Louie Vito on DWTS: From the halfpipe to the ballroom

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 28, 2009 7:39 pm

U.S. Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito had his work cut out for him going into this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC. Not only had he never watched the show, but he also had never danced. He was facing some tough competition, as performers Donny Osmond and Mya, along with swimmer Natalie Coughlin, and supermodel Joanna Krupa were all vying against him to take the title. Vito was paired with Chelsie Hightower, who is also from Utah, and has great teaching skills. Only time would tell how the duo would size up to the competition.






Vito’s first night would go very well, as he and Hightower scored 19 out of 30 on the foxtrot, which put them in fourth place. But there was a second dance, the group salsa, which Vito also did well in, and he was in fourth place overall after the first night.

He also scored a 19 the following week, but this time, he danced the jive. He threw a huge backflip over Hightower, and DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba said she loved how he shows “so much joy” while dancing. And his joy would continue for another week, as he survived to move onto week three of the competition.





The third week of DWTS brought the Rumba for Vito and Hightower, and the couple performed the dance to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” They scored a 20 from the judges, who acknowledged the duo’s great chemistry, but also criticized them for their “wild” choreography. The chemistry would pull them through, as they survived another week.

The two-step was up next for the dancing duo, and they traveled to Texas to find Vito’s “inner” cowboy. They were at former DWTS contestant Ty Murray’s ranch, who was Hightower’s partner from the previous season. The dance didn’t fare well with the judges, as he only had 15 points. However, Vito did do well with the voters, and he was able to move onto week five.





Week five meant that Vito and Hightower had reached the top 10 on DWTS, but they only received a 22 out of 30 for their Argentine tango and paso doble. However, the country was in for a shocker, as Olympic gold medal swimmer Natalie Coughlin was eliminated. Coughlin was initially one of the favored contenders, but she could not get enough votes to stay on the show. It’s onto week six for Vito and Hightower!







The sixth week competition was intense, as Vito had to learn three dances in one week, which was something that he “never though that [he] would EVER be doing.” He danced the jitterbug and group mambo on this past Monday’s show, and received a combined 24 out of 40 points. He was ahead of Michael Irvin, who had a 22, and tied with Melissa Joan Hart. Two couples would be eliminated, and the first was Hart, who was voted off by the vans.

Vito and Irvin would have a dance-off on Tuesday night, where both couples did the jive. Unfortunately, Vito and Hightower could not stave off elimination, and they were voted off. After he was eliminated Vito said, “This is a lot harder than it looks. Everyday I got out there and danced. I was proud of myself for just getting out there.” Here at TSC, we are proud of him too- and anxiously anticipating his appearance at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver this February!