Miss Alabama USA 2012 Katherine Webb left "Splash" because of an injury that left her almost incapacitated for several days, her parents said in a phone interview after Tuesday's show.
On the April 16 episode, Katherine told fans a doctor recommended she end her time on ABC's celebrity diving show. While describing her injury, Katherine cited a shaky landing that happened during last week's episode, when she ended up in the bottom two.
She said she felt pain from her middle back down to her leg.
Her parents, Alan and Leslie Webb of Phenix City, confirmed the severity of the injury.
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Katherine practiced for this week's episode despite having a sore back from the rough landing, Alan Webb said, adding that his daughter hoped the pain would get better. "It didn't. It got worse," he said.
"Splash" is taped in advance and does not air live. On the day before this week's episode was taped, Katherine performed a virtually perfect dive during practice, her parents said. Unfortunately, her pain intensified immediately after the dive.
"The show ended for her in practice making a perfect dive," Alan Webb said.
Fellow "Splash" competitor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar helped Katherine out of the pool after the dive, said Leslie Webb, who witnessed her daughter's pain firsthand in California.
"For several days, she couldn't get out of bed by herself," Leslie Webb said. Katherine followed a doctor's recommendation and put diving on hold. She's feeling significantly better now, according to her parents.
Webb, 23, graduated from Auburn University and was raised in the Columbus-Phenix City area. She entered the national spotlight when she watched her boyfriend, starting quarterback AJ McCarron, play for the University of Alabama in the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship. During the game, ESPN’s camera turned to Webb and sportscaster Brent Musburger gave some remarks admiring her beauty.
Webb made two trips to the bottom two during her time on "Splash." Her strongest week on the show was the partner dive with Nickelodeon star Drake Bell. That dive received the first perfect "10" of the season.
Early in Tuesday's show, she announced her decision to leave "Splash." She told fans, "I've had such an amazing time."
The news meant comedian Louie Anderson got to return to "Splash." But he didn't stick around long. He and Brandi Chastain were the two lowest vote-getters on Tuesday, based on input from the audience and judges. They were supposed to have a dive-off.
However, Anderson voluntarily withdrew from the competition, saying Chastain had a better chance of winning.