We suppose that to some out there, Nyle DiMarco may be one of the lesser-known competitors on the upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars.” Yet, at the same time to us he may just be one of the more fascinating entries to the program. We’re lucky to be reasonably familiar with him already, but even those who are just starting to get to know him on the show may find many things of interest … with his story of course topping the list.
In this latest edition of our show spotlight series, we’re going to try to do our best to pinpoint whether or not Nyle has a real opportunity to go far this season, or is destined to be a reasonably early boot.
Claim to fame – He is the reigning champion of “America’s Next Top Model,” which is in the process of moving from The CW to VH1. Also, he is the show’s second deaf contestant following Marlee Matlin. He comes from a deaf family that includes his parents and his brothers, so this is an environment that he has been accustomed to all his life; yet, at the same time he’s had enough media experience to prove that he is not a newcomer in front of the camera.
Partner – Peta Murgatroyd. Sure, Peta has taken on a wide range of challenges over the course of her career, but this one may be one of her biggest tasks to date. Maybe she can reach out to Fabian Sanchez for some suggestions, as he was paired with Matlin so many years ago on the show. This is Peta’s first season since last spring, as she was forced to sit out this past year due to injury.
Strengths – The biggest one that Nyle is going to have is the hearts of America cheering him on. Anyone who takes something on like this has to be commended. With that said, he doesn’t strike us as someone who wants to be a token inspirational story. He worked his butt off on “America’s Next Top Model” to win on his own merit, and he’ll do the same thing here. He’s also in tremendous shape, and that part of this will not be too much of a problem.
Weaknesses – There’s no getting around the fact that being deaf will make this competition so much harder, since he will have to find other ways to keep time with the music. One other issue is simply that with Matlin, we already knew that she was an entertainer. While Nyle has done a little bit of acting, he has not had the same sort of experience just yet.
Prediction – We’re feeling good about Nyle’s future this season. Will he win? Probably not, but we’ve seen other inspirational performers make it very far in the competition, and he should follow that same trajectory. Ultimately, he’s going to have to be either a really great dancer or a super-magnetic personality to win, and we’re not sure we have the evidence to say either of those things right now.
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