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Why Jaleel White Cries on Dancing With The Stars

Updated on April 23, 2012
The former Steve Urkel, now all grown up.
The former Steve Urkel, now all grown up. | Source

The Dance

Jaleel White broke down into tears on the Dancing With the Stars episode that aired April 2nd.

White is best known for his role as geeky teenager Steve Urkel in the '90s television show Family Matters. Now, in Season 14 of DWTS, White found himself caught up in emotions following his dance with his two-time dance champion partner Kym Johnson.

The Moment

White, clothed in all-white suit, confidently danced the rumba with Johnson. Following the judge's remarks, when White stood in the backstage area to receive his scores, he began to cry.

White composed himself enough to explain that he likes to entertain people and has been doing so since the age of three. He also told host Brooke Burke that he really wanted to get through the week.

The Episode's Theme

Many of the Dancing With The Stars episodes have themes for the performed dances that link each pair together in some way. The April 2nd episode featured details about a year that each celebrity in the cast chose to be a defining period in his or her life.

In the video footage proceding his dance, Jaleel White described his defining year. He explained that when he starred on Family Matters he was asked by the show's producers to take on a second character named Stefan Urquelle. This character was the alter ego to his character Steve Urkel. Urquelle was more suave than clumsy Steve Urkel and not dressed in ridiculous clothes like high-wasted pants with suspenders.

In the DWTS video, White explained that back then he was nervous to show a new side of himself to viewers. White also explained that following the appearance of Stefan Urquelle, the show's viewers began to react to him differently. He also began to see himself differently. He received more attention from female viewers; his image and sense of self improved.

Jaleel White & Kym Johnson - Foxtrot - Week 1

Why He Cried

White was likely caught up in the emotion of the dance, which he executed very well with partner Johnson. The pair received a total score of 26 out of 30 from the three judges. White was obviously reminded of the life-changing year as he danced the routine; this point is inferred given the words he spoke to Burke.

White was probably also under a large amount of stress. Doing well and receiving good scores from the judges helps the celebrities to stay longer on the show. If the scores are high then home television viewers are more likely to vote for the celebrity. White wanted to impress, and that he did.

The Result

White has likely not hurt his reputation by crying during the episode. If anything alters with his image following the episode, it will be a positive change. By crying, White shows he is in touch with his emotions and that he considered his time on Family Matters to be a large part of his growth into becoming a man. With his well-executed dance, Jaleel White has indeed outgrown the clutzy movements of his former role of Steve Urkel.

Jaleel White As Steve Urkel And Stefan Urquelle on Family Matters

Fun With A Poll

Did You Watch The Television Show Family Matters?

See results


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hehe PDX, I remember Family Matters too :) I laughed at Urkel!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I used to love Family Matters. TGIF was a ritual at my house growing up. I never watch DWTS, though.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Erin, thanks for stopping by to comment :) I'm glad I could help catch you up in the reality world! Yes Jaleel has matured a lot since Family Matters.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 5 years ago from Georgia

      This is a great recap! I don't watch 'Dancing With the Stars' much these days, so thanks for keeping me informed. I loved Jaleel White's performance on 'Family Matters' and I'm glad he's had the opportunity to perform in a different way recently. I voted this up and useful!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sunshine, I love that you are watching the season as well! I also think Jaleel will go far. The talent this year is incredible, Jack went home last night. Let's talk more as the season continues. Thanks for the comment!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Urkel/Stefan I loved them both! Even though Jaleel is all grown up now he still reminds me of Stefan. I did see him crying. It was too sweet. From the season premiere I said Jaleel for the win and my opinion hasn't changed. I just didn't expect all the other dancers to be so GOOD! UP! Awesome!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Marc, you're too busy with watching Survivor I believe!

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 5 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      Great hub, Christy! I've never actually seen the show, and this will make my decision seem inspirational! Thanks!