Selling Sunset Star Chrishell Stause Eliminated from Dancing with the Stars
Stause, 39, and Savechecnko, 37, landing in the bottom two alongside Skai Jackson and pro partner Alan Bersten came as a surprise, as both actresses had not previously been in jeopardy.
While the decision to save Jackson, 18, was a difficult one, the judges unanimously decided to keep her in the competition.
"I'm stunned, I'm shocked, so I just have to get over that for a minute," admitted Carrie Ann Inaba after Stause and Jackson's names were announced. "Chrishell, you've been growing slowly and steadily and I'm so proud of that. Every week, I see a little bit of growth. But Skai, you've gone up and down and you've handled it like a boss, so Skai and Alan I'm saving you."
Though Bruno Tonioli admitted "I love you both so much," he also opted to save Jackson. And while Derek Hough's vote wasn't necessary to break a tie, he said that he too would have saved the Disney actress.
For the first time this season, the couples had to perform two dances on Monday: first, a choreographed number with their partner before later participating in a dance relay with two other pairs. On their final night of competition, Stause and Savchenko danced the Viennese waltz and were awarded a 24/30. For the cha cha relay, the duo earned two extra points.
Recently speaking with PEOPLE, Stause opened up about her friendship with Savchenko.
"He is the absolute best. I absolutely love him. He is so patient and he's just ... he knows how to push me, but not in a way that's intimidating, and I think that that is a little bit what I was scared of working with a pro. I just felt there's a lot of intimidation there with feeling like they're going to be disappointed when they find out they were paired with you, because there are some people that are already so talented," said Stause.
The eighth week of competition was originally supposed to see two celebrity contestants be sent home in a double elimination. But on Monday morning, Good Morning America reported that The Real co-host Jeannie Mai was hospitalized and forced to withdraw from season 29, thus changing the double elimination to a singular one.
Mai was diagnosed with epiglottitis, which "is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis — a small cartilage 'lid' that covers your windpipe — swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs," according to Mayo Clinic.
In a statement to PEOPLE Mai, who was saved from elimination last week, confirmed the news and said, "It saddens me that I will not be able to continue with the competition on DWTS. My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery."
"I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here. The last several weeks have been an amazing learning experience. I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come," she said. "I can't thank my partner Brandon enough for being so supportive and believing in me. I also want to thank MAI fans who voted every week and I wish everyone else in the competition the best of luck!"
Mai's pro dancing partner, Brandon Armstrong, said in a video message to GMA, "We are devastated by the news that we're gonna have to cut this season short, but Jeannie's health does come first. Thank you to all the fans that have helped to get us this far and we are praying for a speedy recovery for Jeannie."
In a statement to PEOPLE, a rep for the ABC series said: "Jeannie has inspired us, along with millions of fans, with her energy and dedication. We wish her a full and speedy recovery. Since Jeannie had to withdraw from the competition, tonight’s show will feature the eight remaining couples and a single elimination. We will still have the relay dances and Tyra will explain how the judging and points work in the show."
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.