Dancing is a centuries old art form and, like any art, it takes countless hours to master. The celebrities on ABC's Dancing with the Stars are met with the daunting task of learning a wide range of dances in just a few weeks. Sometimes, the inexperience shows in spades, but other times there's a performance that momentarily makes you forget these are amateurs.
This week, the 22nd season funneled the cast down to its top three dancers: UFC fighter Paige VanZant, meteorologist Ginger Zee, and model Nyle DiMarco. On Monday night, the finalists performed three routines, respectively. The most jaw-dropping performance came from male model DiMarco and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, who left the audience in tears with their freestyle dance set to “The Sound of Silence,” covered by Disturbed. The duo received a standing ovation and perfect score of 30 points.
To adapt to an array of difficult dance styles on the fly takes incredible skill, but DiMarco’s journey is particularly captivating when you consider that he is deaf. The 27-year-old model, actor, and activist was born deaf from a deaf family; his parents, brothers, and grandparents having all been born deaf as well. Dancing with the Stars has never had a deaf contestant before. DiMarco’s impairment put him at a disadvantage coming into the season, but it certainly didn’t stop him from becoming one of the show’s best. To be unable to hear the music and count along with the beat yet churn out such gripping performances is truly a stunning achievement.
After Tuesday night’s results show, DiMarco can change his bio from the first deaf contestant to the first deaf winner of Dancing with the Stars.
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