Melissa Gilbert was spared from elimination on Tuesday's Dancing With the Stars, but as her pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy explains, her future in the ballroom remains to be seen.
Suffering a concussion and whiplash after performing the paso doble Monday night, Gilbert, 47, was rushed to the hospital for treatment and skipped Tuesday's results show under doctors' orders.
While Chmerkovskiy — whose brother Val was eliminated Tuesday along with Sherri Shepherd — is optimistic they'll dance again, he's leaving the decision up to Gilbert.
"It's not up to me, it's up to her," he told Us Weekly backstage after Tuesday's show. "Honestly at this point with Sherri being eliminated, I'm not really sure if it's worth killing yourself and trying to put on a show when [it puts her health at risk]. I haven't heard talk of not coming back, but if she continues to have a headache I won't let her in the studio."
The seasoned pro wants to ease Gilbert back onto the dance floor, but admits he's hesitant to bypass his often intricate choreography for fear of being eliminated.
"I have a problem with doing easy choreography because I don't think it's fair to the fans," he explains. "We owe it to them to put on a show and give them the reason to vote for us. I've always been very vocal about 'you have to earn your votes,' but I'm not sure if it's the right strategy this season because it's clearly not appreciated," he continued, referring to the exit of fan favorite Shepherd.
Given the unexpected events of the week's DWTS competition, Chmerkovskiy is now just going to go with the flow and hope for the best. "All I've got to do is be the best partner I can be for Melissa and that's all I can do," he reasons to Us. "Everything else that happens is clearly not up to us."