DWTS Contestant Kel Mitchell Tearfully Reveals Dad Underwent Brain Surgery, Dedicates Dance to Him

Claudine Varela
Sep 27, 2019
10:20 A.M.

Kel Mitchell performed to his father's favorite song in "Dancing With The Stars" as a tribute to him after undergoing brain surgery. "I did this for my dad," he said.


Kel Mitchell’s recent performance in “Dancing With The Stars” was more than just a display of talent, it was a tribute to his father.


Kel had a tough week because his father, James Mitchell had undergone brain surgery. It was a serious procedure to treat an aneurysm.

In a video package during the dance competition, Kel turned emotional during rehearsals when he opened up to his dance partner, Witney Carson about his "hard" week and how close he was to his dad.

“We’re like literally best friends, so seeing him this way, that was hard.”

He also revealed that “everything went well” after the operation which according to the 41-year-old was needed to “clip” off the aneurysm.


And as a tribute to his dad, Kel chose Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step” for their samba number during the show. According to him, it was a song James loved.

“It just reminds me of when I was a young kid in the basement and listened to records, so this is big for me,” he said.

Kel was especially hyped up before the performance knowing full well it was for his father.

“I just want to kill it out there and knock this dance out. Let’s do it!” he encouraged and added, “We’re going to do this for dad.”


The performance proved to be a hit among the judges who gave Kel and Witney a score of 20.

“Overall, I thought it was a very well done job,” said Len Goodman.

After the judges’ critique, the former Nickelodeon star spoke to host Erin Andrews and affirmed that it was a dance for his father.

“I did this for my Dad, I love you Dad.”


Earlier in the week, Kel took to his Instagram to detail his father’s diagnosis. He said James visited the eye doctor due to pain but found out soon after that it was an aneurysm.

Kel used the opportunity to remind his followers to be vigilant about symptoms.

“My Dad always does annual check ups with the doctors. Thank god! Whoever is reading this, remember to take time to listen to your inner self,” he advised.

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