Nyle DiMarco was at the center of controversy on Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars”, while his performing continued to astonish fans.
The deaf former “America’s Next Top Model” star earned the first perfect 10 score this season for his emotional Viennese waltz and wound up in first place. But a chaotic scoring sequence left viewers wondering whether he actually should have received THREE 10 s instead of only one.
As it was “switch up” week, in which the challengers changed partners, DiMarco danced with Sharna Burgess instead of regular pro Peta Murgatroyd.
After the dance, the magistrates raved and the panel, including guest magistrate Maksim Chmerkovskiy, rendered its verdict. Carrie Ann Inaba devoted DiMarco a 9, Len Goodman a 10, and Chmerkovskiy and Bruno Tonioli held up their 10 paddles as well, both hollering, “A ten! “
However, spectators were told the score was 37 instead of 39, and hostess Erin Andrews announced that only the 10 from Len counted. Host Tom Bergeron soon explained the system–judges write their ratings on a pad, which is then handed to the ‘DWT’S control room. According to Bergeron, the official rating is what goes on the pad , not what’s shown on the paddle.
But while Bergeron spoke, Maks shook his head as though disagreeing and devoted a thumb’s down sign to cameras!
In other DiMarco-related controversy, viewers saw rehearsal footage of Burgess is recommended that the model think about a past relationship to get into the mood for their waltz.
Through an interpreter, DiMarco told Burgess he had once been in a ten-year relationship, and she asked, “Was he deaf as well? “
After DiMarco good-naturedly indicated his significant other had been a “she, ” Burgess mumbled, “Why did I say HE? I’m sorry.”
However, perhaps the mistake was understandable: last year, DiMarco described himself as sexually “fluid” on Twitter.
Backstage, DiMarco told FOX4 11 through his interpreter, “I wanted to think about what it was like to be in love and to incorporate that with Sharna and Sharna did a great job of connecting with me.”
Of his former love, he recalled, “It was a very healthy relationship and it’s only that we grew apart. My career ran a different path so we couldn’t stay together. I didn’t want to force-out it so we just ran our separate styles on very good terms but I think that’s a good thing that you’re able to bring that into the dance.”
DiMarco, who was visited by “America’s Next Top Model” host Tyra Banks in rehearsal, wasn’t ruffled by the scoring controversy, telling reporters it was “an honor” to get the one 10.
“Switch up” week was sweet for Jodie Sweetin, who scored 35 for her Paso Doble with Val Chmerkovskiy, good for second place. She told FOX4 11 afterwards that the performance was much different from last week, when she couldn’t hear the music and got poor reviews.
Sweetin was happy “to really merely shake that off … wipe the slate clean, start over again … get my mojo back.”
The “Full House” star, who normally dances with Keo Motsepe, confided her young daughters enjoy watching her and “last week they were very nervous. They went up to
Keo after the demonstrate was over and they were like, ‘we thought you were going to go home. I’m so glad you’re still there. That was really scary, mommy.’ They’re really proud of their mom.”
As for the other competitors, “GMA” weathergal Ginger Zee got 32 points with Mark Ballas; Paige VanZant scored 31 with Sasha Farber; Wanya Morris scored 30 with Witney Carson; Von Miller scored 29 with Lindsay Arnold; Kim Fields garnered 28 with Keo Motsepe, as did Doug Flutie 28 with Peta Murgatroyd; and Antonio Brown and Karina Smirnoff finished last with just 26.
Former “The Facts of Life” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Fields told FOX4 11 she was “a little disappointed” that guest magistrate Maks criticized Motsepe for not dealing with their height difference appropriately.
Fields loved their Viennese waltz, insisting, “The dance was as clean as a whistle” and joked backstage, “I would certainly love to dance with Maks, because he’s quite tall, and to continue efforts to get into frame and see if I end up in a piggy back ride instead.”