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A same-sex dance couple have made history by winning Denmark’s TV show, Vild med Dans. The show is its version of Dancing With The Stars.
The pair comprise of gay actor Jakob Fauerby, 42, and professional dancer Silas Holst, 36. They have consistently wowed audiences and judges with their routines, securing the highest score in four of the show’s previous eight episodes.
Fauerby says that when he was invited to take part, he requested to be partnered with another man.
Once producers agreed to the request, Holst, who had taken a break from the show for the past five years, returned to dance with Fauerby.
Although the pair’s participation has been met with much praise, there have been some detractors. Fauerby has appeared on several news shows to defend his participation as one half of the first same-sex couple in the show’s 16-year history.
“We are a small country of only 5.6 million people, and every Friday more than a million people tune in to watch the show and many more watch it on-demand afterward,” LGBTQ Nation reports Fauerby saying.
“There are very few shows that everyone sees, and this is one of them, so there are a lot of feelings connected to it.”
He says that criticism died down after the first couple of shows and the novelty of seeing two men dance together wore off.
“What happened after the first two shows is that people saw weren’t going to have anal sex on stage.
“It is feelings. It is sensuality. But it is not sexuality. It’s just two people dancing.”
When they danced their paso doble at Friday’s finale, one of the judges, Marianne Eihilt cheered and said, “I am so proud to live in a country where two men can make a final,” reports Politiken.
Afterward, Fauebry, a father to two children, took to Instagram to post about his joy and pride at winning.
“It’s totally crazy and absolutely amazing. Thank you so much to all of you for your wonderful messages and great support over the last 12 weeks.
“I am so proud that my daughter, her big brother, and all other little boys and girls can go out into the world and love them the way they want and dance with whomever they want.”
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Vi har vundet Vild med dans 2019! Det er fuldstændig vanvittigt og helt fantastisk. Tusind tak til jer alle sammen for jeres dejlige beskeder og store støtte gennem de sidste 12 uger. Jeg er så stolt af, at min datter, hendes storebror, og alle andre små drenge og piger kan gå ud i verden og elske dem de vil, og danse med hvem de vil. @silasholst du er den modigste mand. Tak fordi du har fået mig ud på det dybeste vand. Det var det hele værd. Nu skal vi feste! Af hele hjertet – tusind tak ??
He called his dance partner, Host, “the bravest man” and thanked him for partnering with him: “It was worth it. Now we have to party! With all my heart – thank you very much.”
Holst, in return, posted: “I am proud! Proud of our hard work was rewarded, but most importantly proud to share a country with all of you who have dared to open your mind and look at something new with open eyes.
“That you saw through both sex and sexuality and only saw two people dancing. It fills my heart with love and my eyes with tears! Thank you so much for all your love and voices! It has been touching and absolutely amazing to feel your support!”
Last year, Italy’s version of Dancing With The Stars, Ballando con le Stelle, featured a gay celebrity partnered with a male professional dancer. The duo reached the competition’s grand final and came third.
The Israeli version of the show has featured a same-sex female competing couple and the Austrian version has featured a male competing couple. Earlier this year, Courtney Act danced with a male partner in the Australian version of the show.
There has yet to be a same-sex competing pairing on the US’s Dancing With The Stars. Nyle DiMarco did participate in a brief, same-sex routine in a January 2016 episode of the show. He went on to win the series with his female dance partner, Peta Murgatroyd.
UK TV show Strictly Come Dancing – forerunner to Dancing With The Stars in the US and other countries – featured its first same-sex dance routine in early November. The dancers were professionals, not celebrity contestants.
A report in Britain’s Sunday Times yesterday suggested UK show producers are seeking a drag queen – possibly a former Drag Race contestant – to take part in the next series.