Strictly Come Dancing features ‘sexy as hell’ same-sex dance routine
Strictly Come Dancing has featured a same-sex dance routine.
The BBC reality dance show has come under repeated fire over its reluctance to allow same-sex pairings in the contest, although they are increasingly common in the professional dance world.
Producers insist Strictly must stick to a “traditional” male-female pairing format, despite several of the show’s judges speaking out in favour of a change.
But the show did make a gesture during Sunday night’s show, by featuring a one-off same-sex routine during a professional dance segment.
The Cabaret-inspired routine, set to Imagine Dragons track “Believer,” saw the show’s full cast of professionals tearing up the dancefloor in same-sex pairings.
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 30, 2018
Pasha Kovalev and AJ Pritchard paired up for the routine, while Karen Clifton partnered with Katya Jones.
The stylish routine was met with loud cheers and applause from the audience—with a warm reaction in the studio and on social media.
Fans praised the BBC for finally taking a step towards same-sex dance pairings, after several years of discussions of the issue.
The “amazing” routine was praised by fans, while some found it “sexy as hell.” Others called for the BBC to make same-sex dancing a more permanent feature.
This being the internet, however, naturally not everyone was happy.
The US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars, featured a same-sex dance routine for the first time in 2016, when model Nyle DiMarco was paired with pro dancer Keo Motsepe as part of a Team-Up Challenge.
The Italian version of the show has taken things a step further, featuring a same-sex pairing as part of the actual competition, rather than as a one-off performance
But the BBC has been resistant to the change.
Ahead of this year’s contest, 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.”
The confirmation comes despite vocal support from several of the show’s judges.
New head judge Shirley Ballas said earlier this year: “They’re just about to have the final of the Italian version of Strictly, and I was just informed that a same-sex couple, two men, made the final, so I will be following that.
“I think, to each his own. I think it’s spectacular.
“I think things are changing, and I couldn’t think of anything more exciting. I’m for it!”
Judge Craig Revel Horwood has long been a supporter of permitting same-sex dance couples on the show.
He said last year: “I think same-sex couples can exist. You only have to decide who’s going to go backwards really, that’s the only difference.
“I really hope [it happens]. In the world of competition there are same-sex couples … so there’s no reason why that can’t happen.”
He added: “The Beeb have to decide whether they want to do that one year. I think it will probably happen next year.
“If you consider the tango was originally danced between two men anyway … It’s powerful, explosive, and the same can happen between two women.”
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Fellow judge Bruno Toniloi added: ”I think you’d have to find the right contestants, but absolutely. Two girls, two boys, why not? I think it would be fantastic.”
However, former Strictly star James Jordan has claimed that it would be “wrong” to feature same-sex dance couples on the show.
He insisted: “It’s wrong. I think they would lose so many viewers.
“I have nothing against same-sex couples, if they want to go and do their own competitions.
“But ballroom and Latin dancing is about a man dancing with a woman – that’s fact.
“It annoys me that people like Craig can say this because he’s gay. That’s the only reason he’s pushing it.”