Nyle DiMarco didn’t have to waltz, rumba, or salsa at the “Nerd Prom,” but the Dancing with the Stars competitor probably felt right at home at one of Washington, D.C.’s most prestigious events—once again, Nyle found himself surrounded by an eclectic mix of celebrities.
On Saturday, People tweeted that Nyle DiMarco was one of the magazine’s guests at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Washington Post reports that the deaf DWTS contestant brought Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano with him, along with an ASL interpreter. DiMarco attended Gallaudet University, which is in D.C., and he considers the school a “mecca for deaf culture.”
Interestingly, the America’s Next Top Model winner wasn’t the only model/reality show star in attendance. As Deadline reports, Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Kendall Jenner was one of the guests seated at the USA Today table. The lengthy list of celebrity attendees also included big names like Will Smith, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Morgan Freeman. However, DiMarco was more interested in meeting one of the Nerd Prom’s real VIPs: Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.
According to Nyle DiMarco, he used the White House Correspondents’ Dinner as an opportunity to spread the word about a cause that’s very near to his heart. Nyle is already doing his part to help deaf children through the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to improve deaf children’s access to American Sign Language (ASL) education, but he wants more politicians to get involved with his cause. Nyle met Bernie Sanders at the Correspondents’ Dinner, and he asked the Senator from Vermont to consider adding deaf education to his platform.
Bernie presumably isn’t proficient in ASL, so he responded to Nyle’s request by giving him a hug.
Bernie and I at #WHCD!! He hugged me after I encouraged him to consider Deaf Education!
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) May 1, 2016
Now that Nyle DiMarco is clearly feeling the Bern, perhaps he’ll consider dressing up like Bernie Sanders for a future Dancing with the Stars routine. Geraldo Rivera portrayed Donald Trump earlier in the season, so it’s only fair that the rest of the presidential candidates get represented on the show.
While Geraldo went orange, Nyle completely changed his look last week by going green—he rocked a garish, pea-colored mask for his quickstep to “Hey Pachuco” from the Jim Carrey movie The Mask.
Now that Nyle has experience dancing while wearing a prosthetic face, perhaps he’d consider rocking a hyper-realistic Bernie Sanders mask for a future routine. If he’s interested, BuzzFeed has discovered exactly what he needs to transform into the Senator from Vermont: the Hyperflesh Bernie mask.
The Hyperflesh company is owned by Denver-based artist Landon Meier, who debuted a trio of presidential candidate masks at Monsterpalooza last weekend. Behold: Bernie Sanders in a bikini, a tatted-up Donald Trump with a beer belly, and Hillary Clinton as Mr. Slave from South Park.
— Monsterpalooza (@MONSTERPALOOZA1) May 1, 2016
The Bernie vote could be just what Nyle DiMarco needs after a disastrous Dancing with the Stars package that made him come off as being a bit cocky and too dismissive of the other contestants. Nyle caused quite the controversy by saying that he sees professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy as his main competition.
“It’s not the celebrities—I’m looking at Val because I don’t really necessarily see them being better than me,” Nyle said. “I’m just feeling confident.”
As Fox News reports, DWTS judge Len Goodman slammed the model’s comments.
“You’re a good dancer, but don’t start saying ‘I’m as good as Val,’ because you’ll just annoy people,” Goodman said. “It’s ridiculous.”
To make matters worse, Nyle and his pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd, only finished in fourth place last week. However, their fellow competitors were quick to come to Nyle’s defense. Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris said that the model was just joking, and pros Lindsay Arnold and Sharna Burgess agreed.
“He is the sweetest, most humble person on the planet and he’s incredibly talented. So what, he wants to be like Val? That’s cute, not cocky,” Burgess said.
Val Chmerkovskiy responded to the mini-scandal by tweeting that he actually considers Nyle’s comments a “HUGE compliment.”
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) April 29, 2016
If Nyle DiMarco does decide that channeling Bernie Sanders would be a great way to climb back up the leaderboard and into viewers’ good graces, he probably won’t do it this week. As JustJared reports, DiMarco will be paying homage to a different political activist tomorrow night: Bono. It’s Icon Week on DWTS, and all of the stars will be dancing to songs by musical icons. Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd have the tricky task of performing a foxtrot to “Beautiful Day” by U2.
You can see if Nyle DiMarco bounces back from last week when Dancing with the Stars airs on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
[Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]