- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 30 March 2016
- Written by MARIE SOLDO | STAFF WRITER
“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet,” and no one embodies this saying more than the performers of Dancing with the Stars. The very first episode of the reality competition premiered on June 1, 2005, so it is crazy to think that the show has been around for 11 years. The celebrity competitors dance in a variety of styles, like the cha-cha, quickstep, rhumba, tango, fox trot, and the samba, in hopes of winning the renowned Mirror Ball trophy. Each week, one competitor is eliminated based off of votes from the fans through text messages. DWTS has three judges: Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Len Goodman, who provide professional input, but ultimately, the fate of the competitors lies in the hands of the voters.
This season’s competitors range from actors and actresses to football stars and journalists. The only two competitors that I already knew of, which happen to be my favorites, are Jodie Sweetin and Ginger Zee. Sweetin is a 34-year-old actress who started her acting career at just four years old and is best known for her role as middle child Stephanie Tanner on Full House and most recently on Netflix’s Fuller House. Zee, 35, is a meteorologist for Good Morning America and ABC News who recently had a baby. The remaining 10 competitors are Mischa Barton, Antonio Brown, Nyle DiMarco, Kim Fields, Doug Flutie, Marla Maples, Von Miller, Wanya Morris, Geraldo Rivera, and Paige VanZant. Only three of the professional dancers this season are from the United States: Witney Carson, Lindsay Arnold, and Mark Ballas. The other professionals, Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, Sasha Farber, Karina Smirnoff, Tony Dovolani, Edyta Śliwińska, Keo Motsepe, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, are natives of Poland, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Prishtina, and the Ukraine.
In the season premiere on Monday, March 21, everyone danced to the best of their ability. However, one competitor, DiMarco, really stood out to me, and probably stood out to others as well. DiMarco is a 26-year-old model and actor who is completely deaf. He was the first and only deaf contestant to win America’s Next Top Model and he is also the first and only deaf competitor on DWTS. Prior to dancing, he said that he cannot hear anything at all, so he really has to rely on his partner, Murgatroyd, by following with his eyes as she dances to the beats. The judges were blown away by his performance, which was one of three to receive a high score of 23 out of 30. When the premiere ended, DiMarco posted a picture on Instagram thanking everyone for their support with the hashtag “RedefiningDANCE.” Many believed that it would be impossible for him to learn different dances, but he proved a lot of people wrong and is truly redefining dance.
Having seen so many seasons of DWTS, I noticed that some celebrities compete just for fun, while a majority of competitors do it for themselves, which I think is very inspiring. Before each celebrity made their dancing debut, there was a little introduction about who they are, where they are from, etc. In Sweetin’s intro, she explained how everyone knows her as Stephanie from Full House, but she wants fans to know who she is today as a woman and mother. Teary-eyed, she also mentioned that when she acted as Stephanie, she did not care what people thought about her, whereas today she does, so she really hopes to grow out of that by dancing. Personally I hope that she succeeds in this competition (which seems likely given her sweet dance moves), and I hope that she comes to learn that the opinions of others do not matter.
The only competitor that I was not a fan of is Rivera, 72-year-old attorney, author, and reporter for Fox News. His partner, 34-year-old ballroom dancer Śliwińska of Warsaw, Poland, said that Rivera is very talented for his age, however, I beg to differ. When the two of them danced, it seemed like he just stood there and twirled her around with minimal dance moves. I understand he is older and I give him credit for going out in front of all those people, however, I feel that he could have made more of an effort. His lack of effort has placed him, as well as actress Barton and former professional football player Flutie, right into the hot seat for elimination. Rivera received the lowest score of the evening, 13 out of 30.
Will Rivera be the first elimination of Season 22? Tune into ABC every Monday at 8 p.m. for all the glitz and glam Dancing with the Stars has to offer.
IMAGE TAKEN from ew.com