In a Dancing with the Stars shocker Tuesday night, actor Cristian de la Fuente, who injured himself during the performance portion of this week’s competition, stayed on the show while actress Shannon Elizabeth was voted off.
Cristian, who was rushed to the hospital Monday night after clutching his left arm during his samba routine with partner Cheryl Burke, told watchers of the hit ABC reality show that his doctor said he had ruptured a tendon of his bicep: “I need surgery in order to put it back together.”
But the doctor also told the South American soap star he could delay the surgery, and so he decided to dance on.
Shortly after announcing his decision to continue on the show, host Tom Bergeron announced Cristian and Cheryl were safe—but Shannon and partner/ boyfriend Derek Hough had been eliminated.
Cristian told OK! backstage, “I’m feeling better. We fought very hard to be on the show and we’ll keep fighting.”
The actor told OK!, however, that he’ll have limitations in continuing with his dancing: “I cannot lift anything with my left arm; the lifts will have to be with the right arm.”
When asked why he decided to risk possible further injury and continue, Cristian said, “We’re so close [to the end]. If this was at the beginning and there were ten weeks to go, I would probably leave. But now, the doctor said he can delay the surgery a little bit and we’re three weeks away from the show being over and I just want to go as far as I can. I’ll have the surgery as soon as we’re done.”
Cristian said his wife, actress Angelica, “thinks that I’m crazy but she has thought that since the day that we married. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for everybody.”
His partner, two-time DWTS champ Cheryl, confided to OK! “I’ve been exhausted emotionally. I’m just happy that he’s okay and I’m still worried, of course. I’m going to be extra, extra nice to him this week. The fans really supported him and if they keep doing that he can take it all the way.”
Dancer Mark Ballas, who performs with OK! blogger Kristi Yamaguchi, said, “We’re all proud of him for coming back. We weren’t ready to see him go.”
Meanwhile, Shannon was so devastated that she burst into tears and couldn’t complete her media exit interviews after the show. The American Pie beauty was seen being led away by her partner Derek for some private comforting backstage.
In an interview with OK! the night before her ouster, a buoyant Shannon had seemed happy with their dances, including a tango judge Carrie Ann Inaba called their “best dance yet.”
But Shannon admitted to OK! she wasn’t happy with herself for crying during a video segment on an earlier show—when both she and Derek ripped into the DWTS judges. “I regret having tears at all, ever,” she smiled, but explained that her actress emotion often spills out. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
Unfortunately for Shannon, the tears flowed again as voters showed her and Derek the door.
But singer Mario, who is still in the competition with partner Karina Smirnoff, told OK! that Shannon and Derek — who have been romantically linked since photos of the pair kissing hit the internet — can find solace in each other’s arms. “They may go make hot sexy love,” Mario smiled. “Who knows?”