Jeannie Mai Recovering From Emergency Surgery, Forced to Withdraw from ‘DWTS’


Jeannie Mai is on the mend, as she recovers from an emergency surgery.

The Real co-host was forced to withdraw unexpectedly from competing on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars after she was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening condition.

Jeannie Mai’s DWTS Journey Has Come to an End

During Monday night’s episode of the reality dance competition, host Tyra Banks made the announcement that Mai would not be continuing on the show.

“I have some sad news. Jeannie Mai had emergency surgery last night and she’s in recovery,” Tyra told the audience. “She’s doing well. However, she’s had to withdraw from this competition. And she shared her emotional story from her hospital room.”

During the episode, the 41-year-old opened up about the procedure in footage that was recorded in her hospital room. She told viewers that she was “absolutely devastated that my journey on Dancing With the Stars has to end this way.”

Mai was diagnosed with epiglottitis. It’s a potentially life-threatening condition in which the epiglottis, a small piece of cartilage that covers the windpipe, swells. The swelling blocks the flow of air to the lungs.

According to Mai’s video on DWTS, she was told she had a “throat abscess, where my tonsils and my throat had gotten so infected that it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and my ears.”

This, of course, required immediate attention and led to the host having to undergo emergency surgery. But don’t worry, Mai said “everything went great.”

She was lucky to get in when she did, though. While in the hospital, a medical professional gave her some alarming news: “If you had waited one more day, your throat would have closed up.”

“I’m just so thankful I had the experience on Dancing With the Stars,” Mai said in her video. “It was hands down one of the best journeys of my life, so thank you so much and I love you guys.”

Another Star Still Went Home on Monday

Mai’s sudden departure from the show was a bummer for Mai herself and her pro dance partner, Brandon Armstrong. But, it was unexpectedly good news for the other competitors. Monday’s episode was originally set to feature a double elimination. With Mai on the mend in the hospital, the competition only had to send home one couple.

Unfortunately for Chrishell Stause and her dance partner Gleb Savchenko, they were the unlucky couple to head home this week. The Selling Sunset star found herself in the bottom, alongside Skai Jackson and pro partner Alan Bernsten. However, the judges unanimously decided to keep Jackson in the competition.

We’re down to seven: Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, rapper Nelly, actress Justina Machado, Catfish host Nev Schulman, Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, and The Bachelorette‘s Kaitlyn Bristowe.