Just minutes before Caitlyn Lawson and Mitchell Kelly took to the stage on So You Think You Can Dance Wednesday, producers weren't sure if the couple would be able to perform.
"My foot – my muscle – it [was swollen] to the size of a tennis ball," Kelly told reporters of the injury that developed overnight before the taping. "I was scared because I couldn't even put my weight on it."
Immediately, SYTYCD season 7 contestant – and assistant to choreographer Mandy Moore – Robert Roldan was called in to take Kelly's place (as he did the first week of the competition when Kelly injured his arm).
"I've actually danced with Robert before so that was a little comforting," Lawson said of being thrown in to rehearsals with a new partner just hours before the live show. "But I was so worried about [Mitchell]. I knew how much he wanted this and how bad we both wanted to dance this together."
Even after performing in a routine with the remaining men at the top of the show, it was still undecided if Kelly was going to perform the duet.
"Literally, until the commercial break right before I didn't know if he was dancing or not," Moore said.
"[Robert] had his costume on and everything and I was just sitting there looking at all the other dancers," Kelly added of the last-minute decision. "The producers didn't want me to pick up Caitlyn and [both of us fall]. I just had to tell them, 'I've got this.' "
Moore was also on hand backstage to offer some words of encouragement.
"I just went back there and told them, 'There's been a lot of drama this week with your bodies and I just want you to go out there and show them the routine that we put together. You'll be so proud of yourselves after,' " Moore said.
And the contestants were not the only ones who were proud.
"They just really told a story," guest judge Carmen Electra told reporters. "It's hard when you've partnered with someone and all of a sudden everything is up in the air, but he got up there and he held her. It brought some of the audience to tears."
For Kelly, it was his partner that gave him the confidence to perform.
"I thought, 'If she's strong, I'm strong. I'm not going to let her down,' " he explained. "I started crying during the song because I was thinking, 'I'm actually doing this.' "
With some couples receiving negative feedback from the judges panel Wednesday, Kelly and Lawson floated to the top of the pack, but it is still up to America to select three couples out of the top 14 before the judges send two more dancers home on Thursday's elimination episode (8 p.m. ET).