It’s sad to think that Strictly Come Dancing will be coming to end this Saturday. The TV show has been a slice of escapism and pure joy among tumultuous times surrounding Covid. However, it appears not all Strictly viewers enjoyed the semi-finals this past weekend.
The public votes were counted and revealed on the Sunday results show as per usual, seeing Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis as the first finalist, with professional partner Giovanni Pernice. TV presenter AJ Odudu was the next to go through to the finals with her partner, Kai Widdrington. CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson and former Bake Off winner John Whaite then had to battle it out in one of the toughest Strictly dance-offs ever.
All four judges voted to save John, making him the third finalist. Sadly, John then took to Instagram to reveal some of the awful comments he’d received following the result.
Alongside a still photo of his emotional couple’s choice dance with professional partner Johannes, which was dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and everyone who doesn’t always see themselves represented, John listed the hurtful things that had been said to him.
They included the words: ‘”Woke.” “Fixed.” “Box-ticking.” “Agenda.” “Bias.” “Proving a point.” “Not natural.” “Won’t be watching the final.”‘
John then hit back at the trolls for their discriminating and homophobic comments, writing: ‘You vicious, empty people are a dying breed. You’ll be left behind as the world becomes kinder, more empathic, more loving, more tolerant, more understanding.
‘The only grievance you should feel is your own failure to evolve,’ he continued.
32-year-old John is the first ever contestant to dance in a same-sex male pairing on Strictly Come Dancing. Former YOU cover star and boxing champion Nicola Adams was partnered with Katya Jones last year in the first all-female pairing, but had to leave the competition due to Covid.
Helping to drown out the cruel trolls, the comments on John’s post were flooded with messages of support.
‘NO ONE CAN DIM YOUR LIGHT. You are loved. Fact,’ fellow contestant AJ Odudu wrote.
Rahul Mandal, who is also a previous winner of the Great British Bake Off, said: ‘Always remember you are amazing and there are thousands of people who love you…love you both…and you know what…Love always wins!!’
A fan of the show commented: ‘My young children love to watch you dance and I love the conversation it has started about how we are all free to be however we want to be,’ while another said, ‘That my little boy gets to watch you dance each week without ever even questioning 2 men dancing together shows how far we’ve come – he absolutely loves you both.’
Whatever the outcome of Saturday’s Strictly final, it’s clear to see John Whaite and Johannes Radebe’s partnership will go down in history and be remembered for all the right reasons.