Sean Spicer to Dance with Jenna Johnson Again on DWTS as Lindsay Arnold Mourns Mother-in-Law's Death
Jenna Johnson stepped in for fellow pro Lindsay Arnold last week after her mother-in-law's death
“It’s Saturday morning. Just found out that Lindsay’s mother-in-law has passed away and unfortunately she won’t be able to perform,” Spicer said in a video package on last week’s show. “She went home to spend time with her family. I’m lucky that her good friend Jenna is going to step in.”
Arnold, 25, also shared the heartbreaking news on social media.
“I am so saddened to say that my beautiful, loving, selfless mother in law has unexpectedly passed away. Family is the most important thing to me and being with my husband and our family at this time is exactly where I need to be. I want to thank everyone from my @dancingabc family for being so supportive and making it possible for me to be at home with my loved ones during this time,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I will not be performing tonight on the show and although I wish I could be there I know that home is where I need to be,” continued Arnold, who wed husband Samuel Cusick in June 2015. “Thank you all for your love and support. Families are forever and I know that without a doubt.”
In the episode, audiences watched Spicer dance a jazz routine with Johnson, who was previously partnered with Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown. They were awarded a 20/30 from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
“Loving condolences out to Lindsay and her family for their loss,” host Tom Bergeron said after Spicer and Johnson’s dance.
“I knew what my scores were and I knew how the rest of the cast did,” he told PEOPLE. “To be called out first was just a massive relief. For me, this week was about bouncing back from last week and showing Lindsay [Arnold] that all of her hard work had paid off.”
“I know how hard everyone else is working too,” he continued. “You feel bad because you’ve seen their progression. It’s tough. It’s this mixed emotion we’ve had for the past few weeks, where we’re watching someone you’re close to and watch them go when your scores weren’t as high.”
When it came to the results, Inaba, 51, was nearly at a loss for words.
“Tonight was shocking, especially when you see somebody with the caliber of dancing who got a 30, Ally today, with Kate out there,” the longtime judge told PEOPLE. “We’ve seen already Karamo went home last week, and we’re seeing good dancers go home. And this season we’ve upped our game as far as judges, and we’re really going after the technique in effort to make sure that the best dancer wins.”
“And we’ve seen it now, that the competition is fierce this season,” she continued. “I feel like everybody’s elevated to that level. But people are voting the way they want to. And they have a right to, but I would like to beg the public to remember that this is a dance competition. Of course, vote with your heart, but also take a moment to consider everybody else in the competition, and are you voting for the right person? I’m not sure.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.