There was a question whether Mark Ballas would be able to perform on Dancing with the Stars last night after injuring his back during rehearsal over the weekend, and it turned out that Alan Bernsten from the pro troup had to step in to dance with UFC fighter Paige VanZant after all. It’s up in the air, pending test results, whether Mark can return next week, or at all.
In the video package that aired before the performance, Paige was nervous about the lifts to begin with because of what she considered Mark’s “smaller frame.” Would be be strong enough to pick her up? Mark’s life as a ballroom dancer has him lifting plenty of women, but maybe not those as muscle dense as Paige. However, he wasn’t lifting Paige in rehearsal when he suddenly pulled away and laid on the the floor. “I think I just slipped a disc,” Mark said. “My back just pinched funny. I’m hurting.” He kept repeating “I’m in trouble…I’m in trouble.”
Mark couldn’t dance, but he was in the studio to cheer Paige and Alan on as the performed his choreography. Afterward, he shared details with co-host Erin Andrews, “I had the MRI today…we’re going to get the results later on,” he said. Mark will also undergo a bone and CT scan, “Just to be safe.”
“I’m hopeful I’ll be back,” said Mark.
Later backstage, Mark told E News, “The doctor seems to be optimistic, so I’m feeling good about it,” he said, “I just don’t know how quickly. No time-frame yet…but I don’t want to let her down. I want to be there with her, she’s fantastic.”
Despite Mark’s sudden injury, Paige and Alan scored a 24/30 for their salsa, the highest score of the night. “I’m really proud of her,” Mark told E. “I thought she did excellent tonight. It’s a hard situation to be put into.”
The short of it…fingers crossed Mark will be back on the dance floor next week! Get well soon…