Nyle DiMarco To Star In Comedy Series About ‘Smart Deaf Man In Modern Times’

Nyle DiMarco (photo: Denise Truscello)

Over the past few years, we’ve watched as the dashing and devastatingly handsome Nyle DiMarco has conquered just about everything he’s set his sights on.

The latest in his long string of successes – DiMarco has sold a scripted comedy TV series to Spectrum.

According to Deadline, DiMarco will star in the “irreverent  comedy centered around his experiences as a charismatic, smart deaf man in modern times.”

“The episodes look to offer funny, character-based storytelling designed to provide a deeper perspective on the experiences of the deaf and hard of hearing communities in America,” Deadline adds.

Dimarco will executive produce along with Hawaii Five-O’s Daniel Day Kim as well as John Cheng and Tara Bohn and Melrose Placed’s Sami Housman.

DiMarco took to Twitter to celebrate the series news tweeting, “If I told my younger self that I would eventually have my own series about Deaf culture, I wouldn’t believe it. Deaf people leading in a series about deaf culture? Not possible! This is huge for me… thank you all!”

https://twitter.com/NyleDiMarco/status/1283115014488899584

The ‘sexually fluid’ model and actor first came to the national spotlight when he won the 2015 season of America’s Next Top Model. He is the only deaf contestant in the show’s history, and the second male to win.

From there, he snatched up the mirror ball trophy as the Season 22 winner of Dancing with the Stars.

Check out his freestyle championship dance with Peta Murgatroyd to “The Sound of Silence.” As you watch, remember – Nyle can’t hear any of the music. This is waaaaay impressive.

Although he’s best known for his victories in reality TV, the 31-year-old has also appeared in several scripted TV series like Station 19, Difficult People and Switched at Birth.

And don’t forget his sold-out run on the Las Vegas Strip as the ‘Celebrity Host’ of the world-famous Chippendales in September 2016.

In 2018, he was on the team of producers who brought the award-winning, Deaf-themed play, Children of a Lesser God, back to Broadway.

So, yeah, this is a guy who does a LOT of things well. #NoSlackerHere

DiMarco has also used his celebrity to advocate for more representation for deaf individuals in Hollywood and increased literacy in sign language for deaf children. He launched The Nyle DiMarco Foundation in 2016, which works to bring educational resources to deaf children and their families.

I interviewed the very handsome Mr. DiMarco as he was about to open his run with Chippendales here in Las Vegas. Here’s my chat with him from my podcast:

And since we’re talking all things DiMarco, let’s peruse some of his woofy Instagram feed:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuUPAj8FbV3/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqXpKTug0g7/

Same-Sex Dance Duo Wins Denmark’s DWTS

(photo: Henrik Ohsten/VildMedDans via Facebook)

History was made in Denmark as the first same-sex team to compete on the country’s version of Dancing with the Stars took home the trophy over the weekend.

Openly gay actor Jakob Fauerby and professional dancer Silas Holst consistently impressed the judges and the TV audience throughout the season.

 

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Stort tillykke, Jakob og Silas ⭐️ 📸Foto: Henrik Ohsten #vmd19 #vildmeddans

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The same-sex partnering was Fauerby’s idea and the show’s producers approved his request.

Earlier in the season, the actor told the press he had a sense the series was looking to feature a same-sex team but probably didn’t know how to approach possible contestants with the request.

“It’s difficult to ask someone ‘Hey do you want to be in the show, but do you want to be the LGBT representation of it?’” he said. “So, I think they just waited for someone to express the willingness to do it themselves.”

Holst ended a five-year sabbatical from the show and returned to compete with Fauerby as the first same-sex dance duo in the show’s 16-year history.

The dance competition, one of the most popular shows in Denmark, draws a huge audience each week.

“We are a small country of only 5.6 million people, and every Friday more than a million people tune in to watch the show and many more watch it on-demand afterward,” Fauerby told the press.

“There are very few shows that everyone sees, and this is one of them, so there are a lot of feelings connected to it.”

Celebrating the triumph, Fauerby shared the jubilation on his Instagram writing, “It’s totally crazy and absolutely amazing. Thank you so much to all of you for your wonderful messages and great support over the last 12 weeks.”

