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Same-sex couple sail into Italian 'Strictly Come Dancing' final

Giovanni Ciacci and professional partner Raimondo Todaro will compete for the crown this Saturday (May 19).

2018-05-17

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas says she's all for same-sex couples competing on the BBC dance competition after two men made the final of the Italian version of the show.

Ballas, 57, admitted she "couldn’t think of anything more exciting" after Giovanni Ciacci, an Italian beauty expert, made the final of Ballando Con Le Stelle with his professional partner Raimondo Todaro.

Giovanni and Rainmonda have dispelled the myth that the Strictly format wouldn't allow same-sex pairings after winning over the Italian public with a series of moving performances.

The pair will seek to become the first same-sex pair to win a Strictly competition when they compete in Saturday night's final in Rome (May 19).

Discussing the pair's success on Good Morning Britain, Ballas, who replaced Len Goodman as head judge last year, said she was firmly "for" same-sex pairings on the British edition of the show. 

"I think it’s spectacular. I think things are changing and I couldn’t think of anything more exciting, so yes I am for it," she said.

There have been regular calls for Strictly Come Dancing to allow same-sex pairings to compete over the last few years, but the broadcaster insisted it had "no plans" to open up the format last year, when openly gay contestants Susan Calman and the Rev/ Richard Coles danced with opposite-sex partners.

Shirley already has an ally in fellow judge Craig Revel-Horwood, who expressed his own support for letting same-sex couples compete last year.

"I think a same-sex couple can exist. You only have to decide who’s going to go backwards," he insisted last year.

While the BBC may continue to drag its feet over the issue of Strictly same-sex pairings, at least we have Gianni and Rainmondo's success to enjoy - good luck in the final boys!