Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has warned viewers that this weekend's show is going to be emotional. The 59-year-old revealed that the fans of the BBC show will need to have "tissues ready" when professional dancers Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe perform the first solo same-sex routine. "All I can say is have your tissues ready," she told Digital Spy. "It's the most magnificent thing I have witnessed in rehearsals."
Shirley Ballas teased this weekend's Strictly
"Johannes brings out such a wonderful joy of dancing, and him and Graziano just envelope the whole experience," she added. "It warms your heart for sure. It is for sure something to look forward to." Last year, the BBC show saw the professionals perform the first group same-sex routine. However, this weekend's dance comes after Strictly came under fire for not being more inclusive to same sex couples and partnerships.
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In August, BBC bosses hinted that Strictly will allow same-sex couples next year. The BBC said it was "completely open" to having them, "should the opportunity arise". The comment comes after pressure from some of Strictly's stars, who were praised by viewers for breaking down gender barriers by performing their first-ever same-sex performance last year.
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Judge Craig Revel Horwood addressed the issue back in 2017, agreeing he would whole-heartedly champion the idea. During an appearance on Lorraine, he said: "I think same-sex couples can exist, you only have to decide who's going to go backwards really, don't you. That's the only difference." He added: "When you consider the tango was originally danced between two men anyway. It's amazing - seeing Argentine Tango between two men is powerful and explosive and the same can happen between two women. There's nothing wrong, I mean you can get married now, can't you? It's great to celebrate anyone's sexuality. And, as you say, it's not just about sex, it's about dancing."
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