Panti Bliss shares insights into pairing with straight male dancer on Dancing with the Stars

After making Ireland's Dancing with the Stars history last Sunday, Panti Bliss shared her experience of being paired with a straight male dancer.

Panti Bliss and pro dancer Denys Samson, who is straight, smiling at the camera in their customs for Dancing with the Stars.
Image: Via Instagram - @pantibliss

Irish royalty Panti Bliss has shared what it’s like being paired with a straight male professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars, saying there is “no weirdness” between them and that they just “howl with laughter all day”.

The drag icon made Dancing with the Stars history with her co-dancer, Ukrainian pro Denys Samson, when they took the stage on the eve of January 8 for Ireland’s first performance featuring a same-sex couple. The two performed the cha-cha-cha to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’, impressing the entire judging panel and scoring a total of 23 points.

In an interview with the Irish Sun, Rory O’Neill, who created the drag persona Panti Bliss, shared an insight on what it’s like for him to be paired with a straight dancer, saying: “No matter how you cut it, there is a slight weirdness when there is a straight guy and a straight girl dancing together.”

“Maybe there is a partner at home who is not exactly thrilled about it.” O’Neill continued. “You have to spend hours and hours in a studio wrapped around each other and from the first minute have to throw yourself into this ­person’s arms and get over it.


He then said, “That makes it much harder whereas with a straight bloke (Denys) and me being a gay bloke twice his age there is no weirdness and we are howling with laughter all day.”

O’Neill also shared his plans to ditch his drag persona for an upcoming performance, saying: “I want there to be two boys dancing together in people’s living rooms at 6.30pm.”


“I think that’s important for people to see without any ­faffery around it.” he continued, “We’ve already decided we are going to do it.”

Although voting lines are closed at the moment, if you wish to support this iconic duo in winning this year’s edition of Dancing with the Stars, there are a couple of things you can do in the coming weeks. Text ‘PANTI’ to 53125, or call 1513 71 71 07 if you live in the Republic of Ireland, or 0901 133 1107 if you’re in Northern Ireland.

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