Actor Frankie Muniz explained how Dancing With the Stars exaggerated his memory loss problems when he was a contestant in 2017. DWTS is returning in the fall for season 31 and will air exclusively on Disney+ for the first time. The show aired for 30 seasons on ABC, with NBA champion Iman Shumpert and his partner, Emmy-nominated pro dancer Daniella Karagach, taking home the mirrorball trophy in season 30. Alfonso Riberio, DWTS season 19 champion, is returning to the show as a co-host for the new season, joining Tyra Banks, who took over as DWTS host in 2020.
Frankie was one of the 13 celebrity contestants on season 25 of DWTS. His partner was professional dancer Witney Carson, who won the mirrorball with Alfonso in season 19. Frankie charmed the judges and the audiences on DWTS, becoming a fan favorite for his heart, humor, and surprisingly strong skills despite having no prior dancing experience. In week 7 of the competition, Frankie and Witney earned a perfect score for a Halloween-inspired contemporary dance that became one of the most memorable of the season. Frankie came in third place on season 25, finishing behind violinist Lindsey Stirling, the runner-up, and actor and singer Jordan Fisher, who won the season with Lindsay Arnold.
In an interview on the Pardon My Take podcast, Frankie said that DWTS exaggerated his memory problems. He explained, “They have an episode where it’s the ‘Most Memorable Year’ episode — they told me my most memorable year was 2001. And I go, ‘I don’t know what to say,’ and they’re like, ‘Why?’ … They’re interviewing me and the way it got cut together, the way they put it, was that I have zero memory of anything.” While Frankie admits to not remembering much of his time on Malcolm in the Middle, the show that gave him his big break, he attributed it more to having done so much in his career in a short time rather than a severe memory problem.
While on DWTS, Frankie was open about his health issues, specifically his concussions and TIAs he suffered. However, while on the podcast, Frankie revealed that he was misdiagnosed with TIAs. He explained, “I finally had a doctor really kind of look into it, and it ends up I was just having aura migraines.” While Frankie doesn’t have all the answers to his health problems yet, he is on the right track.
DWTS, like most reality shows, tends to exaggerate things or hyperbolize people’s words and actions to create a more entertaining show. This is clearly what happened with Frankie, and they were able to successfully paint the picture that he wasn’t able to remember anything from his career and life. Hopefully, for the contestant’s sake, Dancing With the Stars can move on from using those tactics to gain viewership, but it is, unfortunately, a practice that has been dominating reality television for years.
Next: Alfonso Ribeiro Reveals What He Wants To Change As DWTS Co-Host
Source: Us Weekly, Pardon My Take/YouTube