DiMarco, the first completely deaf contestant on DWTS, has been shining week after week despite his auditory complication. This week, however, he used his hearing disability to create a breathtaking moment in his performance with partner Peta Murgatroyd.
Kicking things off with a high-energy paso doble set to Panic! at the Disco’s “Victorious,” DiMarco and Murgatroyd dominated the dance floor until four members of the DWTS troupe joined the handsome model onstage — and that’s when the music cut out, with the entire theater in silence.
DiMarco and the dance troupe performed without the help of music, emulating what he experiences every time he performs each week — no music or noise of any kind for him to keep time and instead using visual cues to maintain synchronization and stay on beat.
The moment didn’t last long, but as the song faded back up to its crescendo and DiMarco commenced his passionate, dramatic dance with Murgatroyd, it was clear how breathtaking this unique moment really was.
“I thought that was mind-blowing,” judge Bruno Tonioli gushed after the performance. “You really have a special power.”
Tonioli went on to say that the silent sequence “was like watching five men dancing to the beat of a single heart, connected by the soul,” and that the moment was a “Dancing With the Stars classic that no one could ever forget.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who was brought to tears by the astounding routine, could barely contain her emotions as she echoed Tonioli’s comments.
“I’ve seen a lot on this show, 22 seasons, and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Inaba said, choking back tears. “[Something] that touched me so profoundly.
“You really are educating us about what it is to dance the way you’re dancing,” she added. “Thank you for the gift. I feel honored that I got to experience dance as you’ve experienced it with Peta. You guys are brilliant.”
DiMarco and Murgatroyd, who couldn’t stop beaming after the effusive feedback, were rewarded with a score of 29 out of 30 and have further cemented their position as one of the season’s major frontrunners.
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