In response to Monday’s Oklahoma City tornado, which had killed over 50 people at press time, Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron requested that the audience not applaud coming back from a commercial break during season 16’s final performance show (read full recap).
“Here’s why,” Bergeron said, on the verge of tears. “We’re a live show, and as such, occasionally we go to air in the shadow of tragic events. That happened April 15, when we went to air hours after the Boston bombing. And it’s happened again today. While we’re having a celebration here [in the ballroom], we want you to know our thoughts are with everyone who’s been affected by the devastating tornado in Oklahoma City.”
“I would, however, ask you to applaud the amazing courage of the first responders on site,” Bergeron added, visibly shaken before introducing the next dance.
Update: At 10 p.m. ET, the hosts announced that voting on ABC.com was “temporarily down” and directed fans to vote via phone or Facebook instead. As of 6 a.m. ET, ABC.com voting is still down. It’s Facebook or bust. The official voting period ends at 11 a.m. ET.