Panti Bliss continues to wow judges in groundbreaking Dancing with the Stars performances

“The first time I’ve ever been called 'versatile' and it was on live TV,” the Queen of Ireland commented after her latest performance.

Panti Bliss and co-dancer Denys Samson performing on Dancing with the Stars. Panti is wearing a blue dress and a platinum blonde up-do, while Denys is in a black suit and everything is illuminated in blue lights.
Image: Via Twitter - @PantiBliss

Drag icon Panti Bliss continues to delight judges and fans with her history-making performances on Dancing with the Stars.

Airing last night, January 15, the latest episode of the show saw the Queen of Ireland and her talented professional dance partner, Denys Samson, perform a spectacular waltz to Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Natural Woman’, impressing the judges with their elegance and scoring a total of 19 points.

“What a beauty, what an elegance – exactly what the waltz is all about. You are a born entertainer. The song is ‘A Natural Woman’, but after that Waltz, you’re a natural dancer!” commented one of the judges after the performance.

“It’s a very different you from last week – it just proves the versatility you have as a performer,” said another judge, to which Panti responded to later in a tweet. “The first time I’ve ever been called ‘versatile’ and it was on live TV,” she said in her typical tongue-in-cheek fashion.

With a platinum blonde up-do and clad in a beautiful cobalt blue sequin dress, the drag icon joked about how battered her “size ten” feet felt after an entire week of rehearsal. “I was expecting it to be hard but I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard,” she commented.

Panti has spoken before about the physical challenges that performing in drag on Dancing with the Stars poses, but she has also highlighted its importance. “I mean physically it’s easier to do it as Rory, it’s easier to dance in flats than it is in heels and corsetry. But obviously, I feel more comfortable doing it as Panti because that’s how I’m used to performing,” she said, as reported by PinkNews.

Panti stressed how “it’s also important to show drag queens doing what they actually do, which is just being fun entertainment”.

“Especially nowadays with this weird uptick in this nonsense about drag queens and fear of drag queens – they’re calling us paedophiles and all this nonsense,” she said, referencing to the rise of far-right attacks on drag performers in recent years.

Panti herself was present at one of such attacks last July, when a Drag Storytime event organised for Mayo Pride was targeted by a group of protesters. She herself confronted the group. When asked if she had “Garda clearance” to be around children, she replied, “I’ve Garda clearance to tell you to go f**k yourself.”

The drag performer explained how she thinks that these people “don’t even believe the bulls**t they’re saying about drag queens. They know damn well it’s a stupid, weird lie, but unfortunately, I think there are people who are under their influence who do believe this nonsense”.

“They’re using drag queens as a way to say things about all queer people, and I think it’s dangerous nonsense,” she added. “So I do think it’s important to have drag queens on your family entertainment to remind people that drag is actually art, and not what some people are being told we are.”

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