Monday evening’s episode of Dancing With the Stars was historic—at least as much as anything DWTS-related can possibly be.
The episode challenged our judges, Carrie Ann, Len, and Bruno, that enthusiastic little shot of espresso, to choreograph a dance for two of the six remaining couples. They were all solid, because this season has too many legitimately good dancers on it, but one ushered the show into a long-overdue era of sexual boundary-pushing.
Len chose Wanyà Morris and partner Lindsay, and Ginger Zee and partner Val to do a campy rumba:
Carrie Ann got the athletes, Paige Van Zant and partner Mark, and Antonio Brown and partner Sharna, to do a wet, sexy, dusty contemporary piece:
But Bruno, who so often leaps into fairly misogynistic and racially questionable territory, probably out of sheer enthusiasm, was the one to break the long-held barriers of the stifling institution of ballroom dance in an Argentine tango featuring Nyle DiMarco and partner Peta, and the ultimately eliminated Jodie Sweetin and partner Keo:
DWTS has walked the line between being the campiest, at times gayest show on network television, and working to appeal to a very Christian, middle-American viewer base. In their attempt to maintain these demographics, (I have observed) the show has featured few LGBT contestants and often have one contestant who is the War Hero or a country singer who is forced to perform a solid portion of his dances wearing American flags. This season, the closest thing to a war hero is Nyle, the deaf model, and last night, they showed him holding another man’s shoulders.