Noting the impact of representation on television, he added, “I am so proud that my daughter, her big brother, and all other little boys and girls can go out into the world and love the way they want and dance with whomever they want.”

He also thanked his professional partner for not only being “the bravest man” but “getting me out into the deepest water – it was worth it!”

Holst returned the praise thanking Fauerby for his courage to take the journey writing, “It will forever sit in my heart.”

 

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Nu er det ved at lande i mig hvad der er foregået de sidste 24 timer. Jeg er stolt!! Stolt af vores hårde arbejde blev belønnet, men aller vigtigst stolt over at dele land med alle jer, der har turde åbne jeres sind og se på noget nyt med åbne øjne. At I så igennem både køn og seksualitet og kun så to mennesker der dansede. Det fylder mit hjerte med kærlighed og mine øjne med tårer!! Tusinde tak for al jeres kærlighed og stemmer! Det har været rørende og helt fantastisk at mærke jeres opbakning!! Tak for at vi måtte!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Og dig kæreste, kæreste Fauerby! TAK for dig. Tak for dit mod og fordi du nok er verdens bedste selskab! Tænk at vi gjorde det! Især når man tænker tilbage på uge 4 i vores moderne dans og din minisk sprang. Hvad I kære seere ikke ved, er at vi sad på produktionskontoret onsdag eftermiddag inden udsendelse nr.5 og snakkede om vi blev nødt til at trække os, da Jakob ikke kunne gå. Lægen ringede og gav grønt lys torsdag aften og Fauerby fik tre timer torsdag aften til at lære samba til om fredagen. Det er det vildeste jeg har prøvet i VMD. Du lærte samba på TRE TIMER Fauerby!! Imponeret. Du er blevet far, du er blevet danser og jeg vil give Anne Laxholm ret igår – du er mest af alt en kunstner!! Jeg er lykkelig over at have taget denne tur med lige peæcis dig i hånden! Det vil for altid sidde i mit hjerte ❤️❤️ gudskelov vi ses lige om lidt! Tak til @mastifftv.dk og @tv2danmark for jeres mod!! Jeg er lykkelig ❤️

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There have been same-sex dance teams on various iterations of the reality competition around the world, but this is the first time they’ve taken home the gold.

Italy’s version of the show featured a male duo last year where the team came in third at the season finale. There have also been same-sex teams in the Austrian and Israeli editions, and drag performer Courtney Act participated in the Australian series with a male partner.

 

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To stolte og glade vindere af Vild med dans 2019 🕺🏼❤️ #vmd19 #vildmeddans 📸 Foto: Henrik Ohsten

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News Round-Up: November 13, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Dan Tai (above) offers this Hump Day inspiration, “Nothing will work unless you do, so chalk up and get it done.” I offer this photo of Dan as Hump Day inspiration. #woof

Advocate: A New Orleans judge has rejected an arrest warrant for gay ex-radio host Seth Dunlap, who is accused of fabricating an antigay tweet from his former station.

Socialite Life: Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was finally voted off Dancing with the Stars this week. In true Trump form, the Donald deleted his tweet of support for Spicer once the Spice man got the boot.

FBI: The FBI has released its annual Hate Crime Statistics report for 2018 which shows anti-LGBTQ hate crimes increased by almost 6 percent compared to 2017.

NY Daily News: Michael Troina, a former NYC firefighter who said he experienced hazing from colleagues including taunts to “have sex with a stripper” to prove he is straight, received an $80,000 settlement from the city after filing a lawsuit.

Funny: Michael Henry’s latest ‘funny but makes you think’ video confronts gay men’s obsession with parties, drinking, and sex. Eventually, all that sex-crazed fun stops being fun, and that just leaves a lot of loneliness in the gayborhood.

“When’s the last time you tried to make any gay friends that didn’t involve parties, drinking, or sex?” Henry asks the lonely party bunny. “All you ‘sexys’ only have surface friendships because you’re stuck in this loop of connecting and validating each other through some sort of sexual activity. Wear some pants and take an improv class, nobody’s having sex there.” #wisdom

Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown Calls Sean Spicer “Sweet” & “Nice”

 

The new cast of Dancing with the Stars has been announced, and it includes Sean Spicer (below), who became famous as Donald Trump’s first White House Press Secretary, and Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown (above).

