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Adam Rippon wants same-sex dance couples on Dancing with the Stars

Nick Duffy May 8, 2018

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson attend ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars: Athletes' Season 26 show on April 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Adam Rippon has backed calls for an edition of Dancing with the Stars featuring same-sex dance couples.

The Olympic figure skater is appearing on the current athletes’ edition of the TV dance contest, earning praise after a Cha-cha-cha routine to RuPaul’s ‘Sissy That Walk’.

But Rippon, who is paired with professional dancer Jenna Johnson, has backed calls for a version of the show featuring same-sex dance couples.

Speaking to Fox he said: “I think that [same-sex dance pairings] would be awesome. Yeah, so cool.”

Olympian Adam Rippon attends the 2018 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time)

“I’ve actually gotten to dance with Val [Chmerkovskiy, a male dancer on the show] a little bit. Now that I have the skills, I’m going to literally dance with anybody and everything!”

He added: “When I dance with Val, he’s definitely showing me which direction to go, and when I dance with Jenna, I’m pretending I am ’cause she’s really leading me throughout the whole thing!”

Pro dancer Gleb Savchenko previously said: “Producers are just scared to try new things and go in that direction. It should have been done a long time ago.

“I would love to see same-sex couples. It would be amazing, it would be huge entertainment. We have same sex couples competing in real dance championships and they do it so well.

“To see the energy and the chemistry and the vibe in the rehearsal room of two guys — imagine you put Anton Du Beke with a guy. I would really want to see that.”

The show featured a same-sex dance routine as part of a one-off routine in 2016.

Olympian Adam Rippon attends the 2018 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time)

As part of a partner-swapping twist, Nyle DiMarco was paired with pro dancer Keo Motsepe, while Jodie Sweetin performed an Argentine Tango with Peta Murgatroyd.

However, the show has previously ruled out calls for full-time same-sex dance couple pairings.

The UK version of the show, Strictly Come Dancing, has faced similar calls to adapt its format and recognise same-sex dance pairings, which are increasingly common at major ballroom competitions.

Last September the BBC confirmed that they have no plans to introduce same sex partners on the Strictly.

A spokesperson said: “Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition.”

The clarification comes after openly gay Reverend Richard Coles argued that it made “no sense” to stop same-sex couples dancing together on the show.

Scottish comedian and out lesbian Susan Calman defended her decision to dance with a man on the show.

She said: “I did think about dancing with a woman, but from the very first moment when I was asked about the show I said I wanted to dance with a man.”

Calman added that her decision to dance with a male partner was hers and it was powerful for her to be able to appear on the show in the first place as an openly lesbian woman.

She said: “I think politically, there’s nothing more powerful than having an openly gay woman on the biggest show on television, whose wife’s on the front row, doing what she wants to do.”

“For the gay community to criticise me and try to get me what they want to do is, I think, as difficult as suggesting the straight community are trying to.

“No one is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I want to learn how to dance.”

More: adam rippon, Dance, Dancing, dancing with the stars, Gay, LGBT, reality, Rippon, Television, US

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