Viewers of BBC’s ratings behemoth, Strictly Come Dancing, witnessed a first last night when the live results show featured same-sex couples paired together for the opening group dance.
Taking to the floor, the professional dancers were teamed with same-sex partners for a powerful and seductive take on the Imagine Dragon’s song ‘Believer’. The intense choreography and passionate connections between the couples proved the fresh combos were just as successful as previously mixed numbers.
However, it wasn’t quite the complete overhaul many fans had clamoured for. Considering the amount of LGBT+ contestants who have competed in the show over the years, there have long been calls for the show to allow same-sex couples to compete for the duration, instead of a one-off performance by the professionals.
Despite previous expressed support from judges Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel-Horwood, a spokesperson for the show was quick to nip hopes in the bud before this latest iteration hit the small screen. The short and final ruling was issued: “Strictly has chosen the longstanding ballroom dancing format of mixed-sex couples.”
Current contestant, Dr Ranj Singh, himself an out gay man, had previously taken to social media saying he would be delighted to be partnered with a male dancer. He said: “I would value a time when same-sex couples could dance on shows like Strictly. It is incredibly important. We are making progress but I think there is still time to go.”
Two of the judges of Dancing With The Stars, Strictly’s Irish counterpart, recently announced during an interview they thought it was time for the show to include same-sex pairings.
Brian Redmond told an interviewer: “We’ve proved as a nation over the past five years how far we’ve come and how progressive we are. I think it would be interesting to see how the professional dancers would get it to work”.
Time will tell if the show can go one step further than Strictly in partnering an actual same-sex couple from the get go instead of just a single performance.
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