Dorothy Hamill Withdraws from 'Dancing With the Stars' on Doctor's Orders

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"Dancing with the Stars" Season 16 DOROTHY HAMILL, TRISTAN MACMANUS
Gold medalist, Olympic Hall of Famer, Emmy award-winning Dorothy Hamill partners with Tristan MacManus on "Dancing With the Stars" Season 16, premiering March 18 on ABC.

It's been a week of firsts on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," with the first jazz of the season, the first nines of the season, and the first cut of the season (which we know is always the deepest!) But this week featured a major surprise: No one was voted off.

In a results shocker, former Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill withdrew from the competition, following doctor's orders related to a cyst on her spine.

While the 56-year-old had the potential to become the oldest mirror ball winner in the history of the show (as evidenced by her gorgeous and inspiring "Tiny Dancer" contemporary routine), Week 2 had the Olympic champion hobbling due to a cyst on her lower spine that was pinching a nerve. The ongoing medical problem was exacerbated by the show's grueling dance rehearsals. She and partner Tristan MacManus missed several days of practice this week due to it. Hamill told TV Guide after Monday's performance show that quitting the show wasn't an option: "I don't give up," she said. "I made the commitment to do the show and I love it. And as long as I'm not doing anything to make things worse, I want to continue. I really want to learn how to dance and I don't want to leave."

See her Week 1 dance: 

Something clearly changed, though. On Tuesday night Hamill announced, "I'm taking the advice of my spine surgeon and I need to withdraw from the competition. I have an injury that could be irreparable -- a nerve damage -- and it would be completely unfair for me to stay in this and have any of these people go home."

The "people" in jeopardy were "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump and pro boxer Victor Ortiz, who were the bottom two contestants this week along with their newbie pro partners, Gleb Savchenko and Lindsay Arnold. With Hamill's withdrawal, it remains a mystery as to which couple would have gone home.

MacManus said, "It's a decision that has to be made. I'm certainly not frustrated at her, I'm frustrated with her."

The sad goodbye was especially touching when Hamill revealed that watching Kristi Yamaguchi's Season 6 win inspired her during her treatment for breast cancer.

"It's been a wonderful ride," she said tearfully. "I wish I could stay, but I can't do justice to the competition."

Hamill takes herself out of the competition:

Hamill's withdrawal isn't the first time a contestant has dropped out of "Dancing With the Stars." In Season 2, Romeo withdrew from the comp and his dad, Master P, turned up in his place. Romeo returned to compete on the show in Season 12. In Season 3, personal problems caused country star Sarah Evans to leave the competition, and Misty May-Treanor withdrew in Season 7 due to an injury to her Achilles tendon. And in the ninth season, Tom DeLay quit the show three weeks in because of a foot fracture.

Next week on "Dancing With the Stars," expect to see some frilly frocks and tacky tuxes as the remaining 11 couples gear up for Prom Night.

The next episode of "Dancing With the Stars" Season 16 airs on Monday, 4/1 at 8 PM on ABC.