Only two days after being rushed to the hospital for neck and jaw injuries sustained during rehearsals, Dancing With the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff is opening up to In Touch about the scary ordeal.
“We were doing one of the lifts, not the hardest of lifts…but our timing was a little off…” the dancer said of how she got hurt.
Her dance partner, NFL player Jacoby Jones, then interjected, assuring her it was definitely the hardest lift in his eyes. “I think it was hardest one because she had to toss herself up and duck under her legs. That’s what makes it hard to me,” he said.
But it didn’t’ exactly go as planned.
“It’s about catching his timing. I landed on my jaw; it jammed it back and gave me a whiplash in my neck,” Karina said of her fall. “I couldn’t move it for a couple of minutes. I was like ‘What do I do?’ I thought it was broken. I couldn’t even talk.”
But even after a trip to the emergency room, Karina told her twitter fans that “not dancing isn’t an option” — and she competed last night in the finals!
“[The doctor] said not to talk for 24 hours. The 24 hours are up, so all of you can shut it because I can run my mouth!” she jokingly told In Touch on Monday night. “They said once the swelling goes down I’ll be able to…well, first it’ll go back in the right place— it’s a little crooked. It’s not as bad as it seems, but he thinks it’ll go back to normal.”
Jacoby and Karina ended up earning three 10’s for their Argentine Tango—and clearly, Karina’s communication issues were not an issue when it came to the quality of their performance.
“Absolutely not. I can still scream at him and talk,” Karina joked. “Telepathic communication would be difficult, but now that I can vocalize everything it will be okay.”
And nothing is stopping her when it comes to competing in— and winning—this competition.
“[My doctor] said, ‘The best advice I can give you right now is wear a neck brace and not move for a few weeks,’” Karina said. “I’m like ‘It’s not going to happen.’ If I can move on one leg, I’m there.”
Check out Jacoby and Karina's full performance of the Argentine tango from last night's show below:
To see if Karina and Jacoby make it through tonight’s eliminations and into the final four, tune in to Dancing With the Stars tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.