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July 09, 2012Posted in: News & Information Tagged:

Tourette TV: Seven People with TS on Popular Television Shows

Much of the TS community has heard about James Durbin, the handsome young rocker who electrified TV viewers across North America with his performances on American Idol and told millions about what it’s like to live with the disorder. It was an emotional victory for TS awareness, and a significant marker of how far we’ve come. Used to be that the only time you would see Tourette Syndrome on television was when it was being mocked or at least misrepresented. Nowadays, thanks to factors like greater awareness, changing attitudes and the emergence of so-called ‘reality’ television, real people with Tourette Syndrome are now being given airtime, bringing TS awareness to more and more people. Do you know any of the interesting and talented individuals with TS who’ve graced the small screen lately? Read on and find out.

Antonio Palazzola

Antonio is a shrewd trader and a family man who is very open about his TS on the television show Barter Kings on which he stars.

Heather West

Not many people can hold their own around fiery chef Gordon Ramsay, but Ms. West proved she was the best of the best when she overcame her opponents and emerged the winner on the show Hell’s Kitchen.

Makenzie Dascenzo

This young talent, who impressed the judges on the popular program So You Think You Can Dance, says that her tics disappear when she is dancing.

Dave Pittman

Before James Durbin, there was Dave Pittman. He wowed American Idol judges, especially Neil Patrick Harris, during the auditions on Season 9, but was eventually eliminated because he forgot a line while he was singing.

Ruth Ojadi

Ruth, a young British woman with an incredible voice and fairly pronounced TS, is the subject of a recent BBC documentary called I Swear I Can Sing.

Pete Bennett

Charming, charismatic and funny, Pete Bennett is the Season 5 winner of the British reality show Big Brother.

Ariel Small

Ariel’s life story was told in the PBS documentary Different is the New Normal, which aired last year to much acclaim.   Do you know of a television star with TS who we’ve missed? Please tell us about them in the comment section below.

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