Dancing with the Stars may soon take same-sex couples to the ballroom, a new report claims. Ahead of the Season 29 of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, former DWTS producer Steven Price teased the big twist that would greatly change how the show is cast.
Of what would become the biggest casting shakeup in the history of the long-running reality show, Price said viewers across the country have become more accepting of alternative lifestyles. In turn, Dancing With the Stars producers now have more options than ever with regard to casting choices and celebrity-pro dancer pairings for Season 29.
“The midwest is changing their dynamic now,” the former DWTS producer said, according to The Sun. “They are changing. They are being more open to it, because they are being introduced to it… Same-sex, it just brings a different twist to it.”
Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron also said he feels it’s “overdue” for the U.S. incarnation of the show to feature a transgender or same-sex couple.
Bergeron did not seem concerned about how some members of the DWTS audience might feel about a same-sex casting shakeup.
“Look, in terms of real-life… why not, you know?” the longtime ABC host said.
Same-sex couples have already been paired together on versions of Dancing with the Stars in other countries, so it’s not a surprise that this case is now reportedly being considered for the U.S. version of the show, which debuted on ABC in 2005.
Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Gleb Savcnenko told TV Insider he’d love to see gay couples on the show. And longtime pro Sharna Burgess pointed out that same-sex ballroom dancing “is a very real competition.” The Australian dancer added that viewers are “missing out” on a lot of talent with the show’s usual male-female format.
But DWTS veteran Mark Ballas said that while he thinks same-sex pairings are possible, he’s not sure it’s the best move for someone who wants to win the competition.
“In my opinion and in the opinion of most professional dancers who really are well-versed in this sport, it puts you at a disadvantage,” Ballas told TVLine.
The mirrorball champion explained that if two female dancers are paired together, a woman won’t be able to lift another woman over her head the way a man can and that a man will never be able to pull off some of the moves that female dancers can.
“At the end of the day, we’re judged off how the man moves, how the woman moves,” he said. “So you’re giving yourself a handicap.”
Ballas added that he’s not against the idea of same-sex pairings “at all.”
In the past, Dancing With the Stars has featured gay men, including Lance Bass and Carson Kressley, as well as a transgender man, Chaz Bono, paired with female pro dancers.
During the most recent season of DWTS, former Bachelorette star Hannah Brown and pro dancer Alan Bersten won the competition.