October 7, 2009 / 6:38 AM / 9 years ago

Tom DeLay bows out of TV's "Dancing"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In a patriotic costume of red and white stripes, former Republican congressman turned TV celebrity Tom DeLay bowed out of hit U.S. television contest “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night, suffering from stress fractures in both feet.

Professional dancer Cheryl Burke (L) and her partner former US congressman Tom DeLay perform on "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles October 6, 2009 in this publicity photograph from ABC. REUTERS/Adam Larkey/ABC/Handout

“You can’t practice, and if you can’t practice you make a fool out of yourself out here,” said DeLay, motioning to the ballroom floor behind him.

DeLay, 62, known as “The Hammer” during his years as the tough Republican majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, was clearly suffering during the previous night’s dance, a samba, with partner Cheryl Burke, and scored the second to lowest mark from the judges.

On Tuesday’s elimination show, he said he would not be able to continue due to his injuries.

The Texas politician’s cha-cha-cha, tango, colorful costumes and background as a conservative politician have all made him one of the most talked-about contestants on the popular ABC TV ballroom dancing show.

He ignored the advice of doctors and producers to quit the show ahead of Monday’s third round after hurting his left foot. He had earlier injured his right foot.

DeLay was House majority leader from 2003-2005 before being forced to step down on charges of violating campaign finance laws.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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