Strictly Come Dancing fans gasped as it was announced at the opening of Saturday's show that favourite-to-win Natalie Gumede would not be performing.
The audience were told: "As you may have seen, we are missing a couple tonight. Sadly Natalie was taken ill during a dress rehearsal and won't be taking part in tonight's show."
The former Coronation Street actress had been due to perform a jive with professional partner Artem Chihvintsev to Proud Mary by Tina Turner but was ruled out after fainting twice during rehearsals.
A spokesman for the BBC show said: "Natalie Gumede fainted during first band call, then again during dress run, both times at the end of her routine. She has been checked by the medical team on site, and will be going to A&E as a precaution.
"As per the rules of Strictly, she will have a bye through to next week and the show will continue tonight with a public vote. Someone will still exit the competition this weekend."