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Duluth's Daniel Durant ends remarkable run on 'Dancing with the Stars'

The actor and his dance partner, Britt Stewart, were the very last couple to be eliminated before next week's finals. "We feel like winners," said Durant after the show.

A woman and man dance in colorful costumes, clasping hands as they present out to either side and smile.
"You look like you enjoyed that," judge Bruno Tonioli (not shown) said to Britt Stewart and Daniel Durant about their samba Monday night on "Dancing with the Stars."
Contributed / ABC / Raymond Liu
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DULUTH — Daniel Durant and his dance partner Britt Stewart were the very last couple eliminated ahead of next week's finals on the Disney+ reality competition show "Dancing with the Stars."

Monday's episode, during which the couple danced twice, capped a remarkable run that saw them outlast most of their celebrity competition.

A woman and man, wearing matching white dance costumes, stand arm in arm and smile.
Britt Stewart and Daniel Durant received praise from judges after dancing a Viennese waltz Monday night on "Dancing with the Stars."
Contributed / ABC / Raymond Liu

On Instagram after the show, Durant and Stewart appeared alongside ASL interpreter Gabriel Gomez to thank their supporters. "This won't stop," said Durant. "Britt and I want to keep dancing, and we want to learn more, and also we want to teach deaf children to dance and give people access to dance classes."

"It's really rare when you meet someone and it changes your life," said Stewart as the three members of "Team Sign to Shine" celebrated the strong bond they've formed over the past two and a half months.

Durant, an actor from Duluth best known as a star of the movie "CODA," danced with Stewart twice on Monday night. Their performances, an elegant waltz and rambunctious samba, earned praise but not the kind of scores they needed to compete with the likes of Charli D'Amelio and Gabby Windey, both of whom earned perfect scores of 40 for each of the night's two dances.

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Among the six couples dancing on Monday, Durant and Stewart were eliminated by judges' votes after actor Trevor Donovan and his dance partner Emma Slater were eliminated on the basis of scores. Four couples will now advance to next week's finals, with actor Wayne Brady and drag star Shangela also still in competition.

"You really are Prince Charming," judge Bruno Tonioli said to Durant after the waltz. "I think everyone here has fallen in love with you."

In a pre-taped segment, Durant said he's been "surprised and overwhelmed" by the support he's received and by the impact his "Dancing with the Stars" performances have had.

The cast of the Best Picture contender met with first lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

"We're inspiring deaf people," said the actor, who has been deaf since birth, "and we're inspiring parents who have deaf kids and I'm getting comments from them that their parents want to learn sign language for their kids."

Durant, in a rehearsal clip, described meeting Gomez while promoting "CODA." Numerous people came up to him, Durant said, and told him, "'Gabe sounds like you.' That's the first time in my whole life that someone's heard a voice that sounds like me."

The trio shared a group hug, with Durant saying, "I'm so lucky to have a wonderful team."

Although they're no longer in competition, Durant and Stewart will appear on next week's finale along with the rest of the full season cast. That episode will stream live on Disney+ on Monday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.

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Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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