Tony Dovolani "really concerned" about Melissa Rycroft after "DWTS" injury
Melissa Rycroft, Tony Dovolani on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars." / Adam Taylor/ABC
Updated 11:29 a.m. ET
Tony Dovolani and his "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Melissa Rycroft, have been readying for their tango performance for the past week. But their rehearsals were brought to a halt on Sunday when Rycroft was rushed to the hospital with a head injury. She has since been released, according to E! News, but Dovolani is concerned about their ability to compete this week.
"Really concerned about @MelissaRycroft..... we don't know if we are dancing tomorrow !!!!! Please keep us in your prayers #trouper," Dovolani tweeted, later adding that Rycroft's health "is most important to me."
On Monday, Rycroft tweeted, "Thank you so much for sending your prayers..still seeing and talking to docs this AM, will give more details soon, but thanks for your love!"
CBSNews.com spoke with Dovolani last week, and things were going really well.
The "Dancing With the Stars" professional dancer had special tango-friendly Capezio shoes made for his celebrity partner, Rycroft, 29. The two have been rehearsing practically non-stop for this week's competition, all while trying to stay in tip-top shape.
"I don't drink. I don't smoke. I eat very healthy," he told CBSNews.com in between rehearsals.
He has even encouraged Rycroft to follow suit by consuming a daily nutritious drink. "You gotta put the right type of fuel in your system...if you want your body to run 100 percent, you need to eat the right way."
Dovolani, 39, is vying for his first win on the long-running ABC series. After all, he's done this 14 times before and knows the drill cold. His goal? To keep the choreography fresh.
This is the second time Dovolani has been paired up with Rycroft, a reality TV star and former Dallas cheerleader. And this season has already exceeded his expectations.
"I am having the time of my life...I never thought it would be better than the last season and it ended up being much better," he told CBSNews.com.
Still pinching himself, Dovolani says winning would "mean everything" to him. "I would be lying if I said I didn't want to win," he said. "If there was a season to win, I think the all-star season would be it."
The current contenders come from all sorts of backgrounds and have varying levels of experience. Some have even won the competition before. But Dovolani believes it's a fair playing field, describing it as "very even-keel." "You can't say that one person has more of an advantage than anyone else," he said.
One contestant who sparked a lot of talk this fall was Bristol Palin. Despite her arguably lackluster routines, Sarah Palin's daughter often lived to see another day throughout the current all-star season; viewers continued to vote for her even as other contestants fared better in the skills department. But Palin's luck changed last week when she got the boot.
Dovolani and Rycroft got pretty friendly with Palin throughout this competition, and Dovolani says he was sad to see her go.
"I felt bad for her," Dovolani said. "She was trying something different. 'Dancing With the Stars' is a scary, scary competition. At any point you can make a fool out of yourself. People don't realize how scary it is to perform on the stage. I know she wanted to stay longer. When you strip down all of the distractions, she just wanted to dance and have fun."
Now that Palin is gone, there are eight contestants left standing: Kirstie Alley, Sabrina Bryan, Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco, Apolo Anton Ohno, Rycroft, Gilles Marini and Emmitt Smith.
As for Dovolani, he wants to stay in the competition as long as possible in hopes of walking away with the mirror ball trophy.
"I'll be honest," he said. "I love my journey...through the good times and the bad times. Anybody's who's followed the show knows I have had my challenges."
When asked why he thinks the series still resonates with viewers, even after all this time, Dovolani said, "There's always a success story in the end. We show people that hard work pays off in the end."
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