On Israel’s version of The Office, there’s a pretty decent apples-to-apples cast where the archetypal characters — the un-self-aware boss, the nerdy accountant, The Gay — from the British and American versions pop up. But on Israel’s version of Dancing With The Stars, it’s anything but: there’s a same-sex lady pair.
On America’s Dancing, going gay might get you kicked off. But in Israel, it’s how you get on.
Television sportscaster Gili Shem Tov, who is smokin’, said the only she’d appear on the show is if producers paired her with a female partner. So they did. “This is my way of life and this is my agenda, and I wanted to express it,” she says. “‘If even just a few people become more tolerant and open-minded as a result, then I have achieved something.”
Shem Tov, who lives with her partner and their son, said most reaction had been positive, although a few people had said a program watched by children should not show two women dancing together. ”I don’t understand that,” she said. ”I have a child myself.” Her partner, she said, was proud and excited ”and said I have a lot of courage”.
Her dance partner, Dorit Milman, was enthusiastic about the debut. ”Everyone knows that Israel has a lot of extremes,” she said. ”When we go on primetime TV as a couple, we’re showing everyone can love everyone.” Milman, who is heterosexual, said the pair had to ”change the rules” to make their dance routine work. She said: ”In a ‘normal’ couple, the man must show his masculinity and the female is very sensual.”
The gay pairing is the first for the Dancing brand, which originated in the U.K. with the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Perhaps it’s time for Louis van Amstel, a dancing partner in America’s show, to stop feeling such shame about the whole thing