While big name celebrities such as Jerry Rice and Donny Osmond have competed on ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars" the past, it’s Nyle DiMarco who’s the one turning heads in season 22. The impressive routines week after week by DiMarco and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, earned the duo a spot in the finale.
The 27-year-old model/actor is the first deaf contestant in the show’s history. Coming from a deaf family, Nyle communicates in sign language and always has an interpreter on set with him. Despite not being able to hear the music, Nyle and his dances have been the highlight of the season.
Like many weeks, the finale is broken up into two nights, with contestants performing a different routine on Monday and Tuesday. Nyle and Peta were coming into night two of the season finale running high on their stunning freestyle dance set to “The Sound of Silence.” After leaving the audience in tears and earning a perfect score from the judges, the expectations were high.
For their final routine together, Nyle and Peta were tasked with performing a tango/chacha fusion. With Calvin Harris’ “Summer” cued, the duo signed to each other before carrying out another magnificent dance. Both dancers were clearly emotional as they awaited judging, but it’s what one judge does next that sends Nyle, and me, to tears.
Nyle went on to be crowned the champion, going down in the history books as "Dancing with the Stars'" first ever deaf winner. As lead judge Len Goodman says, "The only boundaries are the ones we put on ourselves."
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