Other than the sterling ratings, this season of Dancing with the Stars may have already set an unofficial record early on for the most injuries incurred by the stars. In fact, even before the premiere, two of the celebrities had to back out because of rehearsal injuries - country singer Jewel, who fractured both her tibias, and Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell, who tore her meniscus. As the competition ensues, we saw more injuries, with prankster Steve-O during dress rehearsal and Apple exec Steve Wozniak pulling a hamstring.
So what's with all the injuries? According to Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba, the stars' professional partners may be to blame as they try to push their celebrity partners to their limits mainly due to the more intense level of competition.
"The professional dancers are getting more and more competitive amongst themselves, and they are pushing their celebrities very hard," the judge tells Entertainment Weekly at the Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Award orange carpet. "The professionals' reputations are at stake, and they want to win the title just as bad if not worse than the celebs because that is what they do for a living. I also think that the celebrities are pushing themselves harder.''
Inaba adds that the pros during the first season didn't really know what to expect, whereas now, they know that a good stint on the ABC reality show can jumpstart their careers.
It is a great stage for America to get to know them for who they are now, and it can be rejuvenating. Plus, they get bragging rights if they win. And a lot of them use it to get in shape. Anyway, I think they start to put in more energy, practice longer, and take bigger risks in the routines, so someone is bound to get hurt. Or a few people as the case has been . But I think they see it as worth it. Big rewards."