Suni Lee's Stomach Illness Almost Kept Her from Performing During "Queen Night" on 'DWTS'
Shortly after Sunisa "Suni" Lee earned three medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, including gold for the individual all-around, the Minnesota teen joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars.
The college freshman is competing with Sasha Farber on Season 30 of the ABC dance competition, and their strong performances have often kept them in a "Safe" position.
However, the dancing duo was in the Bottom Two for the first time following their Horror Night Tango, meaning that the stakes were higher than ever before going into the Nov. 1 episode.
During that episode, which was themed the "Queen Night," Suni exited the stage just moments after she finished dancing the paso doble.
Host Tyra Banks later discussed what happened to the decorated Olympian, and many viewers are wondering how Suni fared on the show.
What happened to Suni Lee on the "Queen Night" of 'Dancing with the Stars'?
Prior to the live performances on the Nov. 1 episode of DWTS, Suni took to Twitter to share that she was sick.
"Hey guys ! not feeling my best tonight but I will still be dancing for Queen Night! Make sure you guys vote for me and Sash! Each week is getting scarier & intense !! love you all," she wrote.
In the replies, her partner confirmed that Suni "has been sick the whole week."
After performing the paso doble with Sasha to the Queen song, "We Will Rock You," on the Nov. 1 episode, Suni quickly left the ballroom. Sasha moved toward the judges' table to hear their scores solo.
Tyra confirmed that Suni was not feeling well, and that her illness was not COVID-related.
"Suni [is] not feeling so good — not COVID, not COVID at all — but she's not feeling well, so she danced sick, and she had to leave," Tyra shared following the performance. "But, she's OK. So we're going to have Sasha represent..."
Though Suni wasn't physically present to hear what judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, and Derek Hough had to say, she received fairly positive remarks from the professionals.
They all celebrated the fact that the teen had been able to make it through her dance while feeling ill. The pair scored a 33 out of 40 for their paso doble.
While Suni did push through her illness for her first dance, many viewers grew concerned that the gymnast would be feeling well enough to take the stage for her second performance of the night.
The athlete showed off her grit and her tenacity by making it back for her bonus second dance, which was a Viennese Waltz to "We Are the Champions."
Tyra then elaborated on the nature of Suni's illness.
"I know you've been struggling all day. Throwing up. Let's keep it real," Tyra said once the Olympian returned. "You ran off. But you're back."
The Auburn University student noted that it was important for her to return to the ballroom for her next dance.
"I knew if I didn't come back here, I'd be very disappointed with myself," Suni said, per USA Today.
Following the intense night, Sasha spoke with reporters about his partner's week-long illness.
"I think it was probably the hardest week I've ever had on Dancing with Stars and I've done a few seasons. It was so stressful," the pro said, per Parade. "The poor girl started to feel really sick on Tuesday and then it got worse and worse. We had to miss rehearsals."
"Right before the dance started, we were standing in the tunnel and like 10 seconds in, she vomited in her mouth and tears started to come out and she started walking away, saying like, 'No, I can't do it,'" Sasha recounted. "I was like, 'Suni, you've got this. Come on. This is game time.' She turned around and she's like, 'Um hm, um hm,' holding it in and she held it in for a minute 35 seconds and then the second the dance was over, she ran to a trash can."
Sasha shared that Suni didn't to want their dress rehearsal dance to air instead, so she pushed through her illness to perform the second routine live.
Did Suni Lee go home on 'DWTS' because she was sick?
Suni's decision to come back for her second dance soon paid off. Sasha and Suni were the first couple to be saved from elimination.
Though the duo narrowly avoided going home in the Halloween episode the week prior, Suni and Sasha will be able to dance again.
Here's to hoping that Suni will soon be on the mend from her illness.
Dancing with the Stars airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.