In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, his co-“star” Brown shared he thinks the man who repeatedly lied to the White House press corps and America “a good guy, a really sweet guy.”

Check Brown’s kind words for Spicer in the tweet below:

“Sean Spicer and I have been talking. Yeah, like, literally, I was most excited to meet him because, like the thing is that people would look at us and think that we’re polar opposites but I’m a big believer that if you can talk to someone and meet in the middle that you can learn about each other and help each other both grow. So we have been chatting all day today. Like, he’s a good guy, a really sweet guy. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Karamo from Queer Eye saying Sean Spicer is a nice guy. I know. I know.”

Now, you may recall Spicer was the guy who frequently lied about Trump’s allegations that millions of people illegally voted in the 2016 presidential election. Then there were the lies regarding the firing of former FBI director James Comey. More on my coverage of Spicer here.

But, hey, “really sweet guy.”

Some fans were not up for the Brown/Spicer love.

Brown responded on Twitter, although he later deleted the tweets. He also, according to Newsweek, began blocking people and comments on his Twitter account.

“First, I have no say who is on the cast and didn’t find out till this morning that he is on!” said Brown in the first tweet. “But I’ll tell you this… I’m excited to sit down w/ him and engage in a respectful conversations. Only way things get better is if we try to educate those who have different POV than us.”

In a second tweet, Brown said how he “can’t stand people” who post things “just to flame the fire and get a reaction. We fight harder than your ass ever has for people of color and members of the LGBTQIA community” after someone else called him out.

By the way, DWTS host Tom Bergeron also shared HIS thoughts on the new cast via Twitter as well:

Dancing With the Stars returns for its all-new season Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m ET/PT on ABC.

And The Winner Of “DWTS: Athletes” Is…?

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SPOILER ALERT: On Monday night’s finale of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: Athletes edition, out Olympian and self-proclaimed “America’s sweetheart” Adam Rippon took home the mirror-ball trophy becoming the Season 26 champion.

Rippon and his pro partner Jenna Johnson had to go head-to-head with fellow Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber, and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess.

Rippon and Johnson were tasked with two final dance styles: jazz and freestyle.

The jazz dance (performed to the Broadway classic “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun), was a pure show biz routine that brought the audience to their feet and received a perfect score from the judges.

“It was so exquisitely theatrical,” judge Bruno Tonioli gushed. “Technically, it was brilliant. Your timing and partner work is flawless.”

But the Asian-inspired freestyle fan dance (set to DJ Kass’ “Scooby Doo Pa Pa”) complete with vogueing, fan-snapping and more received a slightly mixed reaction scoring 9s and 10s for a 28 out of 30.

The judges read on the freestyle was perplexing in that it was full of very specific style and Team Rippon were definitely on fire from the get-go.

As a dancer and choreographer myself, I was floored at the complexity of the dance routines. And not only Team Rippon’s.

NFL-er Josh Norman absolutely killed in his football-inspired freestyle to “Walk On Water” by 30 Seconds To Mars. Not only difficult choreography, but he was dancing in formations with several other dancers and totally on point!

And it didn’t hurt that he performed the number shirtless and ended up under a shower 😉

Even Tonya Harding came out guns blazing with her disco-themed turn to “Hush Hush; Hush Hush” by The Pussycat Dolls.

But in the end, the prophecy of the season’s first night cha-cha to RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk” came to fruition as Adam and Jenna were named the champions.

This is Johnson’s first win on DWTS in only two seasons with the dance show.

“The Mirrorball has now taken on a new meaning, someone like me is accepted and I feel loved,” Rippon shared before his freestyle routine.

Rippon is the first openly gay winner of Dancing with the Stars. Congrats, Adam!

And as we close the books on this edition of DWTS, can we get one more peek at the awesome furry goodness that is Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer? #woof

A post shared by Chris Mazdzer (@mazdzer) on May 10, 2018 at 9:35am PDT

DWTS: Adam Rippon Kills With Contemporary Dance

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson on DWTS

Believe it or not, we have just one week left in this “Athletes-only” edition of Dancing with the Stars, and Olympic bronze medalist (and self-proclaimed “America’s sweetheart”) Adam Rippon is crushing it.

