By People Staff
Updated April 28, 2008 12:00 AM

Cristian de la Fuente’s samba came to halt Monday night — and the Chilean soap star was sent to the hospital — after suffering a severe muscle cramp in his arm on the Dancing with the Stars dancefloor.

“It hurts,” de la Fuente told cohost Samantha Harris backstage, holding an ice pack to his left forearm. “It hurts the arm and it hurts that I couldn’t do it, you know, it’s tough.”

Still, he put on a strong showing. Seconds after hurting himself, the actor faced the judges, insisting “I’m fine,” and clutched his arm in obvious pain before going to commercial break. During the dance he had tried to shake off the injury, but he pulled back from lifting his pro partner Cheryl Burke off the floor.

“When we were dancing I fell back into his arms and I heard something crack,” Burke told PEOPLE between tears after the show. “I am so worried. He is not a wuss. He tried to finish the dance.”

The EMT on site diagnosed a “severe muscle cramp,” cohost Tom Bergeron told the audience.

Meanwhile, the judges, who gave the couple straight 7’s (21/30) for their performance, had encouraging words. “I really appreciate you went the whole round and you were there for Cheryl,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, while Bruno Tonioli told him: “I hope you’re coming back because you are a great performer.” –with reporting by Monica Rizzo