‘Braxton Family Values’: These Sisters Competed on ‘Dancing with the Stars
The Braxton sisters may be known for their singing chops but they are also pretty skilled in the dance department. Both Toni and Tamar competed on Dancing with the Stars in separate seasons. While they both wowed the judges, one did far better than the other on the reality competition show.
Toni Braxton competed during Season 7
Multiple media outlets began reporting In August 2008 that Toni would be competing in the seventh season of DWTS. The full cast of Toni’s season of the show was confirmed the same month when they appeared on Good Morning America. She was partnered with Alec Mazo.
For Toni, participating in the competition was more than just something to add to her entertainment resume. The sultry singer was diagnosed with Lupus beforehand and told she’d never perform again. She wanted to prove herself and her naysayers.
But it doesn’t mean the process wasn’t grueling for her. She told People Magazine in 2008: “All the dancing is sometimes hard because the booty is a fatty muscle so I’m leaning out in a lot of different places,” she said. At the time, she was just 5’2″ and 100-lbs. She maintained stamina by increasing her water intake and eating protein.
While her performances were stable throughout, the judges encouraged her to step outside of her shell a bit. Toni’s average score was typically between 22-23 points. The dance genres she completed during her season were Cha-Cha, Quickstep, Rumba, Vietnameze Waltz, Samba, and West Coast Swing. Toni and Mazo were voted off in the fifth week of the competition, placing eighth in the competition.
She told The New York Daily News after her elimination, “My goal was reached,” she said. “I wanted to do better. I wanted to breathe better. And I was definitely breathing better. I’ve come a long way from Week One to Week Now.”
Tamar Braxton was a top contender but quit after becoming ill
Tamar followed in her big sister’s footsteps by participating in the 21st season. Her goal was to learn how to truly dance, aside from her favorite: twerking.
The “Love & War” singer was partnered with reigning champion, Valentin Chmerkovskiy. From the beginning, the dance partners were standouts. The judges were impressed from the start, with Tamar successfully completing the Quickstep during week one.
She also had to fight judgment that she was overly confident after she says she was misquoted by saying that she was the best dancer in the competition. Her partner came to her defense, telling People Magazine, “Everybody is asked to say something in a friendly way [about being competitive] but, like I said, all that banter out of context is going to look extremely rude and a bit vain,” Chmerkovskiy explained. “And given her nature in general, it can really come off as negative. That’s what she’s upset about.”
Throughout her time on the show, Tamar performed some of the hardest routines, including Charleston, Foxtrot, Paso Doble, and Contemporary to name a few.
She was forced to withdraw from the competition after discovering she had multiple blood clots in her lungs and throughout her body. She had ribs on each side removed as a result and was placed on blood thinners.
Though Tamar didn’t win DWTS, she did make history in 2019 as the first Black person to win Celebrity Big Brother U.S. edition, taking home the $250,000 prize with a unanimous vote amongst all former housemates.