I’ve been pulling for Adam from day one and he hasn’t disappointed.

Charming, self-deprecating and hard-working as hell, Rippon has been everything the TV show’s producers could have wanted.

Performing a contemporary dance last night to “O” by Coldplay (which Adam knows uber-well since he skated to it at the Winter Olympics), Team Rippon came to slay, and slay they did.

Gorgeous choreography (I’m glad Carrie Ann pointed out later how deceptively challenging the steps were), complete commitment and detailed execution made the bird-inspired dance take flight.

And the judges agreed.

DWTS season 24 runner-up David Ross: “By far my favorite dance of the night.”

Judge Len Goodman: “It had great control mixed with flair. It’s the best dance I’ve seen tonight. Well done.”

Judge Bruno Tonioli: “You were like two birds of paradise – mesmerizing and enchanting. It’s impossible to tell who is the professional. This is a masterpiece of a dance.”

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba: “I love that you push yourself that hard. I just wanted to thank you. This is why artists create – to have moments like this. Where it’s just pure perfection.”

Team Adam received the evening’s high-score 39-of-40, which he dedicated to his mom, saying afterward: “The only thing that I’m thankful for is that I’m a beautiful crier.”

From where I stand, the mirror-ball trophy is Adam’s to lose. He’ll face off in the finals next week against fellow-figure skater Tonya Harding, and Washington Redskins defensive back Josh Norman.

Watch Adam and Jenna’s contemporary dance below:

Last night also featured a salsa “ballroom battle” between woofy Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer and the NFL’s Josh Norman.

Both did great – you can watch below to see who won to compete next week – but how could I pass up a chance to gaze again upon Mazdzer’s furry goodness?

He knows what he’s working with. Just saying…

A post shared by Chris Mazdzer (@mazdzer) on May 10, 2018 at 9:35am PDT

Adam Rippon’s High Flying Quickstep Wows DWTS Judges

Out figure skater Adam Rippon and professional dance partner Jenna Johnson took on the uber-challenging Quickstep in serious style on last night’s all-athletes Dancing with the Stars.

In the pre-performance video, Rippon shared that his grueling ‘Stars on Ice’ tour schedule has him flying all over the country while Johnson travels with him everywhere to rehearse.

It’s airports, hotels, skating performances, 5 hour dance rehearsals, 3-4 hours of sleep a night, then rinse and repeat.

The Olympic bronze medalist says he doesn’t get back to L.A. until the day of DWTS tapings.

But a busy schedule and sleep deprivation did not stand in the mighty Rippon’s way.

Set to “Make Way” by Aloe Blacc, the duo delivered near perfection receiving 37 out of a possible 40 points. That made for a tie, with skating pal Mirai Nagasu and her pro partner Alan Bersten, for the night’s high score.

The judges gushed.

Bruno Tonioli: “No messing around, no distractions! Absolutely fantastic dancing all the way through. Your timing is impeccable.”

Len Goodman: “So much content, so much speed, but so much clarity of movement. Well done!”

Carrie-Ann Inaba: “You better work. So tight!”

“That was stunning, said guest judge Rashad Jennings. Although Adam’s snazzy red/black suit took the former NFL player aback: “This outfit though. Did you pick this outfit?”

“I actually stole it from your trailer,” said Rippon without missing a beat. “We’re the same size. Nobody knew that.”

After the performance, Rippons told Fox News his new Finnish boyfriend, Jussi-Pekka Kajaala, will be moving from Finland to Los Angeles to be with him.

“I live here in L.A. already but he’s in the process of moving here. He lives in Helsinki right now,” Rippon explained.

“He’s coming as soon as the [‘DWTS’] show is over. He’s been to L.A. a bunch of times since the Olympics.”

Bonus video: Adam and Jenna also took part in the group “1970s Football Dance” to the disco hit “Instant Replay.”

I literally learned to dance to this song.

