In what seems to be fast becoming an international trend, Denmark’s version of “Dancing With the Stars” has made history by featuring a same-sex couple – and this time, they’re not only included, they’ve won the competition.
Jakob Fauerby, 42, and Silas Holst, 36, were paired together on the show – which is called “Vild med dans”- after Fauerby, an openly gay actor, decided he would ask to be paired with a man if he was selected for the show.
According to The Daily Mail, the judges responded to his request by saying that it was “something they could probably talk about.”
The pair are the first all-male combo in the history of the show, which has run for 16 seasons after debuting in spring of 2005. They have wowed audiences and judges with each performance, receiving the highest scores in four out of eight shows and topping it off by winning the final after what the Mail called a “show-stopping” paso doble.
Speaking with Danish news outlet BT, Fauerby said, ‘It’s a whole new experience. It is quite overwhelming. So many who write to me on social media with their own stories. I feel pretty privileged.’
He was quick to add praise for partner Holst, saying, “He makes sure you look good.”
Previously, in an interview with LGBT Nation before the win, Fauer said, “Not in my wildest dreams did I anticipate this,” and went on to discuss the inevitable controversy stirred by the same-sex pairing.
“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,” the actor said. “There are very few shows that everyone sees, and this is one of them, so there are a lot of feelings connected to it.”
“For me, in my living room, when I dance at home, I dance with a man,” he continued. “When I was a child, I never saw representation […] So for me if a young boy, girl, or trans person has the opportunity to see that positive representation as part of a TV show that is empowering in itself.”
He also said that criticism dwindled after the couple’s initial appearances, quipping, ““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.”
Holst, a former fan-favorite dancer on “Vild med dans,” returned to the show after a five-year break specifically to partner with Fauerby in representing the LGBTQ+ community. He told BT he was “absolutely delighted.”
Fauerby is best known as a member of the Danish satirical comedy troupe, Platt-Form. He and his husband, Anders, are fathers to two children.
Last month the UK’s “Strictly Come Dancing” included a full routine between two men out of competition for the first time in its history, and just last week, a male couple on the French version of “America’s Got Talent” brought audiences to their feet for a standing ovation after performing a tender dance duet together as a protest against homophobia.
The US version of “Dancing With the Stars” has yet to include a same-sex couple on the show, though Olympic skater Adam Rippon, partnered with female dancer Jenna Johnson, became the first openly gay person to win that competition in 2018.