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Dancing with the Stars competitors have reacted to Ray Lewis having to leave the show after an injury. Before this Monday’s episode aired, word quickly spread that an injury would force another celebrity to leave the ballroom early. That is precisely what ended up happening. Lewis and his pro partner Cheryl Burke announced the difficult decision during Monday’s Dancing with the Stars.
In the wake of their withdrawal, no one was sent home on Dancing with the Stars this week. Ray Lewis' fellow competitors were sad to lose him to injury. All of which brings up the question of whether or not rehearsals have gone too far, as CinemaBlend’s Laura Hurley suggested. Reacting to the news of Lewis’ departure was NBA star, Lamar Odom. Odom told ET:
I know if Ray had to leave the show, he must really be hurt. But God is on his side, and I'm on his side as well. So, he'll be all right.
Ray Lewis’ injury is the second one this season. Supermodel Christie Brinkley was the first to withdraw from the dancing competition. Brinkley’s injury occurring in rehearsals before Season 28 could even begin airing. Her daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, was brought on as an emergency replacement. Brinkley and Lewis join a sadly growing list of celebs forced to exit the competition due to injury.
Sharing her reaction to Ray Lewis having to leave Dancing with the Stars, Sailor Brinkley-Cook said:
Devastating. . . I loved seeing Ray out there. He had incredible energy and he still does and we'll keep dancing for him.
The Office’s Kate Flannery also weighed in with her thoughts on Ray Lewis’ Dancing with the Stars exit. She cited the seriousness of the competitive field. As viewers have seen through the years, the series is a physically intense endeavor for celebs and their pro partners. Former DWTS pro, Derek Hough, proved that the professionals are also not immune to injury; Hough sustained one during Season 20.
Speaking about Ray Lewis’ exit and the risks the stars are taking on Dancing with the Stars, Kate Flannery said:
I think this is a very serious group of contestants. I think people are really pushing their limits and I think it's great but there is that risk.
The risk of injury! The celebrities’ professional partners also weighed in on Ray Lewis’ early departure. James Van Der Beek’s partner, Emma Slater, offered her reaction by explaining how Lewis’ pre-DWTS injury flared up when he started rehearsing for the show.
The Dancing with the Stars pro and long-time star opened up about how hard dancing is on the feet. Emma Slater said:
I think you just gotta really look after your body. And with Ray, I believe it was an injury that was kinda ongoing and just got worse and it doesn't surprise me because dancing, especially on the feet, is pretty strenuous. Unfortunately, we lost him in the ballroom but I wish him a speedy recovery, we both do, and I hope that he honestly makes a full recovery and then comes back and sees us.
Alan Bersten, who is paired with The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown, shared his thoughts, and some insight into something Brown has been doing to prevent getting injured herself. So, while Brown has said that Dancing with the Stars has been therapy for her, there is more to the story. On Ray Lewis’ injury and how Brown is trying to head off one of her own, Alan Bersten said:
Dancing is a very physical and hard sport. If you don't take care of your body -- even if you're a pro football player who is in the Hall of Fame -- you can get injured. I'm really proud now that Hannah, every morning, takes 45 minutes to warm up.
Is warming up going to be all that it takes to prevent another serious injury from occurring? Dancing with the Stars has only had one official elimination. It is now entering Week 4 of the competition phase. Rehearsals began before the show started airing, which means the celebs have been at this for longer than viewers have seen.
With criticism over the voting changes, there is still a lot that Dancing with the Stars can change. Can something be done to prevent further injury? Or does it come with the territory? Stay tuned.
New episodes of Dancing with the Stars air Mondays, at 8 p.m. ET, on ABC. Season 28 of the ballroom competition is one of this fall’s premieres.