DiMarco, who blew away the crowd with his performance on the season 22 premiere, can't hear sound or even feel its vibrations.
"It's actually Peta," DiMarco signed, referring to his partner, professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd. "I follow her with my eyes."
DiMarco, ABC meteorologist Ginger Zee and Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris all tied for first place with 23 out of 30 points from the judges in the two-hour premiere Monday night.
This season's reality dance competition features a mix of 12 athletes, singers, semi-famous actors and news people. The celebrities are paired with professional dancers, who teach their stars how to dance and choreograph the routines.
New mom Zee's delightful jive with pro partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy had judge Carrie Ann Inaba comparing her to season 21 winner Bindi Irwin, while usually stern chief judge Len Goodman called her "a ray of sunshine" on the dance floor.
Morris showed that he could cha-cha to one of his group's hits, "Motownphilly," with pro partner Lindsay Arnold. "You are a total twinkle toes on the dance floor," Inaba said.
Don't count out the NFL roster on the show, either. Pittsburgh Steelers player Antonio Brown and Denver Broncos player Von Miller tied for second place with 21 points.
"You're magic," Inaba told Brown, who was paired with pro Sharna Burgess and danced a complicated quickstep.
Of Miller and pro dancer Witney Carson and their foxtrot, Inaba said, "there's all kinds of good tonight."
Also tied for second place with 21 points: Marla Maples, ex-wife of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, and UFC fighter Paige VanZant, both of whom impressed the judges with their grace.
"I think you found your calling," judge Bruno Tonioli told Maples.
Former child stars Kim Fields ("Facts of Life") and Jodie Sweetin ("Full House") impressed the judges with their energy and power, scoring 20 points each. Sweetin played with her "Full House" and, now, "Fuller House" fame with pro partner Keo Motsepe.
Toward the bottom of the scale was retired football player and fan favorite Doug Flutie, who is paired with pro Karina Smirnoff; their foxtrot scored only 15 points. He will probably need viewer calls to stay in the competition.
"The O.C." star Mischa Barton seemed to lack energy in her routine and also scored 15 points. Fox correspondent Geraldo Rivera earned just 13 points, the lowest score of the night.
"Maybe you're gonna dance next week?" Tonioli said.
Each couple danced a cha-cha, foxtrot, jive, tango or quickstep in the first show, judged this season by ballroom expert Goodman and dancers/choreographers Inaba and Tonioli. They also competed for votes from viewers, although no couples were eliminated on week one of the competition.
After weeks of competition, one dance pair will win the Mirrorball trophy.
Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews host the competition on ABC.