Words: Steve Brown
Dancing with the Stars Ireland made history as it aired two same-sex dance routines.
This week, contestants got to choose their professional partners during Switch-Up Week and TV presenter Brian Dowling picked Kai Widdrington and RTÉ 2fm presenter Lottie Ryan danced with Emily Barker.
Before taking to the dancefloor, Dowling said: “This is celebrating the fact that two guys can dance together on national television.
“I will be emotional on the night. I’m an out gay man and I’m married, and this is really important to me.”
With Ryan adding: “For a prime time family show to be so progressive and inclusive is an honour to be part of. To be given the chance to dance with any of the amazing pros is an incredible opportunity.”
Dowling and Widdrington first took to the floor and received a score of 23/30 and were praised by the judges.
— KΛI ЩIDDЯIПGƬӨП (@Kaiwidd) February 8, 2020
Judge Brian Redmond said: “I think this is an incredibly brave thing to do – not to go out there and dance with a man that’s normal – it’s brave because you took on the pressure to be the first one to do the that.”
And fellow judge Julian Benson added: “It was a loud and proud quickstep my friend. I’m actually very proud of you.
“You made history (…) It was fantastic, it didn’t matter that I was watching two men, I was watching great dancing.”
Ryan and Barker then brought the show to an end and finished second on the leaderboard after their same-sex Charleston routine.
Speaking of their routine, judge Lorraine Barry said: “Ladies do it best, and ladies do it in heels too.
“There was lots of great dancing here. Overall, I thought it was a very high-powered routine.”