Blame "Uptown Girl?" Christie Brinkley broke her wrist during a hard fall while rehearsing her first "Dancing With the Stars" number to the accompaniment of Billy Joel's 1983 hit.
A hit — you perhaps don't need to be reminded -- was reputedly written for his girlfriend at the time, that other supermodel Elle Macpherson. (Brinkley did, however, famously star in the video.)
Brinkley, 65, had to leave the show over the weekend after suffering the break. She was replaced by her daughter, 21-year-old Sailor Brinkley Cook.
During Monday's launch of the 28th season, Brinkley appeared with a soft cast on her right arm, and said that her doctor had told her "It was one of the worst breaks he'd ever seen," and that it had been repaired with "metal plates, screws ... I'm a bionic woman now." A brief clip showed Brinkley rehearsing the cha cha with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, when her feet appeared to get caught up with one of his. She told People Magazine on Monday, "There’s a little bone at the thumb that usually posts one way. Mine was in the opposite direction. Then there was bone, just it, it was just shattered into a thousand little pieces, just a million little pieces.”
Her daughter Brinkley Cook then performed the number, earning respectable sixes from the three judges, for a total of 18 out of 30. (The audience votes next week.) Judge Len Goodman's appraisal: "With only three days to practice, you floated my boat." He then added, because he couldn't resist, "a bit stompy [but] these are all things that with a little bit more practice, you'll overcome. You did a wonderful job."
Brinkley Cook is the supermodel's daughter from her marriage to Peter Cook, which ended in divorce in 2008.
Once married, of course, to Billy Joel from 1985 to 1994, mother of Alexa Ray Joel, Brinkley in fact has been famous almost continuously since 1973, when she launched her modeling career in Paris after growing up in California. That led to a quarter-century-long contract with cosmetics maker Cover Girl, which began in 1976. Brinkley was one of the first mannequins to be accorded "supermodel" status.
"DWTS" saw ratings collapse by two million viewers last season, which averaged about 8.7 million. For the 28th, the production team was changed, and various changes initiated, up to and including a new mirror ball. Among the major changes — an overhaul of the voting procedure to prevent a repeat of last year's victory of Bobby Bones, one of the lowest-scoring dancers throughout season 27.
Meanwhile, Sean Spicer, the Manhasset-born former Trump administration press secretary, turned up Monday wearing a glowing neon-green shirt with ruffles — a shirt that nearly upstaged his first dance, the salsa.
The judges proclaimed his effort "strangely entertaining" (Bruno Tonioli) and the "best fluorescent shimmy of the night" (Carrie Ann Inaba.) "I've had a blast doing this," said the 47-year-old competitor, and for his efforts got a score of 12 out of 30, not bad considering that his partner, Lindsay Arnold, said he started at a "pre-pre-school level."
In a new season essentially billed as a comeback one for "DWTS" Brinkley was expected to be the contestant leading the charge. She is genuinely famous, a household name, and at 65, squarely in the "DWTS" demographic sweet spot.