And how about Adam snagging that football pass like a pro? Watch below.

p.s. the pro guy’s look pretty a-mah-zing in those sequin football pants. Just saying… 😉

Adam Rippon Kills In DWTS Debut As He Cha-Cha’s To “Sissy That Walk”

Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon and partner Jenna Johnson debut on DWTS

Out Olympian Adam Rippon killed it last night on the new season of Dancing With The Stars as he and his pro dance partner Jenna Johnsona cha-cha’d to RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk.”

Both Rippon and Johnson have acknowledged their personal chemistry in working together for the abbreviated “athletes-only” season of DWTS.

“I’m not a scientist, but we’ve got chemistry,” Rippon told Billboard Magazine.

The 28-year-old bronze medalist clearly came to slay, and the judges agreed giving the performance all 8s across the board. That score of 24 tied for the top spot along with pro football player Josh Norman.

As someone who’s been a professional dancer and choreographer for over 35 years, I have to say I’m way impressed: the lines, the body positions, the energy extending all the way out to his finger-tips. This is a very strong performance.

Watch Rippon slay in his DWTS debut below.

Full Cast List For “Dancing With The Stars” Announced

ABC revealed the full cast of the upcoming “all-athletes” edition of Dancing with the Stars this morning on Good Morning America.

We knew Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon was going to be part of the season (looking forward to his antics), but the surprise this morning is that woofy Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. Olympic luge team will be cha-cha-ing his way into living rooms in the next few weeks.

Please, oh please, oh please let Mazdzer dance shirtless. Oh please, oh please…

Here’s the full cast list for DWTS “All-Athletes” edition:

• Adam Rippon (Olympic figure skater) with Jenna Johnson
• Arike Ogunbowale (Women’s basketball player) with Gleb Savchenko
• Chris Mazdzer (Olympic luger) with Witney Carson
• Jamie Anderson (professional snowboarder) with Artem Chigvintsev
• Jennie Finch Daigle (Olympic softball player) with Keo Motsepe
• Johnny Damon (Former MLB star) with Emma Slater
• Josh Norman (NFL star) with Sharna Burgess
• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Former NBA star) with Lindsay Arnold
• Mirai Nagasu (Olympic figure skater) with Alan Bersten
• Tonya Harding (Former Olympic figure skater) with Sasha Farber

In case you needed reminding why I’m excited about Chris Mazdzer’s participation… 🙂

A post shared by Chris Mazdzer (@mazdzer) on Mar 25, 2018 at 11:37am PDT
A post shared by Chris Mazdzer (@mazdzer) on Jun 5, 2017 at 4:37am PDT
A post shared by Chris Mazdzer (@mazdzer) on Jun 1, 2017 at 9:41am PDT

Las Vegas: Hunky “Dancing With The Stars” Pros Open DANCE WITH ME

Val Chmerkovskiy & Tony Dovolani celebrate the opening of Dance With Me studios in Las Vegas

I’ve long felt the true stars of Dancing with the Stars are the fab professional dancers.

Not only do they come up with the choreography for the celebs, but also the concepts, the lighting and the costume ideas.

And then there’s the fact that the men of DWTS are all so easy on the eyes.

I confirmed that last night when I attended the gala opening of Dance With Me dance studio – the ballroom dance studio chain founded by Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Val Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani.

After years of watching at home, fans can learn the cha cha in private dance lessons, rumba in a group setting, and even mambo at social dance parties. Students at Dance With Me can learn ballroom, Latin, hip hop or contemporary dance moves, and can even take dance fitness classes.

According to press materials, all the instructors are hand-picked by Val, Tony and Maksim. And the space is gorgeous.

I chatted with Val and Tony on the red carpet (Maks’ flight was slightly delayed but he appeared about an hour into the event). Both Val and Tony were way charming, and super-comfortable with their fans.

And speaking of the fans – the line out the door went around the block. Hundreds and hundreds of DWTS die-hards had no problem waiting their turn to get to meet the ballroom boys.

Dance With Me now has nine locations now open across the country.

Val showed he’s also a selfie pro
Me with Val, Tony and hubby Michael on the red carpet
Quick interview with Val and Tony

Just one more question…

Tony Dovolani took plenty of time with every fan

Val Chmerkovskiy had no shortage of personality & charm interacting with fans