armstrong to stop taking steroid shots who had once torn his Achilles after taking a steroid shot for pain.
“My throat was 60% closed,” Mai shared. “It was numb, but it was closed.”
The next day, Mai said that she was so sick that she was gasping for air and couldn’t swallow the aspirin she tried to take.
She then went to two different doctors at two separate appointments. The star said that she found out at one of those appointments that her throat was going to close and she had to have surgery.
“I called Brandon and was so upset,” she said. “Was absolutely enraged in tears, like, ‘They’re making me do this, I’m so sorry.’”