If you follow Jana Kramer on her social media pages or even follow “Dancing With the Stars” news on any online news feed, you probably are aware that the petite and talented brunette suffered an extremely painful injury, strained intercostal muscles, during this week’s rehearsal. The intercostal muscles connect each rib to the other and help the rib cage expand and contract with movement. Consequently, when one or more is strained, something as simple as breathing can cause extreme pain.
Although Jana was advised by a doctor to stop the competition for fear that dancing would aggravate the injury, she refused, stocked up on heating pads and cold packs, and went on with rehearsals. We wanted to cry right along with her when, in video taken during those rehearsals, Jana would sporadically gasp or yelp in pain and, at one point, wailed and burst into tears and fell into the arms of her dance partner, Gleb Savchenko, who sweetly comforted her.
Fast forward to Sept. 19, and Jana and Gleb would dance the tango to “I Don’t Want to Be,” the theme song from the television show on which she starred, “One Tree Hill.” To add to the excitement of week two, Gavin DeGraw was on hand to perform the song live.
You might have never known that Jana was injured at all except throughout the dance her usual dazzling smile was replaced by a grimace whenever she kicked, stretched or Gleb dipped her. The tango was still beautiful and earned the pair a 29 from the judges, but even the judges commented on how agonizing the performance must have been. When host Tom Bergeron asked her how she felt, she smiled and said great, but when he pushed and asked if she would lie to him about how she felt, she half laughed and admitted, “yes.”
And in spite of the pain, the sex appeal of this sizzling couple was still oozing off the dance floor. In fact, judge Bruno Tonioli commented, “I don’t know why, but after watching them dance, I feel like going to confession. I love the passion. I love the drive. You really live every moment. The chemistry is brilliant.”
Indeed, it is.
We hope you feel better, Jana!