Tony Dovolani tells Usmagazine.com he feels "heartbroken" about partner Melissa Rycroft's rib injury.
"Up until a half hour before the show, she was still trying to dance for me and she was in complete pain," he told Us after Monday's show. "She has a high threshold for pain - and she still came onstage and tried to dance for me and that says a lot about her."
About 15 seconds into her jive routine, Dovolani recalled, "she couldn't breathe. So I picked her up, as I would pick up my own daughter. I brought her backstage and tried to calm her down and help her rest."
"I have to tell you," he continued, "I don't think any other celebrity would have done that - she still tried to dance. That says a lot about a person."
Thanks to her treatments, he said Rycroft should be better "in 12 hours," he told Us. "But unfortunately she just had complications today."
He said it was tough having the judges make their critiques based on the rehearsal performance.
"My heart went out to the judges because they had to base their comments on us making a routine!" he said. "It wasn't even dress rehearsal, it was orchestra rehearsal! And we had already done it three times, so I told her to take it easy on that one. I mean, talk about bad luck! But, you know, I never question what God puts in front of me. So if this is what I have to go through, then this is what I have to go through. God always picks strong people to go through these situations, so I guess I'm the one."
The whole DWTS crew missed her on Monday' show.
Said Cheryl Bruke, "I was scared because I had no idea what happened. I knew she was having some kind of problem, but I didn't know it was serious. Scary!"