Dancing With The Stars, DWTS

ABC/Craig Sjodin

And Season 18 has claimed its first injured celebrity.

In the first major shocker of the season, Billy Dee Williams announced he was leaving Dancing With the Stars on Monday night's episode, citing an injury as his reason for quitting.

The iconic Star Wars actor and his professional partner Emma Slater decided to end their quest for the mirrorball trophy due to Williams' chronic back pain, with his doctors recommending he withdraw from the ABC reality competition.

May the (healing) force be with you, Mr. Williams!

"I've had a wonderful, brilliant, fantastic blast of a time," Williams said during the show, adding that he was going to dedicate his dance that night to his grandchildren.

He then thanked his partner, Emma Slater, saying, "Working with this wonderful, beautiful young woman has been pure, pure joy."

While he only managed to score 15 points for each of his first two dances, Williams, 77, managed to avoid the bottom three during the first elimination.

In her weekly blog for E! Online, fellow competitor NeNe Leakes praised Williams, though she admitted, "If Billy Dee Williams was my granddad and out there on the dance floor, I would say, 'Grandad, go sit down. You don't have to do this.' You know, he's 77…I thought he did great for his age because I saw him rehearse and he wasn't as good in rehearsal as he was on show night, so I thought he did well."

  • Share
  • Tweet

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.