Christie Brinkley one-arm hugs daughter after big performance | News Coverage from USA

Christie Brinkley one-arm hugs daughter after big performance

Bill Keveney

USA TODAY

Published 1:14 AM EDT Sep 17, 2019

Spoiler alert: This story contains details from Monday’s Season 28 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars.”

“Dancing With the Stars” began Monday with an unfortunate revelation – 65-year-old supermodel Christie Brinkley had broken her arm in rehearsals – but closed with a triumphant response, as daughter Sailor Brinkley-Cook turned in an impressive performance subbing for her mom.

Brinkley’s introduction showed her being paired with pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy, with the two practicing their first dance to “Uptown Girl,” the 1983 hit by ex-husband Billy Joel that featured Brinkley in the music video.

An ABC video clip showed the two rehearsing five days before Monday’s premiere when Brinkley stumbled against her partner’s foot and fell to the floor, breaking her arm.

“My arm! My arm! My arm!” a grimacing Brinkley kept repeating, as Chmerkovskiy provided support. “I think I broke my arm, I swear to God.” 

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Put me in, coach: Christie Brinkley breaks arm in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ rehearsal, daughter Sailor fills in

With just three days of training, Brinkley-Cook, wearing a white ball gown, joined Chmerkovskiy for a stylish fox-trot to “Uptown Girl.” Immediately after the dance, the younger woman went into the audience for an emotional hug with her mother, who was wearing a red dress and a beige cast on her right forearm. 

With a teary Brinkley joining her daughter and Chmerkovskiy on set, the judges lavished praise on the 21-year-old, especially under the circumstances.

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“I am blown away,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba, telling Chmerkovskiy he had “a goldmine” of potential with Brinkley-Cook. “Mom, what do you think? Christie, you must be so proud.”

“I’m so proud of her, so proud,” Brinkley responded. 

Judge Len Goodman praised Brinkley-Cook’s “lovely movement” before critiquing the performance “as a bit stumpy” and telling the couple, “You needed a bit more body contact.” 

As the audience made its displeasure known, Goodman responded: “What do you want me to do? Just ignore it?” He then said the pair have time to fix any flaws. “These are all things that with a little more practice you’ll overcome. But for three days, coming in at the last minute, you did a wonderful job.”

Before assessing the performance, judge Bruno Tonioli commented on the mother-daughter resemblance. “You look like twins!” He looks forward to more Brinkley-Cook dances: “I can’t wait to see what you can achieve with proper rehearsal time.”

Each judge awarded the couple six points, with their 18-point total putting them in fourth place out of 12 celeb-pro pairings. 

And, while Brinkley was onstage smiling just a few days after her accident, the fracture was quite serious, she told host Tom Bergeron.

“It was, the doctor said, one of the worst breaks he’d ever seen. I managed to break both bones” in her forearm, she said. “They had to cut it open and put a metal plate in and some screws.”

Brinkley then found some solace: “So, I’m a bionic woman now!”

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