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Photos: Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett shocks ‘Splash’ viewers — refuses to dive, quits ABC show


Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett and Rory Bushfield on Episode 3 of ABC’s “Splash” on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Episode 3 of ABC's 'Splash'

Host Joey Lawrence, Drake Bell and Katherine Webb on Episode 3 of ABC's Launch slideshow »

Premiere of 'Splash' on ABC

Brandi Chastain, Louie Anderson, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Rory Bushfield, Nicole Eggert, Greg Louganis, Ndamukong Suh, Chuy Bravo, Drake Bell, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, Katherine Webb and Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett on the premiere of ABC's Launch slideshow »

It was an agonizing TV moment: fear and frustration for reality TV starlet Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett and anguish for the anxious audience on Tuesday night’s episode of ABC’s new hit series “Splash.”

The former Playboy Playmate, star of “The Girls Next Door” and “Kendra” and Las Vegas regular simply froze -- paralyzed atop a 23-foot-high diving platform. The audience yelled their support, but she freaked out and refused to dive.

“I’m so sorry, everybody. This is the first time in my life I’ve quit something. This will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said afterward on air.

Her shocking decision meant that our Palace Station comedy headliner and Las Vegas resident Louie Anderson continues for at least another week. We posted a story Tuesday of Louie overcoming a painful rib injury during pre-show practices.

Kendra was teamed with extreme skier Rory Bushfield, who ruptured an eardrum in rehearsals. Doctors advised him to drop out and not dive, but he ignored them. Rory was due to hold Kendra in a back-flip dive, but despite the encouragement from him, trainers and the audience, she backed out.

Louie was teamed with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they both dived backward into the pool from a 16-foot-high board. It wasn’t synchronized, so they had the low score of the night. One of them could have been eliminated if Kendra hadn’t walked out.

The most dangerous -- and spectacular -- was the javelin dive executed by actor-singer Drake Bell, with Sports Illustrated model beauty Katherine Webb, the 2012 Miss Alabama USA, as his partner. She climbed onto his back above him. They held each other as they leaped from the tallest 33-foot board, separated in mid-air and went head first into the water. Katherine not only survived the experience but also grabbed the first perfect 10 vote of the season.

“Baywatch” beauty Nicole Eggert and soccer star Brandi Chastain faced opposite each other on the 16-foot platform, and their slightly better synchronization scored points just ahead of Louie and Kareem. Louie and his competitors return next Tuesday for new “Splash” challenges.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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