Park City's Danelle Umstead May Have Been Eliminated From DWTS, But She's Not Defeated
Park City’s Paralympian Danelle Umstead is the first ever blind contestant on Dancing With The Stars but Tuesday was the end of the journey. Melissa Allison has more:
Legally blind Paralympian Danelle Umstead is no stranger to overcoming hurdles. Her diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa didn’t stop her from placing 6th in the super-G and 8th in the super combined, giant slalom at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and those are just her latest accomplishments as an alpine skier.
So, when Dancing With the Stars came knocking – Umstead said yes, in spite of her additional diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2010.
Danelle was partnered with Pro Dancer Artem Chigvintsev. The duo made it through the first cut, but Rob said they were hit with yet another challenge.
“Artem had some sort of bug and she ended up getting it as well,” Rob said. “And plus they had to learn two dances in four days so, it was a lot of cramming, a lot of memorization, neuro-mentally draining as well as physically. She had a great time though, it was a really cool experience, really fun for me and my son to go out there and watch her.”
In spite of being sick, the couple performed their best dance on Monday night but that wasn’t enough. They were eliminated Tuesday and Rob said there are questions about the results.
“They did say they had an issue with the phone-in voting on Monday night, so they threw that out,” Rob said. “I don’t know how that effected the results, but she was going up against people with a lot of social media followers too so. It’s a tough group to hang with on the vote thing as well. But, thanks to everybody in Park City that tuned in and cast a vote for her, I’m sure it helped get her this far anyway.”
Danelle and her partner were jetted off to New York to appear on Good Morning America right after the show Monday night.
Rob said she’s exhausted but will now be able to rest before she returns to Hollywood for the finale on November 19.
I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.