Same-Sex Dance Duo Wins Denmark’s DWTS

(photo: Henrik Ohsten/VildMedDans via Facebook)

History was made in Denmark as the first same-sex team to compete on the country’s version of Dancing with the Stars took home the trophy over the weekend.

Openly gay actor Jakob Fauerby and professional dancer Silas Holst consistently impressed the judges and the TV audience throughout the season.

 

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Stort tillykke, Jakob og Silas ⭐️ 📸Foto: Henrik Ohsten #vmd19 #vildmeddans

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The same-sex partnering was Fauerby’s idea and the show’s producers approved his request.

Earlier in the season, the actor told the press he had a sense the series was looking to feature a same-sex team but probably didn’t know how to approach possible contestants with the request.

“It’s difficult to ask someone ‘Hey do you want to be in the show, but do you want to be the LGBT representation of it?’” he said. “So, I think they just waited for someone to express the willingness to do it themselves.”

Holst ended a five-year sabbatical from the show and returned to compete with Fauerby as the first same-sex dance duo in the show’s 16-year history.

The dance competition, one of the most popular shows in Denmark, draws a huge audience each week.

“We are a small country of only 5.6 million people, and every Friday more than a million people tune in to watch the show and many more watch it on-demand afterward,” Fauerby told the press.

“There are very few shows that everyone sees, and this is one of them, so there are a lot of feelings connected to it.”

Celebrating the triumph, Fauerby shared the jubilation on his Instagram writing, “It’s totally crazy and absolutely amazing. Thank you so much to all of you for your wonderful messages and great support over the last 12 weeks.”

Noting the impact of representation on television, he added, “I am so proud that my daughter, her big brother, and all other little boys and girls can go out into the world and love the way they want and dance with whomever they want.”

He also thanked his professional partner for not only being “the bravest man” but “getting me out into the deepest water – it was worth it!”

Holst returned the praise thanking Fauerby for his courage to take the journey writing, “It will forever sit in my heart.”

 

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Nu er det ved at lande i mig hvad der er foregået de sidste 24 timer. Jeg er stolt!! Stolt af vores hårde arbejde blev belønnet, men aller vigtigst stolt over at dele land med alle jer, der har turde åbne jeres sind og se på noget nyt med åbne øjne. At I så igennem både køn og seksualitet og kun så to mennesker der dansede. Det fylder mit hjerte med kærlighed og mine øjne med tårer!! Tusinde tak for al jeres kærlighed og stemmer! Det har været rørende og helt fantastisk at mærke jeres opbakning!! Tak for at vi måtte!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Og dig kæreste, kæreste Fauerby! TAK for dig. Tak for dit mod og fordi du nok er verdens bedste selskab! Tænk at vi gjorde det! Især når man tænker tilbage på uge 4 i vores moderne dans og din minisk sprang. Hvad I kære seere ikke ved, er at vi sad på produktionskontoret onsdag eftermiddag inden udsendelse nr.5 og snakkede om vi blev nødt til at trække os, da Jakob ikke kunne gå. Lægen ringede og gav grønt lys torsdag aften og Fauerby fik tre timer torsdag aften til at lære samba til om fredagen. Det er det vildeste jeg har prøvet i VMD. Du lærte samba på TRE TIMER Fauerby!! Imponeret. Du er blevet far, du er blevet danser og jeg vil give Anne Laxholm ret igår – du er mest af alt en kunstner!! Jeg er lykkelig over at have taget denne tur med lige peæcis dig i hånden! Det vil for altid sidde i mit hjerte ❤️❤️ gudskelov vi ses lige om lidt! Tak til @mastifftv.dk og @tv2danmark for jeres mod!! Jeg er lykkelig ❤️

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There have been same-sex dance teams on various iterations of the reality competition around the world, but this is the first time they’ve taken home the gold.

Italy’s version of the show featured a male duo last year where the team came in third at the season finale. There have also been same-sex teams in the Austrian and Israeli editions, and drag performer Courtney Act participated in the Australian series with a male partner.

 

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To stolte og glade vindere af Vild med dans 2019 🕺🏼❤️ #vmd19 #vildmeddans 📸 Foto: Henrik Ohsten

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‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Features Same-Sex Partners To Stunning Effect

Johannes Radebe & Graziano di Prima (right couple - image via Instagram/BBC)
Johannes Radebe & Graziano di Prima (right couple – image via Instagram/BBC)

This past weekend the UK TV show Strictly Come Dancing put the spotlight on two male dancers partnering together in a routine.

The reality competition series, a precursor to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in the U.S., gave professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima a solo spot during a production number showcasing Emeli Sande singing “Shine.”

Radebe, who was eliminated last week with his celebrity partner Catherine Tyldesley, grew up in South Africa and is openly gay. In an interview with Hello! Magazine, he said, “I’ve never felt so liberated.”

“For the first time, I feel accepted for who I am,” Radebe told the publication. “That says so much about the people of this country.”

“To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous,” he continued. “There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.”

 

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Love knows no boundaries. 👬🌈@grazianodiprima ❤️

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In advance of the performance, the 32-year-old dancer shared with The Sun that a same-sex dance would have never happened when he was dancing on the South African edition of Strictly.

Growing up near Johannesburg, Radebe said he was bullied from an early age and was called names like “sissy boy” frequently. At the age of 17, he was attacked with a baseball bat by a boy at school who called him “f*gg*t.”

That journey to now made Sunday’s performance that much more meaningful for him.

“When I got to the UK it was beautiful – for the first time I felt liberated,” he explained. “It’s just people accepting you for who you are no matter what you do. So now I feel more confident and comfortable because of my surroundings.”

Radebe posted photos of himself and di Prima with the caption, “Love knows no boundaries” with rainbow and heart emojis and tagged di Prima.

Di Prima, who is heterosexual (he proposed to his girlfriend live on stage earlier this year), also celebrated the moment taking to Twitter writing, “REPRESENTATION always matters! Unforgettable moment, dancing with you @johannesradebe @bbcstrictly”

The response on social media to the same-sex pair was mixed ranging from euphoria (including praise from former champ Joe McFadden) to some naysayers:

Former Strictly professional dancer Robin Windsor scolded the negative comments asking people to “just enjoy the artistry.”

Watch the full performance below. Radebe and di Prima enter around the 1:00 mark.