History was made in Denmark as the first same-sex team to compete on the country’s version of Dancing with the Stars took home the trophy over the weekend.
Openly gay actor Jakob Fauerby and professional dancer Silas Holst consistently impressed the judges and the TV audience throughout the season.
The same-sex partnering was Fauerby’s idea and the show’s producers approved his request.
Earlier in the season, the actor told the press he had a sense the series was looking to feature a same-sex team but probably didn’t know how to approach possible contestants with the request.
“It’s difficult to ask someone ‘Hey do you want to be in the show, but do you want to be the LGBT representation of it?’” he said. “So, I think they just waited for someone to express the willingness to do it themselves.”
Holst ended a five-year sabbatical from the show and returned to compete with Fauerby as the first same-sex dance duo in the show’s 16-year history.
The dance competition, one of the most popular shows in Denmark, draws a huge audience each week.
“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,” Fauerby told the press.
“There are very few shows that everyone sees, and this is one of them, so there are a lot of feelings connected to it.”
Celebrating the triumph, Fauerby shared the jubilation on his Instagram writing, “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.”
Noting the impact of representation on television, he added, “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 the way they want and dance with whomever they want.”
He also thanked his professional partner for not only being “the bravest man” but “getting me out into the deepest water – it was worth it!”
Holst returned the praise thanking Fauerby for his courage to take the journey writing, “It will forever sit in my heart.”
There have been same-sex dance teams on various iterations of the reality competition around the world, but this is the first time they’ve taken home the gold.
Italy’s version of the show featured a male duo last year where the team came in third at the season finale. There have also been same-sex teams in the Austrian and Israeli editions, and drag performer Courtney Act participated in the Australian series with a male partner.