When there are contestants on Dancing With the Stars who already have a show business background, you can’t help but wonder how they’ll do in the competition, even if they’ve never done the salsa in their life. This season, Debbie Gibson is one of the many who already has experience performing, but even so, viewers might be asking, who is Debbie Gibson on Dancing With the Stars?
She’s been performing for literal decades, and in 1998, her song "Foolish Beat" hit #1 on the Billboard Chart, so she’s definitely been doing the singing and performing thing since before some of her fellow contestants on DWTS were even born. Maybe that dates her a bit, but it also shows how strong of a competitor she’s sure to be this season on DWTS.
In recent years, though, Gibson has been recovering from Lyme disease and working with doctors to feel like herself again as she struggles with being able to move her body like she used to. But, Gibson told People in 2014, she doesn’t look at her disease as a battle she’s fighting. "I prefer to say that I’m 'overcoming' it," she told the outlet. "To call it a battle implies that there’s a war with a worthy opponent, that some disease is a worthy opponent. I don’t want to give this disease that kind of power over me. It’s not a war. There’s not a winner and a loser. 'Battle' sounds exhausting to me! It’s a challenge that I’m overcoming."
With that kind of mentality, how is she not already a shoo-in for the winner of DWTS Season 25?
Thanks to working with a chiropractic kinesiologist, the 47-year-old singer also said that she’s been able to feel like herself again physically, regaining her strength and being able to do things like yoga and ride her bike. Being asked to compete on DWTS was probably perfect timing for her then — though because she’s still overcoming the disease every day, Gibson still knows her limits with partner Alan Bersten.
"Once upon a time I felt really robust and strong," she admitted to People during a DWTS rehearsal. "I can’t be cavalier with my body. I can’t just push myself without thinking what happens next… I’ve always been in tune with my body. But the last few years have helped me learn where I can push my limits. I’m going to choose to think of that as an advantage!"
In addition to her singing career, Gibson also played Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway from 1997-1998 and then Sally Bowles in the 2003 Broadway revival of Cabaret, so performing in any capacity has been part of her life for a long time. As recently as 2015, she was also part of the “I Want My 80s Concert” at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden, even as she’s been privately overcoming Lyme disease.
Although Gibson told People that she’d been "hibernating," the Season 25 DWTS contestant has actually been pretty busy with performing in different concert series and appearing in both Celebrity Name Game and Hallmark movie Summer of Dreams in 2016, so to say she was in hibernation is definitely an exaggeration. She's absolutely killing it! And when she breaks out her best cha cha on DWTS with Bersten by her side, it’s probably going to look like she never took any kind of break from performing at all.
Living with Lyme disease, which is a tick-borne illness brought on by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and causes extreme fatigue and joint and muscle pain, might have slowed Gibson down for a little while, but it definitely hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her passions. She is definitely going to be one to watch out for!
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