Meet Dancing With the Stars' frontunner: Nyle DiMarco!
The America's Next Top Model champ has quickly emerged as the one to beat after the season 22 premiere, after he and his professional partner Peta Murgatroyd tied for the highest score of the night (23/30), and the competition's second-ever deaf contestant knew he was coming in as an underdog.
"I didn't want to be the dark horse anymore, so I think at the beginning, yes, but after this, no," he told E! News' Sibley Scoles (via a translator) after the premiere on Monday night. "Now I think I am a contender and we're ready to win this!"
And all it took was a trip to the hospital. Yes, Nyle has already experienced a DWTS injury, with an accident at recent rehearsal ending in the need for stitches.
So what happened?! "Actually, it's kind of funny because it was one of our best rehearsals to date and it was a great day," Nyle explained of the incident. "And we wanted to do one last run—don't ever say that, don't ever say the last run because then I got elbowed in the eyebrow! Four stitches later, it healed beautifully though!" (So the money-maker is A-OK? Phew!)
An embarrassed Peta added, "I've never hit anybody like that ever, never made anybody bleed!"
Injury aside, it's clear the partners have a great connection, one that's been strengthened by the fact that they are both learning from each other. While Peta teaches Nyle to dance, she's also learning sign language.
I have to and I want to," Peta, who is engaged to former DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, said. "Every day I'm building my vocabulary up to be bigger and bigger. At first, we're starting with dance terminology...I want to be able to communicate with him and speak his language. What could be cooler than that?"
To hear more from DWTS' standout couple, watch our interview with Nyle and Peta above now.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.